Off the Beaten Path
Exploring pristine nature in an Indonesian-built two-seater buggy with the Munduk Wilderness team...
It was 7 a.m. in the morning when the Munduk Wilderness team picked us up at our office in Kuta. Our team was going to reveal some natural wonders in Munduk, an uphill area just outside of Bedugul. It took us about two hours to get to Munduk Wilderness Base Camp via the Denpasar- Singaraja route.
Getting there was pretty easy. After passing the magnificent Lake Tamblingan, we went up the hills where we saw a troop of monkies roaming on the side of the road. Right at the top of the hill, we took a left turn onto the junction, going in the direction of “Gobleg”. We passed numerous food joints with open-air sitting areas at the edge of the valley, overlooking the lake – there were a lot of bamboo or wooden structures functioning as viewing points. However, our group couldn’t wait to discover what Munduk Wilderness had in store for us, so we went on without making any stops. We passed through the gate to the Gobleg Village, and followed the long winding road until we arrived at our destination.
Munduk Wilderness Base Camp consists of a restaurant with an open area, boasting a natural view and fresh air. They also have a locker room and several lavish showers and restrooms. One of the staff who greeted us also mentioned that ten villas were currently underway. There was a bamboo structure standing on one side of the alfresco dining area, facing an empty extension that was separated from the rest of the restaurant with a fence.
“That bamboo structure functions as a stage for local performers,” explained Senior Marketing Supervisor Iwan Joenarso who accompanied us that day. “And that empty extension over there will soon become an infi nity pool with a view of the natural surroundings.” I could only imagine how beautiful the swimming pool will be. But even without the pool, the restaurant is already charming. Sitting at one of the long tables, my friends and I breathed in the fresh air, enjoying Munduk and forgetting that we were still in Bali. One of the staff then brought a cup of lemongrass tea as a welcome drink which was perfect to warm us up.
The staff then handed our gear. Each one of us had to wear a helmet, goggles, and a pair of arm and knee pads. We were told to bring only important items like cameras, and keep the rest in the locker room. “Please don’t put your phones or other stuff in your pocket. It could fall out,” Mr. Iwan reminded us as he took us to the street where three Fin Komodo Buggy cars were parked – I sat in the front with one of the guides, known as the marshal. He sat behind the wheel to lead the way. Two of my friends were in the second car, while the last one took the last buggy car accompanied by another guide.
The Buggy Ride
Built in Indonesia, the Fin Komodo Buggy uses an automatic motorbike engine, so even amateur drivers can steer the wheel. Munduk Wilderness has 19 buggy cars, each one of them can only accommodate two persons. Aside from wearing a helmet and pads, everyone must put the seatbelt on. Only when all the participants sit safely in the buggy car will the marshal start the journey.
I must say, riding in a Fin Komodo Buggy was really a lot of fun. Munduk Wilderness actually provided a pair of earplugs in case the sound of engine was too loud, but I didn’t think that was necessary as it was a part of the experience! And the fresh air of Munduk area made the adventure even more remarkable. At one point, we went through thick fog in the middle of the day. I closed my eyes as I held my arms up, letting my fingers touch the mist. The breezy wind was chilly, yet the sunshine made the air a little bit warm. It was such perfect weather to ride the buggy.
But that was only the beginning of how wonderful this journey was. In the middle of our adventure, the marshal took a turn, leading our way to a beaten path. Gone were the smooth ride with the buggy, and came the real adventure! The path ahead of us was filled with rocks and dirt – there was even a point when our buggy slid in almost a 90 degree angle to the side to avoid a bunch of big rocks. The marshal made it seem easy to drive past these rocks, while next to him, I was holding on to the handle for my dear life. Once we passed that point, the marshal stopped the buggy to help the other two cars behind us. In the end, we made it through that challenging path, all safe and sound.
Using the Fin Komodo Buggy car, the marshal took us to several gems of Munduk. Our first stop was Lake Tamblingan with a view of the Gubug Temple surrounded by natural beauty that was really mesmerizing. We could feel the positivity of the area. Here, participants of Munduk Wilderness can spend 40 minutes exploring the lake with a canoe, but our group had so much to see that we decided to skip that part and went straight to our next destination.
A one-hour ride with the buggy cars took us to Munduk Wilderness’ coffee plantation. In this four-hectare area, the company not only grows their coffee beans, but also selects and roasts them, and distributes the coffee to the Base Camp. After showing us around, the marshal then escorted us to an open-air dining venue to enjoy a picnic lunch of light sandwiches. When our stomachs were full, we were up for another adventure – driving in a circuit! It was time for me to get behind the wheel and drive the buggy car along a dirt path around the plantation for eight minutes. It was so exhilarating!
Our adventure continued on to our next stop; the Banyuatis Waterfalls. But before we got there, the marshal took us to see a vast rice field with yellowish color as if autumn has come. After a five-minute stop, we were back in the buggy cars to reach the waterfalls. Banyuatis Waterfalls is quite hidden – there were no tourists at all during our visit, making us feel as if the natural wonder was ours alone. Unfortunately, the current was quite strong that day, so we decided to admire this beauty from the viewing point above the pond – even from there, Banyuatis Waterfalls looked marvelous! Our group just stood and stared at the water flowing, cherishing our adventure with Munduk Wilderness before we headed back to Base Camp for a shower and an early dinner.
Office: Jalan Raya Sempidi
Kompleks Ruko Delta No. 43, Denpasar
WHAT TO KNOW!
• Bring some clothes to change at the end of the trip. Munduk Wilderness provides towels and shower rooms for visitors to clean themselves after exploring Munduk area with the Fin Komodo Buggy car.
• After the trip, a delicious three-course early dinner is served at the Base Camp.
• Munduk Wilderness also presents unlimited mineral water, fresh roasted coffee, picnic lunch, as well as pick up and drop off service.
• Some of the adventures offered are Haunted Valley Waterfall Buggy and Bike Tour, 4-WD Land Rover Safari and Buggy Ride, Mount Lesung Rainforest Day Trek and Dragon’s Breath 4WD Land Rover Expedition. For bookings and more details, drop an email to [email protected] and follow ‘Munduk Wilderness’ on Facebook and @munduk_wilderness on Instagram.
By Risty Nurraisa
Magazine issue > Action&Attraction