White water rafting on Ayung River as a day trip from Ubud was fantastic and great value for money experience. We really enjoyed breathtaking scenery of lush forest, rice fields, waterfalls and rafting itself.After lovely breakfast at Gayatri Café (included with accommodation at Gayatri 2 Bungalows) we enjoyed very refreshing swim in the freezing swimming pool of our hotel. While swimming we started a chat with a couple sitting by the pool. They were Canadians so we got very excited because at the end of this 3 months trip we’re moving to Canada! It turned out that they live in Calgary, AB and really enjoy being there. At the end we exchanged contact details and got invited to their place when we’re in Calgary. It was really nice and we felt even better about our decision of moving to Canada. Falling asleep at the Gayatri 2 Bungalows last night wasn’t too easy so we decided to move back to the previous hotel – Ablit Bungalow that we liked much more, which is just opposite the road. It costs 250,000 IDR (US$ 21) this time for a lovely cottage with a nice private terrace set among pleasant and peaceful garden, next to the one we had last time. After quick lunch at the hotel we were collected by Graha Adventure driver to the starting point of our rafting trip on the Ayung river. The trip started with walk through rice fields and lush forest down to the river. We were sat on the raft with Russian couple, German and French girls. Our guide was very funny and friendly, cracking jokes and telling us interesting things about surrounding area as we were rafting. Before we set off our guide explained us what to expect and how to behave when we encounter rapids… The river was perfect with occasional thrilling rapids (but nothing too difficult that we couldn’t handle), set among stunning lush forest and numerous waterfalls. It was fantastic feeling to approach rapids, feel the excitement, then holding tight and trying to manoeuvre the raft so that we don’t fall in the water which would just splash us occasionally. During rafting we had a couple of nice stops. We stopped by the biggest waterfall to have a swim and take interesting snapshots. And then 2 more times – for a short break (there was even a stand with someone selling drinks in the middle of nowhere!) to stretch our legs and then by the fascinating sculptured rock face. We were a bit annoyed by other rafts (from different tours) stopping in the same places at the same time but were told that in the morning there are as many as 100 rafts on the river at the same time! It looked like the afternoon session we picked was much better option then – being an early bird (which we aren’t…) on this occasion wouldn’t pay off. That’s one of the annoying things about Bali (at least most of the places we’ve been to, especially in Ubud) – lots of tourists, crowds at most attractions, street stall’s sellers calling you to look at their stuff: ‘just lookin‘ and then forcing you to buy something, hawkers trying to sell you things and taxi drivers on every corner asking constantly: ‘taxi?‘, ‘where you go?‘ etc. All those things really start to annoy after a while and definitely do not help to relax.
After over 2 hours spent on the raft we were walking back to the car, passing through area with breathtaking landscapes of rain forest and rice paddies where some scenes of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ movie were shot. It’s really stunning spot! Finally, we got our late lunch included as a part of this trip and satisfied with a great afternoon we went back to the hotel to relax. This rafting trip was definitely worth spending every penny and great value for money: 500,000 IDR (US$ 43) in total for two of us!
We finished our day with a meal at Budi’s Warung just off Monkey Forest Street. It’s was a cheap but very tasty meal for less than 100,000 IDR (US$ 8.50) all together.