VW Safari Bali Tours
Go Topless - VW Safari Tours definitely isnt 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.
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 VWs.
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
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 Safaris 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
Go Topless - VW Safari Tours operate daily with both half and full
day tours starting at a very reasonably priced US $ 49. 00 Max. 3 passengers
/ car. 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 vehicles 25-year-old engine, then youre
in for a great day out. Sunscreen and cameras are a must.