After the events of the past few days Ubud was a very welcome sight. Clean streets, quiet, and plenty to do a see. After we decided on our wonderful and cheap hotel, (me and han couldn't believe the amount we got for 10 pounds) we took a stroll around the town.
The town itself is not very big, and all in fairly close proximity. Not having an aim we just walk into the centre to have a look. It seems in Bali in general, but in particular in Ubud, what you can see from the street is nothing like what is hidden behind the walls. You just step off the street, through an archway; normally decorated with men with portly bellies, or tigers and dragons with bulging eyes, and you open out onto a small courtyard, with people praying, bits chirping away and cages, even a huge bat once! There would be shrines with gold, and scary images of men fighting mythical creatures, all with bulging eyes.
As we were walking we stumbled upon the main market in Ubud. This like any market found in the less developed world was just crammed, top to bottom with as much inexpensive produce as possible. There was clothing, or Batiks as they call them in Indonesia, wood carvings and sculptures, ornaments, fruit all wierd and wonderful and mostly very tasty, herbs and spices, most of which i hadn't heard of, lots of the local coffee, which smells better in the packets than actually as coffee. That's not knocking it, it's really quite nice.
After this Han an I stopped off for some icecream, dragon fruit flavour, the brightest pink i've ever seen, then moved onto the monkey forest. This monkey forest was full of Balinese Macaques. Now they look nice, and dosile, but really they're just greedy, and as i was about to find out, a bit aggresive.
As we were walking through we saw this south american couple feeding them with bananas; they would hold the banana high in the air and the monkey would climb up them to fetch the food. Amyway these monkey's seem to think i had food, and before i knew it i had two of them climbing up my leg around my back onto my shoulders. These were just little monkeys, and if i were to put a human age on them, i'd say they were in their early teens. I was having a bit of fun with these monkeys, but as we were walking away, the monkeys still on me, i saw this adult out monkey run an me, then bare its teeth and leap at my back. It's fair to say i was pretty, and i wasn't really aware of what to do, as i you could guess these guys had a serious case of small man syndrome, and me trying to scare this guy away of fight back would have just stirred it up. Anyway, i just kept walking with this terror on my back and he seemed to lose interest. I was rather relieved. And after thinking about Robbies experience with apes, realised mine was not nearly as traumatising.
The next day we rented the worst bikes in the world, and managed to get to Bedulu, a small settlement near Ubud, home of the Goa Gajah temple. We both got Sarongs for it, even though i wasn't sure i needed one, and Hannah failed to mention i looked like an arse in one. We saw the Hindu temple cave, carved into the hillside and then walked down to the Buddist temple, which had been reduced to huge boulders after an earthquake some decades ago. A lady said she would be our guide, and lead us to some unknown spots in the area, and we took it, which in hindsight does seem strange, but she took us on a trek through the jungle showing us these secret temples before leading us back to the mainroad, and all was well.
The afternoon after the heat of midday, we went to Sayan Valley, which has the Ayung river running through it. It's laden with rice terraces are far as the eye could see. We trecked through the valley for an hour or so, completely lost and taking in the views. After a while we decided to head back to the road, and had to ask the local rice farmers how to get back to the road. Eventually after crossing the using signs for cars we got directions and got back to the road all hot and sweaty, which the locals found highly amusing. We got a ride back with someone to Ubud centre and spent our last night in comfort, before heading off to Lovina the next day to see some dolphins
We got to Lovina, a dreary little seaside town around 3 in the afternoon, after passing over the central mountains and lakes inbetween. There is not much to Lovina, but it served its purpose very well, and went out to see at 6 in the morning of my birthday to see some dolphins. There were loads! Pods of little spinner dolphins all over the water. Non of them actually did their spinning leap, but there were many leaps that were just as impressive when seen so close. We left Lovina that day for Seminyak. We arrived, the weather was terrible, persistant heavy rain, which Hannah describes as wet rain... apparently there is two types. This is a concept i'm still yet to grasp. Finally we found a place, and went out for a lovely meal before we crashed into our beds at around 9, due to the early start that day.
We decided to get to Java early, so we left Bali on the 21st and took the 12 hour bus journy from Denpasar in Bali, to Probolingo in east Java. Due to road accidents the traffice throughout Bali was constant, and we got to the port in Gilimanuk, and got our first glimps of two conical volcanos of Java. We got on the ferry, and as the light of the sun faded, all we could see was the costal settlements of Java's coastline as far as the eye could see. We arrived in our Hotal in Probolingo at about 12 that night, and very much enjoyed out bed. We met up with Eva and her friend Louisa, and planned the rest of our stay in Probo.