Whilst in Sidemen Bali we wanted to trek the surrounding rice fields. So we did. It was described as a nice walk through the rice fields, over a river and through a village. This is exactly what it was, however we got more than we bargained for! In a good way though.
We met our guide Wayan at Indah Sawah Villas at 7am. I think we chose a good time. Not too early and back before it got too hot. If anything go earlier. Off down the street we went until we reached our route.
Straight up and into the rice fields we went. It wasn’t long before Mandy had one of her finest moments and took a tumble. Looked like an awkward slip but luckily she was all good. We continued.
All pretty standard rice terrace conditions really. Beautiful way to start the day. Then we reached the first river crossing. What was described as going over a river should have been described as going through the river. Off with the joggers and through we went. Sidemen had a lot of rain the previous night which made the river harder to cross. And Deeper. I was almost up to my waist and Mandy up to her belly button! Nice water temperature. Reached the other side. Camera dry. Us wet. Shoes back on and up we climbed.
A slight uphill climb and a couple of stone and log crossing’s later (over waterfalls) we reached the high point of the trek. Beautiful views from up here. Well really it was fantastic views the whole morning.
We continued on a concrete river edge for the main part now, with rice, Balinese chilli and other vegetables growing in all directions. Cows with their own little shacks to keep them cool was a pleasant surprise. I always assumed they were for people to escape the heat, but its nice that they look after their working animals. The presence of Mount Agung in the background really adds to the Landscape. It’s quite mountainous around this region as is lots of areas in Bali and throughout Indonesia. That said majority of the trek was quite flat.
We passed the Luah Village home to around 400 people. Everyone working on the land. Everyone we crossed were extremely approachable and friendly. Little English but who needs language anyway. Friendly translates to friendly in any language.
Then more rice fields. Then was the grand finale. The last river. Wider. Deeper. Faster than the other crossings. Our guide Wayan looked for the best spot to cross. We had three attempts before we found the safest and shallowest route across the rapids. After the first two attempts I handed the camera over to Wayan to get it across dry. Glad I did as I had a near slip which whilst splash and rain proof, our precious camera is not raging river dunk proof.
I had made it across and Wayan went back to help Mandy. Wow. Any deeper and Mandy would be just swimming. After re-shoeing and heading up through some stairs and rice fields we were shortly back safe and sound at the Villas.
We had such a great experience heading through Sidemen’s Rice Fields with Wayan. Yes the river crossings were not expected. Not sure why. But If I could create the best rice terrace trek I would definitely include a river crossing or two. Great experience.
Our Guide Wayan a born and bred Sidemen resident wore board shorts and thongs. He had definitely done his fair share of river crossings. He did mention our crossing was as deep as he would continue the trek through. If he feels its unsafe they will change route and not cross. Water crossings and all, we were super happy we wore our joggers. Yes they came on and off through the rivers but definitely better than thongs. Better grip and less chance of slipping, which is inevitable at some point through the slippery points on the rice fields.
We loved it, when in Sidemen definitely give it a go. Do it early in the morning so you don’t get trapped in the heat. Wear shoes and pants that you are happy to get wet.
We organised our rice fields trek in Sidemen Bali through our accommodation. We were staying at Sawah Indah Villas in Sidemen Bali.