We have recently returned from Ubud. We have done a few walks around Ubud on previous trips, however, we had always wanted to do The Ayung River Valley Walk and had found it difficult to organize. Finally we found a wonderful guide who was recommended to us by an Australian couple who own a home in Ubud and spend many months of the year there.
Yandira has had many years' experience as a walking guide and he is also a driver. Prior to leaving Australia I emailed Yandira with what we were interested in doing and he was so helpful with advising us about the walk, what we would see along the way etc.
Yandira met us at our hotel and we immediately sensed that he had a lovely manner - professional, but friendly. We then drove to Sayan where we commenced the walk. Within a few minutes we were looking down at the amazing Ayung River. The countryside was beautiful, coconut groves, farming and jungle areas. The track was easy to follow and along the way Yandira explained to us about the cultural aspects of Bali and family life. He was very knowledgeable about the different types of farming, irrigation systems and was happy to answer all of our questions. We saw women taking black sand from the river and this is used for roads and building work - the sand is then put in a bucket type system and taken to higher ground by a pulley system - all done manually - very hard work! We crossed the river via a wooden bridge and then went through some rice fields to get to Bongkasa Village which is where Yandira and his family live. This is a lovely area and our walk ended at Yandira's Family Compound. We were shown around the compound and Yandira explained the layout of a Balinese Family Compound - the cultural, religious and family aspects. There was a large area where the cattle, chickens & vegetables gardens were. At the end of the compound was a steep drop down to the magnificent Ayung River. I have been to many Family Compounds in Bali and this was the nicest, most well organized one I have seen. It was a pleasure to meet Yandira's family and his lovely wife had made a delicious lunch for us - a great selection of chicken satay, pork, gado gado - this was then followed by a selection of Balinese desserts - one of the best meals we had during our stay in Ubud.
Pick up was at 8 and we were back at our hotel by 1.30. The cost was 300,000 IDR each.
I wouldn't normally post a report on TA, but I do believe there is a lack of information on walking/trekking guides in the Ubud region. This post may help people who like walking/trekking. The Ayung River Valley Walk was a real highlight of our last trip and this was due to the stunning scenery, and also having an excellent guide who is professional, personable and knowledgeable. There are other walks/hikes Yandira does. If you wish to contact Yandira his email is: firstname.lastname@example.org