This was a fantastic way to spend quality time with my family, get some exercise and really get the feel of Bali. Until taking the Bali on Bike tour I had felt that I wasn't really doing all that much in the relative spoils of our resort; Novotel Nusa Dua. Our friendly driver Yoga, picked us up at 7am and our first stop was a coffee plantation where we had breakfast and tasted 15 separate coffees and teas amongst which was the worlds most expensive for only $5AU. Our very knowledgable and articulate guide Moon, talked us through the rest of the trip, past volcanoes and even had words with locals trying to pressure us into buying their wares.
Once we were set up on our bicycles we were in for a real adventure, through 35 kms of countryside and villages, where we were taught about culture, history, community life, rice plantations ( my daughters thrashed the rice in the fields with the local working women ) most of the trip was downhill and apart from my family of 4 only one other woman in her mid 50's was with us. The small size of our group was great, as we passed larger groups with way too many for the guide to handle, so much so that we even passed a lost woman, who Moon was kind enough to help find her way back to her group. A few well timed stops at certain places of interest, such as temples, were catered well with fresh fruit and water.
The trip ended with us being welcomed in to the owner of Bali on Bike's home, Dewar Bob. Here we were treated to the most wonderful hospitality and Bob's wife had cooked us traditional Balinese food, which was plentiful and over 12 different plates to choose from. We tried and enjoyed them all. Over a couple of Bintangs we were then told some Balinese legends and had the traditions explained as well as the significance of the layout and design of the Family home, from the resting place design, kitchen, garden and family temple. We had Balinese rites of passage explained such as teeth filing and marriage and looking after the elders.
Without this trip I would have been disappointed in the ignorance my safe and luxurious holiday had been to date. We had been encouraged to go by friends who had been a year earlier and both Moon and Bob remembered them fondly. The value, as with all things in Bali was fantastic and I would honestly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to connect with Bali and their family. Too often the busyness of our lives encroaches on our holiday experience, yet the relaxed nature of this day and the laughs I shared with my family on the trip back to our hotel will stay with me forever.
Special thanks to Bob, Moon and Yoga.