Saturday, December 8, 2018

Cycling In Indonesia Bali 2018 Day 2: The Soul Of Bali Ride - Garuda Wisnu Kencana To Kuta

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Indonesia / Cycling Indonesia Bali 2018 / Day 2     |     Go to D1/D3/D4/D5/D6-7
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Cycling Indonesia Bali 2018 Day 2: The Soul Of Bali Ride - Garuda Wisnu Kencana To Kuta
Bali, Indonesia: Thursday, 22nd November 2018
This is part of a multi-mode tour Bali & Nusa Penida:
Cycling Distance: 21 km.     |     Level: Easy
Time : 4:40pm to 6:50pm
Time Taken : 2 hrs. 10 mins. (including stops for regrouping, snacks and many photo opps).

This is page 2 of a 6-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to Kuta 1                |               Go to Other Days       |      Go to D3 Karangesam >

Route Recommendations :
1. Traffic Directions!
    Traffic in Indonesia, is right-hand drive, so cycle on the left. Same thing applies when crossing the road, take note of the direction in which traffic is approaching from!
2. Route & Traffic Conditions  
    This past few years, KutaUbud and the surrounding regions have developed tremendously and traffic along most roads can be quite busy. Cycle with care and do take note that there are many motorcyclists around.
    The route starts from GWK, goes through South Kuta, with a nice stretch along the Kuta Beachfront Path. Enroute it passes by the fringe of Udayana University and several parks before ending at the Kuta Parking Area.

3. Weather
     Bali during end November can get quite hot, with temperatures averaging 31°C and 25°C for day and night respectively, so do re-hydrate regularly. Do expect some rain during this time too.
     Useful weather forecast sites for the Indonesia is AccuWeather. For more detailed weather, including cloud cover and wind speed, use Weatherspark and Ventusky.

4. Points of Interests
 Along the route were several places of interests, some of which we visited others we did not for lack of time:
- The Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue (GPS: -8.81042, 115.16759) at the GWK Cultural Park.
- Statues of warriors Nakula and Sadewa (Sahadewa) at the Taman Meparek Sradaning Dewata (GPS: -8.78553, 115.16602).
Taman Ngurah Rai (GPS: -8.74496, 115.18301).
Satria Gatotkaca Statue at the Satria Gatotkaca Park (GPS: -8.74438, 115.17886).
Baruna (Varuna) Statue (GPS:-8.73719, 115.16727 ).
- German Beach (Pantai Jerman) (GPS: -8.73621, 115.16249).
- The shared walkway/cycle path at Kuta Beach (GPS: from -8.73457, 115.16353 to -8.72258, 115.16984).
Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Cente(GPS: -8.72319, 115.16976).
Sekar Jagat, a traditional Bali welcome dance at Sthala Ubud Tribute Hotel.

5. Food
Breakfast: Nasi timbel & Kopi Bali at Warung Muk Putu (GPS: -8.73453, 115.16552) in Kuta.
Lunch: Goreng pisang (banana fritters), burgers at Jendela Bali The Panoramic Resto (GPS: -8.80873, 115.16755) in Satria Gatotkaca Park.
Tea: Snack box that included Risoles with bird' eyes chili (chili padi) during a rest stop near the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Centre.
Dinner: Assortment of Balinese fare and western fare at the Sungai Restaurant in Sthala Ubud Tribute Hotel (GPS: -8.57247, 115.25964).

6. Accommodations
    Bali has a wide range of accommodations, ranging from six-stars hotels, to homestays and even back-packers hostels.
    We were guests of Brompton Owners Bali (BOB) and the Ministry of Tourism Indonesia, who provided us with first-class accommodations at the Sthala Ubud Tribute Hotel (GPS: -8.57247, 115.25964), where a two-pax room cost about IDR1,200k per night (about RM350), inclusive of breakfast.
Address: Jalan A.A Gede Rai, Mawang Kelod, Lodtunduh, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia.
Tel.: +62 361 3018700

7. Communicating with Each Other
    When travelling in a group it's important to be able to communicate with each other, especially if one got lost from the rest. There are booths selling these just after exiting the arrival hall of Bali (Ngurah Rai) Airport. We opted for Telkomsel's at it provides the best coverage even at many of the remote areas of Nusa Penida, and got their Simpati prepaid sim cards with 10GB of data valid of 30 days at 250k rupiahs. 3G internet is available in the more populated areas but can drop to the slower GPRS or even Edge in remote areas.
    Most hotels, motels, home-stays, restaurants, and airports have free Wifi; do note that these free wifi may not be secure and registration could be required. But one can safe on one's mobile data by using these especially for uploading or downloading videos.

8. Communicating with Locals
    As Bali, is a favorite tourist destinations, many locals speak fairly good English. At the smaller towns, locals speak some rudimentary English. The older generation speak very little English, so knowing some basic Bahasa Indonesia (or even better - Balinese language) will come in handy and also warm one up to the locals.
9. Navigation
    We used Google Maps in Walking Mode for navigation but there is a lag when starting off, so one would have to cycle a bit to get the orientation right. Google Maps is also useful as it shows updated places of interests that may not be shown on GPS units.
    Alternatively, download the MAPS.ME app together with the relevant country maps. This app can be used offline.
10. Service Your Bicycles & Carry Tools and Spares
    Before leaving on your tour, it will be good to service your bike and bring along some spares like tubes, puncture patches, brake pads and the relevant tools.

A day earlier, many of us had arrived in Bali, as a prelude to attending the Brompton Owners Bali (BOB) "We Love Bali" cycling event. We have got reacquainted with island and warmed up to its charms and are ready for more. Well we are here to cycle, and first thing first was to cycle out for breakfast to this quaint shop called Warung Muk Putu where we had Nasi timbel and very good Kopi Bali. And then off we went to cycle a short loop starting at the German Beach and then around the south Kuta area.

11:00am - We headed back to our hotel but along the way a colourful "Candi bentar" at the nearby Bakung Beach Resort attracted the girls. Bali is so full of art, its art-form seems an inherent part of its historical culture.
To cut the story short; we are back and packed, waiting for BOB to pick us up. From that start we were most impressed by the way they have organised the event, everything was well taken care of from the word GO! They had sent vans to pick-up all participants from their respective hotels and also those arriving today (at different arrival times). Not only have they sent vans for us; the vans were followed by enclosed truck for our bicycles and luggage! It had to be some good logistic planning seeing that there were more than fifty of us scattered all over Kuta!

Goofy, my bike looking like a toy Brompton, sitting on a platform at the restaurant entrance.
We were sent up to the Jendela Bali The Panoramic Resto located within the GWK Cultural Park. Here we registered ourselves for the event and adjourned for a coffee & ice-breaking session, to get to know the other participants from around the region. There were cyclists coming from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, China and Australia!

In our excitement to get here, we forgot something..... we forgot to take lunch! From a nearby food-truck we grabbed some food; Anne (or shall we call here by her conferred Balinese name: "Ah-neh". How she got that name, we will come to later.) having a mouthful of chicken sandwich. Actually there were no worries of getting hungry; at Jendela Bali we were also served very nice goreng pisang.

A memorable group photo of some of us with Pak Kanoraituha Wiwin, he's the man behind BOB, the organizers of the event. Together with his team of able assistants (Rachel, Astri & gang) they had ensured that we were all well taken care off, and that the event ran super smoothly.
It was a good chat session (of renewing friendships, making new ones and comparing notes on the unifying factor, our Brompton speda (bicycle). This was followed by welcome speeches by Pak Kano and other VIPs.  

Nearby is the Plaza Kencana, and within it is a replica of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue. In the photo here, the actual statue stands looming tall behind the replica.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana was inspired by Hindu mythology about the search for Amerta (Amrita- the elixir of life). According to this myth, Garuda agreed to be ridden by Lord Wisnu (Vishnu) in return for the right to use the elixir to liberate his enslaved mother. The 75-m tall, 65-m wide statue was designed by Nyoman Nuarta. It sits atop a pedestal to bring the total height of the monument to 121m, which is nearly 30m taller than the Statue of Liberty in the United States. This makes it one of the largest statue in the world and also the tallest. The completed monument is about as tall as a 21-storey building.

The route starts from GWK, goes through South Kuta, with a nice stretch along the Kuta Beachfront Path. Enroute it passes by the fringe of Udayana University and several parks, touched the fringe of Legian, before ending at the Kuta Parking Area.
Cycling Distance: 21 km.     |     Level: Easy.

4:30pm - We gathered at the Plaza Kencana, took a group photo before rolling off on a ride called the "Soul of Bali Ride", it took us on a route downhill towards Kuta, passing by various spots that will reveal to us the soul of Bali.

It will be as easy ride, we were at one of the highest spots in South Bali, and started off with an easy roll down passing through the eastern end of the GWK Cultural Park .....

..... passing by a "Candi bentar".

At the vicinity of I passed by and shouted a friendly "Hello" to Nerica Joy, the sole representative of The Brompton Club of the Philippines. Her name tells it all, she is such a joyful person, effervescence in whatever she does.

As we rode down a slope, far away we see puffy clouds in a blue sky, and below the sea at Jimbaran Beach.

Passed by Taman Meparek Sradaning Dewata sitting high on top were the statues of warriors Nakula and Sadewa (Sahadewa), twin warriors from the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

We rode through narrow neighbourhood roads, busy main roads and even partway along the Ngurah Rai By Pass highway.

Near the Bali (Ngurah Rai) Airport, statues of Balinese playing drums and cymbals seemed to push us on.

With a loop around the Satria Gatotkaca Park, we headed .....

..... through another Candi bentar that led us by souvenirs shops of Pantai Jerman (German Beach).

And then we were onto splendid seaside paths that ran along Kuta Beach. On one side were the rocky embankment contrasted by blue sea, and on the other side were hotels, bars and shops all busy with people buzzing around.

6:00pm - At a midway rest and regroup stop near the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Centee. In Hindu mythology the world is thought to rest on the backs of four elephants who stand on a turtle. In HinduismAkupara is a turtle who carries the world on his back, upholding the Earth and the sea.

Snack boxes were passed around and in each were pastries that included an Indonesian favourite - Risoles that were uniquely served with a chilli padi (Bird's Eye Chili). Apparantly one is suppose to stuff the chili into the risoles  and eat it together for that extra oomph!

While some rested, most went to the beach for selfies, wefies and watch the sun set.

After half an hour we continued on the seaside path; people just sat at the beach, relaxing and taking in the ambiance. Some were flying cute, colourful kites that looked like mini galleons.

The coastal path lasted 2km and we were back onto the roads that edged on the Legian area. Dusk had set in and the place was crowded with tourist (note; although the above photo shows the road as quite bare of traffic, it was actually very busy as a police outrider had cleared the way for us).

6::50pm - The ride ends at a large parking area for tour buses. Here we packed our bikes and boarded three buses while our packed bikes went up into three trucks.

Our faithful police outrider was still with us as we made our one-hour journey towards Ubud, where we will be staying the night at the Sthala Ubud Tribute Hotel.

At the hotel, were were met by two beauties; the most beautiful in Bali - Miss Bali herself, Ms. Made Indah Swastiandew, and her second runner-up. Invigorated, we checked into our rooms to freshen up and hasten to get ready for dinner, after all the two beauties were joining us 😀. At our rooms, another pleasant surprise awaited us. On each of our beds were our T-shirts with warm individually penned messages welcoming us, the design of the T-shirts with the Barong Mask icon was done by Bli Ardha. We were treated like VIPs - warm welcomes, good food, a first class hotel, beauty queens - one can really get use to this royal treatment, Haha!

We looked down to where we will be having our dinner, not just at the hotel's Sungai Restaurant, but at it's lower deck right next to a river!

Dinner was a good buffet mix of Balinese and Western Fare, and on top of that we were treated to a presentation of a Sekar Jagat; this is a traditional dance performed by the dancers to welcome visitors to their island.

 Derived from the word "Sekar" means fragrant flowers, and "Jagat" means the world, the dance depicts fragrant flowers that beautifully decorate the world.This is a group dance and danced by girls, each carrying a bowl full of flowers. The slow and graceful movements of the dancers captivated us and the stare from their large hypnotic eyes entranced us.
YES! We have been captivated by the beauty that is Bali.


Our ride was called the "Soul of Bali" Ride and along the way we did see it's soul:
A mother riding a motorcycle with her tiny tot.

Pretty lasses dressed in traditional Balinese costume - lacy blouses and colourful batik sarongs - at the Pura Pakendungan temple (pura). Bali have many temples, and every so often there will be one sort of celebration or other going on. This temple is a pura segara, (sea temple) - a pura that is located by the sea to appease the sea gods and deities.

While on the other side, sitting on the rocky embankment, the men were taking a dinner break.

A couple of young boys admiring my bike and our Malaysian flag, the Jalur Gemilang.

dokar/cidomo (horse carriage) waiting for tourists a Legian.

A Balinese man waving to us a we rode by.

Revellers at a Kuta beach bar, cheering us on.

And us... adding our souls to Bali.

Many thanks to:
The ride leaders, marshals and sweepers who guided us safely during our ride.

The police outrider who cleared the traffic ahead of us to ensure that we had a smooth ride, and later, a swift bus journey to Ubud.

And lastly, many thanks to Pak Kano and his efficient team for a very well organised event.

Matur suksma!
(That's Thank you in Balinese)

Click here for a Relive of our GWK to South Kuta Ride
(For more photos of the day Click Here)
This is page 2 of a 6-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to Kuta 1                |               Go to Other Days       |      Go to D3 Karangesam >


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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Indonesia / Cycling Indonesia Bali 2018 / Day 2     |     Go to D1/D3/D4/D5/D6-7
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