EXPLORING UBUD BALI
The day is finally here!
I'm on this two hour flight seated at the absolute anus of the plane,super uncomfortable cause we can't recline.Come to think of it,you know that whole emergency procedure thing where we have to bend and hold our heads incase of technical failure? Yeah! It's impossible here,we'd just have to wing it and hope for the best,
I was really hoping to get some sleep.Through this 3 day journey I've only got a maximum of 4 hours sleep,I'm right exhausted but then again,no rest for those getting wickedly Lit! Also,this plane ride is definitely the most uncomfortable one I've taken ever!
My first stop was to go meet Hattie and Sammie then drive down to Ubud,our first stop to meet Annelie whose been here a good four days already.
The immigration lines at Ngurah international airport are insane but bearable,it took about 30 minutes to get processed.Once I picked up my baggage,I had the unceremonious honor of being selected for a random baggage check,I thought it was going to be a quick look see but no,the man emptied the whole bag while asking me all sorts of questions about Uganda and why I'm here.
I didn't mind,he was just doing his job,I had nothing to hide and quite frankly I've seen way too much Border Security to have an attitude at this point.Finally leaving the airport,I got a taxi to Palm Springs Kuta Bali where Hattie and Sammy were waiting for me.Nice pool,rooms not so much.We hang around till check out ,left our bags at reception and went exploring.
Kuta beach is beautifully lined with all these exotic villas and restaurants. We headed down the sand to see the ocean up close,The sand was fire and brimstone hot!Indonesia was definitely going to be a scorcher!
Running away from the pain, we found a lovely restaurant called Ocean 27.Swanky place,the kind I like,we got a table in the pool,an experience I've always wanted to have,the water was very relaxing.We had lunch,Tuna for me, and hang around for about an hour before decided to leave Kuta for Ubud.
We got a taxi,and took on the scene,it's a clean pot hole free country.I loved the architecture,an eclectic mix of Indonesian and a few western inspired designs,just beautiful!
On the way the taxi driver suggested we stop at a coffee plantation. Since we had time,we went for it,a good decision that turned out to be.
The plantation was small scale,very green and smelled divine,here they do different types of coffee,cocoa and vanilla, we were also offered some free samples and the chance to buy some of the legendary Luwak coffee,that will be a story for another day.We arrived in Ubud about an hour and 30 minutes later.
To get to our hotel,we had to take back alleys.Alas Green Lagoon is very beautiful!. Rustic with Indonesian design and rice paddy views. We had two rooms,i bunked with Hattie while Sammy,who is a lovely girl by the way was bunking with Annelie.Surprisingly Annelie hadn't checked in yet but she came through about 40 minutes later.
The,let's call him manager of Alas was very friendly and welcoming,he came through to take our breakfast orders and also answered inquiries we had.We had pre drinks with the gin I brought over and I took the time to get acquainted with the girls as Annelie had arrived too at that point.She's great too.We were definitely all going to get on so well .
We met a resident of the place,I don't remember his name,for some reason I kept thinking his name was Keith,he looks like a Keith,so I'm going to call him Keith.Keith came to Indonesia for about a week and 11 years later has never left! Settled in very nicely and is pretty much a local at this point. He told us about this little restaurant ,Warung Gauri,that does Indonesian food,so we went over for dinner.
The food was good,but could have been better,it took a while to get to us and was cold.We then ventured into town,looking around for a bar or watering hole of any kind.
All we saw were tons of shops and restaurants. I was starting to lose hope when we stumbled on a place called Bamboo restaurant and bar. They had a live rock band doing covers of famous rock songs,they were simply brilliant! Those were some strumming skills that gave one wild thoughts if I ever saw them! The girl's got cocktails in,I had juice as I still had four days of medication!
Ubud gets pretty dull after 11pm with most of the bars and restaurants closing or closed. We went back to the hotel and it was lights out for me,4 hours sleep in 3 days hit me hard.
I had never really understood the concept of jet lag until now! There are no words to describe the fatigue I had,the whole time difference thing doesn't help either. In the morning we had breakfast at the pool,then headed out to the Ubud Monkey Sanctuary.
The monkeys here are so cute,particularly the babies,we walked round taking lots of pics staying for about an hour. The sanctuary had a beautiful temple and the most lush jungle canopy going on.That being one said 30 minutes in I was over it. I mean you see about 40 monkeys you've seen the whole clan.
When we were done,We decided to head back to the hotel,stopping for some gelato.I bought a dream catcher souvenir and some local fruit at a stall,dragon fruits and something called Balinese Salak,a delicious type of tropical fruit.
The lady at the stall was so friendly !Indonesians as a whole are some of the friendliest people ever,so polite and nice.I took a much needed nap while the girls had themselves a swim,Later on we went out for an early dinner at the Black Pearl,a Pirates of the Caribbean inspired restaurant. Very nice decor and the food was very delicious.I really liked the theme and the skull cocktail glasses did it for me!After dinner,We then went to Ubud Temple for a cultural dance performance.
It was interesting in that the dancing often came across as some somewhat strange choreographed multiple seizures,the music became pretty monotonous 13 minutes in and had we not had programs,we would never have been able to follow what was happening.Something about two giants wanting to conquer heaven getting seduced by the ultimate nymph god thus straying them from their mission.It had its moments but wasn't exactly all that,you're not missing much of you skip out on it.The costumes were very pretty though.
An hour later the performance was done so we went to Bamboo which was having a reggae themed night,We opted to skip that and went further down the road to the XL Shisha bar,great music,food and of course the Shisha!
We played charades and later got to see a good cover band.By11pm the bar was closing so we headed back to the hotel and called it a day as well.
For day 3,we thought of checking out the Hanging Gardens, an incredibly lush hotel with what has been described by some as the most beautiful pool in the world! however once we looked into pricing ,it was way too high(about149£) just to hang out and swim.
We then went to Bali Swing for some adrenaline packed fun.The place offers 3 swing sets overlooking some really cool panoramic views,great for photo ops!Hattie opted out as she had no trust in the palm trees holding the swings together.It was a good thrill,not too scary.
Sammy found this hotel online, Royal Pita Mata Hotel,hands down the most beautiful hotel I have ever experienced in life!This hotel is the bomb and a lot more affordable,about 14£ to swim. The greenery,architecture,koi ponds,3 infinity pools made for an incredible experience! The kind of place to have a dream honeymoon.We had a light lunch by the rapids and watched different people do white water rafting.
So cool! The girls wanted to swim,I wasn't particularly interested in the pools,I've always wanted to see an infinity pool but that's about it,swimming isn't exactly my go to activity.They'd been talk of going to a waterfall which is what I wanted to do more than anything.
So while the girls went off swimming and exploring I stayed by the pool by the Lagoon,enjoying the serenity that iit offered. Bugs haven't really been an issue but out here at Royal,they've got these really tiny bugs that bite relentlessly! Very irritating in the beginning but you learn to ignore them.
We stayed at the Royal place till about 4:30,called the taxi guy who picked us up 30 minutes later.Wonderful hotel in every sense of the word!Great shout Sammy!
We then drove to the Tenenugan waterfall. The driver suggested we stop at this butterfly farm,which would have been great but none of us wanted to pay the entrance fee,so that was a bust.The water fall has a steep flight of about 162 steps,going down is a bitch but climbing them on the way back turned out to be one so painful! But I'm getting ahead of myself.....
The sound of the waterfall as you approach is deafening. As you descend,you catch glimpses of it until finally there it is,to be honest,it's not the most impressive water fall out there,I was a tad bit underwhelmed on account of my imagination but really,it was nice,Photo ops took a good few minutes.
Clearly this was a good time to go as the sun going down rendered the place cool and refreshing,Also there weren't that many people there.The water fall closes at 6:30 pm.
Yes those stairs from hell! I like to think I'm a relatively fit individual but damn! I needed several moments in between ascent.Finally we got to the top,and stopped for some coconuts.
These coconuts were massive,I found them heavy to carry.the water was the most refreshing taste ever,and the bits of flesh were very soft and tasty.A wonderful treat,I felt like I'd had a meal when all was said and done!
We got the taxi back to Ubud,stopping at one of the restaurants on the strip,Nicky's pension something.Very good food and clean toilets!
Thinking of desert we went down to Black Pearl,they were out of crème brûlée so in the end only Annelie had dessert,Chocolate lava cake,she let me have a taste,most epic chocolategasm ever! I should look into this cake at a later date and have my way and time with it.
We went back to the hotel as we had to pack up since we had to be early to catch the speed boat to Gilli Tarangawan. We settled up the bill while the owner,who'd clearly forgotten to book our tickets like we'd asked a day earlier messed about and told jokes.Odd fella that one,definitely a random sense of humor I wasn't about.A good 40 minutes later,all packed and freshly showered,we got into bed and called it a day and general stay in Ubud.
I absolutely loved Ubud,yes it's touristy but still maintains the local scene,architecture and those rice paddy's with the loudest frog mating calls and crickets is the most wonderful sound ever.Such a great start to the trip.
Ubud,it was real,may we do this again someday.x