Day 6 – Batukaru

We had a solid breakfast at our Ubud hotel then packed our bags into the van so we could drive to the start point for the day’s ride.

On the drive up the mountain to the Baturiti fruit market the guys dropped me off so I could get some extra training in before Barbara joined. During the ride up I snapped my chain, I had been pushing the bike pretty hard for the previous 5 days. The minivan had driven on to the fruit market, so I had to run bike with the broken chain, luckily I didn’t have to run far to the top of the climb and could free wheel down to the fruit market.

As I free wheeled into the fruit market I saw the minivan with Barbara, Ajus and Minggus. I brought a tool kit along with some master chain links, I didn’t think I would actually use the tool kit, so was kinda stoked that I could use it at least once. While Ajus was fixing my chain he had about 5 okes helping him or trying to, they didn’t have a clue and Ajus did, it was kinda annoying.

While the chain fixing was going on I was being badgered by a “Rolex” watch salesman. This guy tried me and I said no, he kept trying and then popped the obligatory question “where are you from”, I said “South Africa” and he suddenly switched to Afrikaans, I was kinda impressed, he could see that….This meant he kept trying to sell me a watch, eventually he gave up and walked round the van to my wife… Barbara’s first reaction was no, but he kept going, he told her he had a selection of swatch watches too… Barbara’s response was “I already have a swatch”, she really did have a real Swatch, the guy kept trying to sell he a fake Swatch… This left an annoyed feeling… Oh well… Mini rant done!

From the fruit market we headed up into a village / area called Candi Kuning. I rode up to the top while the other drove in the minivan. We rode down through precision farm lands, I could not help but note that the rows of vegetables and herbs were perfectly laid out. I saw the following – lettuce, coriander, chillies, pumpkin, cucumber, beans, tomatoes, carrots, egg plants, even tobacco and a random greenhouse with orchids. I would go as far to say that these were the best farm lands I have seem ever.

INTERESTING FACT: The farm workers were fertilizing the rows of plants with rice husks, that was good to see because it meant that the people were reusing island resources.

After the farm lands we rode through Bedugul forest area, which consisted of a network of muddy single track trails. Lovely trails! After the forest trails we rode to Jatiluwih for lunch. The restauarant we ate lunch at overlooked the rice paddies. Afterwards i found out that this area is a Unesco protected area. They are some of the oldest terraced rice paddies in Bali.

After Jatiluwih I rode alone to Mt Batukaru village where we stayed at Prana Dewi Bungalows. This small resort was picturesce and extremely peaceful. We stayed in a cottage in amongst the rice paddies. There were small stone paths leading to each cottage. The entire resort was empty and we were the only guests staying there.

After we unpacked we decided to pour a stiff whiskey, then take a walk around the beautiful grounds. Snap, snap, snap… We took loads of pics. The pool was a natural multi-level stone pool situated in the middle of rice paddie terraces. As the sun started setting we sat in a little open bamboo hut next to our cottage and sipped on another whiskey. The frogs, secada beatles and other insects starting making a incredible amount of noise, not really noise… It’s quite relaxing listening to nature make music.

After the sun had set we went to eat dinner, lovely tasty dinner! Mmmmmmmmm….. Afterwards we went back to our cottage and I finally finished the book I had been reading about Tyler Hamilton called “The Secret Race”. Once we fell asleep, we would slip in and out of deep sleep… The sound of frogs was overwhelmingly loud, but comforting at the sound time!

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