Sunday 29 May 2016

Bali by Bike - Day 4

At the end of Day 3 I was fortunate enough to be offered a place to stay near Lovina beach at "Villa Marty'. It was a real treat to relax in a private home with a pool and a beautiful guest room. So after a great nights sleep I decided to spend day 4 exploring the local area.
I undertook a loop ride from the villa at Banjar as follows;
1- Climb the torturous Jl Mayong-Gunung-Sari road to the rim of the Mt Bratan volcano
2 - Descend the Gitgit road to Singaraja
3 - Reurn via Lovina beach and Banjar Hot baths
4 - Back to Villa Marty

I cant express enough the difficulty of the climb to Mt Bratan crater. Elevation a little over 1300m however some of the gradients exceeded 10%. The road is quite beautiful and very low traffic. I found food and drinks no problem, and 3 hours after setting off I finally hit the summit.
After an hour respite cruising around the crater edge and stopping for photos I took on the Gitgit road descent. 40 minutes of 60km/hr ++ thrills.
To cap off this memorable day I took the back roads of Singaraja to the 'Air Panas' (hot springs). What a great way to sooth the body and enjoy the afternoon after a hard days riding. Not to mention a superb dinner at sunset at 'La Costsa' restaurant on Lovina beach.

Resting at the summit

Air Panas Banjar
BIG thanks to Marty & Lesley and family for accommodating me

La Costa Sunset (try the mixed Satay)

Friday 27 May 2016

Bali by bike - Day 3

End of Day 1, I stayed in a cheap but tidy little place in Candi Dasar called 'Ari Guest house'. After meeting the owner and a couple of his regular guests at the bar they asked about my trip. I mentioned Day 2 involved riding to Lovina Beach. One regular tourist to Bali commented - "I don't care who you are - you wont make it to Lovina in a day. No way!".  I must admit, there was some doubt in my mind also, but as usual, I had planned well and studied the maps and I believed it was within reach. The ride involved the first 3 hours climbing over the side Mt Agung, then a long decent to the coast at Tulumben followed by a long, straight, flat run into Lovina. After setting off from Candi Dasar at 7am, I arrived at Lovina by 2pm. Job done. Highlight of the day - proving the bar fly wrong...and the incredible descent to the coast off Mt Agung to the coast.

Mt Agung. A perfect looking volcano.  The climb was steady on excellent quality roads

Forget the beaches - Do Bali by bike!

Why do you cycle Bali? The attractions are obvious to some, but not necessarily common knowledge. Mountains, Scenery, Great roads, Food and culture... And good value (My daily ridig budget was as low as $40ASD/day). For myself, I decided to get a 'mini' tour under my belt on the famous Indo holiday island to keep my km's up in preparation for the BIG tour of Japan,To get some mountain miles in my legs.The planned route was as follows:

Day 1 - Kuta to Candi Dasar (65km)
Day 2 - Candi Dasar to Lovina (125km)
Day 3 - Lovina region (80km)
Day 4 - Lovina (via Singaraja & Kintimani) to Ubud (110km)
Day 5 - Ubud to Kuta (40km)

As it turned out, this was a perfectly planned ride. I.e, a great mix of coastal flats, killer climbs, extreme descents and beautiful scenery the whole way. The highlight of the ride no doubt being the 35km / 4 hour climb up the north side of Kintimani. Day 4 for has the profile.

Day 1 and 2 included a surprisingly interesting ride through the streets of Denpasar, then out to the east side of the island to the popular tourist town of Candi Dasar. It was a only a 4 hour day to ease my body back into things, and truth be known I wasn't in the best shape to go much further after spending my arrival evening in the bars of Seminyak.

Highlight!!! Famous Fish Paste BBQ, on the road side 25 km before Candi Dasar.

Street Art Denpasar
Ride > Rest > Eat > Repeat
Famous Fish Paste BBQ - And fish ball soup...

Candi Dasar

Early Morning CAndi Dasar - Every day there are vista's like this