Mount and Lake Batur from Penelokan Kintamani

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Batur Geopark Museum

One of the most famous tourist destination in Bali is Mount and Lake Batur located in Kintamani, Bali. Most tourists were taken by their tour guide to Panelokan, Kintamani, where they can enjoy the view of the mountain and lake with all its grandeur. I have passed this place many many times, but I am still at awe.

I have noticed several times that in Penelokan there is a building called Batur Geopark Museum. But, we never really got a time to visit it because we were always in a hurry. After all, the building looked lonely and deserted.

But last time, we passed the place on our way home (Songan)…and we are not in a hurry as we usually did. So, we stopped by to visit the Museum.

At that time, there were several cars and a tourist bus in the car park, which means that there are actually visitors inside! We were greeted by a front office staff when we entered the museum. She politely asked one of us to fill in the Guest Book. Once I finished, I expected that she would me the entrance fee. But to my great surprise, she said that there is no entrance fee. Yup, its totally free!!

We started our tour. There were a machine where you can take a picture of your groups. We took some time to snap ours.

The first exhibit is about the formation of the Universe and Earth. The explanation were in both Bahasa Indonesia and English. Its a bit high up, so my two girls just asked me to read them out for me while they went over the illustrations. Next to the exhibit there were an audio visual where you can watch a video and hear more about the galaxy.

Next to it, there were a big globe…the girls tried to locate some of the countries that they have heard. Indonesia (of course), then Thailand, then England 🙂

Moving on, we came to an exhibit about volcanoes. At this point, I am finding myself pleasantly surprised to how genuinely interested I am reading all these stuffs. My mind went all the way back during my school years where Geography was really the most intimidating subject to me. If only there were this kind of display to help me through those years. I might not turned up to be a Geologist or geographer, but it would really help me to get interested with the subject!

The exhibit showed the most phenomenal Indonesian volcanoes. First is Mount Merapi as the most active volcano in Indonesia. Then, there is a description of Mount Tambora that erupted in 1815 and recorded as the the largest eruption in the history of mankind. In another part of the exhibit we can also read a description of Mount Krakatau eruption that cause enormous Tsunami. Finally, there is a description about Mount Toba which erupted 75000 years ago is the largest eruption in the world has seen during the past 2 million years! In front of the exhibit there are volcanic rocks from Mount Merapi and Krakatau. Seriously, how good it is to have that much information within a single exhibit.

Next up is more description about Volcano in Indonesia. It mainly repeats some of the information from the previous exhibit, but the map shows the chain of 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia that form a big part of the Ring of Fire. It also shows some of the fact such as the tallest, lowest volcano in Indonesia and the world.

The next exhibit is on development of Bali Island. Unfortunately, it is described only in Bahasa Indonesia. There were 19 stages in the development starting over 23 million years a go, which the exhibit called as Oligo-Miosen period. A quick google search did not find Oligo-Miosen. But instead found Miosen and Oligosen…so, please don’t quote me on this one (a real amateur here). It described in detail how the volcano activities and sedimentation over the period of the Miosen, Pliosen, Plistosen, right through 5500 ago  formed what we now know as Bali island. I would love to describe each step in more detail but the technicality really is quite challenging. Perhaps one day T.T

I attached here the exhibits courtesy of Batur Geopark Museum. Sorry for the blurry pics, hope it is still readable.

Having learned about Bali, we moved on to the next segment of the Museum. Here we can learn more about the formation of Ancient Batur Volcano, volcanic rocks of Ancient Batur, formation of Batur Caldera I and the ongoing development of the Batur Volcano.

At this point, I got overwhelmed with all the information. Plus, we did not expect that it would be chilly inside the museum so we were all just wearing our normal clothes. So I just took the pictures and skip through some of the exhibits, as the girls start to complain that they feel a bit cold 😦

*I would recommend you wear warm clothes so you can enjoy all the exhibits inside the museum*

It is quite ashamed really because the rest of the exhibits are really equally interesting. First is a large exhibit describing the distributions and Lava Forms of Batur followed by the grace and disaster of Batur Volcano.

We then move to the second segment of the Museum that describe the biodiversity of Indonesia. My two girls got really excited because there are some exhibits on animals. I particularly love the picture of the Reindeer 🙂 There is also descriptions of biodiversity in Bali Island and more specifically on the environment of Batur Geopark.

Next exhibits are about Balinese: plant and the Balinese, Balinese Culture, artefacts and history of Bali, interaction of human and nature: the Balinese people, and the concept of Mountain in culture. If you really wanna know about Bali, it is really a good place to start! One of the most intriguing is exhibit about diversity of cultural expressions in Balinese society. The cultural concept of the relationship balance between people, nature and God called Tri Hita Karana.

Finally, our tour end with three exhibits about potential and preservation of geological heritage, wise man and sustainable nature. The last exhibit convey a very important message:

Equilibrium in the use of Nature is the key to Biodiversity

Wow. By the end of the visit, I felt overwhelmed with all the information inside the museum. Then, I felt its such a pity that this museum is not promoted enough…and also we found that the facilities (toilets) are not well maintained. I will wanna comeback again one day to have a more thorough look at all the exhibits. In the meantime, I truly recommend this place for you and your kids to learn while around Kintamani!

 

Harvesting Shallots in Songan

Being born and bred in bustling city like Surabaya, spending the holiday with their grandparents in Songan, Kintamani, Bali offers a much needed break for my children. Different weather and different environment gave them a lot of opportunities to learn and experience new things.

This time around they got a chance to join their grandparents to harvest shallots in their field. Shallots are an important produce for Balinese and Indonesian in general as it is used as seasoning in almost every dish. In Bali, Shallots are also eaten raw as condiment.

My two girls are really excited to harvest the shallots. Its not that hard to pull them from the ground. The difficult part is actually judging whether the shallots should be pull at that time or it should be left to grow for a couple more days. But their dad and grandparents pointed out which part to pull. So in the end they did really well.

My Lucky Shot of Songan!

Like many of my fellow Indonesian and perhaps Asian, I used to really like getting photographed in various situations. Be it with my family, friends or striking a pose in front of statue, places of interests, landscape…basically getting myself into the picture.
But as I went and study in England, I found myself being teased by my friends for standing in front of an object and getting photographed. For some reasons, they feel that the object is much more important then putting our face in front of it 😀 I once argued, then how could we remember those moments when we visited the object and they said, “do you want to remember the place or your face” haha..so, gradually, I get into the habit of taking picture of my surroundings, objects and things that intrigued me..

Still, I am not a professional photographer. In fact, unlike many “amateur” photographer that become increasingly sophisticated, my camera was really standard ..Just a pocket camera ^^
But every now and then, I got lucky…I ended up with a picture that I found really really unique and beautiful. The last picture that I am really proud was this picture here. At the moment I used it as my header 🙂

Just grew, just harvested and a Tree

I took it during our vacation in Songan, Kintamani, Bangli. The kids really want to go the lake…So we crossed the fields. I actually hurried back to get my pocket camera…All the way there I just snapped my camera without actually thinking about the results. So I was really surprised to see how it turn out.

The picture captured two fields with such a different conditions, one just harvested and empty field, and the other just being planted with shallots…and there is a fine tree that separates the two fields almost in the middle. Really great.

A photograph can show you something that you missed out in reality 🙂

Songan – My World’s End

Its funny how life turns out the way it is…

The year was 1992. I was in the final year of senior high school. It was term break, and my friend and I were really keen on going camping. My dad was out of town, so I went only with permission from my mom. Sorry Dad, now you know this secret from up there…Anyway, around ten of us went by car, and some with motorcycle…We didn’t know yet where we would camp, we just knew that it will be around Toya Bungkah. We knew the place because my high school always have inauguration for freshmen there…But, as we arrived there, we found that we needed permission to camp there…then we drove again and found another place nearby…a field by the lake…but, we weren’t allowed…so we passed Toya Bungkah through a very condensed village called Songan…I remembered I felt so strange as we passed that village. The narrow streets were surrounded by small houses, yet there were no fences between the houses! I think the center of the village lies around 1 kilometer stretch of that street! The faces look unfamiliar to us, not threatening but full of curiosity. It was totally beyond of what I have known at that time. As we passed the streets, the houses became scarcer replaced by lots of vegetables fields. Then we reached the end of the road. We parked our vehicles outside Pura Ulun Danu. This temple is very famous among Balinese. Perhaps, it is probably the main reason that people travel all the way here..I don’t know how, my friend manage to get permission for us to camp in one of an empty field, just by the lake. In the end we put our tent there. It was freezing cold during the night. The next morning, my friend hurried us to leave because apparently he saw something strange when he was on the watch the night before. He said it looks like a light crossing the hill across the lake. Most of us already imagined that it was some mystical creature…but, we never knew what it was. It could be a shooting stars..but we all realized that we have probably trespassed somebody elses property. So, we cut our camping short and head home. But, that one night camp remained in my memory until now…

The year was 2000, when my husband (then still my fiancée), took me to his home to meet my future mother and father in law. He already told me that he came from Songan. But, never did I imagine that his house was just 500 meters from where we camped in 1992!

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This is a place that I call home now. Here, is my sanctuary… Where I can escape from all the burden of work for a while…Being here is like being at world’ end. Literally, because our humble home is surrounded by hills…About a few hundred meters in front of us is the lake…So we have got quite a view..

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The weather in Songan is quite cold compared to Denpasar or Surabaya. The people in Songan mostly are farmers. They grow shallots, tomatoes, chillies, cabbages and different types of nuts.

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Although we have got a decent road, but the infrastructure remains to the minimal. We only have 400KWH of electricity, so at nite we have to use it wisely.

Whenever I’m in Songan, I can appreciate all the little things that I often took for granted…