Things started off well. The view of the volcano was really stunning in the morning light, and for breakfast I got to try a local dish of black rice pudding. Not bad, it almost reminded me of the mango sticky-rice I loved so much in Thailand. From there we jumped on our bikes and started our downhill journey. I was a little disappointed at first because well, one, the gears on my bike were broken, making it hard to pedal, and two, I found it didn't make much of a difference because we ended up coasting the whole way down, so it wasn't much of a challenge, and we just flew past sights that I would have rather stopped and enjoyed. It felt like a race, and I was the one always lagging behind as I laid on my brakes, trying to take in the scenery.
But I have to give credit where it is due because the company did well for what it was, our guide was friendly and knowledgable, even offering me his bike when he found mine was broken, and we did make a few stops along the way that were pretty interesting. The first stop was at an organic farm where they grew all types of fruits, vegetables, herbs and coffee. We got to taste a bunch of the different fruits and coffees, even one apparently rare blend that is eaten and pooed out by some kind of coffee conusure rodent. It tasted like shit to me (pun intended). We then continued on down the road where we got to tour a family compound. We learned about plaques on the doorways where a census of the compound is recorded every 5 years, how traditional homes are built, how ceremonies are preformed, how every member of the family from small children to the 95 year old grandmother help make bamboo baskets, which are then brought to market to be sold to bring income into the compound. So many really interesting facts about how these people live. From there we stopped at the rice terraces to get a lesson on how rice is harvested. Finally, at the end of the trip we were treated to a really yummy Balinese buffet. Probably some of the best food I tasted in Bali.
So, all in all it was an interesting tour, but I still ended up regretting spending the $36 on the excursion. I decided then and there not to do anymore tours. In fact, I even decided to leave In Da Lodge to another B&B on the other side of town, away from the touristy hype. But I'll get to that in my next post.