On our second day in Ubud, we decided to check out one of the many tour operator stalls. We got our tickets to Gili T and decided that the White River Rafting tour looked fun. The river rafting cost us about R350 per person. I was keen on the Mount Batur hike (which is an easy hike up a volcano) but the 2am pick-up put me off.
We paid a deposit for the White River Rafting down the Ayung River with Ubud Rafting and left our hotel details with the guy manning the stall.
On the morning of the river rafting tour, my hubby wasn’t feeling that great and decided he couldn’t go. He insisted that the rest of the group still went. Apart from being worried about my hubby, I was worried about the river rafting! How would the rest of us be able to manage the boat without him?? He was the only one who had any experience with this type of thing!
We were picked up at 7am and to my surprise, the tour guy was very understanding and gave my hubby’s deposit back. It was a 20 minute drive to the river rafting tour area. We were greeted by some of the friendliest women I’ve ever come across! We paid the rest of the money due and were given a locker for our valuables. We wore rash-vests and shorts.
We put our cellphones in a waterproof bag that the staff kept with them on the boat. We hopped on the back of a bakkie with a bunch of other people and took a ten minute drive to another location. When we reached our destination, we were fitted with helmets and safety vests. I was feeling rather nervous at that point!
From there, we had to walk through a forested area, down many, many steep steps, down to the river. We weren’t given much warning but it was pretty exhausting. I was sweating like crazy!
Finally, we reached the river. Our groups were sub-divided and five of us sat in one river raft. One raft staff member was assigned to our boat (who does most of the work!). They gave us a quick safety demonstration and off we went.
The Ayung River is the largest in Bali! Don’t let that intimidate you – the river rafting is challenging but fun. The staff definitely do the majority of the work and keep you entertained all the while. We had fun ‘racing’ the other rafts and getting them wet. The Ayung River is beautiful and pristine. There are many hotels off the banks of the river that look really fabulous. We were at it for an hour before stopping and taking a break at a little stall along the river bank.
We stopped and jumped out at a waterfall. It was an amazing experience.
At one point, a man fell out of the raft and the staff did what they could to help him. Not too long after, the staff member said we could jump in the water and swim to shore. It was absolutely exhilarating!
After 2 hours river rafting, we washed off and took a short walk back up to the river rafting area. All the while, people tried to sell us things as we walked up.
At the river rafting area, we were provided with towels to dry off. We were then served our (paid for) lunch. It was an average meal but the tofu was quite enjoyable.
The river rafting was one of the most fun things I did while in Bali. If you’re sort of fit, definitely give it a go.