Our second morning in Ubud started early with an 8am pick up and a drive high into the mountains of Ubud. We drove through the jungle, along narrow winding roads, with great views but sheer drops either side of hundreds of feet. A journey not for the faint hearted.
Our first stop was a visit to a coffee plantation where we got to explore the plantation , see all the different plants they grew from coffee to cacao to lemongrass. The plantation also had the famous Balinese luwok coffee, the coffee made from beans that have been ingested and then – no polite way of saying this – expelled by the cat. The cat poo is then gathered, washed and the beans roasted as normal to give rich and deep flavoured coffee. Since visiting I have heard that the cats aren’t always treated humanely so maybe worth looking into before you go if you are worried about it. After our tour we got to sit down and try lots of different coffees and teas that were grown in the area.
Our next stop was breakfast in a cafe even higher up, with amazing views over Mount Batur, a 1717m live volcano that we had just so happened to climb the next day. I feel these photos don’t do justice to just how big Mount Batur is and showed just how high up we were as we drank more Balinese coffee with banana fritters.
After breakfast we hopped on our bikes and started our journey downhill. It was only at this point I discovered our gentle, downhill cycle was 30km and down very steep hills. While not overly exerting, after three hours my bum hurt from rattling about on uneven roads and my hands were cramped from gripping my brakes like a mad woman. I was also sunburnt 😦 – wear lots of sunscreen, especially on your back!
The best bit about this journey was getting to see the real Ubud away from the tourists The landscape is gorgeous, jungle alongside rice fields where the locals work the land and children head off to school in their brightly coloured uniforms. Our guide Okey was great and let us stop as often as we wanted for photos or when we needed water breaks.
We did out tour with Bali Bintang Tours and couldn’t recommend them enough It was about £20 each for the day, including breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately just a few days later Euan broke his phone and lots of the beautiful photos we took this day were on his phone. However, I am so grateful we still got these ones. In the afternoon we were supposed to head to a cookery class but we were so utterly exhausted we cancelled and spent a much-needed afternoon by the pool with a cold Bintang beer!