tuesday 19 november - friday 22 november
after almost 36 hours of travel (layovers included), we finally made it to bali! the jet lag was definitely kicking in, and i was feeling more than a little disoriented. our first afternoon/evening in bali was spent relaxing in our plush jungle villa (bima 3) at alam ubud. we were greeted with a floral foot bath and welcome leis, and our room was stocked with bottled waters and a tiny fruit basket (snake fruit? no thank you). to keep things easy, we ordered room service for dinner and tucked in early.
our first official day in bali started off super early and with a little rain. we were the first ones to arrive for breakfast at 6am :P and had the whole place to ourselves. we each had a mixed fruit platter, coffee, and asian breakfasts (congee for deb, fried rice for me), overlooking the infinity pool and jungle-mountain landscape. i'd say we were off to a pretty good start. after breakfast, we hopped on the shuttle to ubud center. first thing was first: exchange money. with an exchange rate of 11,500 IDR:USD you can imagine the mental math and confusion of too many zeros. don't worry, we got the hang of it by the end of our trip--hah! once we were plush with cash it was time to eat :D we made our way to ibu oka for their roast pork special, which has been mentioned by bourdain and the times--and for good reason. after we stuffed our faces, it was time to explore: lots of shops/restaurants, temples, cocomart (stocked up on snacks), monkey forest, ubud market (haggled for sunglasses and scarves), and balinese massages ($8 for an hour massage? yes, please. of course it did come with some awkward moments, but i'm gonna overlook that...). after a rather full first day in town, we ended with a dip in the infinity pool and room service.
day two in ubud was sunny and warm, which was ideal for our morning bike ride through the rice paddies. we borrowed the hotel bikes and headed out after breakfast. started off great--the scenery was gorgeous--but after some uphill and strong bali sun, i totally wimped out from overexertion. wah wah. we turned back and stuck to some flatter areas but were still able to see some rice harvesting. man, it is SUPER labor-intensive; i will never waste rice ever. we headed back into town for some more (sweaty) wandering: stocked up on mangosteen, shared a fresh coconut and some free wifi, coffee break, lunch at bebek bengil (the crispy duck was SO good, probably our favorite meal of the trip), fifteen-minute fish foot soak, and an ice cream reward.
for our last morning in ubud we enjoyed a leisurely poolside breakfast and some reading time in our room before a two-hour drive to nusa dua. see ya later, alam ubud villas~