Today we departed out hotel at 6am to explore a nearly untouched part of the island of the Gods. We drove to Lake Batur where we left our vehicle to hike to Muntigunung villages situated in the northeast of Bali. There are 34 hillside villages in this area with a population of 5500. It is an exceptionally dry are with very little rain fall no springs or river. Collection of fresh water from the coast or Lake Batur was tansported by foot which took a mininum of 5 hours, per day. Thanks to a Swiss organisation called Future for Children which was funded in 2004 these villages no longer need to hike to the Lake for water. High up in the mountain village of Muntiguinung on the slopes of the holy Gunung Agung volcano, we were touched by the people that live in a much less privileged life than ourselves. We felt very fortunate to meet these people and to support them by generating income to their families. We were accompanied by our experience local guides and villages on this beautiful trek that is on a part of the island of Bali that most Balinese do not even know about let alone westerners. We learnt about the diverse climate and vegetation while enjoying the quietness of the remote area and rare views of Lake Batur ad the Indian Ocean. We visited two villages were we watched women and men sit and weave baskets and hats that are sold to the hotels resorts closer to Legion and Kuta. At the end of our trek we were able to buy cashew nuts, rosella sweets and tea which are also grown in this region of Bali, thanks to the Yasanan Masa Depan Untuk Anak Anak which is a non profit organisation founded by the Swiss-Indonesian. At lunch time we relaxed at a resort near the beach and enjoyed a delicious Indonesian Buffet. We returned to our hotel at 6pm after a very full and rewarding day. Thanks to the caring people of Bali these villages have come a long way. We saw the self esteem of women grow, they have jobs that help then support their families. We saw children learn how to read and write and most of all we saw people staying in their villages rather than go begging. I am sure in time we will see their poor health conditions improve as a result to overall better and safer living conditions and targeted activities.
Filed under: Adventure travel