My second day in Bali was Matt's last full day here, so we let him pick our activities. He chose white water rafting on the Ayun River. The river runs through Ubud, and a number of companies offer rafting down the class 2 and 3 rapids. We went with Sobek, who provided us with a raft to ourselves, a guide (Stinky), a two hour ride down the river and buffet lunch afterwards for $80. Once we donned our sexy life jackets and helmets, we started down the stairs to the river.I thought that it was going to be a nice little jaunt down the the river, however it was actually 500 very tall and steep steps down the side of the cliff to the river.
We loaded up the raft and Stinky gave us our instructions, telling us when to row, when to grab the rope, and letting us know that when he shouted 'boom boom' we were to basically dive into the bottom of the raft and hold on. He did not give us any indication of when he might yell boom boom.
Off we went down the river, with Stinky pointing out local plants and animals, as well as carvings on the cliffs on the side of the river.
Class 2 and 3 rapids are not very scary, and after the first couple of rapids where we grabbed onto the rope each time, we had it under control. We would row to the sounds of "One, Two, STOP - ok Stinky!". I think. It could have been something else, but it sure sounded like Stinky. Although the guide did tell us that in Bali stinky means good music, not smelly. So who knows really. We also discovered that boom boom was when we were about to hit the side of the river pretty hard - luckily this only happened a couple times .
Highlights of the trip included:
Bintang Break (Karen, I'm sure you will agree the joy of riverside beers far outweighs the outrageous cost that said beers are sold for on the side of the river)
Scary moment with locals fishing with electricity (?? this was the explanation we got)
Floating down the last leg of the river to our take out point.
After the rafting they served up a buffet lunch of mainly Indonesian dishes, which was a poor introduction for food safety Danni, as all of the dishes were lukewarm and had been sitting out for who knows how long, and she did not eat anything except a green colored coconut suger cake at the end. Everyone else enjoyed the food though and no one got sick. Then we walked up the 150 stairs to the top of the hill (thank god it was not 500, although in 30 degree weather, on the first full day of vacation, and with hawkers walking beside you trying to sell you teak boxes, wooden elephants and sarongs - only one dollar! - it was still too many!).
That night we walked into Ubud (about 20 min) and ate some deep fried crispy duck (bebek guling) at the Dirty Duck Diner (Bebek Bengil). It was pretty expensive for Bali prices, however considering I don't usually like duck, it was pretty delicious. Rhiannon and Brian have already had it twice now, and have requested it once more before we leave Bali, so looks like some more dirty duck is in our future.