Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ubud, Bali

We chose Ubud for a few reasons, mainly for a more cultural experience rather than staying close to a beach that could be any beach any place in the world. We chose right, although jungle life for me takes a little getting used to and technically we aren’t even IN the jungle. But the first night here I am pretty sure I didn’t sleep more than 10 minutes at a time. We arrived after midnight and walked down a dark path for 300 meters to arrive at our villa. Although the beds were covered in mosquito nets I was pretty sure there were all sorts of bugs crawling on me. There were many unfamiliar sounds throughout the night and then I heard a whining, howling sort of thing. In my half sleep state I realized they were roosters – and I only realized that because I read the guest book before going to bed. Everyone commented on the various noises that lulled them to sleep and woke them each morning. Like I said, jungle life will take a little getting used to.
The first day we took it slow. We headed to what I looked forward to most – the Monkey Forest. Travel books recommended that we might not want to buy bananas and feed them as they could get a little aggressive. I realized this when one guy decided to climb up my leg and grab my water bottle out of my bag and run away with it. He then opened it, laid it on the ground and slurped up the water. The monkey forest was amazing - 100's of them everywhere, some definitely more friendly than others. And although it was unsettling to be around all of the free roaming monkeys at the same time it was really fantastic.
The family that takes care of us is wonderful. The woman that cooks breakfast and dinner everyday is very patient with the kids picky palettes. We pay $8 per person a day for meals. And the food at the villa is better than anything we have had in the restaurants. The kids are given amazing fruit plates everyday, if only they could stop asking why we have rice every night? I remind them to look over the wall. We are situated in a villa surrounded by rice paddies and incredibly hard working people – makes you feel a bit guilty, but they are very kind and welcoming.

We are doing all that has been recommended and also just trying to take it easy. Connor is sweating out a fever at the moment, but it wouldn’t be a vacation unless he got sick.

The king in his castle by the pool

The family taking care of us had a puppy and 3 kittens - built in entertainment for the kids

Pool and Villa

Rice Paddy next to our villa and could be seen from the second level

300 meter path to our villa from the road

Connor chasing the many ducks from the path to the rice paddy

Children on their way to school with broom and bucket in hand to clean the school after one of the two week holidays per year

Lunch and Dinner
Kate's spa day on the beach - mani and pedi to be followed by hair braiding
Sanur beach

Elephant safari park - pre-trek entertainment
Jack was a tad bit nervous

The elephants

Feeding Epi after the ride

One of my favorite outings so far was to a place to grow herbs, fruit and coffee. There is a coffee called luwak – named for the place that the beans ferment - inside an animal. Yes, the animal eats the coffee beans, they hang out in his digestive system, he poops them out, they roast the beans and make the coffee. Very rich coffee – very expensive coffee. Jack and I both sampled the coffee.

The Luwak digesting the beans
Droppings into the pot for roasting

Drinkin' the coffee


JUDY WENDT said...

Great Blog, Brig. Wow, another terrific adventure!

Terri said...

What a beautiful villa and pool! Next time you take a dip think of us freezing Midwesterners -- we're in a deep freeze. It almost feels like Minnesota in Missouri. We're not as tough as Minnesotans, though... school was called off for two days because of the -5 degrees wind chills (a high of 11 today).

Enjoy! I love Kate's hair and I'm sure her nails look fabulous.


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