Day 2: Water rafting @ Telaga Waja River –> Snorkelling @ Blue Lagoon –> Mediterranean Dinner @ Seminyak
Good morning! We woke up early on 19th May as we were going white water rafting that day! We needed to leave the villa by 8am, so we booked the Airbnb chef again for breakfast.
Ok the breakfast doesn’t look much, and honestly I thought we were bring ripped off, because the breakfast ended up to be more expensive than dinner! There was the normal cooking service and ingredient charges, and also the transport service for the chef. So the bill totalled up to be IDR 690,400 (compared to dinner at IDR 656,450). I supposed the chef bought all the butter and jam too. Oh well, he did come at 6am to prepare our breakfast, and honestly after eating breakfast at a cafe the next morning, I must say that his bacon, sausages and scrambled eggs were wayyyy better than the cafe. And the breakfast that we had at the cafe wasn’t cheap either, so yeah, for the convenience I will say that it is still worth the price.
So off we went to Telaga Waja River, which was highly recommended by our Airbnb driver, who booked the tour for us at IDR 425,000 per pax. We had wanted to go Ayung River initially as it was the first time doing white water rafting for most of us and we are not the super adventurous type. However, the driver told us that Ayung River was too gentle and not fun. He told us that most Westerners will choose to go Telaga Waja River because it is more exciting. The rafting at Telaga Waja River is longer than Ayung River, and includes a 4m dam which we can jump with our boats. The turning point was when he informed us that Telaga Waja River has less steps to climb at the end of the ride (if you read online reviews, Ayung River requires one to climb about 400 steps at the end of the ride to leave the area). Naturally, we took the choice which required less leg workout!
The ride took us about 1.5hrs. We were taken to this company called Lapama Adventure Rafting. The office (which essentially is a large open area with benches) did not impress us much, as the facilities were very old. The life vests looked that they required repairing, and some of the oars were broken. I was pretty sceptical about the safety of the rides initially, and started to think if we got cheated again.
Luckily, the ride turned out to be the most exciting activity of our entire trip! Indeed, the water was more rapid than what I saw on Youtube, but not to the extent that you will feel endangered. Because there were 6 of us, we had to split into two boats, each with an instructor following. Since Mr J and I were the only couple who were not married, and for equal weight distribution, I followed Mr Mickey and Mrs Minnie, while Mr J followed Mr and Mrs Quek. Thank goodness for the two boats, because it made the whole ride more interesting as we competed with each other to race to the end and defend by splashing each other! I was worried about not being able to follow instructions, but after about 10mins, we got used to the flow and were able to tell what to do without the instructor’s commands. In any case, most of the hard work was done by the instructor, and sometimes we just slacked off the ride by not peddling at all. In fact, for some of the boats we saw, the passengers were not even holding their oars! (Poor instructor, Asian size and Westerner size are very different you know :S)
The 4m jump was not that scary afterall, and in fact, we asked for more after that! Too bad for us there is no u-turning back. About 30 mins after, we completed the ride and were brought to a lovely restaurant with the most wonderful view of Ubud rice terraces. In fact, if you are intending to explore the sceneries of Ubud and have a little excitement along the way, I highly recommend rafting because it leads you deep into the forest to view the beautiful terraces, tropical forests and waterfalls which are probably inaccessible by car. The whole ride is about 14km, and takes about 2 – 2.5hrs to complete. Personally, I was too involved in rafting and screaming to do any sight-seeing, but I love it that I could really be in touch with nature 🙂
In case you are wondering how we took photos while rafting, the photography service was provided by the rafting company. Since there wasn’t other customers, they gave in to our negotiation, which was 1 CD with >100 photos for IDR 400,000 for two boats. I don’t know if this is considered expensive, but in any case I felt that it is worth it to have memories of this trip (if not there will be totally no photos as the instructors did not allow us to carry our own phones with us. All our belongings had to be stored in a waterproof bag that the instructors carried).
The restaurant food appeared to be really satisfying especially for the guys, as they started discussing how to franchise the food back in Singapore. With our tummies full and my mission to see rice terrace accomplished, we set off to our next destination – Blue Lagoon – for snorkelling. This required another 1.5 hr ride.
There is a small shop / bar which rents out snorkelling gears and life vests at IDR 20,000 – 30,000 per pax without any time limit. Honestly by this time we were very tired from the rafting and travelling, so we spent most of the time floating around using our life vests instead. Most of the corals near the beach were bleached already, so there wasn’t much to see. You could take one of the tour packages to ride a boat out into the deeper sea where there are more corals to look at, but we did not have the time to do so. After 1 hr of floating around and choking on the seawater, we decided call it a day and left Blue Lagoon. Overall, I think it will be better to rent the boat out to the sea, but it also means that the coral will be deeper in and you may not be able to see from the surface. Otherwise we also saw a few colourful fishes which I thought were interesting.
After another tiring 1.5 hr ride back home to wash up, we headed to the main Seminyak street in search of dinner, and found this posh looking restaurant called Pantarei.