Easy cycling. Short stage to the ferry port, and an easy continuation on Lombok, along the coast. Roads are good, narrow but still divided by a line.
I was asked to ‘sweep’ the group onto the ferry, this day, to allow the TdA staff to organize the ferry boarding of the vans. I am usually anyhow at the tail of the cycling group or behind the sweep, after my first photo stop, thus it didn’t make a difference to me.
It was less than 20 km from Ubud to the port. A nice downhill leaving the rice terraces behind. A few more temples and lots of big statues were seaming the roads. Ferry boarding was quick and easy and the ride to Lombok not too long. On arrival in Lombok the ‘Hello Mister’ and friendly faces were back again, compared to Bali, where we were hardly recognized. It wasn’t long that I saw a mosque on the other bank of a river, so I decided leave the main road and cross over a bridge. I local man was immediately alerted, indicating to me in voice and gestures that I was taking a wrong turn. ‘Tida apapa’ (no worries) I replied, “I only take a photo and will be back on the right track” and he was happy to see me return after a few minutes. That must also have been the time when the van and the afternoon sweep passed me. Shortly after I heard drum music from a near village. I quickly turned around into a dirt road and saw that boys were using any kind of plastic canisters as instruments. So I got closer and stopped, getting my camera and GoPro ready. The boys stopped their playing and came towards me, as usual. Big smiles, photo session and a few words later I had them perform their drumming for me. The girls here are more shy, they ran away and hide, when I stop. Maybe I should shave again to look less scary. A had a third stop at a plastic recycling facility. Yes, it is not a joke, they do some recycling. Women are sorting the bottles from big sacks by color, then they are carried over to a mill, being washed and shreddered. The fine grained granulate is said to be shipped to Australia – probably to make fleece shirts or alike. I arrived at the hotel in Senggigi as last. Showered, walked into sunset and had an Italian dinner in a nice beach restaurant. On my way home I decided to check out scuba diving opportunities for the rest day in Senggigi. I was lucky that a PADI dive shop in town was still open, so I was able to charter a dive boat to the Gili islands for the next morning. Before I returned tired to my room. My sleep was short, because of my French friends, who came at 1am to wake me up and drag me into the Senggigi nightlife.
We are placed in Paradise for our Rest Day in Ubud.
With a blend of Balinese and a hint of modern architecture, surrounded by lush gardens in the tranquil village of Ubud, the rest day location provides us with an unforgettable atmosphere and relaxing experience.
The Welcome Statues at the entrance immediately indicate that this is the perfect retreat for our ‘French Honeymoon’ couple, which immediately formed when Mr. G. joined the group in Java.
All morning the dive tour busses were passing me from all directions. They always seem to be in a hurry to bring the divers from A to B. No relaxed driving on Bali’s touristic corners, minibuses have their own rules, and cyclists are no longer considered coequal road users …
I had to turn into the bumpy road to ride down to the beach and Werner Lau’s Dive Center in Matahari / Northwest Bali.
Unfortunately time was too short to take a dive or have a longer chat. Thus I quickly cooled my face and headed off again to follow the main track.
This was a fast and easy cycling day. Short ride to ferry port, short ferry ride to Bali. Flat cycling along the northern coast line, with nice tail wind. Bali is 1 hour ahead of Java so we had to adjust our watches.
Finally an enjoyable cycling day for those, who don’t like excessive climbing. We all made it onto the 7am ferry that set us over to our 3rd island – Bali, home for 3 cycling days plus 1 rest day in Ubud. Compared to all other riders, I was not in a hurry, although we had to be in the next destination at around 1pm, because we all had to go to the immigration office to extend our Indonesian visa for additional 30 days. I took my time to stop here and there, as Bali is totally different to Sumatra and Java and we won’t stay long on this little island. Although we lost 1 hour due to the time switch, there were still more than 4 hours time to cover for the remaining 78 km. Still a pity, that there was a deadline set, so the options to break away from the route had to be chosen wisely, as I already felt Henry’s breath in my neck. He was the TdA sweep today and took care that everyone made it in time or got on the van. So I had to really make speed between my various stops, to keep him in distance. I wanted to go to the beach and a dive base, as I haven’t been in this part of Bali, yet. I knew there was a ‘Werner Lau’ dive base in this area and luckily I found it. Off the road and down on a bumpy, rocky gravel road to the shore. Now I had a photo session, to document my appearance. A local dive guide was very interested about my adventure. He was a cycling tour guide on Bali, too and wanted to know more about my trip. I finally took a refreshing ‘shower’ at the dive center before I returned onto the main road. At lunch I was still ahead of Henry, but the lunch site was already ‘closing’, to make it also to camp in time. Nevertheless, I got my share of food and water and left with Henry shortly after 11am, with 2 hours left for the final 45 km. Andreas asked us to make it to the hotel not later than 1:15pm, as the vans to the ‘passport session’ will have to leave at 1:30pm. ‘Time to race’, I thought, and announced to be able to ride an average of 30km/h. I made it to the hotel by 12:45pm, even with a coke stop and a photo/video stop with monkeys. 500m from the hotel I stopped again a t an IndoMart to get daily my ‘Magnum’ ice cream, which I deliciously ate, while riding to the reception. The hotel is a very large complex, my bag was transported on a golf cart, I followed on bicycle. Since my room was not yet ready I continued onward on my bike, straight to the pool and around to the beach and finished my ice cream. Thereafter I jumped into my swim suite and chilled out in the pool and the ocean. I am finally back to paradise, although only for 1 afternoon.
Tomorrow is the final riding day of the 3rd section ‘Volcanoes & Temple’. The rest day location – Ubud- is behind a volcano, which means, we are back into climbing mode.