Paddy fields in the south of Bali are disappearing at an alarming rate to make way for development so it was refreshing to see blankets of rice paddies stretching across the landscape behind our accommodation in Ubud, central Bali.
Every morning we’d look out from the balcony on the roof of our apartment and see a family of ducks waddle past the cattle tied to the fence. We never saw a farmer. If we had, we would have asked permission to wander the fields, but after a few days of no-show we decided to take a chance and go exploring anyway.
The narrow concrete path ran past the back of our accommodation, which we kept to until it turned into a wooded area with fenced-off veggie patches running along its perimeter. The still secured cattle swished flies off their backsides and wet snouts with long tails, while the ducks scurried away as we approached.
Deftly walking along the raised grassy paths between the paddies, the girls sauntered through the fields as if they’d done it a hundred times before while I wondered who was going to be the first one to get wet.
It was of course me, but only by half a foot – quite literally. It could have been worse!
Guided tours are available in many parts of the island, but if you don’t mind going it alone I suggest you veer off the main roads and head into the back fields.
If you’re looking for a more challenging walk, head to Campuhan Ridge Walk – a nine-kilometre nature trail running above the rice terraces in the highlands.