At university I spend half my day wheezing around the city on my bike, continuously late for lectures. But my trip to Bali put a whole new perspective on cycling… and pancakes.
Before arriving in the country, we booked a couple of trips online from home. One was a white water rafting trip down the Telaga Waja river, and the other was a bike ride through the Balinese countryside. Relying purely on reviews written online, we could only wait and see what happened when we were picked up.
The minibus took us north through Ubud, snaking up windy roads which got steadily steeper and steeper. Driving in Bali is absolutely mad, and there are mopeds and motorbikes zipping along the road everywhere. Sound the horn once as you’re about to overtake someone, sound it again as you come back into your lane, and that’s about it. Everything else is up for debate.
Honestly, the idea of trundling my bike along these roads was a bit daunting as my cycling proficiency leaves a lot to be desired. Trying to put those thoughts to the back of my mind, we arrived at the start of the cycle trip, where breakfast was provided.
Best. Breakfast. Ever.
Eating (some of the yummiest) banana pancakes overlooking Kintamani volcano was an awesome, awesome experience. You feel absolutely tiny looking out at the lake and towards the mountains.
Bali is supposed to be a small island! I was not expecting those views.
I could have quite happily spent the day where I was, ordering more and more pancakes and soaking up that view. Sadly, instead of doubling my body weight with pancake batter, I was now expected to work my breakfast off.
So, to the bikes!
Our guides were amazing and took us on some great routes through the countryside which were off the main roads and incorporated in amazing scenery. There were enormous bamboo forests…
Temples deep in the jungle, where plants and wildlife were gradually taking over…
And beautifully serene, tranquil spots like these, where there wasn’t a single person around, allowing us to take in the luscious beauty of where we were.
The weather was fantastic, and there was just enough of a breeze to keep us cool as we pedalled along the roads. A million miles away from the angry taxi drivers and crowds of people in Oxford!
I would say this is probably the top thing I’d recommend for anyone going to Bali. It gives you a chance to explore the backroads of the island and visit some amazing villages and viewpoints, whilst at the same time working off all the delicious satays, pancakes and cocktails you will no doubt find yourself eating out there! You can find the company we used here.
Someone take me back, please?