With a week left after finishing our snorkel safari and no plans made, we stayed on the Path of Least Resistance taking us to the town of Ubud. We had no idea it was part of the Julia Roberts movie Eat, Pray, Love, but part of the movie is set in Ubud and it’s popularity has soared since then. For us, it seemed like an arty place where we might take a class or two. We were right! It was also totally touristic with street after street after street of shops and restaurants. Merchandise ranged from loads of cheap stuff (still locally made, though – not from China!) to very nice artisan quality items from around the world. There was something for everyone.
At the behest of our wonderful guesthouse owners, we attended a performance of a Kecak, Fire and Trance Dance. It was unlike anything we’ve ever seen! Clearly it was performed for tourists, but it was put on by members of the community, not professional performers. In fact one of the hosts at our guesthouse was one of the performers. The dance is a combination of men singing acapella chanting along with a few dancers. It was kind of a ballet – sort of. A cheat sheet before the show described the story being performed, but it was some complicated, Shakesperean kind of confusion, so I just sat back and watched. Hard to explain it, but a great experience. To get an idea of what it was like:
Following the dance we walked out and found ourselves facing a gelateria. Hmmm? End of a warm day on an island? Just went to a show? Too early to head home? All signs point to YES! And this would be the beginning of a deliciously slippery slope. We each had a few samples (salak was mighty tasty, but it couldn’t beat out coffee or cinnamon or chocolate hazelnut) and sat on the steps of a temple to enjoy our best ice cream cones since Argentina. This would be the start of our cone-a-day paradigm. See? Like we said last post, in Bali we were definitely on vacation! Truth be told, we sometimes had two cones. For the record we had: Chocolate, Coffee, Bacio (basically Bali’s version of Nutella), Lime, Pistaccio (OMG – the BEST!) and Cinnamon.
We scouted out classes in Ubud using TripAdvisor instead of our usual word-of-mouth or dumb-luck methods. Both of us were fascinated with batik fabric painting and, happily, Ubud is full of batik classes. We picked the all day class with loads of great reviews and it was fantastic! Aaron will blog about it in detail, but we loved it so much that we signed up for a second class a few days later. If I went back to Bali, I would totally do it yet again. More to come on this!
We did lots of other fun stuff, too. Bali is as famous for its massages as its diving, so we got a few massages while we were there; especially nice after Mongolia. We visited a temple and several rice paddies, delighting in the beautiful scenery of this amazing place.
Finally, we had to pack up and say goodbye to the family who ran our guesthouse, and give a final pet to their fuzzy puppies. We stayed at Pancer House, if you’re interested, and we highly recommended it. The family kept saying we are their Bali-Family now and they want all our friends to know they should come visit. We couldn’t agree more.
Finally, a few more Bali wonders: