Another taxi ride negotiation hassle at the airport brought us finally to the beautiful, well deserved VILLA BALI UBUD.
We got an upgrade - maybe because we were 2 of the 4 guests here -Amazing.
Activity wise, Ubud is famous for the water rafting, but since i nearly drowned on my second 29th birthday in Canada, i didn't feel the need to do that again.
But after I had so much fun on the scooters in Thailand, I thought it would be a great idea to discovered the area. Andy had never ridden a scooter, so he was up for it straight away.
We rode the whole morning through stunning rice terraces, passed the cutest little villages and millions of temples.
The traditional Balinese home is built as a compound housing both immediate and distant family, with an ornate temple in the center. It’s amazing to see a mini-temple in front of every home. All decorated with flowers and food for the gods. Randomly on the pavement you will find flower baskets, including rice and biscuits as well, those are to get rid of the evil. ( The wild monkeys and dogs running around are also happy about those freebees)!
Incense are burned everywhere. It's such a nice atmosphere and feels very magical.
Andy was doing quiet well so far, until we stopped in town to get some lunch.
Andy parked first and I drove a few more metres to find a spot.
But all of a sudden, Andy came shooting out his spot, passed me, very wobbly, panic in his face, far too quick, and sure enough just 2 m in front of me he fell.
Was lying on the floor like a beatle, but managed to get up quick, sitting on his scooter and drove off. I was shouting at him" what did you do, what did you do"? Apparently he lost control and as gas and brake are on the same hand - he pressed both.
The funny thing is, if you let Andy tell that story, he was riding a huge Harley Davidson and had a very big accident. They nearly had to amputate his leg and he was Injured for weeks...( Nat you will love this, I always think about the appendix story now).
We also booked a silver making class at one of the hundred jewellers. Sat outside on a little wood table and got taught how to make a ring. Andy decided to make me some earrings, very sweet. Super interesting and so much fun. A memory forever.
Monkey forest after- a huge forest, with 1000's of monkeys and a few temples. Don't feed the monkeys and be aware they might jump on you...ok! Sure enough, one money jumped on Andy and started to pull on his hair. You cant touch them or through them down, as they might get angry and bite. But fortunately one of the keepers saw us and frightened it off. His whole tee was green and brown, but even better was for sure the fear in his eyes when the monkey sat on his shoulder.. Unforgettable.
Cycling tour the day after: pick up in the morning, uphill in a van, downhill bike.
Stopped on the way on a coffee farm, where they showed us how to make the special Balinese " cat-coffee". Soft coffee shell eaten by a mongoose, coffee bean stays in the stomach and eventually gets pood out. Collected of the floor in the jungle. Beans roasted & ground = cat coffee, or LOWAK coffee. Super expensive and not sure if it really tasted so much better.
Drove further up to 1300m high, stopped at restaurant for the famous banana fritter with view on the 2nd highest, still active volcano.
Then we finally starting cycling. Passed villages, through rice fields, visited a temple, went into a family house. The guide was so good. Explained us everything super well and I learned more about religion and Hindus that day, then in my whole life.
Must say this religion is the most fascinating. ESP in Bali, where everybody practises it. Such an old tradition and so nice to see how young and old and whole villages life together.
Not the best time to visit Bali, or maybe even Asia weather wise .It had rained every day. I actually think I brought the rain with me from lovely Holland. Apart from Adelaide it rained everywhere so far. But on the other hand, everywhere is really quiet, which I actually much prefer.
The town of Ubud is even more magical than any book or movie. EAT, PRAY, LOVE does make sense here. (But have to say, Balinese food is not the most vegetarian friendly.)
We left the island with a renewed spirit.