While in Ubud we took the opportunity to go on a bicycle tour of the area. There's a multitude of people offering tours and we opted for Bali Budaya based on them having a nice brochure. It's very scientific.
They picked us up bright and early and drove us and the rest of our cycling buddies to a spot overlooking Mt Batur and the adjacent Batur Lake. It's certainly a beautiful view and a fine place to eat the included breakfast.
With our bellies full we were delivered to a place where we were able to sample Luwak coffee among other things. Luwak coffee is a rather pricey form of coffee that consists of coffee beans passed through the digestive tract of a civet cat. Apparently civet cats are quite the coffee connoisseur and will only eat the finest beans thus serving as living breathing bean sorting machines.
Tanya, always keen to find out how stuff is made, got to try her hand and pounding and roasting coffee beans.
Enough with the learning and on to the drinking. There was a huge range of stuff available for tasting. For a few extra bucks you could try Luwak coffee. Luwak coffee is certainly very fine coffee with only a hint of civet cat.
While we were waiting to depart a gentleman appeared with a giant spider happily climbing all over him. Despite its size it was apparently harmless. Although he offered to let me handle it I felt it was best to stay away. Growing up in Australia has seen me develop a strong smash, crush, destroy reflex when it comes to spiders. Several others gave it a go and seemed happy with only the occasional “get it off, get it off, get it off.”
Next up we acquired our bicycles. There was a large range available of various sizes. They all seemed to be in reasonably good working order.
We stopped at a traditional Balinese family complex. While walking around the extended family home all our questions were answered about family relationships, marriage, work and even traditional forms of sex ed.
A little further down the road we stopped to see and try our hand at threshing rice. Another notch on Tanya's headboard.
The roads we were riding down were almost entirely downhill making this ride do-able for people of an level of fitness. The roads were lined with rice paddies and the homes of Balinese people happily going about their lives.
We stopped at a particularly giant tree for a few photos. Just behind it was an soccer field and some kids who had puppies, for some reason.
At this point we were given a choice. We could either ride a little further then be picked up and driven to lunch. Or we could ride all the way to lunch. Most of us, including Tanya and I, opted for the leisurely option. Two hardy souls opted to ride. This was apparently quite demanding and required moving much faster and with rather more uphill.
Lunch was very nice at an open air restaurant surrounded by rice paddies. Lot's of rice paddies in Bali it turns out. After lunch we were delivered back to our accommodation for rest and recuperation.
We were both very impressed with this cycling tour. We saw and learned a lot. Thanks to the initial drive to a volcano high in the mountains the vast majority of the cycling is downhill. The peddles are more or less optional. Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English.
Five out of five. Would roll downhill again. Bali Eco Cycling