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Bali, Ubud

semi-overcast 27 °C

October 9 day 5

We are sad to pack up and leave this morning but excited to see what new adventure await us.

Our new driver Bandi arrived to pick us up at 11 AM and we set off south through the twist and turns of the mountains. It was a very lush and picturesque drive, but I was sitting in the back seat and after a couple of hours had to switch to the front. The roads are extremely narrow with hairpin curves every few minutes. I don’t get motion sickness often, but this was just too much for me.
I am not sure how any foreigner can drive here, even the motor scooters which are the most popular mode of transportation zipping in and out of traffic look so scary to me. Dogs wandering on the sides of the road all seem to have such great road sense. I cringed a few times thinking we might hit one or two
But we aren’t going that fast, traffic is quite often gridlocked.

I had arranged a couple of stops for our long drive to Ubud and the first one was Handera Gate, which a Hindu temple gate and a very popular instagram photo stop. There was a line up and we watched all this beautiful young women with their lovely gowns posing for the iPhone. We realized we should have dressed up for this photo shoot.


Most of Bali is Hindu and the majority of sights and temples are all Hindu temples, Ganesh seems to be the fan favorite seeing the little elephant everywhere. A lot of Buddha faces and statues as well. Christians and muslims are on the island and all the religions live in harmony they say.

Bandi pulled off to the side of road to give us a view of Beratan lake. There were quite a few people at this rest stop enjoying refreshments from small cafes (warungs) nearby. There were three men, 2 of them very well dressed in Balinese outfits, one black and one white. We were told the one in white was a was a holy man. He really took to Doug and I, wanting lots of photos taken, he kept putting his arm around us and getting very close. He did not speak English but the others did and said he was 70 years old and had travelled to England, Canada, USA and many other places. They were going to a wedding that we had passed in the next town. It was hard to tear away from these guys, they became our new best friends

There was also a couple of guys at this pull off with a python and flying fox (Bats) to have photos taken with. I was convinced by him to hold the bat and have my photo taken which I am surprised that I did.


Our next stop was Ulun Danu Beratan which is a Hindu temple located on Beratan Lake. It was very busy with bus loads of people, many Muslim groups as well as others. It was a beautiful setting and we spent about an hour walking around the gardens, but now we are starving.


Bandi took us to a big restaurant but I didn’t like it, it was a Buffet with tour groups which I hate, so we found a very small Warung on the side of the road overlooking some fields and had a great lunch.

Arrival in Ubud was through a bunch of back roads which was very scenic and avoided a lot of the gridlock. Ubud looks very busy, many shops and cafes everywhere and lots of people. We finally arrived at a small parking lot and there were three people waiting for us with scooters. Our villa is up a a narrow winding path that is not wide enough for cars so we now travel the rest of the way by scooter.
As I got on the bike the skies opened. I said let’s go anyhow, the rest went under cover. Our suitcases were in a wagon at the back of one of the bikes and stayed under cover
The ride up the path was a bit hair raising, the rain got heavier and heavier. When I finally arrived at Satori villas I was dripping wet
Our villas is lovely, overlooking rice paddies and on the path to a famous walk called Kajeng rice field. We have the entire villa to ourselves , living room kitchen and huge outdoor deck with dining area. The second floor has two bedrooms with private bath and another deck overlooking the rice fields where we can watch the ducks and geese take care of the pests for the farmers


We have a private pool and a little casita with another king bedroom and private bath, outdoor shower, but we won’t be needing that
Doug Lana and our luggage arrived when the rain slowed down. Our three staff, Ketut, Wynan and Putu can’t do enough for us but left us to settle in.
The weather went from bad to worse. Thunder and lightning and torrential rain like I have never seen. It was so loud and the sky stayed lit the lighting was so constant.

We had a bit of fruit and chips that we brought with us and that would have to do for dinner because we were not going anywhere
Tried to have an early night but the thunder was so loud it was not possible for a while. When it stopped we had major fireworks happening close by for over half an hour and then very loud electronic music, boom boom boom until around 1AM or so.
One of the Kings children just got married and this is day three of celebrations. I didn’t mind, I kind of liked it remembering when I was younger and loved to dance to disco music
I did finally get to sleep.

October 10 day 6

A lazy morning. I sat on the upstairs patio looking out over all the lush vegetation and flowers around our property. We had a video chat with our son Taylor which was great. The rain stopped and we were hungry after only having fruit to eat, so we made our way down the foot path, dodging scooters on the way, and walking past many little shops and Hindu temples on the path.


This is an entrance to a resteraunt


We passed a ceremony of cremation with a procession that we were allowed to take photos of. Yesterday Bandi said that many people are buried when they die but every five years a lot of villages will have mass cremations and celebrations. We assumed this was one of them.


We met two young women from England who suggested the Lotus Cafe would be a good place to stop and they were right. It was lovely, overlooking a beautiful lotus garden with Saraswati temple in the background. This is known as Ubud water palace. Ubud is actually pronounced Eww booed.
Vegetarian food is on the menus here and so wonderful for me. I enjoyed an amazing Pumpkin spice soup ( happy Canadian Thanksgiving today ) and veg spring rolls with a lemongrass dip. The others had a chicken curry and we all had a ginger honey lemon iced tea. We will be back here for sure, it was fantastic food
After some photo taking we made our way down the very narrow, sometimes disappearing sidewalk passing many restaurants and shops. There are a steady stream of motorcycles and cars and people,noise fumes and very humid hot weather. We are melting.
Lana and I ducked into a jewellery store, ‘ Filthy Gorgeous Accessories’ The air conditioned store was such a welcome relief but the jewellery was divine! Lana ended up buying some earrings and Doug came in and bought me a stunning set of earrings and necklace and chain as a belated birthday present.

A grocery store was needed and after walking the narrow roads trying not to die for a half hour we grabbed a ride from a guy who took us to ‘Bintang’ a large store and he waited while we bought some provisions for the villa.

On the drive back traffic on the Main Street was stopped and a policeman held up,his hand for us all to wait as some kind of ceremonial processions went by. Apparently this happens a number of times a day.

He dropped us off at the parking lot but we were not able to reach our ‘staff’ to pick us up so we slogged the groceries up the hill which seemed to be so much further than it actually was.
The skies opened just as we got in the door, but we all put on our suits and jumped into the pool to cool down. Heavenly
Low key night

October 11. Day 7

A lovely lazy morning included a video chat with our son Mica and grandkids. After breakfast we turned right instead of left leaving our home and walked on the footpath past many beautiful rice paddies, some almost ready for harvest . This is known as Kajeng rice fields walk .


Eventually we came upon a popular warung called ‘Sweet Orange’ and stopped in for a cold drink and appy. Both were so delicious and we know we will be back again. It was hot but not too bad today, a bit of a breeze now and then. It’s the humidity than can take it’s toll.

When we got back home we were melting and the cool water of the pool was a very welcome sight

A nap followed by a light dinner and we set off to the Royal Palace to enjoy some traditional Balinese music and dancing. We got there very early after paying our 100,000 entrance fee ($9 Cdn). Chairs at the side, front row were scored which was great because they were covered and the skies opened to a downpour near the end of the performance. We really enjoyed the music and the dancing. We were glad for the brochure of the story of what we were watching which really helped make it much more enjoyable.



Thankfully we packed our umbrellas as it was a wet and soggy walk home.

As we sit contemplating going to bed we are serenaded by so many critters in the fields nearby. There are these little frogs that sound like lambs bleating, cicada's, geckos , something that sounds like it has the hiccups, confused roosters and so many sounds which are un identified. It is a loud and lovely chorus 24/7.

October 12. Day 7

Putu and Wayan arrived at 7AM to cook us breakfast this morning. Such luxury! The smoothie was dragonfruit banana and ice and was divine. Cost was 150,000 for the groceries and we gave them an extra 100,000. ($22 Cdn total) and enough left over for us for a couple more days too. We will also give a big tip at the end of stay as well of course. We will probably arrange this again one morning.

Doug and I then spent some time on a video chat with our youngest son Reese this morning who is at our house watching or dog Maggie on the first shift. All seem to be doing well.

Lana needed to find a bank or ATM so we set off to find one. It took four tries until we found one that worked, but success at last. Doug went off on his own for a bit, Lana and I went back to the jewelry store and she bought more earrings, and then we explored the Art Walk, a series of vendors down the sides of a car free road. We thought it would be artists selling their wares, but instead it was just more of the same of the road we travel every day, trinkets and clothing that is very low cost. We both bought some earrings and Lana got a couple pairs of pants.
The humidity was very oppressive again today. Doug seems to be staying cool as a cucumber while Lana and I are puddles on the ground.
Traffic on the Main Street is crazy busy.


We met back at The Lotus Cafe again for lunch which was again fantastic

There was another processions on the road, police stopping traffic. This one was mostly men, not sure what it was about.


A stop for a small gelato for the walk home was in order. The woman suggested I try matcha sesame, to which I turned up my nose but tried it anyhow. OMG. Amazing
Hot walk home up the hill so it was straight into the pool and a quiet evening once again.

October 13, Day 8

Located at the bottom of our pedestrian street is a taxi stand where we arranged a driver to take us to Tirta Empul Temple, a Hindu Balinese water temple famous for its holy spring water. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, God of water. The drive there was on small roads with lots of twist and turns that took us outside of the city and provided wonderful views of the countryside and small towns. We went though an area where there were so many shops selling art and home decor that looked like they would sell to other stores.

Lana and I were salivating at the shopping opportunity but only bringing a carry on suitcase saves us from ourselves.

We arrived at the temple in around half an hour or more and it is packed, tourists of course but many devotees as well. There was some kind of celebration with many people in their beautiful traditional dress and the woman with large offerings balanced on their head. Tourists could also go into the water for purification but we did not, it is really a spiritual event in my opinion and left for those of the Hindu faith.




It was a very special place for sure. We really enjoyed being here
Everyone had to wear a sarong, and if you didn’t have one they provided it for you


Walking the gauntlet, exit through the gift shop, we each ended up buying some articles of clothing and then met up with our driver, Eka to head for lunch. Eka is a lovely young tourism graduate, 29 years old with a great command of the English language and so enthusiastic. We took him for lunch at a small warung we found at the side of the road overlooking the rice fields of Tegalalang, which we will hike another day.


Arriving back home we had our afternoon swim and then relaxed.
A great day once again.

Posted by debbep 11:00 Archived in Indonesia Tagged ubud

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