Beautiful Ubud

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February 25th 2014
Published: February 25th 2014
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Transport arrived to pick us up from the hotel. Oldest. Minibus. Ever.

We meandered through Legian and Seminyak, picking up folks and their huuuuge bags as we went. there was a seat for all passengers (7) but not so much room for our luggage, so we had our feet on a Chilean backpack for the entire journey. No, Sam would not move and sit in the back. Mimicked retching noises to reinforce the point.

On arrival in Ubud, the driver said he wouldn't go down Monkey Forest Road - too much traffic, and the very forthright and not-helpful-at-all Dutch lady in the front said she would pay him the 10,000 requested to do so. Chorus of disapproval at this, led by us. The agent had said he would stop at 3 places along it, and others had been promised a door-to-door service. Dutch lady thought we were mean as hell refusing to pay and insisting he took us, we thought she was stupid as hell to agree to the extra, being as it was based on a total lie - he was clearly going to drive down it anyway, and we would have given a tip if he hadn't been stroppy. Anyway, no way were we getting out or paying, so he dropped us where we wanted, and sailed off with the other young folks up to the main road. Some had nowhere booked and the others didn't know where they were going, so hope they were ok! Bah!

Nice, quiet place to stay here, down a little lane along from the football field (Sayong House - good reviews on tripadvisor - huge room on first floor with huge balcony, chairs, table - nice!), surrounded by lush greenery and birds (unfortunately the inevitable rooster as well). Breakfast? Hmm.... - we were spoilt at the last place. And Ubud is gorgeous - mixture of smart tourist shops, local market and so many places to eat, all in lovely green surroundings. Everything is photogenic. We had drinks overlooking a rice paddy as the sun went down, with swifts and bats and a rather mournful lone duck somewhere or other. So funny - equivalent of foreign tourists in England wanting to sit next to a wheat field. I'm sure the locals think it's hilarious! We found some great live music in the Laughing Buddha Bar, chatted to lots of locals and other travellers and staggered home late.

Today was very exciting - Monkey Forest visit. I was a bit terrified of them, although we hadn't taken any food in our bags so they weren't too interested. Others had been persuaded into buying bananas and we mobbed - one guy practically had his shorts pulled down by a chunky monkey who was trying to climb up his leg. Beautiful place to walk around and take pictures, and holding them is allowed and controlled by the very friendly staff. Sam was fearless - walking among them, really cute tiny babies, and then had one sitting on her bag and trying to undo the zip while another was on her head taking her hair clip out. There was a bit of a pond and one was swimming underwater - didn't know they did that. Only 20,000 (£1) to get in - fab!

Then we went to the hotel we had spotted yesterday with the most wonderful, refreshing infinity pool and paid 50,000 (£5) for a sunbed and towel, great lunch, burnt to a frazzle again! Little birds drinking from the pool, 6 guys taking ages to dig up a tree stump, endless entertainment. Sussed out another one for tomorrow. The pool here is ok for a dip, but there is building work all around, so a bit disconcerting to lie around, and there is only one sunbed and black plastic v v v hot mats!

Tonight we are going in search of babi guling- famous roast suckling pig, although I seem to remember from last time here, that is only available at lunchtime.

Oh, and epic fail on the Christmas stocking front - was very pleased to get some mini calendars for my girlies' stockings - first purchase of the year - to find that they are for this year! Rats! F and C will find that hilarious.......

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