And on the 7th day we set off from Ubud to Munduk, which is about 65km of windy road north, with Paul behind the wheel of our hired Toyota Avanza (one of those Asia-only Toyotas).
Munduk’s elevation makes it cooler and less humid than Ubud. (Yay!) Travellers who visit this area go hiking through the forest and rice paddies to small villages, waterfalls and coffee and cocoa plantations. We stayed here only for one night but we thought Munduk was a hidden gem.
But first, let me tell you about the hassle with hiring a car. The day before, Paul had test-driven a car and agreed to hire it; but this morning, we were given a different car – a car we noticed wasn’t in as good condition as the one he’d tested. The back tire treads were worn and it was a bit banged up both inside and out. We weren’t impressed. We could plainly see they had 5 cars in better condition in their garage.
After about an hour of faffing around with the car hire place to switch cars, we were finally on the road at 11.30am. We had the use of a Garmin – yes a SatNav, who uses those anymore?! – and that helped take us out of Ubud. We wouldn’t have been able to get out of Ubud without it as there were many turns to make. Yes, we would’ve used Google maps on the iPhone, but I found 3G really slow. After about an hour or so on the road, we stopped for lunch.
As an aside I have to say that the Balinese, on the outset, have always been super nice, courteous, happy and willing to help. This was no different but as tourists/foreigners/travellers, you still do have to keep your wits about you. We knew Bali roads can be rough and steep, and we didn’t want to put our family at risk of any accidents especially since this was the rainy season.
Here’s our journey from Ubud to Munduk in photos.
On the road
The twin lakes
After resting a bit in our room – which had no fan and no aircon – we wandered out onto Munduk’s main road, the same road that would eventually take us further north to our next destination.