CYCLING BALI DAY 8: Rice Fields and Mountains and Sea! Oh my!
Soon I began crossing gorgeous rivers that come running down from the Bali Barat Mountain Range. But, hold on, where were the beautiful flushed rivers I’d seen a week earlier? Today all the riverbeds held a mere trickle of water. Surprise! I realized how lucky I’d been the week before to witness those rivers after a torrential rain, and even luckier to have taken several photos that day.
|steeply terraced rice fields along Bali’s south coast|
Eventually I noticed a sign for Pekutatan town. Eh? I knew Pekutatan was the start of tomorrow’s mountain climb and waspast Medewi Beach. I’d missed my turn off. I confirmed with a local that I’d indeed passed Medewi, then back tracked 3 km to the surfers ‘beach’.
|evening scene at Medewi surfers’ beach|
Once there I discovered that most of the hotels were wayyy beyond my budget. Yikes! But some locals pointed me the way to Medewi’s budget option, right on the beach. Astoundingly, decent rooms cost only 30,000 rp / $3.50 US. I couldn’t even get that price for a room in Bali 10 years ago. But I was certainly happy to take the room today.
I settled in then watched a sultry sunset unfold over the sea and stone ‘beach’. A few surfers were out catching low waves. I couldn’t really call the shore at Medewi a beach. It’s a long coastal strip of fist-sized stones. Watching the surfers, I could only think “ouch.” Who’d want to be slammed by waves and tumbled onto a face full of stones? I’ll stick to cycling, thank you, even if it means hills.
Aside from surfing, Medewi turned out to be a charming, laid-back, friendly and cozy ‘secret spot’ in Bali. It’s a left-over of the fast-disappearing back-packer spots around SE Asia. Quiet, peaceful and inhabited by interesting, non-conventional travelers sporting dreadlocks, Indie clothing and that calm ‘I do yoga’ ambiance. I spent the evening soaking up the atmosphere then went to bed early in preparation for my big day ahead: climbing mountains. Ouch.
reporting from the road, Lash
If you’re inspired to cycle around Bali, check out my guidebook-