Monday, 5 May 2014

Blissed out in Bali part 1: Ubud

28 April - 5 May

The journey was over, not only the journey from the Thailand to Indonesia, but my personal journey from home to Bali. I was praying that it was going to be everything I dreamt of!

Arriving at night is never good though, and we were driven into the hilltop town of Ubud at speed, only capturing glances of what awaited us the next morning, including to my surprise an Accessorize store! The first thing I noticed when we got out of the car though was the stars. Thousands and in patterns I'd never seen before.

The following day we visited the market, which was filled with enough trinkets to fill a house, and at some very tempting prices. The town was beautiful and filled with arty shops and cute caf├ęs, each working hard to create an atmosphere of paradise, right down to the flowers in the waiters and waitresses hair. After a siesta, pre dinner cocktails turned into dinner in a garden which overlooks a stream and valley of palms.

The next day we followed the road to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. I had been expecting something like Monkey World back home, but the second we arrived I knew this would be different. The little rascals happily jumped on your shoulders, picked through your pockets and grabbed at the bananas we'd bought. So many of the visitors were scared or nervous, but I loved getting up close and personal with these cuties! The rains came over in the afternoon so we spent the rest of the day reading and relaxing at our home stay whilst watching it pour.

I was eager to see some of the countryside so we hired bicycles for the next two days. After packing some lunch we headed in no real direction at all in search of a good view and some beautiful scenery. We weren't disappointed, and found luscious views of rice terraces and fields before getting well and truly soaked in the rain. I can't say I didn't feel a little like Liz in Eat Pray Love as we cycled past endless fields; my bike even had a basket and a bell! They must have cut the scene of her heaving her bike up the hills in the pouring rain though!

After so much exercise we are in need of some pampering, so the next day after trading in some of our books at an independent shop, we got massages! It was honestly the most comfortable I'd been since getting out of my own bed 2 months ago, and I can feel the strain of carrying and heaving my backpack to and fro melting away.

As each day passes now, I feel more and more that I have quenched some of the wanderlust that is within me. I was desperate to get out of the UK and into the unknown, and I feel that I've accomplished that. Whilst I know I will always want to travel and see new places, I know I'll be happy to do so within the safety and stability of a regular life at home.

On our last day we decided its time to pick up some souvenirs. I'd been coveting something since the first day we arrived but the guy in the shop isn't budging on price. Luckily I found something very similar at the price I wanted soon after and left happy! At dinner we headed down one of the quieter roads and found a nice looking place that turned out to be one of the best meals we've had yet! Only when we are back at the home stay do we realise its the 2nd best reviewed restaurant in Ubud! No wonder they asked if we had a reservation.

Before we knew it we were packing our bags again and checking out of what has been the most lovely of weeks. Next we are off to Kuta where hopefully we will find some cheap cocktails and an opportunity to ride some waves!

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