posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ubud, Bali

Spent 3 days in Ubud and surrounding areas. Everybody I spoke to before the trip mentioned this town as the best place to stay in Bali. It's location in the centre of the island made it easy to rent a scooter and discover a bit of countryside too. Mornings were spent getting lost trying to find our way in a maze of little roads and villages. Buying a map didn't help as most villages don't seem to have a signpost with their name so pretty soon we had no clue as to how far we had gone and whether we were on the right road at all. Still we managed to get to lake Batur and the following day we visited Pura Taman Ayun temple and went to a coffee production site where al kind of coffees could be tasted including Luwak coffee, the most expensive coffee in the world as every balinese seemed proud to tell us! Some of the rice fields views up on the hills were really stunning and getting lost in those landscape was not as bad after all. Back in Ubud we stumbled on a funeral with a procession of carts and drummers following the parade. Most impressive was to see that the cheerful smile on peoples faces even at this time was always on show.  One evening we went to see the famous Balinese dancers at Ubud Palace, a display of wonderful costumes and hypnotic music played with gamelan and percussion instruments. Food has been a pleasant surprise and Indonesian food is really becoming one of my favourites with all its spices and the amazing natural flavours of all the ingredients. Balinese massage was also pretty effective in getting my stiff shoulders and legs some long deserved pampering. I must say Bali is also proving a  safe place to be; one evening we had dinner for a couple of hours and leaving the restaurant I realised my scooter keys were nowhere to be found. So we approached the parking spot along a busy street trying to figure out how much a Honda scooter could cost in Indonesia when there it was, untouched, keys still on! Shouldn't try that again though...
Next stop back to Sanur for some more relaxing time and sunbathing on the beach.