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CYCLING BALI DAY 1: Seaside Resort Town up to Bali’s Aritistic Heartland

cycling Bali - Sacred Mt. Agung from SAnur Beach, Bali

sacred Mt Agung from Sanur Beach

CYCLING BALI DAY 1: Seaside Resort Town up to Bali’s Aritistic Heartland

 

I awoke at 5:30am to clear skies in Sanur, resort town par excellence in South Bali, eager to begin my bicycle trip around the island. I’d planned my 1st day as a ‘warm up’. I had merely to cycle 30 km / 20 miles up slightly inclined roads to Ubud, a trip I’d already cycled several times over the years. After maneuvering south Bali’s main highway ‘the bypass’ I would be pedaling past miles of beautiful stone sculpture shops and eventually through vibrant green rice fields and lovely Balinese house compounds.

I expected the trip to take 1 1/2 hours, which meant I’d arrive about 9am, leaving the entire day to enjoy Ubud’s boutiques, museums, galleries and coffee shops. A promising day ahead of me…

cycling Bali - Sanur

On my bike in Sanur, ready to begin my big trip around the island

I excitedly hit the road at 7:15, got on the bypass, which was already fairly busy with traffic, pedaled east, and turned at the 1st intersection, as I’d noted in my motorbike tour notes 1 week earlier. As I pedaled along I became more and more skeptical of my route. I knew THIS road didn’t I? It goes right into Denpasar city, doesn’t it? Soon enough, there was no mistaking it. I’d taken the wrong road! WHAT?!#@#! How was it possible I’d gotten lost leaving Sanur? Especially on roads I knew well and had JUST driven recently? What a start to my trip! I could only shake my head in awe and disgust, turn back to the bypass, and continue eastward.

By then, however, I was totally confused. Surely THIS also wasn’t the way to Ubud? I knew the bypass well and certainly didn’t remember coming along there to reach Ubud. I stopped several times to ask locals who all assured me this was indeed the way. humph.Eventually I reached the intersection I’d been seeking, turned, and at last confidently continued towards Ubud.

cycling Bali -Sanur

stone sculptures along the road to Ubud

Less than 5 minutes later, upon down-shifting my gears, the chain slipped off and got rammed tight between the gear sprocket and the wheel. “You’re kidding?” The chain was crammed in so tight I had to find a local man to yank it out for me. “Wowie. Off to a crazy start here!” Quite happily, that was my last incident. The rest of my trip was smooth sailing. Traffic was heavier than expected so early in the morning, but not bad for south Bali. Roads were in good condition, nearly flat, and I enjoyed the plethora of stone sculptures of all shapes and sizes, mainly Buddhas,  gargoyles, and Hindu Gods: Ganesha, Shiva, and others.cycling bali- Sanur- UbudThe rice fields this season were bursting with vibrant, nearly neon, lime green shoots. I also pedaled past uncountable number of  exotic Balinese-style house compounds with their stone walls and ornate family temples. Lovely.

About 1 1/2 hours later I reached the southern edges of Ubud, with many shops and warungs (local eating shops) along the road. I pedaled over to the eastern edge of Ubud, where I’d already booked my guesthouse for the day. I arrived promptly at 9 am. Day 1’s cycling was accomplished. It was time to

relax.cycling bali- Sanur- UbudRight away I enjoyed a long hot shower, a real luxury to me since traveling in the tropics for 12 years.

Next I had some errands before I could relax in my lovely garden cottage. I still needed to equip my bike with lock, bell and rain guards. I also needed to buy long pants for my cycle up Mt. Batur volcano tomorrow.Very luckily, just two blocks away was a local bike shop. Within minutes I had it all. I also discovered a super delicious Warung Masakan- Javanese food restaurant nearby.  Yummy.

I returned to my peaceful room and took a nap. In the afternoon I cycled up into Ubud town to browse the boutiques, but when I saw all the shops and mobs of tourists I got turned off. Instead I opted to have a cappuccino in one of  Bali’s most beautiful restaurants, Lotus Pond, an open-air restaurant overlooking a gorgeous old Balinese temple and moat full of lotus pads. I spent the afternoon and evening letting my body rest for tomorrow’s big cycling day- ‘Volcano Climb’   Reporting from paradise, Lash

 

Cycling Bali Guidebook - Lash - LashWorldTour - travel book

Cycling Bali Guidebook – Lash – LashWorldTour – travel book

 

If you’re inspired to cycle around Bali, check out my guidebook-

Cycling Bali: Guide to Circumnavigating Bali by Bicycle

 

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  1. CYCLING BALI DAY 13: HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN, DIGGITY DIG- LashWorld » LashWorldTour

    […] only great destination in South Bali. * on a short 25 km, easy cruise. I’d started on Day 1 by cycling slightly uphill from Sanur to Ubud. I ended the trip gliding downhill from Gianyar to […]

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