Hey all! So I’ve now been in Bali for 3 nights and I’ve already done a ton! I’m staying in the city of Ubud, which is kind of the cultural capital of Bali. To start off my journey, my flight from Sydney was delayed an hour and a half due to storms. The plane ended up arriving in Bali around 9:45pm. Luckily, the girl I was sitting next to on the plane was also going to Ubud and said I could share the car she had hired to take her there. By the time we’d gotten through immigration and customs and met up with driver to leave it was around 11:15 and keep in mind that Ubud is a 45min-1hour drive from the airport. Naturally both of us are exhausted and just want to get to our accommodations and go to sleep. Everything was going fine until the driver decided he was hungry, stopped at a convenience store and stood out of the car to eat the food. Needless to say we were in shock and wanted nothing more than to just continue on to Ubud.
We finally made it to our respective accommodations and I went straight to sleep. For some reason I didn’t sleep super well that night and I woke up around 7am. This was probably a good thing however, because a few minutes later there was an earthquake. It was a very short earthquake and at first I just thought the person sleeping above me was shaking the bed. It was a 6.4, magnitude quake but it was so deep that there wasn’t any damage anywhere. It definitely made for an interesting start to my time in Bali.
The first part of my day was breakfast at the hostel. I decided to try their version of banana pancakes, which were really good and they wrote a cute message on them.
After breakfast I decided to check out the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Mandala Suci Wenara Wana, which is a 10min walk from the hostel. When you first enter the forest, there are people selling bananas for you to feed the monkeys with. I decided to try it and I ended up having a monkey sit on my head! The forest itself was really beautiful and was really nice to walk around. Within the forest there were a few temples, a small art gallery, lovely scenery and, of course, tons of monkeys that ran around without any concern for the people there, stealing anything they could get their hands on.
After the monkey forest I went over to a yoga studio called the yoga barn. I ended up eating lunch there first and got an amazing meal and smoothie for around $7 (see below)! After lunch I took an introductory yoga class. This week the yoga barn has a bunch of guest teachers so the teacher I had was actually an American guy named Sam Weinstein who normally teaches at a studio in Perth, Australia. Sam taught the class like a workshop, stopping us to look at people’s positions, sending around his helpers to fix our positions and really focusing on technique, which I really enjoyed.
Later that evening I decided to go see traditional Balinese dance called Legong and Barong Bangkal Dance. It was a really interesting form of dance that mostly involved small movements from the wrists, shoulders, fingers and neck. They also had very specific facial expressions as a part of the dance and even seemed to move their eyes at specific times. It was very cool.
My second day I decided to hire a driver and did a full day tour of things around Ubud. The driver was super nice and informative even though he was working on his English. I ended up having a great day! Here’s the list of things I saw in order: Tegalalang rice terrace, Gunung Kawi temple, Tirta Empul Holy Spring water temple, Satria coffee plantation, break for lunch at a restaurant, Tengenungan waterfall, the Batuan Village temple and then finally the arts village in which I saw silver works, stone carvings and paintings. It was a full day but absolutely wonderful. Below are a few highlights of the day.
This morning, my third day here I decided to do a sunrise trek up Mt. Batur, an active volcano. I was picked up at 2:20am, taken for a quick breakfast (a fried banana) and then we started the two hour trek up the volcano, in the dark. Unfortunately, some people in our group were in a bit of a rush to go to Gili after the tour, so our guides would only let us go up to the lower view point. While it was disappointing not to go all the way to the top, I still got to see a beautiful sunrise. We also got to check out the volcano’s crater and our guides informed us that the most recent eruption was in 2000! Though this eruption was without any lava.