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Published: June 19th 2012
Another day, another tour.
This morning we are being picked up by Wayan from Jegeg Bali Cycling Tours. Read about them on Trip Advisor and though they sounded good. I had done a bike tour about 6 years ago with Bali Baik Bike when they first started and thoroughly enjoyed it, buy Jegeg have smaller groups - maximum of 7 or 8 which was appealing. It cost Rp 350 000 each and was to run from 0800 till around 3.30pm. http://www.jegegbalicycling.com/
Pickup was on time. There was one other couple on the trip with us- Lesley and Chris from Edinburgh. Wayan greeted us and the intro's all got done. Wayan's family all have key roles in the company and are keen to make a positive impact on your trip to Bali. He is one of 7 brothers; one of his brothers was driving us and his nephew, Putu, met us in the rice fields and rode with us. Wayan is really passionate about the culture of Bali, he provided a detailed (very detailed) commentary on everything from the Hindu religion and caste system to the ecology and geographical data of Bali. We learnt about the family structure, the
festivals, the changes that have occured in recent times, etc.... I think I learnt more about Bali on this one trip than at any other time we have visited. Very, very nice guy.
We made our way up towards Kintamani via a Luwak Coffee Plantation. The Luwak (Asian Palm Civet) are an interesting little creature, they weigh between 2-5 kg and are predominately nocturnal- so asleep the whole time we were there, it has a fox like face and looks bigger than the average house cat. They eat fruit, berries and coffee beans as well as insects and small mammals. When they eat the coffee bean they digest the pulpy covering and defaecate the bean which is then collected and roasted. Apparently the villagers happened upon this by accident deciding to wash and roast the beans as they were too poor to buy intact coffee beans from the plantations! Not sure how long ago this was discovered.The plantation have a breeding program and release the adults into the wild after a time.
The plantation itself was also v.interesting, a nice walk through the grounds, very eco, and then a tasting platter of about 8 teas, coffees and hot
chocolate. Watched the coffee being roasted by a 93 year old Balinese woman and exited via the gift shop. No pressure to purchase but we bought some ginger tea. Onwards to Kintamani along the windy roads; the vegetation and temperature changing as we went. Lots of mandarines in season. Breakfast is at a restaurant that serves a buffet of sorts- we ate breakfast at 7 at the hotel so just had a cup of tea. Not sure why this restaurant is so poor- the views are so good, but the food so bad (and cold). Anyway, we sat on the terrace and admired the view- it was quite windy but pleasant. Stellar views of Mt Agung- gave me goosebumps contemplating the climb we were to undertake in a few days- or maybe it was just the breeze?!
Finally arrived at the designated pick up point for the bikes after 11. Wayan's family had a vehicle with lots of bikes so you could get the right size. They were all in good nick, as were the helmets. Water issued and we were off. Essentially the roads are quiet and it is a really delightful downhill ride. There was harvesting of
rice going on in some padi area and that luminescent Bali greenrice in others. We could stop at any time and take photos or whatever. Wayan explained burial and cremation processes at one area and we then took a break at a huge old banyan tree in another village. A really interesting thing that we observed was that Wayan's brother would drive ahead a few k's, jump out of his vehicle and completely control the traffic so we could all ride through! Amazing! There were a total of 5 steep inclines that we all made up without too much bother and then it was all over.
From the finish point of the cycle we were taken to Wayan's family compound where his sister had prepared such a wonderful lunch. Best meal I had in Bali. Wayan, Chris and Lesley, Geoff and I sat at low tables and really enjoyed our meal. Highly recommended activity.
Dropped back to hotel, had a swim. Ate a late, light dinner at Cinta Grill-Inn on Monkey Forest Road. Pretty nice. http://www.cintagrill.com/
I do believe we have a day off tomorrow- going to Candi Dasa at 12MD.
Tot: 1.346s; Tpl: 0.057s; cc: 12; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0157s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb