Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Bali Bike Tour of Discovery

Bali, bike tour, motorbike, village

On our trip to Bali in March Marla and I signed up for a bike tour around rural villages.  At 7:00 am sharp our guide led us from tiny Tanggayuda to even tinier Payangan Village on narrow, pot-holed roads with oodles of motorbikes whizzing by. I’m sure Marla was saying unpleasantries geared to me as the roads were definitely not “cyclist friendly.” Once we were on lanes off the main road it was really beautiful and afforded sights of a Bali many never get a chance to experience.

photograph, Bali Ogoh Ogoh, Bali

We stopped to take pictures of young boys building an Ogoh Ogoh statue for their village New Years’ festival parade.

Marla Gentry, Ogoh Ogoh, Balinese village, Balinses New Year

Marla strikes a scary pose next to a large Ogoh Ogoh monster. The sculptures are paraded in many Balinese villages the night before Nyepi (Balinese New Years) and then burned, as a symbol of purification..

Balinese shrine
Balinese shrine, insense, food offering

Marla stopped on the road as a woman came to add food offerings and incense to a shrine. It was a very magical and spiritual experience.  After the ritual she put the basket back on her head and walked to the next shrine as we struggled to the bicycle path.

morning market, Payangan, Bali

The morning market in Payangan was full of villagers shopping for local produce, spices, rice, chickens and flowers.  With all the rampant commercial development in the Balinese coastal towns it is wonderful to see Bali as it could have been 50 years ago!

vegetable sellers, Bali

Vegetable sellers.

Bali, rice, market

I can’t believe this old man carrying a huge sack of rice, and barefoot.

flower market, Bali

A market flower vendor.

Balinese village, Bali, bike tour

It was a relief to find quieter roads without all the crazy traffic!

rice fields, volcano, Bali

We stopped to look at the rice fields and the volcanoes on the horizon.

Balinese family compound, shrine, Bali

We were invited to visit a traditional Balinese family compound. Multi-generations of families often live together in the compound. Everyone shares a communal kitchen and family religious shrines are used for daily worship.

young coconut, Bali, bike tour

After a long morning of cycling our compound hosts treated us to a young coconut which was very refreshing. The riding was crazy at times but the sights were totally amazing!

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