Eco Gallivant Goes to Bali – August 2016

 

4626153696_37622da9ac_o copyTour Details:
Bali Women-Only
Dates: August 11th -August 21st, 2016
Number of days: 10
Cost: $2,900

Bali – An alluring seductress with scent, sight and sound. If you visit once, you will want to go back again and again. Fresh papaya juice at breakfast, soft sea breezes, rolling waves to lull you to sleep, children laughing and flying handmade kites, the other-worldly beauty below the ocean surface.

Join this women-only trip to Les Village on the northern coast of Bali. The island is small and accessible, only 100 miles at its widest point, with live volcanoes, palm trees and ocean breezes, gorgeous, fertile rice paddies and citrus farms in the hills and corn fields near the coast. The only Hindu island in the Indonesian archipelago, celebration of religious ceremonies permeates all aspects of Balinese life.

Come and experience Bali as a traveler, not a tourist. With the opportunity to become part of the community in the small fishing village of Les on the rarely traveled north coast of Bali, you will be creating experiences of a lifetime that will never be forgotten, and you will become a friend forever.

This Balinese trek will feature food, festivals, religion, art, music, and a unique volunteer opportunity to give back to the community that is hosting you. English classes will be held in the evening, led by a local teacher. Volunteers will have the opportunity to join in conversation so that the fisherman, salt farmers, and high school students have an opportunity to practice speaking. Snorkeling is also an important activity on this tour, for our volunteer work in reef restoration as well as for exploring reefs. You will need to be comfortable in the water, but you do not need to be an expert swimmer. No snorkeling experience is necessary.  Equipment will be supplied or you may choose to bring your own.

Kathleen and Kerry, based on their varied travels around the world, have carefully planned the itinerary with Les Village as a home base, and day trips throughout the island. You will enjoy experiences you would never discover on your own, experiences that are not offered through any other travel group.

Please consult the Itinerary, button located in the right column, and then sign up for this trip. Make your decision quickly! Limited to only six travelers, this trek will fill quickly.  Ideal for single individuals, mother/daughter pairs, sisters, partners, or friends. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Day 1
Tuesday August 11th – Arrival in Denpasar – Ubud
Meals – Dinner

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Morning/afternoon arrival. You will be met at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, and you will be taken to Ubud (approximately 1.5 hour drive). Meet your guides, Kathleen and Kerry, and the other five participants of the group at our hotel – Puri Padi Hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we will enjoy a welcome dinner and orientation to Bali.

Free time for exploring Ubud if you are so inclined, get your land legs, and then early to bed for an exciting day tomorrow.

images * Ubud is the cultural center of Bali, with many museums, shops and spas. We will be spending more time here at the end of our trip.

(Hotel is subject to change – to comparable accommodation.)

Day 2

Wednesday August 12th – Ubud – Les
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Breakfast at hotel and departure for the two-hour drive to Les Village. En route, visit Taman Ujung Water Palace – Home of King Agung Anglurah. The complex consists of a number of large pools, beautiful gardens, and historic structures set against a backdrop of the volcano, Mount Agung. The site suffered near devastation by showers of hot ash following the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963, and also weathered an earthquake in 1979. Restoration efforts have returned it to its original splendor.

Then, heading north, we will leave the congestion of southern Bali behind, climbing up through the foothills to the cooler mountain tops, past the side blackened volcanic calderas of northern Bali; a breathtaking sight. Over the top of the central mountain range, we will corkscrew down through clove and citrus plantations until we emerge onto the north coast highway. This is a busy two-lane road filled with motorcycles and lumbering trucks.

DSC_3187Arrival in Les Village and lunch at the Sea Communities (SCC) compound. After you are settled in your rooms, we will take a walking tour and have an introduction to village life. We will make a courtesy call to Banjar headman and Village headman where we will have an exchange of gifts. Everyone in our group will receive sarong and sash, which can be worn in temples (a Hindu requirement for women).

Upon return to SCC we will have an orientation to the voluntourism we will be involved with – English lessons with villagers and restoration of the coral reef. There will be a video/slide show of local fish and coral. We will hear the story of the reef devastation, and the rehabilitation program the fisherman in the village have been working on.

Next we will take a snorkel tour with fisherman, walking directly into the sea in front of our villas. After dinner at SCC there will be the first English class with local fisherman, salt farmers, and high school students. The local teacher will lead this class, with our group joining in English conversation with the villagers would like, followed by the English class if you choose to join. You would also have the option of taking a walk along the sea, quiet time in your room, or hiring a masseuse from the village to come to your room.

images * No bathers in bright swimsuits, beach chairs or powdery sand here, just an unspoiled black-volcanic-sand beach lining the aqua sea, with the sound of gentle waves lapping on a rocky shore. The only people you will see will be the fishermen walking along the sea wall with the day’s catch after pulling their boats up on the beach, and children delightfully flying their homemade kites.

Day 3
Thursday August 13th – Ses
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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Join our cook (optional) for her daily visit to the market (5:30 am). This is a traditional, bustling village market with local fisherman and farmers selling their produce. We will then return to SCC for breakfast, followed by a snorkel tour with our fisherman/guides. We will be able to see the artificial reef work that is already in place on the seabed near the Sea Communities Compound.

Back on the beach, we will build our two personal, artificial reef/sea turtles. These turtles are part of our contribution to the rebuilding of the coral reef of Les. After the cement turtles are completed and dry, we will be harvesting coral, plugging it into the turtles, and then the turtles will be placed on the seabed.

After lunch at SCC we will take a tour of Les Village’s beautiful temples, and hike to Yeh Mempeh (which means Flying Water) – Les Waterfall. This beautiful, 30 meter high waterfall is situated right in the jungle, one kilometer away from the village main road (an easy and relatively even trail). The Les Waterfall is one of the largest waterfalls in Bali. We will have a guide to point out the various flora and fauna we pass on the way. The Les Waterfall is a “horsetail waterfall” as the descending water does not spread out, there are no steps, and the water remains in contact with the rock whilst maintaining approximately the same width at the bottom of the waterfall as at the top.

Wear your suit and bring a towel if you want to indulge in a bracing shower in the crystal clean, mountain stream.

We will return for dinner at SCC, with your help in meal preparation if you so choose, followed by the villagers’ English class if you would like to join. You would also have the option of taking a walk along the sea, quiet time in your room, or hiring a masseuse from the village to come to your room.

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images* You are invited to assist our cook with preparation for dinner every night and learn to cook traditional, Balinese style.

 

Day 4
Friday August 14th – Tejakula – Les
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Join our cook (optional) for her daily visit to the market (5:30 am), followed by breakfast at SCC.

We will then board our transportation for a ten-minute drive to Tejakula and the Surya Indigo Cooperative . This is a women’s weaving and dyeing cooperative, started in 2000, with the aim to maintain and preserve the original and ancient local handcraft tradition and to develop the local economy. The textiles are created with a typical weaving process called Cagcag, using unique and old Balinese looms, restored by the hands of expert, local elderly women. The cotton for spinning and then weaving is grown on and nearby this family compound. Only natural materials, also grown on site, are used for dying: Indigo, Morinda Citrifolia and various leaves, bark, roots, etc.

We will visit the gardens and the cotton farm, after which we will enjoy breakout workshops on natural dye, spinning, weaving and batik.

Batik is one of Indonesia’s most traditional crafts. Not only will we learn about this ancient process and observe skilled craftsmen, but we will have a chance to make our own by creating a design, applying wax and mixing our own dye. Our creations will be delivered to SSC in Les when they are dry.

Lunch will be at the Cooperative with our hosts. After lunch the workshops will continue until closure in the late afternoon.

Dinner will be served upon return to SCC, with your help in meal preparation if you would like, followed by the English class if you choose to join. You would also have the option of taking a walk along the sea, quiet time in your room, or hiring a masseuse from the village to come to your room.

images* If our woven/dyed textiles are not ready to go with us today, they will be delivered to us later in the week.

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Day 5
Saturday August 15th – Les
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Join our cook (optional) for her daily visit to the market (5:30 am). Breakfast served at SCC.

This is a big day! An important part of our volunteer work here is supporting the village with its reef rehabilitation.

Over ten years ago, the coral reefs of Les Village in Bali were devastated by cyanide fishing. There were virtually no fish left, no coral, and no livelihood for the fisherfolk trying to scrape a living.  The same fisherfolk who poisoned the reefs are now rehabilitating their coral reef. The first thing they did was implement sustainable netting practices. Next, they began replacing the coral they had killed. Now, a decade later, there is a reviving and resplendent coral reef.

After breakfast, we will have our introduction and preparation for coral collection. Then we will snorkel to collect coral pieces and prepare them for planting in our turtles, led by our fisherman/guide.

After lunch we will place the coral in the turtles, and the turtles will be ready to go into the sea!

Dinner at SCC, with your help in meal preparation if you would like, followed by the English class if you choose to join. You would also have the option of taking a walk along the sea, quiet time in your room, or hiring a masseuse from the village to come to your room.

DSC_4728 A2 Les (600 x 450)-2

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* A full day by the beautiful Bali Sea. There will also be free time for relaxing in a hammock, snorkeling, taking a walk along the beach, or whatever grabs your fancy!

Day 6
Sunday August 16thLes – Kintamani
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Join our cook (optional) for her daily visit to the market (5:30 am). Breakfast served at SCC.

After breakfast, we will drive to Kintamani (approximately one hour) with the volcano Mount Batur rising in the distance as we approach. We will enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful temple Pura Ulun Danu Batur, the second most important temple in Bali. This temple is dedicated to Dewi Danu, Hindu goddess of lakes and rivers.

After lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit the Batur Volcano Museum. Well presented exhibits here include explanations of the pacific ring of fire and Indonesia’s position within that, local volcanology and the history of eruptions of Mount Batur, volcanic rocks collected locally, films and computer animations explaining why volcanoes erupt, and a telescope to view the mountain.

We will then check into our camping resort, Toya Devasya. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the numerous hot pools and the Olympic size swimming pool, naturally sourced by the Mount Batur hot springs.

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At night, we can make a campfire, while enjoying a BBQ Dinner with a special menu: fish from Lake Batur called “Mujair”, served with white rice and locally-grown vegetables.

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images * Mujair is a tilapia. There will be an alternate food for those who do not eat fish. We will have to go to bed early tonight to be ready for tomorrow morning……

Day 7
Monday August 17thKintamani – Les
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

4625550367_8af44ea360_o copyStarting in the dark of the early morning (about 3 am), we’ll ascend to the highest peak and crater for a glorious sunrise and stunning morning views of the active volcano, Mount Batur. While there we will enjoy breakfast made by our guide, of tea and eggs boiled in volcanic steam.   During our descent, we will explore the three younger craters and the most recent lava flows while we take in the amazing volcanic landscape. The mountain is approximately 1,717m high, and the summit can be reached in about 2 hours from the starting point.

The first 1km of the trek is flat. The rest is more steep with lava rock underfoot. You must be reasonably fit for this hike. Pace will be set by our group. The weather is about 15 degrees Celsius and it may be windy at the top. A wind-breaker type jacket is encouraged. This is an intermediate-level hike, and requires nothing more than some decent stamina and a pair of hiking boots or sturdy shoes.

If you decide to opt out of this hike, you will have more time to enjoy the hot pools at our hotel!

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We will then return to Les and SCC for lunch. We will probably need a little siesta at that point! When we are ready, the fisherman guides will take us snorkeling at Les Paradise. A very short trek along the sea wall brings us to a place where we can walk into the sea and snorkel a beautiful section of the reef. On our walk back we will do a little beach clean up.

Dinner and to bed early after a long day!

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 * Watching the sun come up over the mountains will be an extraordinary experience that is well worth the early morning wake-up call and hike!

Day 8
Tuesday August 18th – Les – Menjangan – Permuteran
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning we will make the two-hour drive along the northern coast of Bali, to Bali Barat National Park where we will catch a boat to Menjangan Island. The uninhabited island is a must-visit for any visitor to Bali interested in marine life, snorkeling, or diving. Boats leave from the beach at Teluk Terima Bay with our park guide. The snorkeling here is probably the best on Bali with good clear water and calm seas. Beautiful coral and fish are plentiful.

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Our cook will have prepared box lunches for us to eat on the boat. When we have had our fill of snorkeling here, we will return to shore for a short drive to Pemuteran. This bay also has beautiful clear waters, and we will be able to view the largest artificial Biorock Reef Project in the world.  While there we will also be able to view the beautiful Coral Goddess sculpture.

We will then return to Les Village and dinner at SCC. After dinner we will have a farewell party with our hosts, guides, students and friends.

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*Sadly, this is our last evening in Les Village. The village gamelan orchestra will provide entertainment, and there will be a special dessert prepared by our cooks.

 

Day 9
Wednesday August 19th – Les – Ubud
Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, we will take the drive through the mountains, past traditional villages and farms of clove and citrus, to Ubud. We will immediately immerse ourselves in the many charms of Ubud and Balinese culture and spirituality with a Kecak dance lesson at Ibu Rucina’s performance center. Ibu Rucina has lived in Bali since 1974 and is an accomplished dancer and dance teacher, talented performer, and founder of Gedebrong Goyang, a comedic performance troupe comprised of western women, who perform skits and songs in Balinese and Indonesian for local audiences.

After lunch with Ibu Rucina we will enjoy a walking lecture through the Neka Art Museum. The Neka Art Museum constitutes a notable microcosm of traditional and modern painting, from past and present Bali. A visit to this museum is an educational tour that enlightens the visitor with information on techniques and the history of the development of art in Bali.

There will be some free time in the afternoon so you can explore Ubud, shop, or maybe indulge in a spa treatment.

DSC_2444 We will meet together again for a Yellow Rice Dinner at the palace, and then go on to a temple festival.

We will be staying at the Puri Padi Hotel again tonight and tomorrow night.

images* Ubud is renowned for it beautiful, pampering, and reasonably priced spas. We can recommend our favorite to you – Ubud Wellness Spa. There you can indulge in a traditional Balinese therapeutic massage, which uses a combination of palm, thumb, forearms and elbow. The massage is effective for relieving muscular cramps and soreness, as well as restoring energy flow, helping to balance the body, mind and spirit – for about $12 per hour.

Day 10
Thursday August 20th – Ubud
Meals – Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast at our hotel, we will be guided on a morning walk thru the village where the community system is explained, and we visit traditional Balinese homes. We will then tour the Goa Gajah temple. Goa Gajah dates back to the 11th century, and was built as a spiritual place for meditation. This temple is an archaeological site of significant historical value.

Upon return to Ubud we will be treated to a traditional Balinese drawing and painting class. After lunch, the afternoon and evening is free time for you. Dinner is on your own.

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*There are many wonderful shops in Ubud. We can advise you on where to buy a sarong, jewelry, or traditional Balinese art, if you are interested.  There are many yoga classes in Ubud, and yoga apparel is sold in many shops.

Day 11
Friday August 21stUbud – Denpasar
Meals – Breakfast

Today is free at your leisure until it’s time for the transfer to the airport in Denpasar for your departing flight.

images****Itinerary subject to change without notice.

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