Today was relaxing, I woke up at 5am and jumped in the pool. It was quiet and if anyone was here, they were all sleeping. I sat poolside and watched the sun rise. Today was the day to plan out my trip. Kinda stressful, so I limited it to just the next place I was going to. I figured only plan one stay at a time. I had assistance from my sister, much appreciation for her help.
I received a text from my new friend about an earthquake that happened at 130am. She asked if I felt it, I was out cold. Apparently it woke her up. It was a 6.3 or 6.8 or something but for a tsunami it has to be 7. higher. I thought to myself wow Mother Earth is taking care of business…
Anyways, I found a place in Canggu which is about 35 mins from Kuta. A place called Umah Bamboo Canggu. It was cheap, $14 a night on Airbnb and it’s off the main road. So I booked for 4 days. I will now be here for Silent Day which is a holy day for Indonesia. Rai suggested I stay in a hotel for that so that I don’t have to be stuck in my room. That starts at 6am on the 25th and ends at 6am on the 26th. So I will eventually look into that.
After booking my place of stay in Canggu, I decided to write my blog. Internet was not on my side all morning. It took me several hours just to book my stay. So then I tried to blog and it wasn’t working. So I decided to just relax and let it go till I get to Canggu. I jumped in the pool another time and decided it was time to go for a walk.
I left the hotel not really knowing anything about the area, I just wanted to go by foot and see what was around. Where i was, not much, but I did find a guy selling fresh juice. I bought a watermelon juice, so good and so hydrating. So I went back to the hotel and asked where the grocery store was. Apparently I was right where the grocery store was just a few meters down. So I went to my room and grabbed my backpack and back out I went.
It was HOT, walking in my flip flops, I felt my flip flops melting into my skin. I just wanted to be barefoot! But you don’t do that in the city…gross. I get there and there was a gentleman standing there pouring hand sanitizer in everyone’s hands that were coming in. I walked in and looked for all my favorite fruits and then I found a bottle of Rose called Hatten made here in Bali. So I decided to to buy that too.
As I began my adventure back to the hotel I found the mall. I wanted to see what a mall looks like in Bali. So I walked up the stairs and went to enter. This woman comes to me with a thermometer and takes my temperature. She says I was good and then gave me some hand sanitizer. I continued to meander and the first store was Adidas, I turned the corner and there was sketchers. My oh my, then they had a few little shops in there and a food court and a movie theater. I came and I saw so I left.
As I was heading back I saw the chef from the hotel, we walked back to the hotel together and talked about the lack of tourists. I told him, that’s why we all need to stay, the ones that are here, need to stay. We laughed and went our separate ways.
I went to my room and changed back into swimming clothes and jumped back in the pool. It felt amazing as it was so hot. I sat poolside for sometime and then decided to attempt to plan my trip as if I didn’t have to leave, because quite honestly, you never know.
It started to get dark and my new friends from Jakarta sat at the table beside me. I stopped planning and joined them for the remainder of the evening. We laughed and shared pictures and exchanged FB and Insta info. I made my way once again to bed. I was exhausted from relaxing! hahaha…It was really the energy overload.
Today I woke up and I was tired. I got out of bed at 530am. I was awake at 445 but I was tired. I think subconsciously my energy was sad that we were leaving the most beautiful place I have ever been too. My emotions were heavy hearted.
I got up and finished packing and the girls made me a delicious breakfast as usual. I showered and laid down in bed until about 915 because my driver, Rai was to come and pick me up at 930. I just laid there resting my eyes and couldn’t sleep, so I got up at 915 and to my demise my driver was sitting downstairs hanging out on his phone. Gratefully he hadn’t been waiting long at all.
I gave him a tour of the treehouse, said my see you laters to the girls and we went on our way. We made a few pitstops on the way to Kuta. The first being immigration office, as the world is shutting down I need to know what I can do to stay. I went to the one in the north, I knew that one would not be busy at all. The one in Kuta, that would be crazy busy. Rai took me and helped me figure out how to get seen. I waited patiently as I only had 3 people in front of me. Whe I finally got up there they told me there was a restriction till March 30th. So I plan on making my plans and then calling back on the 31st. And see if they have lifted the restrictions. Otherwise they say I need to leave by April 9th. That is not going to happen. I am supposed to be here and I’m just gonna go with the flow. Everything always works out…
After we left there we went to Gigit Waterfalls. It was very beautiful but nothing compared to the Blue Lagoon and the waterfalls there after. Rai didn’t come on the tour with me, which I was bummed by because he’s cool and extremely helpful. I had another guide who was cool, Ketut.
As I have been here for a week, I have learned that Ketut means that the person named Ketut was the fourth born. The first is Gday (Gede), second is Kadek, third born is Komong and the fourth is Ketut.
Our walk to the waterfall was short and sweet, however it is well over commercialized and what I mean is that there are so many little shops on the way down and back up and they will not stop harassing you. I say that because we walked by so many women and children trying to sell me stuff (as I was basically the only one there, due to corona virus). After we walked by so many apparently we came up on his own family’s shop and said to me, if you decide to buy something then we would appreciate your business. I told him I didn’t need anything but I would love to help out, as everyone is hurting for business.
When we get to the waterfall, breathtaking. So beautiful, it was too chilly and about to rain to actually get in the water. I just wanted to take some pictures and sit back and enjoy it. He asked to take pictures of me, which was something I do’t hear like ever and was hesitant by his words. But I gave in and was totally stoked to have someone take a picture of me. My last guide did too and I was glad for that. However I am not an instagram photogenic person. I’m so used to being behind the camera, so when the time came for pics I stood there awkwardly. lol. It’s fine…something I am going to work on…
As we made our trek back he reminded me that his family’s shop was right here so I decided to look around anyways. Knowing I need nothing, a woman can always find something. And I did. I found a beautiful batik sarong purple and gold…I saw it and said I LOVE that. she tried selling me pants and a tank top which I knew I did not need. I kept looking and saw bags. I actually did need a bag so I didn’t have to continue to take my backpack everywhere. I began to make a pile. Which included the honesty fruit tea, mangosteen and tumeric. I wanted to make the same drink the girls were making me at the treehouse (I call them girls because they are young and this was there first job). I finish my pile and I ask how much, she tells me 900k rps. Which I’ve been here for a week and know that is way too much. I tell her I only have a certain amount. she kept on, I said no thank you and tried to walk out. Apparently everyone but me knows not to buy anything when going to places like that. I really thought I was helping his family, but then she got aggressive. I said 200k and that is that. She gave it to me because I was probably going to be the only tourist feeding into her. Meaning, that would be the only money she makes that day and with everything going on, probably the only money she will make for a while. I wasn’t trying to be rude but 900k is criminal.
We finally got back to the car and I was so happy to see Rai! We left the mountain in a heavy down pour. Still saw monkeys and dogs all over the road. Our next stop was supposed to be the rice terraces but it was raining buckets and there was no way we were getting out to walk around. So he took me to this restaurant that over looked rice terraces. Wow…and we got to stay dry. For me, that was priceless. Sure it would’ve been amazing to go see but It was cold rain. We had a buffet and I had a glass of wine. They say that when you have a driver that takes you distance like that, it’s customary to buy them lunch. I definitely have no problem doing that. He’s been super amazing. He took me to all these amazing places and didn’t add the detours to the bill.
Again, pouring buckets we pull up to the famous candi bentar, in front of the golf course. He was telling me that normally there is a line about an hour long just to take a picture. We pulled up and I shot a picture from the car. Not the same but for me it’s all about my eyes seeing beauty, not necessarily the camera. It was beautiful, but they are literally everywhere in Bali. So I didn’t feel guilty for not getting out and taking an instagram pic.
We then went to this beautiful temple on the water, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. Wow, incredible. Again I was told that there is usually no parking and the wait is more than an hour, normally. Today, it was empty according to Rai. We walked around and took some pictures and then it started down pouring. Everyone ran for cover. I had my nice camera out so Rai and both ran too. We all huddled under the canopy where they prepare their offerings. I sat there looking at all the offerings, ducks, chickens, and others. I asked how they do it and during the ceremony they slit their throats.
It slowly stopped down pouring but was still raining. Rai and I both agreed that we were not going to melt in the rain so we walked out and took some more pictures. On our way out I wanted a picture between the candi bentar. My phone had died so Rai was pulling out his phone for me and while that was happening a group of women from Jakarta jumped in the center and started taking pictures. I was standing watching them and they looked at me and motioned me to come in the picture with them. I laughed and was so happy too. I got in the picture and we all went our separate ways. Rai told me that they were from Jakarta and they were going to go home and tell everyone how excited they were to take a picture with a foreigner. I had no idea… but I love it. He said because nobody is here, they haven’t seen many tourists.
We continued on our journey to Kuta. It was a beautiful drive, through the country side and through all the villages. We entered the city and I knew it. The energy, the air and so many people. I was taken back and I guess not ready to leave the mountains. I miss it a lot.
We made it to the hotel and Rai and I looked at each other and we were like, wow this place is fancy! Lol. We went our separate ways once again. I went to my room, 108=9. Loved it, except that the tv was on and it was crazy loud. I immediately turned it off, and laid down. I was so tired. I was to meet a fellow GLT’r for dinner somewhere in the evening. So I took a nap for 40 mins and got dressed and ready to go.
I downloaded the GoJek app and was on my way. GoJek is the Uber of Indonisia, only they have motor bikes and cars. I ordered a bike. My third ride of my journey. We met at a spot called Lia Cafe. Literally on the beach. It was awesome and she was cool. I loved meeting her from a facebook group! That was awesome. In order to get back to we had to walk down the street to the main road and only then can we order a gojek. I finally found my driver, or actually he found me.
Made it back to the hotel and sat by the pool for a bit longer and went to bed. I so appreciated the air conditioning and the clean bed I was about to dive into.
Today I woke up at 5am, seems to be a theme for me here. I stepped out onto the front triangle deck and pulled out the thai mat, meditated and did sun salutations as the sun rose. In the valley of the waterfall, which is beneath me, I can hear the sounds of a man singing somewhere along the valley lines. It was quite beautiful and tranquil.
Today was my day to just sit in peace and do me. I had no desire to go anywhere, as my legs are ridiculously sore from trek the previous day. Side note; I woke up at 2am and had to use the restroom which is downstairs. I cannot tell you how painful that was! So I took a shower and had some delicious breakfast and relaxed.
I opened all the doors and windows in my treehouse and let the air flow through. When the sun came out I would go and sit out there and bask in it. I spent most of my day going through all of my pictures from the waterfalls. It was so wonderful.
Lunch time came around and my new friend, Vipin, and I were to go have lunch; But then the rain came and it poured buckets…much like it is at this moment. And I ran downstairs and played in it…It was magical!
The rain finally came to a halt and we were set free. Vipin and I went to lunch at the koi pond. It was so pretty and green. The fish were happily fed as was Vipin and I. We hung out there for a bit and meandered back to the houses.
Vipin wanted to show me the other cottage in the rice fields so off we went on the motor bike. I enjoyed the ride, we are in a small village so there isn’t traffic everywhere like in Ubud. We drove country side and came to the property. It was quite amazing, staying in this little villa. The view was astounding. It was placed on the bottom of the fields, so all you see is rice fields- going up.
When we left we took a cruise through the rest of the village and came back. Where I picked up where I left off, on my computer. Just as dinner was being served, Vipin comes to me with a message talking about cancellations and such. So I start doing my research as I am eating. I am to go to Cambodia for 2 weeks on the 20th.
I find all my flight info and found that Cambodia closed it’s doors to tourists. So now I am in a panic, trying to figure out how to cancel my flight and get a refund; and then I realized I did not get a VOA when I arrived because I was going to Cambodia. VOA is visa on arrival. Which is if you want to stay past 30 days. Which now I will be. hahaha…nervous laughter at that time.
I start calling my mom and emailing my dad and contacting the airline. Then I stopped.
I said to myself, “Self, what are you doing, this is why we didn’t plan anything. It’s all about the adventure, the journey, the excitement of what is going to happen next. Everything happens for a reason and it is ALWAYS for your greatest and highest good. You might not be able to see it but it’s a fact. You already trust the process, and this is no different.”
So with having that little chat with myself I was able to get some rest, with ease and grace.
A full 8 hours of sleep…I felt glorious this morning when I woke up at 5am. Making sure I was showered and dressed ready to go by 8. I had breakfast at 7, Ketut made me delicious breakfast again. Fixed with tempeh, tofu, hard boiled egg, potatoes, green beans, carrots and more delicious fruit with some amazing peanut sauce (slightly spicy).
I was heading up to my dream spot. The only place I had planned for my entire trip was this treehouse in Sukasada, northern Bali. Originally I wanted to stay for a week and then I was only able to get 3 days. I was willing to take anything. If you saw the pictures I saw, you know why. It’s my birthday and this is really the most special stay for me.
I left Ubud with Rai and we drove 2.5 hours north on all kinds of roads. Went through many little villages and passed so many little fruit stands on the side of the road. It was quite breathtaking. I was soaking it all in. We left so early because it’s a 2 lane road all the way here and if there are buses on the road, they slow up traffic. So we left at 8 and honestly I’m not even sure when we arrived.
The road to get to this place is very tiny. Somehow Rai made it down the first road. We looked at each other and down the tiny little path and he says, thats the end of the road for me. lol. So I grabbed all my goodies and walked carefully down the path.
As I walked onto the property my body began to feel at ease, even with all the weight I was carrying, I felt as light as a feather. I stopped and took it all in, the smells, the sounds, the air…literally breathtaking.
The lovely ladies here showed me my space…WOWWWWWW! Straight from a movie, It’s seriously like a dream, I am very much living a dream right now. This place is like magic. I never want to leave this place, like never ever…
I dropped off all my belongings and went back downstairs to finish the tour. A gentleman, Vipin, whom has been staying here for about a year now. I know why…I mean really. We talked and I ate another breakfast, omelette and fruit and a watermelon juice.
I then made all my calls so that I can go off grid for the rest of the day. I was on the phone with my sister and my phone was so hot it shut off in the middle of our conversation. So I put my phone in the fridge to cool down for a few minutes. I plugged it in and went straight to the water. They have a hammock hanging over the stream to enjoy. So I climbed right on in and meditated. It was heaven. Then I decided it was nap time. So I came upstairs and laid on the outside bed. Not sure how long I was there for but it was cozy.
When I got up I remembered I had laundry to do. I took everything to the bathroom sink and washed and then laid outside to dry. Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. I had the ladies make me chicken curry. So good with white rice and watermelon water.
Today was more for me and getting situated, not trying to work or get big things done. Just be. And that is exactly what I did.
About 730pm the ladies were leaving the property and wished me well. Vipin had already made his way back to his cozy corner and I sat outside all alone on this beautiful property. Taking it all in, the insects, birds, bats, water, everything was new to me and quite delightful. I eventually made it to bed at 830pm; crazy, but I was tired. Wrapped the bug net around the bed and off to lala land for this one…
Staying in Ubud (pronouced oo-bood) has been a beautiful experience. Waking up before the roosters around 5:30 was quite early, as I am still trying to catch up on rest. I went to bed at midnight just being overwhelmed with gratitude and trying to settle in.
When I woke up I went outside to see what it was like, temperature wise. It was humid as it had rained overnight. I went back inside and decided to shower and go for a walk. My mom bought me this citronella body wash and I swear by it. I haven’t had any bug bites since I’ve been here (Thanks Mom). I knew that I wouldn’t catch sunrise because I was slow at moving this morning but I was ok with that. I still wanted to go see a temple in town, called the Water Palace. I wore a long skirt, short sleeve nice shirt and flip flops; Grabbed my backpack and off I was.
The streets of Ubud were silent as I made my way down the street. Women placing their offerings in front of stores or their temples, dogs meandering the streets, shop owners sweeping the store fronts. It was nice, no hustle and bustle yet. I made a few wrong turns, which I was ok with; sooner or later I would get back to where I was staying. I came upon the local farmers market, or just market. It was like what you see in movies (well everything here is like something from the movies, for me), the rain left the streets muddy and trucks and scooters, men and women running around buying selling trading. It was rather large, walking through a maze throughout a building. Some areas I didn’t feel I wanted to go because it looked creepy and dark and musty; so I stayed away. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, flowers; the flowers smelled amazing. I found some watermelon and bought some, being my favorite fruit, for 3k rupiah (.21 USD). I wanted more veggies but I didn’t have a place for them and it was quite overwhelming. So I ate that and meandered.
I found the temple grounds but I am unable to find the entrance. So I walked down the street and found another one that I was able to walk right to. I walk in behind the store fronts and there it is…wow! Breathtaking. It just seemed so organic and unscathed by the world around it. Definitely a place of heaven on earth. I stood there in awe admiring it’s ancient beauty. You are unable to go into any temple without the proper attire. But you can go to the front of the outside of it…if that makes any sense.
I found the river next to this temple and followed it to the stair case that led me down to the river. The water is brown because well I don’t actually know but my guess its muddy and city. Either way, I wanted to walk down there, it looked like a jungle. It was so pretty with nature just pouring into it. I walked down the path for a few minutes when I saw a man doing his laundry in the water. So I turned around as I didn’t want to alarm him and headed back to the house.
Everything was still closed as far as shops and restaurants so it was nice to just window shop and see what everyone was selling without anyone trying to get you to come in. Not that I mind that, but I was really enjoying the stillness of the morning.
I made it back to the main street that the house was on and it looked like a building was on fire. I didn’t see anyone running to it or hear any sirens or anything which I thought was weird. Everyone seemed to think it was normal. It smelled horrible, I walked so fast to try to get away from it. It was coming from some sort of vent in the pavement into the street, I don’t recall if they were sewer drainage’s or something else, but it looked like something else. I make it back to the house and walked inside. Same thing was happening inside the courtyard…I saw Ketut and he tells me that they are fumigating for mosquitos. They do it every so often. I thought that was brilliant, however- doesn’t mean that they aren’t there, just not as many as there would be.
I made it back in time for breakfast. By that time I had sweat so bad that I was literally drenched. I sat down for an amazing breakfast which consisted of a banana pancake (organic)with coconut shaving on top and fruits. I ate everything, it was delicious and I’m not a banana eater.
I decided to jump in the pool to cool off. I meet two great people, Luca from Italy and Alice from Germany. We all hung out and learned about each other. Then went our separate ways. I wanted to take a nap but I had to make arrangements for my travels before I am off to Cambodia. So I figure that out and call my family and by the time that was all done. I was hungry again. So I made my way to the main area and found a place for some more delicious food.
I found a place and sat down. Ordered a chicken avocado salad with fruit, a watermelon water and a baby coconut. I wanted to hydrate as I had sweat out everything earlier in the day. Everything was amazing. As I sat there eating I was pondering what to do next. I had all these things to do back at the house but it was still so early and I had all the time in the world. When I left the restaurant I started the walk home and remembered to go look rings. I saw a shop that I wanted to go to so I went. I was looking for a couple of rings for a couple of fingers. What I found was, me walking out of there with four rings made in Bali by the owners of the store. I left there beaming as they were rings that I absolutely loved.
Walking out of there, now in the mood to shop; even though I need nothing, I went in and tried some clothes on in different places. I didn’t buy anything, I wanted to but I didn’t “love” anything as much as my rings. I’ve learned my lesson over the years to only purchase what you absolutely “love” and so I have been doing just that. I walk out of the last store and I see across the street the Monkey Forest. I laugh, roll my eyes and say, I’m here- lets do this.
For the record, I am not up to par with my photo taking for others Instagram pages. This guy comes up to me and asks me to take a picture of him and his friends, 2 couples. I say sure and proceed to take a couple of pictures. The girls look at them and gave me a fake half smile- more like disgusted look on their faces. I laughed and walked on. Oh these little kids and their aspiring Instagram photos.
Walking through the forest, I was focused more on the architecture than the monkeys. Monkeys are cool until they are not. Gratefully I didn’t have any issues with them but I’ve heard all the stories. It was beautiful to walk through and I am glad I decided to go.
I get back to the house and proceed to get everything done and ready for tomorrow as I was leaving for the treehouse in the morning. That took some time. Trying to pack everything back up, I’m definitely learning what to bring and not to bring. By the time I finish all of that, I’m hungry again! hahaha. The food portions are small and so I eat more often.
I decided to actually do my hair and go find some yummies, after all it is friday the 13th. I found a little spot right on the street and sat down. I ordered chicken curry with white rice and potato somas. Both delicious. While waiting for my food, dude rolls up and sits next to me at the bar. We start chatting it up and he shares his story and I share mine. He gave me plenty of advice about where to go what to do where to stay etc, I asked him a bunch of questions and he gave me a bunch of answers; grateful. We exchanged numbers and went our separate ways.
I got home and everything was finished so I crawled into bed and called it a night around 9pm. I was so grateful to crawl into bed. when I jumped in, I look down and saw that under the sheet was the american flag. I found that to be quite funny and on that note, out I went.