Beautiful Encharnting Bali...


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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud
November 17th 2006
Published: November 24th 2006
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Rice Fields...Rice Fields...Rice Fields...

Just 12 miles out of Ubud you can stubble across the beautiful green rice field and watch the locals in there pointy little weeved hats working the land... The cycle of rice is 3 months from seed to harvest...
I arrived from Darwin into Densapar Airport at Midnight!!! Totally in the dark so to speak!!, I had no Lonely Planet and no where to stay!!! My first taxi offer was 120,000 rupees for accommodation and 40,000 for my fare!!! All numbers that meant very little and I kind of started to regret my decision to do this free fall without a guide book!!! I found a fellow German tourist and got a gauge from his book just where all the hostals were situated.. Then paid for an official taxi 45,000 and headed for cutely named Poppies Lane II in Kuta by the sea… I got out my taxi and headed in a random direction, my first try was 250,000 and then a side street eventually provided me with my best offer of 55,000 (about 3quid!!)… So I was here and I didn’t now where I really was or what my surrounding was like…

Next morning I awoke had my free breakfast, an egg and tomato jaffle (toasty) and a small amount of fresh fruit… Kuta as I discovered very quickly was the tourist center of Bali and with the abundance of shops came the grabbing and incessant befriending to
Kuta Beach!!!!Kuta Beach!!!!Kuta Beach!!!!

Day 1- Me a guy called Geoffery from the states two deck chairs and cold Bintang Beers with service!!!!
get you too part with your tourist cash.. “I Am Not A Tourist!!! I’m A Traveler!!!”, but these girls are good!!!!! With their “Mister you ask me a price and now you don’t buy this bring me back luck.. do you want me to be unlucky??”.. However after a few hours you get back into the smiling non committal ways you’d mastered from previous destinations…

Kuta had a nice beach and good surf, although I still haven’t tried it yet!!! Surfing that is!! And the maze of back streets was littered with bars and clubs all touting the latest music films and footy games… I wasn’t really looking for this side of Bali so I booked myself a shuttle bus out of here for the very next morning to Ubud at a cost of 30,000 down from my first offer of 60,000!! Getting back Into This!!! I did however go out and sample the nightlife that evening along with my new American friend Geoffrey who I’m sure will feature again as we plan to meet up before India…

I must point out at this point that I am actually a Millionaire here!!!! With 17,000 rupee to the pound
Little Village..Little Village..Little Village..

Passed through a little village and stubbled across all the locals working very hard in very hot conditions doing the quartely rice harvest... All seemed pretty happy to have a reason to stop and take a short break when they saw me crossing the fields towards them...
my weekly budget is 1,200,000 rupee about a tenner a day… So I’ll have another of those 12,500 large Bintang beers please!!!

I set of early morning and arrived in Ubud about 1.5 hours north inland at around 12 midday, this is a charming friendly place and in the perfect location for visiting the numerous temples, the rice fields and the forests that Bali has to offer, along with a good spot to seek transport for my next move east…

My little homestead is a beautiful and enchanting place… I feel a real sense of peace and relaxation here.. There are 3 small bungalows for guests each will a double bed a small wash area (no paper!!! Just an extra bowl of water!!) and a sweet little veranda with cane furniture, all 3 tucked away in one corner with the adjacent corner the site for the family prayer temple and shrine, every family has one within their grounds and while I sit on my little porch alone with my 3 resident geckos the father of the family makes his half hourly trips through the evening to pray, and in the morning the lady and grandma would prepare and
3 Temples...3 Temples...3 Temples...

Every Home & Village Would Have A Place Of Hindu Worship, Mainly comprising of 3 temples "Wisnu - Reserver", "Siawa" - Destoyer", "Brahma - Creater"... alond with garden and water gods who are also worshiped...
layout fresh Chana (wicker offerings of flowers and rice) around the grounds.. The grounds are planted with many palms and pretty flowering trees, with the fallen flowing lovingly collected and arranged in floor level bouquets that grace every turn of the winding stone path…. My little bungalow looks out onto two open gazebo structures where the family children often play, and beyond that the family home running the length of the opposite side.. The children (a small boy 5 and a girl 10) came back the other day with a mysterious white box, I watched from a distance as they opened it with amazement to reveal two scrummy looking cake, they then began to sing, the words were new to me but the tune was unmistakable, it was Happy Birthday sung with the additional “how old are you now” verse that I’d heard in Africa earlier in the year.. I spend my days exploring the surrounding temples and rice fields and my evenings sitting on my porch reading and watching the family going ons or down my local!!….

Whenever I returned from a walk I was greeted with a cup of coffee being brought to my veranda by Oka
In The Sacred Monkey Forest!!!!In The Sacred Monkey Forest!!!!In The Sacred Monkey Forest!!!!

"But Thier So Cute & Fluffy..." Give It A Rest Have You Seen The Teeth On Them Things!!!!! This place had the most huge trees with countless numbers of hanging vines and many monkeys!!!
the grandfather of the family.. Really sweet frail old gentleman with no English just a welcoming friendly smile…He must just sit there all day awaiting our safe return…

One thing I have noticed since being here is the lonely ness is a lot less, what I mean by that is yes this traveling experience is great, you meet lots of people both local and fellow travelers but there are times when if I am honest you do feel terribly lonely… I’d say about 5-10% but when it hits you it might as well be 100!!! So with all these new surroundings you don’t feel any of this, your just content to let your thoughts and your eyes wander at will…

I also found myself trading a book I had just read and my favorite one in months, called “Gods Callgirl” a memoir of a Dutch girl who had a bad childhood and ended up a nun and eventually a prostitute in Australia, set in the mid 60’s-80’s and very touching story of survival and finding ones self and good insight into convent life (By Carla Van Raay well worth a read)… Anyway I digress I traded this for
Petrol Station!!!!Petrol Station!!!!Petrol Station!!!!

Havn't done the mopen thing yet.. thats but the petrol stations look fun!!!
a beat-up second hand edition of Lonely Planet South East Asia On A Shoestring!!!... I had failed!!! And blew my budget for the day spending 95,000!!!...

I have also as you can blatantly tell switched to using a word document to weed out my poor spelling and grammar!! This was on the back of a random email from a teacher saying I was no better than his class of 14 year old girls!!!!!! That hurt a little so I’ve made the switch….its also helping me learn betterer English (whys that red squiggly line under betterer??), so should be up to under 17 level by the time I return…lol

The food here is Deeeeliscious, quite spicy and all based around rice or noodles.. Nasi Goreng isn't that rice and veg mix you get out of the supermarket freezer!!!!!!!!!! If ever here then you must go to the "Suckling Pig" opp the palace, wonderful local food and all for 15,000 (about 85p!!!)....

“My Local”

Having stayed here for the best part of a week which for Ubud is not that common its more of a see for the day passing through destination, but I was staying in the
Me!!! At Temple!!!Me!!! At Temple!!!Me!!! At Temple!!!

Ok yes my hair is at the moment big and red!!!! But after say a shower with a bit of weight to it i can see that in another 6 months and a bit of stubble i will be closely resembling "Aragons" twin brother....
old village which meant over the days I got to know the usual faces and they in tern got to know me.. Just down the lane was a small local bar with a regular crowd playing pool and drinking at all hours, It was on one afternoon I stopped by to introduce myself and found myself about 20 new friends!!!! A great bunch of characters!!! Most didn’t work and struggled by day to day but that didn’t stop them coming here and playing Card Pool and drinking… Card Pool is great a wicked twist on both games as it sounds (you’d play upto 5 people and games would range from 3000 to 20,000 a turn, winner takes all), I will have to leave the details till I get home but super fun.. As for the drinking it was mainly a localy distiled spirit from the palm trees called “Arak” and very potent!!! There where differing variations using local fruits and rice's… Now this is the bit I love, You all drink out of the same glass that is passed around and when its finished to buy some more you all just put in what you can afford and of someone
Temple Tour...Temple Tour...Temple Tour...

I spent a day heading north to see three temples. This was one of them on dark moon day (opp to full moon!!) where the locals would come from afar to bath in the holy waters that are produced here from a natural spring...
goes and gets it!! Now some would have nothing and others who maybe working will contribute a little more, It never seemed to matter!! On my first day a guy turned up with 3 chickens!!! So a small fire was built and a kitty started to get rice and ingredients (I put in 10,000 which was the same a the highest paying local).. and a couple of the guys set to work on a meal.. It was my best so far and fed about 23 of us… Eating with the locals is not for the food saftey conscious!!! The food was prepared next to the pool table with bare hands and when served you just scooped out of the main bowl with your hands and then proceeded to eat with you hands (only the right as the left is meant for sanitary uses!!!).. But I got right into it and have since ensured when eating the local cuisine have asked to my finger bowl and eaten like a local…

My new camera should arrive with the next 48 hours so ill be out of here and off to the Gili Islands...

I would have loved to put on more pictures!!! Got great shots of local life, school kids, The sacred monkey forrest and various local eating holes and temples.. Just the internet is Sooooooooo Slooooowwwwwww!!! take about 1 hour to upload 3 pictures!!!! i'll maybe try to update this at a later date....

Hope your all in great form..

Ray...x




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24th November 2006

God damn you...............
..............hairy fecker
26th November 2006

Stupid teacher!!
i hope you told the teacher where to stick it!! maybe his pupils are thick because he teaches them! keep your writing how it was, it was better before. I'm reserving judgement on the Aragon thing..... x

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