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Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time


We spent the last three nights in Ubud, Bali. It’s basically the more traditional, natural, and slightly less touristy counterpart to Kuta, the place most people think of when they hear the name Bali.

Like I mentioned in my last post, Ubud is one of my favorite places overall. Our time there this time around only reinforced my overall love for the cluster of mountain villages.

On our first day, Tom, Eric and I did a lap around the main circular road and decided that we would go trekking on a volcano the next day. So, at 2AM on Marc’s birthday, we set out for an excursion to see the sunset from Mount Batur. It was a more difficult hike than expected, only exacerbated by our lack of light and sleep. I was the slowest in the pack and also opted to not make the final optional half hour trek to the very top because of the lack of guarantee that the view would be clear from up there. The fog rolled in about 20 minutes before sunrise was expected so nobody saw anything BUT it cleared up on the way down revealing a gorgeous but weirdly Swiss-Alps-like landscape below.


Top of the volcano


The volcano afterward, from a different viewpoint


Another good meal we had after the volcano

After getting back and crashing for a few hours we got our first massages/facials for $10 at Sang Spa. They were really nice and relaxing but I can’t wait for the $3 massages that await us in Thailand and Vietnam.

That night there was a blackout which was made slightly terrifying by the number of gaping holes in the sidewalk but none of us fell in the sewer so yay for that.

The next day we toured some of Bali’s temples, complete with Tom, bathing himself in holy water. He was undoubtedly one of the largest whitest patrons that fountain had ever seen and a group of Chinese tourists decided to capture the historic moment by snapping a bunch of pictures.


We made a quick trip to the Monkey Forest afterward and luckily didn’t get anything stolen but witnessed some money cruelty including an underage rape. Gritty stuff. For dinner we had my favorite meal this far, pictured above. We ate at the Dirty Duck Diner and tried the bebek guling, or Balinese fried duck. My meal came with a sweet/salty pork satay, fried fish, fishcakes, beef rendang (thus far extremely elusive), and Indonesian peanuts. And all of it was good.

Now we’re in South Kuta near Baslangan Beach. It’s gorgerous but not terribly friendly for swimming because the bottom is all rocks/coral and Tom and I already got cut up. The food on the beach is the cheapest we’ve seen the whole trip (counterintuitive for someone used to the ridiculous prices at any California beach snack shack), at about $2 per dish. It’s not the fanciest food but they have great French fries, and did I mention its only $2 for a meal?

We’re kind of far from everything in Kuta so we might rent scooters for the day, cross our fingers that we don’t get hit by a van, and check out another beach.


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