I wake up. We slept in a new room last night. Ian's still asleep. I realize I'm SO itchy. I let Ian sleep and I sneak to the bathroom to take a shower. The hot water feels extra refreshing on my back. Much better.
I sit on the bed by Ian's face and I sweep his hair from his eyes and then- "Don't move." I reach for a tissue and kill a bug that was right by his head. The bug was a hard bead and it popped when I killed it. Blood soaked through the tissue. Ewwwwwwwwww.
We go to the restaurant for breakfast, and while we're waiting for our meals I remember that I need the receipt for our biking adventure today. I return to the room. Where is that damn receipt? I pull back the covers of the bed and my heart sinks.
BED BUGS. Many, many bed bugs, FULL of blood. Pop, pop, pop! The phrase "I CAN'T EVEN" comes to mind, and I think this is the perfect application. I pop all the ones I see- it's a bloodbath- then I start packing. No way are we staying in this room another night.
I go to throw away the tissues in the bathroom and look in the mirror. My FACE has four bites on it alone. (I slept on my face, under the pillow because it was light in our room. The HORROR.) I reluctantly do a spin. FORTY-SIX bites I count. I hold back tears and go to the restaurant and tell Ian to skip the eggs and go pack.
The thing is, we LOVE the Puspa Ubud Hotel. Everyone is so sweet and it's a hell of a bargain. Had it been our first night in Ubud we would have booked it out of here, but since we had no problems with the other rooms, we give them the option: either we change rooms or change hotels. They find another room for us.
All of this happens before 8AM. At 8:15, a driver named Wayan picks us up. The car already has two riots inside, Bianca and Sasha from Melbourne. The four of us are the entire biking crew today.
The plan is to start the morning with coffee and breakfast at a coffee farm, then drive to the base of a volcano. From there we will bike mostly downhill through villages, stopping at interesting cultural points on the way. We will end at around 2PM, arriving at Bali on Bike's owner's house, where his wife will make us lunch.
We pull in at the same coffee farm we went to with our first Wayan driver. This coffee farm must be a popular tourist destination. Here we meet our guide for the day, and CAN YOU GUESS WHAT HIS NAME IS? (Wayan.)
It's fun to watch Bianca and Sasha very politely HATE the lowak coffee.
After breakfast we drive to the base of the volcano. We pick our bikes (I scour mine for bedbugs) and start our tour, and...
SNOOOOOOOOOZZZEEEEEEE. The entire first hour is downhill. We literally don't have to pedal more than twice. Our only physical exertion comes from our hands pulling on the brakes.
Bali on Bike has a truck following us most of the way to ensure other cars wouldn't get too close. It also carries extra bikes should anything happen to ours. I get that it is for safety, but for some reason I felt like it was a lame caravan.
Though we aren't getting the workout we had hoped for, we get to explore Bali's countryside. Riding around we see nightmare bugs, spiders as big as Ian's hand (not as big as his other extremities though... high five!) and other wildlife less seen around town. We're on roads we haven't been on yet, and Wayan does a good job of stopping to explain things along the way- an elementary school, a community center, village temples, etc.
Everyone's friendly. We go through villages where we get to see real-life Balinese people at work, and they all smile at us. Kids yell "Hal-lo!" and giggle when we say it back. A few even stretch out their hands for high fives... and then some pull them away at the last second, just like punk-ass kids from home!
The road starts to get really gnarly. There are two SUPER steep hills to go down on loose gravel, followed by two SUPER steep hills to bike up against oncoming traffic. We see a few bikers eat it, and Bianca from our group eats it pretty hard.
We arrived at... not the house we would have lunch at. Wayan stops at some random street and us and tells us the biking part is over. We get in the car... and we're driven 500 meters to Bob's (Bali on Bike's owner's) house.
Every house has a chart of how many family members live inside. This is for their census.
Once at the house, Wayan teaches us a little about how families live in Bali, and gives us similar information we had heard at the cooking class the day prior. We head to an outside dining area where our meal awaits.
The food was OK. We don't really LOVE Indonesian cuisine, and it was unfair to compare this meal to the one we made in class the day before. This meal had been waiting for us, while the other meal we ate was fresh.
I'd definitely recommend Bali on Bike for a family or group wanting to see some of Bali's countryside at a slow pace. It's a safe, easy, and dummy-proof system (minus the two hills; novice bikers can walk their bikes), with good educational stops on the way. Since we wanted a workout, had already been to the coffee farm, had learned a little bit about Bali life, and compared our meal to our cooking class, we didn't have the ideal time. But then, who gets a five-star review when the writer's covered in bedbug bites?