Appreciating Bali Through Cycling & Rafting
On the third day of the trip, the entire convention was scheduled early in the morning for a bike ride along the countryside and white water rafting.
Cycling in Bali was an activity for us to appreciate and immerse ourselves in the environment. In Singapore, the activity is rarely done unless people are doing it for the sake of keeping fit or at scenic areas of Singapore such as along the East Coast Park. Compared to Bali, Singapore did not have anything to offer that was similar to Bali. Paddy fields, roadside villages and farms filled the scene as we cycled. Balinese people going through their daily activities such as manual washing of clothes, an uncommon sight. This was an experience not found anywhere in Singapore where beauty is overlooked by the quick-paced lifestyle.
In the middle of the cycling experience, we had also made a pit stop at a Ecotourism Coffee House. We had the opportunity to sample and taste a range of 14 types of coffees. Sampling the coffees made us feel like connoisseurs on a mission to taste the best that Bali has to offer. The coffee flavours offered were unique, ranging from durian flavoured to ginger favoured. Moreover, the coffee was accompanied by some traditional Balinese cakes which brought up an authentic Balinese feel to the entire activity. Once again, we were immersed in the beauty of Mother Nature. The view we had while tasting the coffee was amazing. It takes time for one to really immerse themselves fully into its beauty, ignoring everything else and appreciating what our eyes could behold. The activity provided us with a different take on nature and our outdoor environment. The locals, shops, open fields were common sights as we cycled on the hilly roads.
Rafting was an entirely new experience for most of us and what was most different about the activity was that our physical environment held certain history to it. Along the river banks, there were carvings onto rocks and boulders that were in the water and these carvings were of people. Along the river, mankind has definitely taken its beauty to their advantage. A few large resorts can be seen alongside the 13km river. There were also mini shops found along the river that sold food and beverages for any rafters on the river. These views were definitely not attainable without the teamwork and togetherness the crew on board. We had to go through many rapids, downslopes and boulders. We got occasionally stuck on the boulders scattered on the river. We had a pit stop at one of these mini shops and the delegates from other countries enjoyed their time with us, sharing experiences and stories over a bottle of drink with a few snacks. The environment coupled with the people around us made it a memorable journey.
We had the opportunity to be under a waterfall and it felt like a massage from Mother Nature herself to reward us after making it halfway through the river. This was one of the main highlights for many of us because it was something that was not readily available in Singapore.
In a bustling metropolitan state like Singapore, it is rare that one gets the opportunity to experience such adrenaline pumping activities.
The beauty of these places are not seen in Singapore, where tall buildings and concrete floors dominate the environment. We’re used to looking at grey concrete in Singapore’s environment that when we are presented with such scenic green views, we’re just taken aback. It really shows how such beauty is often overlooked or even shadowed by us.
Syahmi Rohaizan & Shawn Hoh
Diploma in Social Enterprise, Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Consumer Co-operative Society