Peace and quiet are precious commodities in this modern age. Seems like no matter how busy our lives are, we just keep on stuffing in extra distractions, whether it be iPods, Playstation, email, weblogs or cell phones. Gunung Batukaru is a place where you can leave all that behind.
The Batukaru Mountain Retreat is owned by Richard & Rebecca Kaal from Australia. They have done amazing things with this place, which is located at the top of a peaceful valley with views all the way to the coast. When I visited a year ago all they had was a 2-storey house and the beginnings of a recording studio. Now there are a selection of living quarters and ‘spaces’ (bales, grass areas, pondoks and a bar area) where musicians and visitors can relax and enjoy their time. This last visit I snapped plenty of photos, but while editing them on my camra managed to erase the lot. Take my word for it, this place is coming along really well, great to see people living their dream. Richard and Rebecca started the place in the last 2 years, having carved out friendships with locals and have their 2 teenage daughters living there.
Organized music retreats will start in September 2007, with a second in December 2007.
• Transportation – Airport pick-up and escort up Batukaru Mountain to accommodation (about 1 ½ hours from the airport/touristy areas). Awe-inspiring, breath-taking drive!
• Idyllic Setting and Climate – Gunung Batukaru is lush and beautiful and tranquil, with views reaching all the way to the coast on clear days. You will leave behind the often intense heat of the lowlands, as the weather on the mountain is very comfortable all year round due to the altitude.
• Great Food – The food alone would be a good enough reason to join the tour, with trained chef, Rebecca Kaal, guiding local villagers in preparing exquisite meals to delight your palette. In addition to the fine and diverse meals, experience the taste of manggis, salak, palm sugar and a range of fresh fruits of the island.
• Traditional Music Performances by locals: Joged, Legong, or Topeng Dance Performance; Jegog (with large bamboo pipes), the Rindik, Salonding, and even the very rare Saron Luang from Celuk.
• Ceremony – Depending on the time of year, we will join a local Hindu ceremony and visit the village afterwards for food and socializing.
• Evening performance parties at the Batukaru Retreat, featuring anyone in our group keen to participate. We may be joined by some locals, culminating in a ‘jam session’, featuring Western music, Balinese music, and whatever else comes up! All styles welcome! A recording studio will be available to capture ideas and/or inspiring spontaneous sessions, if required.
• Workshops with local Balinese Musicians – we learn about the Balinese approach to music in a hands-on way. We encourage musical collaboration with locals to find exciting new experiences for all. Music Lover’s Retreats often feature professional western musicians, who also offer workshops in western music.
• Venue Performance – As a celebration of our group’s creativity, we will have the opportunity to perform a gig in a public venue — a great opportunity to take our fresh inspiration to the stage, for those inclined. All styles will be welcomed, and there will be No pressure for the shy amongst us to perform.
• Day trips – We will take at least two day trips: one to Ubud, and one to Lovina Beach (North Bali).
• Experience the mountain! Day hikes and overnight camping trips up Gunung Batukaru (Mt. Batukaru) will be available for the energetic amongst us. Batukaru features the last preserved forest of Bali: its gorgeous!
• Balinese Massage – you won’t miss out on the mountain! Expert masseurs available at low prices compared to the expensive tourist scene.
• Time, Space, and the ideal Natural Setting… to relax, unwind, play music, write, create, interact, commune with the mountain spirits….Its your holiday.
• At the culmination of the retreat, two nights at Kumala Hotel in Seminyak is included, providing the perfect contrast to our mountain paradise.
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Batukaru Mountain Retreat is such a kick back place, situated amongst high jungle, that one just feels more relaxed being there, the cool evenings necessitating a light sweater. Hiking up to the summit of Gunung Batukatu can be done and the tree lined route is a great opportunity for camping, something that is not easy to do in Bali. A recent gathering of expats and local Balinese saw about 40 people come together and enjoy food, drinks and some live music.
Batukaru Mountain Retreat
(+62 361) 789 7553
+62 81805 611840
+61 428 304 698