…I spin my bicycle high up into the hills and across the acres of rice terraces north of Ubud with views so splendid and green. I can see the pink clouds reflected in the standing water of the rice paddies, like there are two skies – one up in heaven for the gods and one down here in the muddy wet, just for us mortals.
Finally, a shorter post! Here it is, our favorite day in Bali!
We were really looking forward to biking around the volcano on the island of Bali. That wasn’t exactly what was in store for us for the day, but it turned out better than we could have imagined. In the morning, we were escorted to breakfast at a restaurant with a view of the volcano. However, when we met with the bike tour guide, we soon discovered that we would be biking away from the volcano, and mostly downhill (though there were a few challenges in there!).
Despite the lack of mountainous scenery, we discovered that countryside of Bali is awesomely beautiful, especially areas where there are major expanses of rice terraces. And cute puppies. Just saying.
Not only was the vegetation lush and the sky incredibly blue, it seemed there was a temple every 100 feet! That’s an exaggeration, but while on our bike tour, we did learn about why there are so many temples everywhere in Bali. As it turns out, every family has a temple on their property, even the poorest among them. Most Balinese people in the countryside live in a family “compound” so to speak, where there are several small one or two-room units in or near the temple they have built. Communal living at it’s finest, it was a beautiful thing.
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to stop and view one of these compounds, and the gracious family allowed us tourists a glimpse into their daily lives. The more we travel, the more we witness the incredible wealth disparity between the Western world and countries that are still developing. It surely reminds you to count your blessings, and also to remember the joys of a simple life.
This family had some livestock and a stable area in the back of their property along with a large garden. Things we learned: the chicken and the pig are best friends (said John, our guide, who visits nearly every day); keeping chickens in overturned baskets to fatten up for cockfights is relatively common; laundry hung out to dry makes for a good photo almost anywhere.
Check out how the family cooks: two stoves, livestock, a garden and some of the rice harvest.
We had an absolute blast rolling around the hillsides, petting stray dogs (but it was SO cute!), waving at cute kids and taking in the views. We also had a lovely Indonesian lunch with refreshing drinks after the tour. If you’re in Ubud and interested in this experience, we highly recommend looking up Bali Bintang Bike Tours and asking for John, our guide. He was a fantastic guide and teacher.
Check out the video of our adventure below: