Landing back in Denpasar from Labuan Bajo, we fought off the now familiar taxi mafiosos and made our way up to Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali.
Fortunately, the vanguard of James, Jess and Linda had booked us all some great bungalows in the heart of town so we didn’t have to worry about finding somewhere. We grabbed a great sushi meal in town and as we’d gone a day without going out, James and I headed for CP Bar to meet up with a few people we knew from Canggu.
Regretfully (as we were hungover), the next morning we were dragged on a route march by the Brinkley brothers along the Campuhan ridge walk. In fairness, it’s a beautiful walk through some stunning rice paddies and with great views across the region, but in the heat of the day and hungover, suffice to say we lagged at the back a bit and grumbled!
The group separated a bit the next day, with one team heading for a fancy infinity pool one team (me included) heading two hours north on mopeds (including a few times getting lost and Brinkley and Jess escaping a police roadblock) to see Lake Bratan and the Pura Ulun Duna Beratan temple built on it. We just made it there before the heavens opened to get our instagram shots! But, what a stunning place, up in the mountains in that beautiful lake with the clouds swooping in. Worth the two hour moped ride.
Waiting out the rain in a warung by the temple, we soon realised we would just have to get wet. So, donning some wonderful blue ponchos, the moped smurfs set off again. Fortunately, as we came out of the mountains, we overtook the rain front and by the time we got back to Ubud the sun was shining. The rain soon caught up though, and with nothing to do and after a long day on a bike, it only seemed right for the biker gangs to go for a back massage, followed by a foot massage. Although the peace was marred by some slippery floors and a comic cartoon slip on a set of stairs by yours truly. Then the next day to be followed by a full body scrub and mani-pedi. A very decadent but relaxing process.
We had actually intended to head for Gili Trawangan but having spent too long sweating at the back of a yoga class at the Yoga Barn (note, don’t sign up for an intermediate class if you are not) missed the boat, hence another day chilling in Ubud enjoying massages, wandering the twisting market streets haggling for Bintang vests and finally heading to the rice paddies for a great meal with a view at Sarita Organik.
Ubud, you’re amazing and I strongly suspect I’ll be back one day.
Kajeng Bungalows – private complex, swimming pool, breakfast included. 300,000idr per night per bungalow
In Da Lodge Hostel – Hostel which comes highly recommended by many people. Social, pretty cheap and breakfast included.
Koru Sushi – surprisingly good sushi restaurant in central Ubud. Highly recommended.
Sarita Organik – beautiful rice paddy views for a sunset meal of great Indonesian food. Most excitingly, they also have a great selection of Balinese craft beers – try the wheat beer and the mango infused pale ale.
Yoga Barn – The Yoga Barn is a definite recommendation I would make to anyone in Ubud who wants to try yoga out or for expert yogis looking for new challenges or just to enjoy som meditative yoga.
Campuhan Ridge Walk – wonderful views of Ubud but half of it is just walking along the road. Maybe get a moto taxi for a shortcut and don’t do it in the heat of the day! Full map in the Lonely Planet guide or ask a local.