Campuhan Ridge Walk
Starting Location: Pura Gunung Lebah, Campuhan
Ending Location: Main road, north of Neka Gallery, Sangingan
Guide needed? No
Map needed? No
Hiking boots? No
Gear: Sunhat, water bottle
Walking conditions: Paved route
Best time to go? Sunrise / Early morning
Best time of year: Dry Season (possible any season)
Fitness level: Any level
Hiking duration: 1 hour 30 minutes to main road. Possible car pick up at earlier point.
Services along the way: Convenience store, art shops, small hotels.
Ubud has lovely people and lovely scenery. Getting to know both is a pleasure, and this morning I did some more of both.
The Campuhan ridge walk is an easy hike, that almost anyone can do. Best done before the sun gets very high in the sky, the hike starts at a temple, Pura Gunung Lebah, across from Museum Blanco.
This morning I left our guest house, Rahayu Bungalows on Jl. Hanoman at 7.30am and headed west along Jl. Raya Ubud towards Campuhan. Parking across from the Blanco Museam outside a sekola (school), I descended the stone steps down to the river, Wos Barat, intending to take a quick look at the outside of the temple and skirt the outside of it. Stepping gingerly on slimy wet rocks, I saw a naked Balinese man and his wife, dressed in her underwear. They stood next to me on a rock giggling, watching me choose which rock to jump to. Trying not stare, I laughed with them, then hiked up the side of the hill to the temple. The couple were now getting comfortable in the cold water.
At 7.45am the sun in rising fast, but I still saw some lovely shadows and streams of light coming through the trees, not a soul around the temple at all.
After walking around the right side of the temple, I quickly came to a paved path, about 5 ft wide, heading in a northerly direction. Balinese locals were scattered long the route, which followed Campuhan ridge.
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Balinese locals were about their work of tending the rice fields that sloped sharply, either side of the ridge. On the western side of the valley, impressive hotels occupied the side of it, affording guests their ‘jungle view’.
During my walk on the open part of the ridge trail, I passed about half a dozen people coming the other way, 2 of them westerners. The footing all the way was good, with no really steep sections, making this an ideal walk for older people, even in the wet season.
The rice paddies gave way to a tree lined street with local housing and art shops. There were a couple of small hotels too. A few times stopped and said ‘selamat pagi’ (good morning) to the artist. Styles ranged from abstract, to Balinese traditional to miniture portrait. One artist asked me how long a leter would take to get to France. He had sent 20 small painting and was waiting to get paid. Hope it works out for him.
As the trail again become surrounded by rice fields a small convenience store appeared. This is after about 45 minutes of average walking. Perfect for stopping and taking a breather.
Balinese artist Wayan Rana, painted minitures and was sitting contentedly on his porch, the picture of a relaxation. At this point the valleys to the east and west flattened out. I passed more Balinese locals, all very good vibes and not packing that ‘gimme’ attitude that you find on some of these ‘scenic trekking’ areas.
At a small road junction there is an obvious sign, pointing towards an extention to the rice field walk, heading north, and the way back to Ubud going west.
Taking the curving route to Ubud, I stopped to observe the ritual offerings, given by a young woman. This is a typical mountain country road, with local guys whizzing around on little scooters. All good vibes but you have to watch out crossing the road as they appear out of nowhere. This road is called Jl. Rsi Markandya II and had some little flowers that also grow in Java. This lumbung (rice barn) has been turned into a sign post for a shop selling stome flowers pots.
Finally reaching the main north-south road, north of the Neka Museum, I had a pleasant downhill stroll to my bike, located a couple of kms away. The whole hike, including getting back to my bike took about 2 hours. This hike is very pleasant in the cooler temperatures of morning and once you reach the man street there are places to stop and grab a bite. If you hav a car with driver you can get dropepd off and picked up very easily, you might even want to continue the scenic part of the hike northwards. The village of Keliki is located 7 km north and is known for it miniture paintings of barong dances.
I have some nice photos to add at a later date.