Wild water rafting / by Marek Charytonowicz

Bali was a spontaneous idea to relax a few days on the beach where the weather is guaranteed because unlike Vietnam it’s not raining season in full swing yet. And I must say it was a splendid idea (thanks Sian), sun, surfing lessons, amazing sea, great waves. But I didn’t think about sightseeing, I haven’t even bought a guide.

The white water rafting trip gave me the opportunity to get out of the ultimate tourist destination being the Kuta Beach and see a bit more of rural Bali and although before I couldn’t say much about the island, now I must say it’s beautiful and picturesque. The countryside is intensely freshly green, with silhouettes of volcanos on the horizon, rice fields spreading everywhere and houses with beautifully decorated shrines flanking the road.

The van takes us to a small village that sits only 10 km from the spring of the small but feisty river. There are more houses offering rafting, it must be a flourishing local business. Safety jackets and helmets on and there are three of us and a guide in a large pontoon going swiftly down the river.

The experience is fantastic, you paddle from time to time to avoid larger rocks and roughly correct course but the river just carries you, among swirls and turns created by large boulders sticking out of the water. Sometimes your feet feel the hit of some hidden ones despite inflated floor of the pontoon. It’s fresh and the heat of the sun is suddenly dispersed by splashes of cool water all over you as you turn around and around going down the river between lush green walls of a small canyon covered in roots of trees and vegetation with little waterfalls washing your head from time to time. From time to time little canyon opens and you can see narrow stripes of rice fields on both sides with palm trees sticking out from time to time. It’s a beautiful landscape, the most picturesque rural area I’ve seen across my journey and now I wish I had more time to see Indonesia as this is only a small village area and there must be so much more. I can’t even imagine a sunrise from one of the volcanoes.

Rafting is a great fun and ends with a five meter steep slide / jump down a small dame. That’s when the last dry threads finally get wet too. Then a simple diner and ride back. I’m definitely up for more rafting back in the UK…