Ubud’s fertile land surrounding the rice fields is a result of the volcanic activity amidst the jungles in the middle of the island of Bali.
We decided on a whim to ride the scooter up to the lava fields of the active Mount Batur, about an hour’s ride away up the windy roads into the clouds.
Tour guides were waiting for their prey on the main road a few minutes outside the edge of the crater so we succumbed to the pressures and hired a local guide for the $20 half day tour.
The lava rocks from the eruptions of the 1980s to last year were scattered all around as far as you could see, with the beauty of the rocks and earth disguising the devastation of the villages. Since it was pouring down rain with the temperatures dropping, we made a rather quick exit and headed back into town after a hot meal at a restaurant overlooking the volcano and the vast crater which is now a huge lake.
The next day, we headed north east of town to the Ayung River for some white water rapid rafting.
The 10km journey lasted 4 hours and every minute was enjoyable with our mischievous guide, Madé, (Mega Rafting company) who took liberties in slamming our raft into each and every rock on the way.
Along the journey we saw monkeys swinging from the branches, gorgeous rock carvings of the Ramayana chiseled into the side of the cliffs, and got “free massages” under the strong and fast flowing waterfalls.
Our guide cracked up every few minutes as we whizzed past dozens of Chinese rafters wedged between rocks and would point and say “Haha, Chinese stuck” since they are known for their poor navigating skills.
Madé and Terry also got further into the action by super splashing and soaking every raft of the competing company which made the journey rather wet and war like, with us watching for the ‘enemy’ around each corner.