Finishing up at Lembongan and traveling to Ubud...land of the meditative hippie!
29.04.2015 - 29.04.2015 30 °C
Lembongon had been a cruel, beautiful, mistress, and with a throbbing knee and psychedelic bruises it was time to head back to the mainland and travel to Ubud to meditate!
The Balinese have such kindness in the, and I was well looked-after at Cassava Bungalows, from the medicinal care-taking, to the endless lifts they provided me. It was sad to be leaving this little paradise on the mountain. I was heading back down to the dive shop to finalise the bill (and apologise for my no-show), and then head to the beach with Scoot ferries for transport back to Bali. With me at the bungalow I just had my large suitcase, so had asked the hotel if they could arrange the covered ute to take me down with my luggage. Much to my surprise, yet another scooter pulled up out the front of the hotel! "Are you kidding? You know I've got a suitcase, right?" "Yes, no problem", and the gentleman promptly set about strategically balancing my epic suitcase in the foot well, with enough room to place a millimetre of foot on each side, and see over the top to navigate. When in Rome...
So back down the mountain we went, and I relented. There was no use stressing, because there was no other option. So I just hung on: willing my brain to expand enough to hold on to my floppy hat whilst I white-knuckled the passenger bar behind my derriere. And before I knew it I was safely being off-loaded at Big Fish Diving with my suitcase still in one piece.
With the bill sorted, a farewell delivered to my friend Tine, and the ferry company working on Bali time I relaxed into my book, sitting in a café around the corner willing my body to cool down with my feet dangling in the edge of a pool. Half an hour before my ferry was due to leave I went back to the pick up point outside the dive shop and waited for the car to come and collect me and my luggage, now expanded to include my carry-on. And then I waited some more. And then I had the dive shop call them. And then I waited. Then I had them call the ferry company again. And the ferry departure time passed, and I was still waiting. And finally, a scooter rocked up to take me the few minutes down the road to the ferry... me, and my two suitcases, on the scooter. I laughed, surely it was impossible, and indeed the laws of physics agreed, so the guy took my big suitcase first, then a few minutes later came back to collect me and the little suitcase. I was the last one on the ferry, no doubt delaying the departure even further, and then we were off. Cruising along the flat water between Nusa Lembongan and Bali, to arrive on Sanur Beach to start the next part of the trip.
A handful of us from the ferry were headed to Ubud, and joined a mini bus that would take us there. The drive took us past dozens of street vendors selling corn cobs, pineapples, durian, and other assorted fruits and produce. A little girl no more than 8 was riding her bike in the wrong direction on the edge of the road, with hundreds of scooters zooming past within inches of the bicycle. Despite the lane markings, it was every car, truck and scooter for itself through busy intersections and roundabouts where half a dozen lines of traffic tried to create two or three semi-logical lanes of order.
Ubud was about an hour away, and the mass of traffic funnelled down into one lane that went through the small towns and villages nearer to Ubud. We dropped everyone off one by one at their respective accommodation, with myself the last. Sadly, I left my lovely floppy hat on the minibus, so the first task was finding a new one.
My new accommodation for the next two nights was Tebesaya Cottage near the heart of Ubud. Again I was overwhelmed by the kindness of the hotel staff, who on seeing my bruised and battered legs were showering me with betadine, bandaids, and something called Channa wood - a local dark brown liquid that should reduce the bruising quickly.
The place was absolutely gorgeous. A stunning pool with water spurting from stone statues was directly outside my front porch, with frangapani trees and orchards lining the paths. A little tropical oasis if ever I saw one. The room was lovely, with the most glorious pillows I've ever slept on! I will be dreaming about them for a while I think.
The afternoon was wiled away walking the streets to find a hat, which I didn't find until the next day, and some food... and I landed on The Dirty Duck restaurant. No doubt drawn to the name, uniting my social group 'The Dirty Dozen', with my high school nickname, The Duck Chaser (on account of having chased a duck one lunchtime down by the lake at school). The house specialty, surprise surprise, was steamed duck deepfried to a crisp in Bali spices and a heck load of chilli dipping sauce. It was an unusual dish. I love duck, but this little guy was a bit on the scrawny side, looking like the local ducks traversing the rice paddies. The meat, whilst somewhat tasty, was super dry and super crispy. Lots of chilli sauce helped. But the best part was the refreshing lemon and mint icy drink... yum!
The afternoon was wiled away wandering the streets, napping, reading books, and dipping into the pool before an evening at The Jazz Café in Ubud. Only a 10 minute stroll from my place, the café was apparently quite well known. It was salsa night and the local dance school was enjoying the live band, practising and whisking each other around the dance floor. My poor knee would not relent and sadly I had to turn down a dance and watch from the sidelines. Dinner was a lovely entrée of duck spring rolls and pea and asparagus risotto. A couple of cocktails later and I was ready to head back home... missing the free cocktail out of my buy two get one free deal!
Free cocktails: 0
Lost hats: 1
Photos of pools: 8
Ducks consumed: 0.6
Watching my luggage get free rides around Lembongan: priceless!