If you wish to visit the unspoiled Bali without expending too much energy, then Bali On Bike is 1st class. Our guide was 'Bob' which not coincidentally, is an anagram for the company name .
After being picked up bang on time from our accommodation in Ubud, the ascent up the mountainous countryside was by SUV and the villages we went through were home to the wholesalers of the many wares that are for sale in the numerous shops around Ubud. Our first stop was the coffee plantation where the famous 'Poo coffee' which consists of beans excreted from from the Luwak can be sampled and drunk. Don't worry though, there are various other coffees and teas available, although the prices are akin to what you'd pay back home.
Our descent down the mountain was on hastily assembled bikes that were as good or better than bikes we'd rented in Australia. This easy ride was peppered with local businesses and the very cute children who ask your name and where you're from through the brightest smiling faces. It's a good idea to take sweets or lollies along as they clamber around and love to be given these rare treats.
The ride culminates at Bob's home where we were given a delicious lunch prepared to our specifications by his wife.
Bob has a wealth of information to impart, from the Hindu cultural practises to the best way to deal with roadside hustlers.
Sure, it's hot and you've got to expect that in Bali but the temperature in the higher terrain is much cooler than say, in Seminyak.
All in all, my wife, our 17 year old daughter and I came away from this experience greatly enriched and impressed.
We were dropped off at our hotel some 4 or 5 hours after we'd been picked up by our very friendly and courteous driver and we cannot recommend this well-run business highly enough.
Paul, Marianne and Eilish Roberts, Melbourne, Australia
Visited December 2013