Posted in bali, indonesia, ubud by moonwire on June 23, 2009

I left Sanur on Sunday morning in order to go Ubud for a few days. The bus ride, about one hour, was beautiful. I did not have a room booked in advance, so after I got off the bus, near the Sacred Monkey Forest, I walked up Monkey Forest road and the first person who asked offered a room for 88,000 IDR, which is about 9 USD a night. I didn’t expect much, cause I had been used to paying at least double that, but when we got to the room, it was actually really nice. Big bamboo bed, wooden floors, big bathroom with a hot water shower, a private balcony with 2 chairs and a table and brekkie included (delivered to my patio).

So I took the room and I settled myself on the balcony with a book and felt all relaxed til I heard this kerfuffle in the tree in front of my balcony. There was this monkey sitting in it, looking at me. I actually felt a little scared (you know me and wildlife). Just a minute later, another one joined. Then I looked around and I saw all kinds of macaques sitting on the rooftops. I didn’t realise I had chosen a room that close to the Monkey Forest but it’s been great entertainment so far.

Kind of hard to see through a 28mm lens, but this is what I’m looking out on. In the mornings and late afternoons, the roof is filled with monkeys.

So here I am in Ubud. Only 3 days and I’m done with it already. It’s too busy. Too touristy.  The sidewalks are narrow and often broken up. Try moving along with the Japanese girls wearing their stupid umbrellas. Luckily, where I am is a good location. It’s at the end of the road, so it’s not so busy and there’s some really good restaurants just a 5 minute walk up the hill. I like my room a lot but that’s about it and I’ve managed to steal a wonky signal from the mediocre coffee shop across the road. There just isn’t all that much to see or do here, other than shopping (which I don’t do), eating (which I try not to do too much) and going for walks through the rice paddies (for which it is way too hot after 10 AM).

Another, probably rabid, stray dog in the Ubud market place.

Rice paddies in the middle of Ubud.

I did go into the Monkey Forest, but honestly, this was a big disappointment. It’s really a very small area, and though there’s some beautiful spots, the monkeys tend to congregate around the entrances where the people with the bananas come in. However, it was a lot of fun to watch those little bastards jumping on people’s backs when they smelled there were bananas hidden in the bags. They were quite aggressive about it, too. One wouldn’t let a woman go til she had given the monkey all her bananas. Only when he had devoured all of them, would he go away, probably looking for an other victim to rob.

I had already heard that these sweet looking creatures aren’t so sweet when they want your food so I hadn’t bought any for them. I also did go for a short walk out in the paddies, but the sun was too hot for my liking (it was also around noon, not a good time).

I basically spent a good amount of time on my balcony reading books and watching the monkeys. At night I did enjoy walking up and down the road as the day tourists were gone, the traffic was much lighter and it was actually a pretty chilled out place. But during the day… not so much.

I’m off to North Bali, to Lovina. It should be a lovely (and probably long) drive through the hills, which will also give me an idea if I want to go to Bedogul, close to Danau Bratan, volcano lakes. But secretly I hope that I will love it enough in Lovina to stay there for at least a week. After that, I might go back to the South of Bali and spend some time in Padangbai til I catch my flight out. We’ll see.

From what I understand, Lovina is a pretty laidback place but I’d be surprised if I found any wireless there. I know there is an internet café, so I’ll try to stay in touch as much as I can.

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