CYCLING BALI DAY 13: HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN, DIGGITY DIG…
And so, on Dec. 1, 2010, I completed my bicycle circumnavigation of Bali in the same manner I’d begun three weeks earlier:
On the final morning of my trip I got up early in Gianyar then wandered through the city’s bustling local fresh market, where I’d picked up delicious Balinese kue (sweets) for breakfast. After eating and packing up my bags, I recognized that my body was still completely exhausted. So, despite the threat of rain, I went right back to bed and slept for two hours. After all, I only had to glide 25 km, mostly downhill, then I could reward myself by relaxing at Sanur beach.
|rice fields near Gianyar and Ubud|
My power nap worked a charm. I arose the second time that day feeling refreshed, well rested, and energized from breakfast in my belly. I mounted my bike and set off through the city on the very final leg of my Bali tour. Within 10 minutes I was already gliding through open rice fields westward. A few km later I hit the main N-S road between Sanur, Denpasar and Ubud.
From there my ride consisted mostly of gliding downhill through small artisan communities: Blahbatuh with elaborately carved wood doors and windows, Celuk with fine silversmithing, Batuan with intricately carved stone statues and delicately patterned batik. I glided down through the giant stone arch marking the border of Gianyar province then hit the busy main highways of south Bali.
|Mt. Agung peaking through clouds from Sanur Beach|
A lucky surprise awaited me at Sanur beach: a rare view of distant Mt. Agung shining down on South Bali’s shores. Agung must’ve been there to help me reminisce on all the adventures I’d just enjoyed under her watchful gaze. Just yesterday I’d cycled along Agung’s entire southern flanks, through wide open rice fields, up and over an unexpected mountain range, up and down ridiculously steep ravines flanked by neon green terraced fields, over gushing rivers, then finally downhill to Gianyar.
A few days earlier, I ‘d glided for hours along Bali’s north coast, with Agung smiling down on me from her northern side. On other days Bali’s Mt. Batur had partially defeated me as I grinded up it’s southern flanks to the crater rim. I’d been rescued on the final 3 km by a passing truck driver. Then I’d raced down Batur’s precipitous ridge lines to Bali’s north coast, cruised the entire north coast to Bali’s westernmost point, Gilimanuk. I’d explored the plains around Negara city, stayed at Medewi surfer’s beach, and cussed and sweared through Bali’s central ‘Killer Mountains‘. Oh, yes, I’d had many adventures.
|Mt. Agung from Bali’s north coast|
In total, I’d cyled:
|eventual cover photo for my guidebook Cycling Bali|
Since my trip was also research for my Cycling Bali Guidebook, I’d kept detailed notes throughout the trip on road and traffic conditions, road grade, accommodation options, food and bike shop availability, and local attractions. I’d even made a pre-trip by motorbike, logging actual distances by odometer, scouting roads, and finding rooms in places I’d never been. Trips now completed, I had a thick notebook full of detailed notes and facts. Ready to write a masterpiece!
|a toast of sake|
But that day, upon the completion of my trip, I relaxed beach side under Agung’s graceful slopes. That evening I treated myself to a celebratory dinner of fresh sushi and sake. After all, Japan was where my world travels had all began and become funded, nearly 20 years earlier. For me, Japanese food will always make a proper, doubly grateful toast to my life of travels and adventures.
If you’re inspired to cycle around Bali, check out my guidebook-