Spend a day exploring Bali’s west coast by bike, a fun way for outdoor enthusiasts to see the unique landscapes of western Bali. Our downhill ride from Belimbing to the coast takes you past small villages and breathtaking viewpoints to the black sands of the west, where there is time to relax on the beach.
Belimbing is located about 50 kilometres northwest of Denpasar. In this area you will find many beautiful rice terraces, plantations and typical Balinese villages. The area is ideal for hiking and cycling. The winding, hilly roads to Belimbing will leave a deep impression on your memory. In the picturesque surroundings of Belimbing, located in the province of Tabanan, you can also explore coffee and cocoa plantations, in addition to the natural beauty of the village and the healthy mountain air.
The best views of the rice fields in Belimbing can be enjoyed in the early morning or in the late afternoon. It must be a clear day, for rain and fog usually gives the whole village and surrounding a sad sight. The rice farmers are working on their land with the help of a buffalo. As rice grows abundantly in the area, the landscape is covered with a deep green blanket. It looks like a huge carpet of emerald, which is deposited on the slopes of the hills. The rice farmers have an intimate relationship with nature. When the harvest time, farmers cut the rice with a traditional tool, a sickle. They stand in rows and sing while they reap. Rice Harvesting is accompanied by celebrations and that is an opportunity for young men and women to know each one better.
In order to get the rice grains from the ears of the stalks they are beaten on a shelf, where a net ensures that it will be collected. This is all done by hand, usually by women. It’s women’s work; the rest will be done by men. The rice grains are measured in a bucket. If it’s a full bucket of rice it weighs just 10 pounds and they will put the rice in large bags of 50 kilos. They carry all those bags of 50 kilos on the head to a collection point. A pick-up truck brings the bags to another location, where the rice is dried in the sun. After drying, the rice is taken to a factory for the following process: the membrane around the rice grains is removed.
Previously, the villagers were obliged to work in the field, as the rice had to be hauled. Harvesting was done 3 to 4 times a year, because the rice terraces ar so rich on Bali. You could also buy off that obligation, and you were exempt, but few were able to muster only. Now, thanks to the (thankfully) growing prosperity, there are so many exemptions those immigrant workers from Java to Bali come to seek their fortune. Rice harvesting is quite heavy: tropical sun, dust burdened work to the blades to cut through the threshing of rice at large parts of the day.
At night the village Belimbing devoid of the sounds that are created by man. Only the chirping of crickets and night birds you can hear and that feeds the imagination of visitors. A visit to this delightful mountainous area is the best way to relax after a busy travel schedule.
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