We walked around the monkey forrest for a bit before we got some lunch and a message. Most places you could get a full body hour message for about $7-$10. We chilled for a while, then went to a restaurant where we were the only ones there, on Monkey Forrest Road (it was beautiful!) before grabbing some tea and coffee at a place before going back to the hotel.
The next day we got up really early to go for a hike up Mt. Batur (the volcano we mentioned earlier) to see the sunrise (you can see Lake Batur at the base). There was a French couple that we went with; funny enough the girl was a vet of about 2 years! They were really nice (we lucked out having only one other couple with us on all of our adventures, which usually are fairly large groups, and both were very lovely. We had a bit of a drive, about 1 hour, then we stopped for tea/coffee and a breakfast of banana chocolate pancakes before the hike. We were given torches and started our decent in the dark. Once we got to the top it was getting much lighter, unfortunately it was too cloudy to see the sunrise, but we did get to see the view a few times when the clouds parted, it was magnificent!
Oh, I should mention that a guy hike part of the way with us intending to sell us soda when we got to the top (they will take ANY chance to try to sell something), he finally asked us if we wanted to buy anything at the top, and since none of us wanted to, he went back down again. Can you imagine climbing up there every morning before sun-up just to try and sell to some people, who probably wouldn’t partake, a few cans of pop!
Our guide brought us over to an area away from all of the other tourists, which was really nice. While we were up there we met a pregnant dog (imagine going up there to have puppies!), and our guide made us some banana sandwiches. After sitting for a bit trying to catch the sunrise that never really came (and I had to borrow the French guy’s extra coat and David one of the guide’s cause we hadn’t brought any...it was quite warm down below) we walked on. Our guide showed us some areas where steam was coming out of the volcano (when he blew on his cigarette towards it it amplified the steam), and then we went into a cave and then hiked over to an area where he cooked some eggs in the steam of the volcano for us. We descended a different way than we had come up, and walked through an area that looked like old foundations for houses. It turns out those are permanent camp sites for people to set up semi-permanent homes for when they come to prey at the base of the mountain.
The white skirt that goes all the way around the mountain was put up recently and it took about a day and 20,000 people to put up. It represents a skirt a person would wear for ceremonies.
On our way back to our hotel we stopped at some rice paddies to take a picture, but left quickly because of all of the hockers trying to sell things. It’s really annoying and sad that you can enjoy the beauty of Bali in peace! We also visited another place that grew coffee and fruits, like the other place we went, but this wasn’t a neat. David and I did buy some fruit.
That night we went to see a Barong dance in one of the temples, it was amazing! We then went to a wonderful restaurant where, once again, we were the only patrons. There are restaurants upon restaurants, so it’s no wonder so many of them are empty a lot (at least in the non-high seasons), even if they are really good! After dinner we took an alternative route back to the hotel, visiting the most amazing restaurant where you could also order ....., but we didn’t, we just ordered some drinks and sat. The atmosphere was so amazing, I wished I could bring that place with me. There weren’t a lot of people, but I can assume that it is really popular amongst the backpackers in the high season.
After Ubud we got a taxi down to Kuta, where most Australian’s usually go to party (and often go only there, which is sad I think). We knew it was a party place, but we decided to spend one night to see it, but mainly because it was close to the airport and were going to be flying out the next day to Lombok. We checked into our amazing hotel (the room wasn’t fancy, but it had AC and cable TV, and a comfy bed etc. so was perfect, but the pool area was amazing!). We spent most of our one day there at the hotel swimming (we almost got another massage there, but unfortunately didn’t) and watching TV. We did go out for dinner and then went to the beach, where you can get some chairs and sit and watch the sunset if you get a drink, which we wanted anyway. It was lovely. I was having a tiny case of Bali Belly at the time, only enough to make me feel kind of weird and a bit more picky of what I felt like eating, but that was about it. The next morning we ate at the hotel restaurant cause it was free, then we caught a taxi to the airport where we got on our flight to Lombok. And thus ends our first week in Bali!
To be continued...