Adeng Adeng – Bali’s first buffalo beach-taxi

Adeng Adeng means “slowly slowly” in Balinese and it is a phrase that’s used a lot out here on Bali‘s remote west. There’s little reason to rush, and the name fits perfectly with Pak Sudana’s unique beach-taxi.

30 years ago there were countless cikar (buffalo carts) carrying produce and workers along the beach here. Today buffalo are increasingly rare on the island and only out here in the west will you ever find the animals still tilling the paddy fields. Most buffalo today are raised for use in mekepung and it’s conceivable that without this brutal form of buffalo-chariot racing, the powerful animals could soon be extinct on the island.

Pak Sudana has raised buffalo for many years, cutting fresh grass in the hills twice a day to feed them and leading them to cool rivers where the animals spend much of the day bathing in true buff style. Now he’s saved a matching pair of prized “pink” buffalo from a potentially cruel future as racers (or endlessly long days of toil in the paddies) by reviving a Balinese tradition that pre-dates even mekepung.

Hours are irregular but if you look on the beach in the hours around low tide you’re likely to see Pak Sudana’s buffalo emerging slowly from the coastal mirages.

Medewi-Pulukan-Pekutatan

Bali’s first buffalo beach-taxi now shuttles visitors between Medewi (the Low Tide Yoga pondok) and Pekutatan (Puri Dajuma hotel). The journey takes 20 minutes with three river crossings and the unique experience costs just Rp50,000 per person, one way (US$3.75). Just stick out a hand and flag him down. Ask nicely and he’ll probably cut you a fresh coconut too.

The pace is adeng-adeng…because that’s how it ought to be in West Bali.

Three shallow river crossings are highlights of the trip from Medewi to Pekutatan

Three shallow river crossings are highlights of the trip from Medewi to Pekutatan

A traditional ceremony was held to bless not only the cikar...but also the precious buffalo.

A traditional ceremony was held to bless the cikar…and the precious buffalo

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