L and I had planned to do some trekking in Mount Batur, but then after a lot of contemplation, we decided to do a cycling tour with Bali Sunrise Trekking and Tours people. We did a booking online 2 days before and since we were staying in Nusa Dua, it would take at least 2 hours to get to Ubud. So it would be wise to do Ubud related activities like this when you are staying in Ubud. Saves a lot of time actually. The only reason we did not do the morning trekking was because we would have to get up at 1 am and start the drive by 2 am to the starting point so that we can start the trek by 3.30 or 4 am. So plan accordingly.
We got ready by 7.30 am when the Tour people picked us up from our hotel and it was a solid 2 hour drive to the place. Our guide (we were just two people that day for the cycling tour through this tours) joined us in Ubud. Through some rice terraces we drove to a restaurant close to the starting point of the Mount Batur volcanic mountain trek. We also stopped at a organic coffee place where we had some good Hot Chocolate (mixed with spices).
From there they took us to a place where our cycles were ready and we started to cycle through the villages of Ubud stopping at temples, houses where the guide was explaining us their life styles, their beliefs etc. It had been too long since I did any cycling (other than the college times when I drove to college in my cycle) but then it was fun to get back there. Most of the drive was a downhill with a little bit of plains and slight uphills. But there were three steep uphill climbs which I totally failed to climb. This is my first attempted with a cycle with some gears. So didn’t quite get the hang of it.
The villages there have temples of Brahma (at the entrance) , of that of Vishnu (in the center of the village) and that of Shiva (at the end) representing the three cosmic functions of Trimurti Also they did not allow a women to enter the temple, just in case she was going through her menstrual cycle. Also every house has its own space for temple.
It was also a very good weather to cycle. It wasn’t too hot and no signs of rain… The sky was clear and the roads empty and quiet. We drove through paddy fields, the guide explaining us the ways they water the fields and how they manage to get rid of the birds. Rice is pretty cheap over there. And is a major staple food, just like southern India. It was real fun.
After almost close to two hours when it was just another half an hour left, they stopped at a place and provided us with fruits and coconut water. The coconuts were so huge that I couldn’t finish mine at all. The whole cycling tour ended up with a place where they served us lunch. It was mostly non-veg but then they had to ensure something edible for me (being veg). L was too happy to gobble up all that was served. He also did good with one very steep climb during the last leg. The guide appreciated him for his perseverance.
After the 2.5 hours of cycling tour, it was time for us to head back. I was expecting to get cramped the next day after the cycling and all. But I was surprised that it was just a normal day. It took us almost 3/4th of the day to go and come back with the activity in between. That is the only issue. We decided that if we ever decide to come back then we would be staying in Ubud to get to the early morning trek.