Cycling at Jatiluwih rice terraces
Cycling at Jatiluwih rice terraces, Indonesia
This morning you will take a two hour scenic drive through colourful Balinese towns to the village of Jatiluwih, about 20 kilometres of north Tabanan, in Bali's western region. Famous for the magnificent panorama of its rice field terraces, the word Jatiluwih literally means 'really, really beautiful'.
Stop at a local café for a coffee, whilst your bike is set up for you - please check you are happy with your bike before you set off. The route you cycle will take you along a mix of quiet roads, dirt tracks and paths through the paddy fields. You will pass through small local villages where you will see cages of fighting cocks, coffee and rice being dried out under the sun, and local people just going about their day to day work. Views of the stunning paddy fields in this area are plentiful and you will feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of southern Bali. Along the way you will pass several temples, if you wish to visit them you will need to cover up so it is recommended that you bring a sarong (or tell your guide at the start if you don't have one and he can find you one for you to buy for a minimal cost in the village). You will also cycle past traditional hot springs that you are welcome to try if you have brought your swimwear, the setting is quite unique.
At the end of the cycle you will be taken for lunch (included) in a nearby restaurant that boasts excellent views of the area before continuing further into Bali's interior. Hidden in forests on the slopes of Gunung Batukaru you will find one of the most beautiful and spiritual temples in Bali, Pura Batukaru. Mount Batukaru is Bali's second highest mountain and due to its remote location is less visited than sites such as Mount Batur or Agung. Surrounded by forest and the sound of tumbling water from a nearby stream, this is a picturesque setting for a temple dedicated to the mountain's guardian spirit - it was also originally the state temple for the area when Tabanan was an independent kingdom.
A medium level of fitness is required for the cycle. There are a couple of short inclines that, in the heat of the day, you may need to push your bike up. These stretches only last for around 50 metres maximum. The terrain is bumpy in parts and you will cycle alongside small streams used to irrigate the paddy fields so a good degree of balance is needed.
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