Ubud 13th - 19th June 2015
Today we fly from Bandung back in to Denpassar. Sadly this was the lowest of my (Curtis) travelling experience, and marked the hardest flight I've ever had to embark on. After eating plenty on Indonesian food and loads of weird stuff while we were teaching with Kumis I just couldn't physically eat anymore of it and was craving some western food. We found a nice little restaurant and ordered myself a juicy pizza, freshly made in front of you (if you could be bothered to stand there and watch them). After all the stuff we've been eating and after 9 months of travelling I finally got what I had been trying to avoid for so long.....food poisoning. Fancy getting it from a pizza of all the things I've eaten. In hindsight I should not of ordered a meat feast of a pizza, convinced that it was the sausage meat (or whatever they used to make the sausage).
It only took a couple of hours to kick in and by 22:00 I was not looking and feeling my best. I pretty much had all symptoms for food poisoning, including a fever just to make things even more uncomfortable. Not getting any sleep I still had a plane to catch, our taxi there ready to take us to the airport at 03:30. As much as I didn't want to leave the hotel I fear that I'd embarrass myself along the journey some how, I just didn't really have much of a choice except to get on with it. Everything about the journey was horrible, I'd become extremely dehydrated and couldn't take on any fluids because my body just rejected it (to put it nicely). Poor Emily was having to cart both the backpacks around at times because I was barely capable of pulling my own weight. However, we did get the flight, I didn't die and we managed to get a taxi from the airport to Ubud without any really issues.
We got to Ubud and felt more in place mixing with other white tourists with no locals stopping us and asking if they could have a picture taken with us, although I do miss the celebrity feeling and the genuine curiosity and interest from the people on Java. Ubud was lovely and we could tell just from the drive through that we would enjoy our time here. We went straight to the hotel recommended to us from a friend we used to see at Uni (Chrissy). The hotel was a great shout based on a temple kind of theme. Really good vibes from this place and we didn't even bother looking around at other places, partly because I was still half dying, made worse by the fact that I still haven't been able to eat or drink.
Most of our day was wasted in our room while I slept and mustered the strength to move on. Towards the evening I was feeling a lot better, luckily the worst of it behind me now and went just down the road for dinner, Emily having something really scrummy while I stuck to my toast. Also managing to take on fluids and loading them with electrolytes we have on us for when we go scuba diving. We didn't hang around for long and went back to the room to watch the last movie we have on the iPad that we haven't seen, American Sniper (great movie actually, if you haven't seen it, you must!).
The day after I was much more mobile, although still not 100%, and made our way around the markets and centre of Ubud. Today was a very exciting day for us because it is the day that our good friends Richard and Becca join us. It was such a strange feeling getting ready to go out and meet people that we know from home, hoping that they didn't judge us on our traveller appearance and habits we've picked up along the way. We met them at a Restaurant called tropical where even though I really shouldn't have, managed to have a couple of beers. So great to be with these guys and had a nice catch up over the evening and planning what we wanted to do together over the next few days.
What did we do then you may wonder? Well we hired some scooters and drove around Ubud and even managed to find a small cafe called Sari Organic which is hidden amongst the rice terraces of Ubud, some of the paths getting pretty narrow hoping that Emily and I didn't fall into the swampy fields and secretly hoping that Richard and Becca did for laughs :).
We went to a silver jewellery making course which was great, even if I did get annoyed during the process of making my ring but it turned our better than I was expecting after if was polished. All of us did really well actually, Emily making two rings, Becca making a ring and a pendant and Richard making a huge pendant.
We did a cooking course to teach us how to make Indonesian cuisines which was also fun, and the food was fantastic, will definitely be practising some of these dishes when we are home. Before we started our cooking we walked around the food markets with our guide where the ingredients are bought. He showed us all the types of foods, spices, herbs and even cooking utensils that Indonesians used. It was also a great chance to sample the fruits that we have often been reluctant to try ourselves.
Emily and I hired some scooters and visited some rice terraces that climb the hills of Ubud. Very nice to look at and walk around. That evening while Richard and Becca were having a nice meal at some swanky restaurant in celebration of their third year together, we went to a little gem that really didn't look like much from the front but out the back the seating is amongst the rice terraces, nicely lit up while you dine.
Richard and Becca climbed mount Batur while in the area, leaving at 02:00 to get to the summit of the mountain for sunrise. Glad you guys enjoyed it, but with Emily and I still getting over the physical and mental abuse of climbing amount Rinjani we (gladly) gave it a miss.
This pretty much sums up our few days in Ubud, needless to say that there was plenty of good eating followed by some very nice drinks together.
On to the Gili Islands for our next adventure!!
C & E x