We’re back from 12 glorious days in Bali. As we visited four different parts of this beautiful island I thought I’d blog in four installments. Our first destination was Ubud which is about one hour’s drive north of the airport. We were returning to Ubud after an 8 year gap and we certainly noticed a lot of change. Bali, like everywhere, has grown and the road that used to be lined with many rice paddies is now lined with houses and businesses.
We stayed at the peaceful and intoxicating Ananda Cottages where we had stayed back in 2002. It was interesting to see what the boys remembered. We had a family unit and the boys were downstairs and we were upstairs. Day couches, large balconies, huge beds, frangipani and hibiscus on the beds, side tables, and on the stone carvings in the outdoor bathrooms…yes, we were back in Bali! Ananda is surrounded by emerald green rice paddies and in the morning you wake to the soft brushing of the brooms, the clucking of the hens and to the sweet smell of incense as the morning offerings are put in place.
We had five nights in Ubud and combined lazing around with sightseeing….the afternoon heat of Bali demands you do nothing but swim or read….perfect! Having been there before we didn’t feel the need to rush to see everything which made for a relaxing visit. We checked out the Royal Palace, had some fun haggling at the market and I hit the spa for a massage and body scrub. Bliss!
We saw the Kecak and Fire Trance Dance which was spectacular. This is the only dance without a Gamelan orchestra; instead 100 men, dressed in sarongs of black and white checked cloth sit in a circle on the stage and chant. This is Rama and Sita’s famous love story and the rich costumes were icing on the cake of the talented dancers.
The boys had a session learning to play the Gamelan and the Rendang (bamboo xylophone but a different octave) and every evening (before the world cup started 😉 ) music would waft across the Koi pond as we ate in the restaurant.
Talking restaurants brings me to the subject of food. You can eat like a King for a song in Bali and we tasted food from roadside stalls to first class restaurants. The flavours range from subtle to full on hot-chilli. DH and the Lad are addicted to satay and this is the the place to eat it! I love the Indonesian food too and I am fond of the tropical fruit at breakfast….papaya, pineapple, mangosteens, rambutans, water melon. Juices are popular here and they juice anything including avocardo!
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about white water rafting, riding elephants and the water temple, but meanwhile I’ll leave you with some photos of Ubud to give you a sense of the place…quiet, serene and beautiful.