mount batur at sunrise

The Mood in Ubud

By on March 29, 2014

Ubud (Oo-bood) is the cultural capital of the island and the center of arts and crafts. It’s also the town they talk about in Eat Pray Love. We were staying at the Jati Home Stay (a homestay is kinda like a guesthouse, just a family’s home that they have added rooms for guests to stay in). Jati, the owner, is a famous Balinese artist and sat on his porch staring at his latest materpiece each day when we walked by. We would have loved to say hello, but it seemed wrong to disturb his vibe.

We were relieved to reach Ubud because we were really tired of touristy Kuta. The shops were packed with awesome stuff and we just wished we could buy some things. But we can only buy what can easily fit in our packs.

monkey in tree eatingOne of the main attractions in Ubud is the Sacred Monkey Forest. There are a few temples in there and a shitload of monkeys running around. The monkeys are wild but are used to people feeding them bananas and other stuff so they don’t hesitate to get up close and personal. If you have any food on you, they will smell it and grab it, or reach into your pocket for it. After walking around for awhile, a monkey crawled on my head and just started chillin there. I reached into my pocket to get my camera. Bad idea. Another monkey thought my camera was made out of bananas and jumped on me. Turns out my camera is a camera, so he was angry and bit me on the wrist. It didn’t really hurt too bad, but I slapped his paw away and he didn’t like that either. He scurried up my arm and bit harder on my shoulder through my shirt. Soooo it was time to leave and go back to the homestay. The next day I did get checked out by a doctor who said I had nothing to worry about, the bites weren’t deep enough. Good news everybody, I don’t have rabies.

the lazy monkey family

the lazy monkey family

We went to bed early that night, cuz we were going to get up at 2am for a sunrise hike up a volcano. Mount Batur. It was a little bit of a late start, but by 4:00 we were enjoying a coffee and fried banana that the tour gave us. By 4:20 we had started the 2 hour hike up the volcano in the dark. It wasn’t too bad of a hike and since we were with a big group, we went a little slow. No worries though, we made the sunrise and it was definitely worth it.

steve maria at sunrise

Once we were up there, I hiked along the ridge of the main crater to another lookout point, and from there you could see the peak we hiked up and more of the steam coming from the crater.

Ridge of the crater that we summited. Gunung Agung (largest volcano on Bali) in the background.

Ridge of the crater that we summited. Gunung Agung (largest volcano on Bali) in the background.

Cooking eggs in steam from the crater

Cooking eggs in steam from the crater

Coming back down there were tons of monkeys again. I love monkeys (even though we were on thin ice lately).

We got back to the homestay pretty late that morning cuz this older Jamaican lady fell on the trail and hurt her leg. Waited in the car for an hour at the bottom for her to get back down, hope she’s doin okay.

It was a long day that started with the volcano hike, and that night we had heard about the Bali Spirit Festival that was in Ubud for the time we were there. “A global celebration of yoga, dance, music.” It was the last night of the festival and we were gonna head to it to see Xavier Rudd! How perfect is it that we randomly were in the same town as Xavier Rudd and could WALK to the concert. If you haven’t heard of him, give him a listen. It was a huge hippie multiday music festival with tons of yoga clinics and REALLY interesting people watching.

The next morning we packed up and left Ubud for a coastal town called Padang Bai.

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