An absolute premiere in the record of my travel activities was the river rafting. On the Ayung River in Bali, the longest river on the island, measuring about 70 km from the spring in the North part of the Island and down to the mouth, somewhere in Sanur. I bought the tour randomly, while we were strolling on the streets of Ubud and we stopped at the stalls where each company was exhibiting their offers of activities in Ubud.
I was drawn to the image of an inflatable boat, with many scowling eyes on the ship and colorful paddles in their hands, as they seemed to fall down river rapids. It seemed to us to be an adventure not to be missed in the Ubud jungle, so in the next second we began to browse the leaflets and proceed the price negotiation. From $ 70 / person, we reached $ 35.
The tour included:
- pickup from the hotel and back
- equipment (life jacket, casket, paddle)
- Indonesian lunch at the end of the tour
- towel for optional shower
What to bring with you:
- thin and light clothes
- lightweight footwear, suitable for water
- changing clothes in a waterproof bag
All the fun lasted about half a day. The morning day after the purchase, we were picked up from Ketut Liyer’s hotel, where we were staying in Ubud at that time and headed to the point of boat departure. Each one of us received the casket, life jacket, and complete instructions. Paddle up when the course is smooth, paddle all in the same direction and with huge strength in our arms when we have to avoid big rocks, sit between the inflatable parts of the boat when we have a steep fall and so on. Obviously, all these information has been rooted more effectively with practice and real-time examples.
In order to get to the river, we had to go down a few hundred steep, very steep and damp steps. We were quite a lot of people from different corners of the world, so it took us a few good minutes to reach the bottom. Finally, we arrived and we were distributed 5-6 in each boat. We got the yellow boat, along with some Australians, plus the guide, which is, obviously, a local. I can’t remember his name, but I’m sure we got the funniest and savvy guide ever. He did an excellent job in guiding the boat while maintaining a joyful atmosphere and sharing fabulous stories from his long experience on the Ayung River. I’ll leave some pictures with him below.
The tour itself, except for all transfers, protocols, and lunch, lasted about 2 hours, meaning 11 km of the river’s total length. As mentioned earlier, the Ayung River is the longest in Bali and is full of rapids and vortexes, elements that make all the experience a real adventure full of laughter, adrenaline and muscle fever in the coming days. The landscape is very beautiful, with lush vegetation, palm trees, bamboo, banyan trees and banana leaves, waterfalls and a nice mix of jungle sounds. In the last few kilometers, every now and then, there was a small resort with balconies set a few dozen meters above the valley. I could have only imagined what spectacular views those tourists had from up there …
As for the beauty of the places we stumbled upon in the valley of the Ayung River, not even the rocks that surround the river on both sides are part of the ordinary. Many of them are skillfully carved by Balinese craftsmen who have used their talents to represent Hindu deities, animals, and people. They all have a story full of mystery and rituals behind. We made a few stops, either for a cold shower under a stunning waterfall, or to take a rest while enjoying a refreshing drink purchased from a pack-man.
At the end of the tour, after we had to climb a few hundred steep and wet steps while we were already completely squeezed of powers, we had a lunch included in the tour. But this only after a quick shower. You already know from my previous articles about Bali. Nasi goreng, mie goreng and satay were at the base of the menu.
Do I recommend this tour? No, it is not a recommendation. I command you not to leave Bali until you have checked this wonderful experience! You’ll thank me later. 🙂