Breezing down Batur

Normally we shop around for tours, but this time we decided to go with our hotel's recommendation for a downhill-cycling tour from Mount Batur.  Without knowing the details, we showed up at 8am and were taken by minivan to a mix of stops along the way to Mount Batur. Our first quick stop was at Tegallalang rice terraces, where we snapped a few pictures and hopped back in the van. 

We then stopped at a local plantation where we saw various coffee, tea, and spice plants, and learned about how Kopi Luwak is "made".  We also got to sample a whole bunch of different teas and coffees that they produce.  They were all delicious but our 2 favourites were the ginger tea and mangosteen tea. 

On our way back to the van, we also saw a Mimosa Pudica - a fern that closes when you lightly touch it!

We then drove up to a restaurant on the Mount Batur caldera, where we had breakfast while enjoying the view. 

After breakfast, we picked out our biking equipment and went on a 26km ride back down toward Ubud.  The ride was mostly downhill on paved village roads, so we barely needed to pedal (other than 3 very steep hills).

Along the way down, we also stopped at a few key area of interest where our guide gave us some information about Balinese life and culture.  A couple of interesting facts that we learned:
- Balinese normally have 4 children and they are always named the same based on birth order, regardless of if they are male or female.  The first born is named Wayan, 2nd born is Putu, 3rd is Made, and 4th is Ketut.  Since everyone is named the same, people often go by nicknames or their second names to help distringuish between each other.
- Located at the North side, Balinese villages always have a main temple and public area + school, where major ceremonies, events, and meetings are held for the village.  The more senior / important the family, the more North (closer to the village temple) they live. 
- Each family home within the village has a family temple, located on the East side of the property, and multiple buildings where the family sleeps.  Blessings and offerings are performed at the family home and temple every morning, and the most senior family members sleep in the buildings that are Northernmost.
- Family homes are handed down to the children.  Typically, after marriage, sons remain at the family home and daughters can choose to either move to their husbands home or stay at their family home to care for the older generations (ie. in the case where the family only has daughters or maybe the sons live far away for work).
- In Bali, both men and women work in the rice fields (on other Indonesian islands, it is usually just the men who work the rice fields).

The trip ended at the Bali Breeze Tours' home of operations for a buffet lunch, before being driven back to our hotel.