Thursday 14th January
I loved the dive so much the day before that I decided to book in for one that day as well. I had booked an early boat off the island but I changed it for a later time and went back to the dive centre for 8am. I was with Adi again and two German lads. We set out again, this time we went to Turtle Heaven dive site. So many turtles!!! They were all massive and glorious. I didn’t even know turtles could get that big! Turtle heaven is the most beautiful place I have dived. I mean, I’ve only done 6 dives but it was definitely my favourite. Not only where there so many turtles but the fish were breath taking. So beautiful and colourful. They just surround you and mesmerise you. Its so incredible. I took my go pro that time and so hopefully got some decent footage. We stayed on the bottom for about 45 minutes again, exploring. When we got back to the dive shop, I had time to get changed and grab some lunch before getting my boat back to Bali. The boat crossing wasn’t too bad and it was easy enough to find my transfer bus to take me to Kuta. I got dropped off on the main street and walked to my hostel, where I checked in. I chilled out a bit before going to get some food. While I was eating I bumped in to a girl that I had met a few months previously in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was crazy. She was working at the hostel now. Ha. I chatted to her for a bit before heading out for a walk. I explored down the streets for a bit and then treated myself to getting my nails done an a full body massage. The massage was incredible. I’m not sure what she did to me but I felt so sleepy and drunk after. She must have really got those toxins going. It was getting late when I got in from my pamper session and I was so tired that I pretty much went straight to bed.
Friday 15th January
The day before, I had booked my morning shuttle bus to Ubud. After seeing eat pray love, and seeing loads of photos, I was super excited to get there. The bus picked me up from my hostel and I got chatting to two girls, Gracie and Becky. They were just starting their travels. We stayed on that bus for a bit and then had to transfer on to a different bus. It only took an hour to get to Ubud. We were dropped off near the centre. The girls decided to see if the hostel I had booked had room for them, so we all grabbed a taxi together. After checking in we met another girl in our dorm, Louise. Me, Becky and Gracie decided to go and see the monkey forest. Louise had already been the day before and so said she would meet us for lunch afterwards. We were staying 10/15 minutes up the road from Monkey forest so we set off. I had heard that the monkeys could be a bit grabby so I made sure not to have any lose articles on me. They weren’t that bad though. Very cute! There were so many of them, all different ages.
Some of the younger ones were very inquisitive which was cute, until the mothers saw and became very protective. They can be quite scary when they bare their teeth at you. We spent about an hour walking around. It really was a beautiful place.
On the way out, one monkey took an interest in Becky’s water bottle. Its best not to argue with them so she let him have it. The cheeky little bugger opened the bottle while it was tipped over. All the water ran out and down the hill and the monkey had a drink. They are so clever! We met up with Louise and went to find somewhere to have lunch.
That afternoon we went to find the ridge walk that Louise had heard about. We walked through the town until we came to the start of the trail. Ubud itself is quite small. It is very lovely though. There are a lot of beautiful buildings. The place is famous for the arts and crafts there. All the shops are full of artwork you can buy. It’s wonderful. Luckily it was cooling down by the time we started on the trail. I wouldn’t recommend doing it in the heat of the day. It was a lovely walk, it took you up so you could walk along and look over the some rice paddies. I tried to climb a bit higher up at one stage. Mistake, it was hard to get back down and I ended up slipping in the dirt. Haha. Oops.
We carried on walking until we came to this little cafe / restaurant place. The view from there was lovely. We sat overlooking the Koy Karp pond and watched the sunset while eating pancakes and drinking iced coffee
Just before it got dark we decided to head back. We wanted to get back before it got dark but didn’t manage. Instead we had to walk along the trail by phone light, occasionally breaking spider webs with our faces. Ahh!
We made it back eventually though and all had a well needed shower! That evening we just hung out in the hostel, chatting.
Saturday 16th January.
The previous day we had booked a day long tour with a taxi man. There are a lot of tours your can book and they drive you all round the surrounding areas so you can visit the famous temples and rice paddies. We all got up early and went out to have breakfast. Our taxi man met us out side our hostel and we all piled in the car. The first stop was a temple that I had seen when I researched Ubud. I was very excited. We drove for about an hour or so before we got there. We were heading north and high into the mountains so the temperature was a nice, cooler temperature. We got out the car and and it was lovely to walk around and not sweat. The temple was called Ulun Danu temple. I think its a traditional Balinese style. I saw a few that shape.
It was really pretty where it was situated. Lots of lovely gardens and flowers to have a look at.
After we had a good look we got back in to our car and our driver took us to the next stop which were the famous rice paddies. We could see them as we were driving up. They were so beautiful with all the layers.
So green and luscious looking. We got out the car and did the little walk through the paddies and met the driver on the other side. The temperature had got warmer again because we had come down from the mountains. There was a man working in one of the paddies. It must be hard work, especially in that sun! After our little walk we stopped off in a little restaurant to have lunch. Our table was on a balcony over looking the paddies. Such a beautiful view. Of course, we all had the nasi goreng. It was so good!
The next stop after lunch was at a coffee tasting place. They had the special “luwak coffee” which we were all eager to try… I can’t think why though…
We tried a few different flavours. They were all really good. We even got to see the Luwak animals that eat the coffee beans. Bless them, working away to make some delicious coffee!
The final stop of the day was another temple over by the coast, called the Tanah Lot temple. The temple was out to sea a little bit on a rock. It was really pretty to look at, especially with all the waves around it.
It was blummin hot though and we were all tired by this point. We had a little wander around the market bit and an ice cream before heading back to the car to get back.
That evening we all went out for dinner. We went to this lovely restaurant over the road and had the most delicious meal! The food was so good!!
We had a lovely time. After dinner we nipped into a few shops before heading back to the hostel to spend the night chilling out.
Sunday 17th January
I got up early to say good bye to the girls. Becky and Gracie were moving on to the coast in Bali and Louise was heading to the Gili Islands. I had a bit of a lie in after they left before heading out for breakfast. I found a cafe and had a big bowl of fruit, honey and yoghurt. I decided to spend the afternoon taking in the arty culture of Ubud. I wandered around and had a look in some shops before finding my way to the Puri Lukisan art museum. There were four building surrounding a beautiful garden.
Each building held a different kind of artwork, ranging from paintings to sculptures. I fell in love with the traditional sculptures. Some of them were so big and intricate. I want one. I took my time looking at each piece. I really enjoyed it.
After I finished looking around the museum I headed back to the hostel for a bit. I had booked to do a traditional Balinese cooking class that evening, it started at 4pm. It was being held in a restaurant about 10 minutes walk away. I found my way there and I was met by a lady. It must have been the longest restaurant ever. She led me to the back and it seemed to go on forever. It was mostly outside. She led me down a little path. There were tables dotted around everywhere. The whole place was beautifully decorated with plants and trees. It was so lovely.
Eventually we came to the back and she sat me down and gave me a very refreshing iced tea to drink. I was joined by the other ladies on the course. There were 6 of us in total. Our teacher met us and took us into the vegetable and herb garden. She explained what everything was and what it was used for. It was really interesting. She took us to where we would be cooking. It was like a kitchen area. There was a table full off fresh fruit and vegetables and herbs and spices. Next to it was our preparation table. We each had a place to stand with a knife, chopping board and cook book.
We made 4 or 5 dishes. It was really fun. We had to cut up and prepare the meat and vegetables and herbs etc and then we all had a go at cooking the ingredients and learning how to make the dishes. I even got to male Nasi Goreng!
After we had finished everything. We all sat down together and got to eat the food we had made. It was all so good!
I got chatting to a lady called Kim from America. She was really lovely. We decided to go for a drink after dinner. Everyone else had to get back to their hotels so just me and Kim went for a glass of wine. She works at a vineyard so she was teaching me about wine. We had a lovely chat in this posh bar. It was lovely meeting her! After our drink we said good night. I headed back to the hostel and read my book for a bit before bed.
Monday 18th January
When I was at the museum the day before, I booked myself on to a wood carving workshop. I had been looking for one to do but so far hadn’t been able to find one. The museum did loads of different craft workshops but the wood carving one really caught my eye. I arrived at 9am, after breakfast. The workshop was outside on this little raised platform with a roof but no walls. There were loads of cushions on the floor and a table. I met my teacher and relalised that it was just me doing the workshop! I was given a piece of wood and my teacher told me to pick a design. Obviously I chose the elephant.
I had to start off by drawing the design on the wood using a stencil. It didn’t take long before we got stuck in. I didn’t realise how difficult it would be! There were so many chisels and tools to use to scrape out the wood. There were also so many different techniques to get all the different angles. My teacher was so good though and he taught me well. It was slow going, I was scared I would do it wrong!! I was doing well though and I slowly made progress. Half way through the morning we had a little break and had banana fritters and iced tea. Very nice 😀 we carried on until lunch time and my elephant was coming along nicely.
All the food and drinks were in with the price of the course. At midday we broke for lunch and I had nasi goreng in the museum restaurant, overlooking the beautiful garden. After an hour we cracked on again. I think getting the detail and making it tidy was the hardest part! I eventually managed though and at about 3pm I was finished and was able to varnish it!!
I was so super proud with myself and my little carving. I had such a good time doing it and chatting to my teacher. I learnt all about his family and everything. (Can’t remember his name though 🙈)
I thanked him a lot and then returned back to my hostel. I was shattered after all that concentration. That night I went back to the really good restaurant over the road and had myself a lovely grotty burger and a beer. Well earnt!!
Next stop… Back to Bangkok.