We initially were only going to spend one full day in Ubud, but ended up staying 2 full days – I’m glad we did. This city is still touristy (it seems the entire island of Bali is touristy), but a much calmer kind of touristy than Kuta Beach. I also came down with a cold, so it was a nice place to just relax for a bit. This is the type of city that you’d find back home – there are nice boutiques, great restaurants and everything is for the most part, pretty well manicured. I think it’s the kind of place my parents would like to visit. That being said, I really like it here. It’s fun to peruse the art shops – I got all inspired and ready to buy art, but then ended up empty-handed. Shipping stuff home is costly and I’m already at the peak of my baggage weight limit for my Air Asia flights. The first day we did a walk that went on a ridge between two rivers. It is stunningly beautiful – bright green terraced rice fields rising up to meet a sea of palm trees. We meandered through villages, stopped in at a sports bar that promised Bali’s best pizza. The menu had one type of pizza – Chicago style pizza and when I asked the bartender how thick it was, she said it was thin. As I was scoffing about how that wasn’t Chicago-style pizza, the owner came up to me (from Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago) and tried telling me there were many different styles of Chicago pizza and what made it Chicago-style was the ingredients (sausage, pepperoni, onion and green pepper), not the thickness. I dunno.
Anyway, we weren’t in the mood for pizza, but were lured into a barbeque restaurant as the smells of barbeque ribs filled our nostrils as we were passing by. We sat at a large table with three Indonesians and they ended up ordering some food for us and then paying for our entire meal. It was really, really sweet. It’s moments like that that make you realize just how many good people there are in the world and moments like that that make me really grateful for the generosity of others. Later that night, we met two other American girls who are traveling alone as well, so the four of us had a nice evening together. One of them also went to boarding school near where I did, so we bonded over that.
The next day, I went white water rafting. Niki stayed behind as she has rafted before in Zimbabwe and nothing can compare to that experience for her. The river was Class 4 and 5 rapids, which was pretty underwhelming. That might be because the fattest man I’ve seen since I left America was in my raft and we got stuck on every single rock. He was, for the record, American. Ask me sometime about my favorite travel game: “Spot the American.” But I’m glad that I tried rafting! I would do it again. I think tubing down the river in Bukit Lwang was honestly more fun though.
After a really good and cheap dinner with a large ever-changing group of people, Niki and I said our good-byes to Ubud and headed on the slow ferry to Lombok, the island to the east of Bali.
I need to upload some pictures from my camera – I’ve got a lot on my camera, but have been lazy/busy. I promise some pictures next time I update my blog!