There is nothing more exhilarating than freewheeling down the mountainside on the back of a tandem bike. And there I was in Bali coasting along through the villages and farming communities having the time of my life. It was a great way to see the countryside, meet the locals and learn about their culture.
Finding a tandem bike
This tour was something I had thought about for some time. Because of my vision loss I needed a tandem bike and tandem bikes are sometimes not that easy to find. However, they do say persistence prevails. And after many hours of googling, and just as I was about to give up, I stumbled across Bali Bike Baik Tours.
"No problem", said a return email. "We have a tandem bike for you. And if you need a front rider, we have one as well."
It was all happening. Another email swiftly and I had made a booking with my husband as the front rider.
A new adventure
Now, I love Bali, I love bike riding and I love adventure. And this new adventure couldn't come fast enough. Eventually, the day arrived and we were both nervous as well as excited.
It was barely daybreak when we climbed into the tour bus. As we were driven to our first destination, the sun was slowly rising over the rice fields and coconut groves with the farmers busy preparing for the day ahead.
We knew we were in for a great day. After a stop for breakfast we all climbed back on the bus and it was off to the top of Mount Kintamani where our bikes awaited. Seats and helmets were quickly adjusted and after a few brief instructions we were off.
Nayoman, our guide led the way. And in single file we followed him through Bali's famous rice terraces, coconut groves and charming little villages. Small children came out to wave and call out 'hello'. I wish we could have stopped and talked to them but there wasn't time.
There were many selected stops along the way. They included a wander through a rice paddy as Nayoman told us about the life of a rice farmer. We also visited a pig farm and a coffee plantation. We met a family to learn even more about local lifestyles. There were also other breaks for a drink, a photo, another interesting story or just to take in the spectacular scenery.
One stop I particularly remember was a spider commune. I call it a commune as there were just so many spiders living in the one place. And as spiders go, they were big. Not the big hairy kind that terrify me, but ones of a more delicate variety. Dare I say they were almost cute?
After being assured they were harmless, we were offered a chance to have one weave their magical thread over us. The thought of having a spider crawling over you is not everyone's idea of fun. But much to everyone's horror, I decided to challenge my fear and give it a go. All I can say it was rather an interesting experience and although it was part of the adventure, I've decided to give it a miss next time.
All too soon, our Tour de Bali came to an end and we had reached the bottom of the mountain. We wanted to head up the mountain to do it all again. However, the banquet prepared for us at a traditional Balinese compound for our final stop was far too delicious to ignore. Besides, there is always next time. And I'm really looking forward to the next time..