We were determined to explore "real" Bali on this trip rather than stick to the Kuta area so embarked on a number of day trips inlcuding this one. I was inspired to book through Bali on Bike after reading the great reviews on TA.
I booked via email 3 weeks beforehand.We were told we'd be picked up from our hotel in Legian between 7.30 and 7.45am however the driver was there at 7am and we were ready to go so no dramas - better early than late. The drive took one hour from Legian. After there were no further stops made, we realised it would be just the 2 of us on the tour which was a nice surprise.
We met with our guide Mun and were driven to the Luwak coffee plantation. Here, the first thing Mun did was grab a huge tree spider from a tree on the side of the path as we were walking. I wasn't too sure what his intentions were (& was hoping he wasn't going to kill it), turned out he wanted to place it on my boyfriend's back and have it walk over him - ha! Mun promised us the spider was harmless. Quite amusing & my bf was a good sport (I didn't volunteer to have the spider on me though!!)
With spider safely back on the tree branch, we continued on through the plantation grounds. We were then seated and a staff member from the plantation sat with us whilst we tasted about 12 or so different flavoured coffees & teas & ate delicious banana & coconut pancakes. We were then taken into the store by the staff member where, being that there was only the 2 of us in the group, we couldn't not buy something(!) so bought a small packet of coconut flavoured coffee.
My biggest tip is to make sure you use the toilets here before you leave. They are western style, clean and had soap available. It will be approx 3 hours before your lunch stop and I don't like the chances of finding a toilet along the bike ride!
We then stopped at a vantage point of the volcano and Mun happily took our photo. After this, we came to the start point of our downhill bike ride. Mun and the driver got our bikes and helmets ready whilst we topped up the suncream and then we were off.
The majority of the ride is on a track through the villages on an unsealed road. Whilst I was worried about sore legs, I actually didn't do much pedalling at all, instead it was sore hands that bothered me. Not being the best off-road mountain biker, I was gripping the handlebars ever so tightly whilst trying to navigate the smoothest route amoungst all the pot holes. There was really no avoiding the potholes though which made for a bumby ride. Mun though always made us feel at ease and would continue to check in on me asking if I needed to stop for a rest. I'm sure he welcomed a rest every now and then too. Mun provided us with a bottle of water attached to the bike and he carried more in his backpack.
Along the ride, we came across some local people preparing for an upcoming wedding. We stopped to have a look at the decorations from outside however were quickly invited to come into the grounds. We were welcomed with tea & sticky rice by the groom to be and met his future bride. It was a lovely experience and whilst I felt rude at first, Mun assured us that it was good luck for them to have us as visitors so I didn't feel so bad then(!)
Along the way there plenty of local children waving and shouting hello to us which was cute.
We continued along on our ride and soon popped out onto the main street in which we had driven up earlier (where I'd thought to myself 'thank goodness we're not riding on this road) - turns out we would be riding on that road! It was only for a short time and Mun instructed us to be careful of the young kids who could be unpredictable on scooters. I just took my time and when I constantly looked at my blind spot before veering into traffic to pass a parked car, I could see that our driver was behind me following us down so that we made it safely. That put my mind at ease and in the end, I honestly felt safer on that street than riding my bike on the streets of Perth in Australia! In Bali, motorists are driving at slow speeds & respect bike riders.
We then rode through some rice paddies on a flat sealed road this time so I was able to relax and concentrate on the beautiful scenery around me. We stopped and watched some workers and Mun gave them one of our extra bottles of water which was lovely (they needed it more than us!)
Then came lunch time at 1pm with a tour around Bob's Balinese compound. Mun was very insightful and gave us plenty of information about culture, religion & every day life in Bali. The food as other reviewers have noted, was delicious and being that there was just the 2 of us & Mun on the tour, meant we had plenty of it!
It then came time to say goodbye to Bob & Mun and our driver took us on another hour's drive back to Legian.
We thoroughly enjoyed this activity and would do it again and recommend it to others. Thank you Bali on Bike.
Visited May 2014