Bali: Off the Beaten Track – Bukit Peninsula
No doubt many of you will be thinking, “Hey, that’s not off the beaten track”, and rightly so because it is pounded by tourist buses daily visiting the sacred temple of Pura Luhur Uluwatu on the western tip of the Bukit and on the east side, the upmarket Nusa Dua. Then there is Jimbaran Bay and the surfing beaches such as Dreamland to the north. Yes, you could definitely say that the Bukit is not off the beaten track. But it is to a certain degree. Geologically being a limestone peninsula the Bukit Peninsula is pervious to the forces of Mother Nature. Subsequently you will find numerous sea caves on the coastal area and inland, dotted around the peninsula. A lot of these caves are prehistoric are considered sacred such as Gua Selonding. There is one drawback though. A lot of these caves can only be reached on motorbike along rough tracks or by walking to them.
Quite a few of these caves are located within temple sites or shrined areas. Here are a few for you to check out. On the road to Uluwatu just before you arrive at the village of Simpangan you will find on your left-hand side you will find the turn-off to Pura Gua Gong and Pura Kayu Sijih. Both worth visiting and exploring. Another good one to visit is Gua Peteng. Getting there is by a small track. When you arrive at the turn-off to Kutuh you will notice the track on your left-hand side. The cave is located not far from Cengeling. These are only a couple and it is well worth asking the locals about any caves in the area when you stop at a warung for refreshments.
If you like to visit out-of-the-way and unusual temples then visit the sea temples dotted around the coastline of the peninsula. Many are extremely old and rarely visited making it a treat to explore them. Start your journey from Pura Luhur Uluwatu and head to Pecatu. Here you will find Pura Pererepan. Further along the road heading in an easterly direction and before you arrive at the village of Bakung there is a turn-off which will take you down to the coast and the delightful Pura Masuka. Going back to the main road and heading to the village of Kutuh, there is a secondary road that will lead you down to the coast again and to Pura Batu Pageh. From here, instead of going back to the main road, continue in an easterly direction along the coast and you will come across the temples of Pura Karang Bona and Pura Geger at Cape Lebang. The great thing about this secondary road is that it connects to a main road taking you directly to Nusa Dua near the Grand Hyatt Bali!