Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Bali, Indonesia is the island of the Gods. The active visitor who wants to see this Garden of Eden with its lush tropical jungles, hikes. Tour buses can transport the holidaymaker to some sights but they are crowded with tourists and tacky vendors. Independent, guided hikes are available for the Bali visitor.
Guides are available to show you the hidden sights and handle the logistics. They will escort you down trails in the backwoods. The passing flora and fauna encountered will be explained. People who come to explore the island find the guides invaluable.
A walk through a dense forest will reveal exotic fruit trees of which many of us have never heard or seen. Salak, durian(more about them later), jackfruit, mango trees plus others line the paths. Hanging vines graze your face and arms. The overhead views are spectacular. Monkeys and colorful birds perch in the tree branches. Remember to keep your eyes down for roots and downed logs.
Now and again the forest opens granting vistas of rice paddies. Different type of rice cultivation is open to view. See people plowing the fields. The plow pulled by two strong cows. The flooded fields insure subsistence for another year.
Coffee, palm, rubber, clove plantations abound. Your tour guide will direct you to the ones that allow tourists. You can watch the tapping of rubber trees. If the season is right, you can see the harvest of coffee berries.
Other hikes can include a visit to an inland village. There you will see people at their daily duties. Or you can visit an artist village. Here you can watch the craftsmen at work. Batik, the art of dyeing designs on cloth by coating with removable wax the parts not to be dyed, can be viewed. Many hikers try their hands at this.
There is Gunung Agung for the truly adventurous. Gunung Agung is the highest peak on the island. The views from the peak are awesome. Hikers climb through the mature forest with plants crowding both sides of the trail. The gaps in the foliage reveal sweeping vistas of the mountainside terraced farms and the rolling peaks and valleys.
Volcanoes tower over the island. Some are still active. The inactive ones have crater lakes. And from these lakes spill forth glorious waterfalls. They can be seen on hikes. Stop and take a refreshing dip in a pool.
One way to ensure a successful and enjoyable hike no matter how strenuous the walk is to have the correct gear. Strong shoes/boots, a hat and bottled water are necessary. Donít forget the insect repellent and sun screen. Have a detailed map and respect for the private farms when taking an independent hike.
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