Bali is not that large of an island but it doesn't make it really easy for you to travel on your own. Renting a scooter is one way, but it would have had to be one with a sidecar in our case as the 2 of us with 2 backpacks would look quite funny on the back of a Honda Scoopy. So this is how we ended up getting the not at all popular in Indonesia, Uber. Yes. With all the hustlers this arrangement works out the least hurting for our budget and mental health. I do realise I'm whining a lot about the locals trying a little too hard to put something on the family table. However you can take my word for it, Indonesians worked hard to make this image for themselves. In my eyes at least! But if you know me, or ever tried my patience, you will take the word for it.
Our car never really left the urban area of Denpasar and we have already arrived in Ubud. Supposedly the cultural hub of Bali. From the first instant it seems much livelier than the capital itself. Restaurants, souvenir shops, bars, galleries all sort of buzzing with tourists. On our way to Monkey Forrest we have luckily came across a sort of a theatre and we were instantly sold for an evening of Traditional Balinese Dance performance. It was really funky and interesting, if it wasn't that long. Quite loud too, almost deafening with the rhythmic drums and bells. As I said impressive! Highlight of the day however was our visit to Monkey Forrest, an imposing park on its own but with its monkey habitat is also quite engaging. Specially when literally cheeky monkeys go through your pockets or bags in hope to get a bite. And of course, as Majka learned on her own skin, sometimes you will receive a bite if you show any kind of resistance. Thankfully the bites are not too strong, but I wouldn't know, I wasn't the one being bitten. On the other hand Majka's 'wound' was a barely broken skin. A scratch. Luckily the monkeys are vaccinated for rabies so you don't have to. North from the town are some spectacular terraced rice fields and a few Hindu temples that wildly vary in style. On the way to one of the temples carved into a rock face an opportunity arose to cool off in a pool of a waterfall. That was actually quite good!
Ubud definitely has a good atmosphere, or vibe, and engaging surroundings. We have left after a couple of days longing for more adventurous exploring. As much as we were curious what's down the road, we were also inquisitive about Amed and so once again we have moved our backpacks to a new place.
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