If you ask me if I’m an adventurous person,the answer would be ,“yes but with the safety latch always firmly in place” .A new experience minus a high risk factor is what I’m game for. When I first came across an ATV ride through the rice fields of Bali it sounded perfect for me !
In Bali they are referred to as Quad rides. In the past I’ve only seen these All terrain vehicles being ridden by the beach front or on sand dunes in the desert. What enticed me was at the the thought of riding it in a landscape that was so unique to Bali and so different from any place else. In fact it was the first time I had heard of such an outdoor adventure.
The rice fields near Ubud were about an hour away from the beach. Looking at all the mud splattered pictures of the Quad ride on the website,carrying an extra set of clothes seemed the smart thing to do !
As we leave the shores and approach the middle of Bali,the topography undergoes a vivid transformation. The wide roads give way to narrow streets that are dotted on either side with typical Balinese influences.I was immediately glad that I had taken the time to venture to the centre of this beautiful island. As we travel past the terracotta roofs with it’s carved corner flounces and little flower and fruit offerings inside woven palm baskets inserted into nooks and cranies one can catch glimpses of the rice fields that tempt you with it’s vibrant green !
Standing in front of them,these vast rice fields steal your breath away with their magnificence. It’s only then that you understand why a visit here comes highly recommended.The green that is unique to young rice crops stretches as far as the eye can see interspersed with coconut palms,native flowering bushes and water canals.The fact that I was soon going to ride through those fields on an ATV was so exciting.
The place where we rented our quad bikes was called ATV Kutri and was situated not far from the shopping highway of Ubud. The owner and his staff had our vehicles ready as per our prior booking and not a moment was wasted after we got there. Clean,shiny ATVs were at our disposal to take a quick trial run before hitting the streets. It’s a good thing to get the hang of maneuvering beforehand because it needs a bit of practice, no power steering here ! Helmets are mandatory and a guide is sent along for each ride.The shorter 40 mt trip that I opted for goes through the rice fields while the longer one also goes through small rivers as well.
The actual ride begins when we turn off into the rice fields from the main road. The terrain looks smooth and hard but once the tyres hit the fields ,you realize just how deceiving looks can be ! I had to stifle a scream as one big tyre dipped precariously into a muddy crater before it effortlessly rolled out. A little more leg action on the throttle sends it lurching forward and makes the ride more thrilling.When the path narrows to incorporate the water canals on either side you have to take care that you don’t send yourself diving headlong into those canals!At one point we had to climb a slope sideways at a gradient that seemed to defy gravity.Instinctively I’m trying to balance lest I get tipped over,that’s when you realise just what these sturdy vehicles are capable of ! These ATVs could go upto a speed of 60 kms per hour which is quite fast when one takes all the bumps and dips into consideration.
With just the right mix of pot holes,turns,climbs and slopes, peppered with gasps, laughs and pristine vistas,this was a ride I thoroughly enjoyed.Inside the field where we ride on fully paved roads is when we get the chance to ease off concentrating on driving to glance about at the people hard at work around us. With children in tow,they look up,wave,nod and smile as we pass by !
The quad ride is undoubtedly a special way of experiencing Bali ! I urge you all to try it !
Singapadu Tengah Sukawati,
It’s cheaper to get there by taxi rather than to have them pick you up from the hotel
Prices for rides can be bargained to arrive at a good deal
A waist belt or a cross sling bag is the best option to carry valuables during the ride.