Ubud Redux


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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud
October 28th 2010
Published: November 24th 2010
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Hadn't really planned on returning to Ubud but after looking at our car rental options in Padang Bai we came to the conclusion that it was the easiest and closest place to pick up a vehicle so back we went...plan was to just grab the vehicle at a place recommended to us by our new Australian travel friends Michael and Sue, hit some sights around Ubud and maybe find a place to crash in the interior on our way to Lovina...turns out there weren't a lot of accommodation options on the planned route, so we decided to hit a couple of sights in the area, return to Ubud to crash for the night and then take a leisurely drive up the interior to Lovina the following day...

Made it to the rental place just fine, but within fifteen seconds of pulling away from the shop I managed to bounce off a couple of parked vehicles and take someone's mirror off, bit of a shock to say the least! They drive on the left there so everything was backwards to me, not a great start but despite the racket of metal on metal there was surprisingly little or no damage to
Coconuts!Coconuts!Coconuts!

Firing up a tasty treat...
any vehicle with the exception of that mirror (which we overpaid to settle but whatcha gonna do?)...whew!

After brushing ourselves off and collecting our thoughts we got back on the road and headed for Goa Gajah, or the Elephant Caves as they are known (although there were never any elephants in Bali apparently). Again, some beautiful rice paddies and carvings set amidst the forest, with pools, streams and temples thrown in for good measure...

We poked around for about an hour and then it was back in the van and heading to the town of Tampaksiring, where the ancient monuments of Gunung Kawi are situated. Didn't know much about the site; we had an afternoon around Ubud with a vehicle and it was within striking distance so we thought we'd check it out...and man were we glad we did, absolutely gorgeous! It's a little tricky to find; drove up and down the main road in Tampaksiring a couple of times before Karen spotted a little sign by the side of the road, and after parking and strolling down to the entrance we were greeted with some of the best views we encountered on our vacation...Gunung Kawi is one
Goa GajahGoa GajahGoa Gajah

Entrance to the Elephant Cave...
of Bali's oldest and largest ancient monuments, and it's set down in a valley surrounded by these incredible rice paddy terraces. The views again from the main entrance were breathtaking, and after donning the obligatory sarong we set out for the long stroll down into the valley...Again, what to say? Fantastic...we were greeted by lush rice paddies (the colours of green of which I had never seen before) and the usual vendors as we made our way down the long and winding stairs.

Once at the bottom we began to explore the site; starting with the beautiful 8 meter high stone carvings set in the rock-face... Believed to be memorials to 11th-century Balinese royalty, legend has it that they were all carved in one night, by one guy, using only his fingernails...I'll leave that to the individual to decide...haha... We soaked in all the sights which included several buildings, temples, pools and of course lush lush jungle before making our way back up that long and winding staircase I mentioned above...much easier coming down than going back up! Haha... Hard to describe this place, hopefully the pics will do it some justice...This is certainly a must see in my
Rockin' the Sarong...Rockin' the Sarong...Rockin' the Sarong...

Had to wear these while visiting the temples...
opinion if you make it to this part of Bali, and even without a vehicle I'm sure you could hire a driver for a half day to see it...

Got back into town and searched around for a place to stay, settling on the quaintly named Honeymoon Guesthouse (just down the street from the place we stayed at our first time...). The mood had been a little subdued that day due to the whole vehicle mishap, so to ease the nerves we decided to hit a restaurant that night that is a bit of an institution in Ubud and known for its world class ribs: Naughty Nuri's! Best ribs I've ever had, and a great place for people watching. The place closed around 10pm (most places close early in Ubud, not much nightlife) and we were ushered outside to finish our Bintangs...only to have the owner, Brian, greet us and offer to buy us another one...okay! Ended up hanging out with him 'til the wee hours of the morning listening to his crazy stories and having a good laugh, gots to love the characters you meet while on the road!

(Some photos copyright of Karen C., denoted by (KC)...used with kind permission)



Additional photos below
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Goa Gajah IIIGoa Gajah III
Goa Gajah III

Beautiful spot...
Rice PaddyRice Paddy
Rice Paddy

Beautiful...
StatueStatue
Statue

Couldn't get enough of these...
K in doorway...K in doorway...
K in doorway...

...soaking it all in...
Carvings IICarvings II
Carvings II

For scale you can see Karen taking a photo in the bottom left portion of the pic...


27th November 2010

Canuck traveller
Very nice pictures! Hope I can follow in my fellow Canadian's footsteps someday and see Bali! Happy travels.
27th November 2010

Thank you thank you, glad you liked the pics...and yes, do get to Bali, fantastic place!

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