Senin, 04 Agustus 2008

VW Safari Bali Tours

Go Topless - VW Safari Tours definitely isn’t the type of tour that just anyone can appreciate, especially those creatures of comfort who are used to traveling in full air-conditioned vehicles. But, if you have an adventurous streak and inkling to see the ‘real’ Bali, then you are in for a treat. Recently Bali Tribune had the opportunity to participate in a VW Safari tour along with four other visitors from England and Australia. We left the dust and crowds of Kuta behind and traveled in a rainbow convoy of three vehicles along the winding back roads of Seminyak. Once away from the tourist hustle and bustle, the drivers stopped briefly to let down the canvas roofs. It was a perfect day, the sky almost cloudless with just the right amount of breeze to splay ones hair in every direction.

Although the VW or Volkswagen, as it is more commonly known, has a fairly noisy engine it was surprising the speed that our 1976 machine displayed. Our humble Balinese driver/guide, must have been a rally driver in a previous life as he expertly maneuvered the vehicle around sharp bends.

The convoy traveled through some quiet unknown roads and past some spectacular rice fields in the various stages of harvest. Workers were bundled in layers of clothing and conical hats to protect them from the harsh tropical sun as they thrashed sheaves of dried rice stalks. Groups of small village children laughed and waved as we droved by, obviously amused at the crazy tourists in the noisy machines.

Our first stop point was on the isolated Tabanan coast at Yeh Gangga Beach. After a refreshing cool drink and snack of lightly fried bananas, our group alighted two large horse drawn buggies for the five-minute trek to the beach. We were greeted by several majestic looking horses in shades of chestnut and black who were to be our companions for the next hour or so. The ride along the black volcanic sand beach was invigorating and the Menado mixture horses willingly trotted past the newly opened Wakka Gangga Resort, with stops at an ancient temple, small waterfall, bat cave and back through the sleepy village. The time atop our four-legged friends flew by and before long we were back in our newly painted cream, yellow and fluorescent orange VW’s.

Once again we wove and bumped through a series of small and un-serviced roads observing quaint villages and weather worn temples. The particular day that we were out was an auspicious day on the Balinese calendar and was especially good for a groom and his entourage of family to pick up his prospective bride from her family compound. We saw numerous processions of such with everyone decked in their finest sarongs and gold jewellery.

As our vehicles steadily proceeded through the Tabanan Regency the air became distinctly cooler in the higher altitude. The surrounding vegetation here was richer with deep red hibiscus flowers growing wildly along the roadsides alternating with tall shoots of bamboo. Our descent was steady until we reach the most stunning emerald shaded rice terraces on the island. The area of Jatiluwih has been relatively untouched by technology and comprises of literally acres of fertile land with a minimum of houses scattered in between. We had a rest at a small hillside café constructed from rods of bamboo and were served cups of sweet muddy Balinese coffee.

The last leg of our trek the drivers must have been hungry as we spiraled down from the mountainous location through villages of smiling children to our lunch destination at the Ayung River Rafting headquarters. Set on the lush sloping riverbank, the area is home to a host of chattering monkeys and a handful of regally poised camels who have adapted perfectly to their tropical environment. After a delicious buffet lunch downed with icy cold drinks we were offered the chance to participate in the afternoon river raft. On a full stomach nobody had the energy to venture the stone steps down the bank to the river. So we sat back and relaxed in the restaurant with its backdrop of splendid greenery.

The flexibility of the drivers from VW Safari’s makes a refreshing change from normal tours. They are quite willing to stop off for photos or anywhere that happens to catch the guests’ eye. There is none of the usual mundane stops at the overpriced art shops and silver dealers, where prices are hiked to give guides a slice in the commission pie.

On the trip back our group was more than a little merry, noses reddened from exposure to the sun and drunk from the sights and sounds of the ‘real’ Balinese countryside. The sky overhead was darkening with rain lurking close by. It was time to put up the canvas tops and return home.

Go Topless - VW Safari Tours operate daily with both half and full day tours starting at a very reasonably priced . The tour we experienced was the Tabanan Tour and guests have the option at the end of the day to stop off at Jimbaran Bay, in the south of Bali, for a succulent beachside BBQ dinner at the Bamboo and Baruna Seafood Café. An alternate route is the Kintamani tour, which also travels through some splendid natural terrain and stopping off at places of interest.

Go Topless - VW Safari Tours is a wonderful visual experience with perfect scenery for budding photographers. If you can handle windblown hair and the roar of the vehicle’s 25-year-old engine, then you’re in for a great day out. Sunscreen and cameras are a must.

• VW SAFARI FULL DAY COMBINATION
(Duration 9 hours)

VW open top vehicle will pick you up from your Hotel lobby and will take you to the Horse Riding Location where you can experience 30 minutes Horse Ridding along black volcanic sand of the Saba beach.The vw safari tour will re-start the journey and drive you thru natural Balinese environment to get to the starting point of the white water rafting for 2 hours adventure along the ayung river.The rafting will be end at our finishing pant Karang dalem village for delicious Indonesian buffet lunch while enjoying the beautiful panoramic view of Ubud which located opposite our river view restaurant. After.finishing your lunch and being totaly refresh due will drive for another 1 hour to the famous area of Jatiluwih for it rice terrace.Before taking you back to your Hotel and end our combination of fun tour activity we will take you to our last stop at '' Yeh Panes '' to introduce you to the Balinese natural hot spring.

• VW SAFARI FULL DAY OF FUN

(Duration 8 hours)

Get picked up from your hotel in Bali's coolest most funky mode of transport - the VW Safari. Cruise through the rice paddies and sleepy villages of Bali with the roof down (weather permitting) and the wind rushing through your hair! The most classic of tropical journeys, pass through the village of Pejaten, famous for its ceramics, tiles and hand-made bricks.

On to Asia's largest Butterfly sanctuary; the Bali Butterfly Park affords a unique look into the life and times of these beautiful creatures, including a butterfly nursery. From the tiniest of tiny to the magnificent Kupu Kupu Barong this is a fascinating look at the butterfly. Yeh Panas Hot Springs is the next stop to take a dip in the steaming volcanic springs known for their warm mineral waters and ancient healing properties. Return through Jatiluwih, home to Bali's (and arguably the world's) most stunning vistas of terraced rice-paddies. Enjoy a delicious Indonesian buffet lunch before heading back to the hotel to bask in your new experiences.

• VW SAFARI HALF DAY OF FUN

(Duration 5 hours)

Sit back and relax get pick up vw open top vehicle . Enjoy a unique adventure driving toward one of Bali. Sight seing destination for it steep terrace rice paddies of Jatiluwih. Giving you a lot of opportunity for taking great panoramic picture where you can can't find it any other place apart from here at the island of God.

You will also be taking into Yeh Panes to be introduce to Bali's natural hot spring as well as enjoying your afternoon snack before getting back to hotel.

What to Bring (recommended)
• Hat, sunscreen, camera

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