day seventy-three: december 11, 2015:
After a casual wake up, we had another excellent breakfast at the Temple Lodge and headed to Ubud, where we stayed at an awesome Airbnb. Our host, Heather was from Australia and had built a large modern Javanese joglo overlooking some rice terraces just north of the center of Ubud. It was simply great. It was close enough to the center of Ubud to explore town, but also far enough away to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.
After our arrival, we grabbed a scooter and explored the area first stopping for some lunch at Babi Guling, famous for their roast pig. So yummy! But also your max cholesterol intake for a month, ha! From there we drove around town spotting some cool street art and then around the rice terraces and ended up in Petulu to watched hundreds, even thousands, of herons return from their day for their evening roost. Heather, our Airbnb host shared the following story about why the herons are there.
Many years back, a population of Balinese were killed by the government under suspicion of being communist. After this slaughter, the herons showed up in the small town of Petulu and haven't left since. It's believed that the herons are the souls of those who were killed. Crazy, right?!
For dinner, we ate at the Dirty Duck Diner and had Bebek Bengil or fried duck. Another yummy meal, thanks for the suggestion, Geron.
day seventy-four: december 12, 2015:
Wake up call was at 4 AM to head north on our scooter to Lake Batur to catch the sunrise. It was definitely worth it. Along the way, first light hit and the outline of Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali, was in the distance with a purple and pink haze surrounding it. As we arrived closer to Lake Batur, we pulled to the side of the road and to enjoy the sunrise. It was kinda fun adventuring in the darkness, not really knowing were we were headed then being rewarded with a beautiful sunrise!
After sunrise, we explored around the local villages around the lake and then headed back south to find some breakfast. After breakfast we headed to Goo Gajah (Elephant Cave) and then to Tirta Empul, the water purifying temple. We paid our respects and washed ourselves in the spring water.
Next we headed to Gunung Kawi. Googlemaps led us to the wrong place where we ended up in a small local village just above the old temple grounds. A local named Nyoman (which we found out meant third child) told us we could still get there from where we were and offered to take us thru the rice fields and down a small, steep hill to get there. We took him up on his offer and went for a little adventure thru the fields. We were so glad he came with us because after making our way to the temple, there would have been no way for us to find it on our own! He was very kind and didn't expect any money, I think he was simply being nice and wanted to practice his English. He told us about how he worked in the rice fields and how his English was self-taught via reading a dictionary and looking things up on Google. It was also cool being able to share what the U.S. and California were like because he had no idea. After our adventure, we headed back to our Airbnb and went for a much needed swim then headed out for some dinner at a small local restaurant, Manga Madu.
day seventy-five: december 13, 2015:
With an evening flight from Bali to Jakarta on our way to Sorong, we had most of the day to do some more exploring in Ubud. Today was a Hindu day blessing anything made of iron. Choki, one of our Balinese hosts, decorated our scooter for us.
We went to see the famous Tegalalang Rice Terraces only to find that they're quite touristy now and not that visually appealing, maybe we came at the off season?
Afterwards, we headed to the Monkey Forest and watched other tourists get attacked by monkeys. Worth a visit, but beware of the monkeys, they do bite and some do carry disease.
On our way back to the airBnB, it began raining and ended up pouring for the rest of the afternoon.
We arrived at Denpassar Airport and patiently awaited our flight only to find out that our flight was delayed after asking what was going on. We had allotted 2.5 hours of transit time in Jakarta between flights, but because of the delay, we had less than 45 minutes between connections. I headed straight for the checkin in an attempt to have the airline hold the flight while Jonathan waited for our bags. Thankfully, they were willing to hold the flight for us as Jonathan sped over from the other terminal in a taxi. After tagging our bags, they informed us that our bags would arrive the following day. This wasn't an option for us since we were boarding a boat for the next 11 days. After some short convincing they told us to carry our bags with us to the gate and then they would be put under the plane. Easier said than done since Jonathan had scissors and a knife/multi-tool in his checked bag. Security reluctantly let us thru and we continued to run to the gate and our waiting plane. Thankfully we made it, otherwise we most likely would have missed our cruise entirely. Let's just say that if we were in the US, there wouldn't have been even a chance that we would have made our flight. Sometimes things just work out. Peace out Bali, until next time!