Asia TravelBlog

A Week in Bali: Day 1 – Ubud

The first thing I ordered in Bali was a lassie. We had just arrived and I was starving. Food was expected to take time and the thick yogurt drink would be good to prevent me from becoming an ogre with hunger while I waited. On the menu, several were listed, including “Avocado + Chocolate. Try it!” So I tried it. The waitress hesitated when I ordered it and made sure she understood. I pointed to the menu advice to show that this was not MY idea, and asked her, “Is it good?” She smiled, shrugged. “Yes. Maybe good.” Like “good” hadn’t occurred to her before that, and yeah, now that she thinks about it, that MIGHT work as a descriptor. It comes out and Peung comments how much it looks like a traveler’s G.I. problem. Nice.

Well, it was in fact just fine, thank you.

We spent the night at Santra Putra an artist’s residence in Ubud which is located in south central Bali. I Wayan Karja is a painter who has blended traditional Balinese art with Western Impressionism ever since he studied in the USA. I had a chance to look over some of his work. Wonderful colors. We had the second floor of a simple but nice guesthouse, and from the window and terrace we could see the surrounding rice paddies. The rice was about ready for harvesting and the birds were trying to get their share. We paid less than $15/night, but usually it’s more in the mid-$20 range and we just happened to be in overflow rooms on an adjoining property. Karja gets a lot of long-term guests coming for artistic inspiration or larger groups of yoga retreats.

We drank Balinese coffee with breakfast which is served in a Turkish-style, the grounds sinking to the bottom of the cup and you just drink down to the silt. Not the best but it does the job and sure beats Nescafe.

A few more blogs to come plus a page of more photos and travel tips at my website at The Mad Traveler Online.

I have to explain that from my little slice of life in Bali, the area of discos, pubs, beaches and resorts around Kuta is conspicuously missing. That was intentional. Occasionally out of curiosity I venture through these places, but in many ways it feels like a trip to McDonald’s or Hard Rock Café.

From Ubud we looked for Bali accommodation north in Lovina Beach which will be home base for a couple days as we explore the north shore. First activity is diving/snorkeling at Menjangan Island at a national park in the northwest corner of the island!

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

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