Ubud is so effortlessly cool. A town intwined with jungle and surrounded by rice paddies, with vegan cafes and crystal jewellery shops lining the many little streets and alleys.
Today we went for lunch at Arak Café which was really lovely. Then we walked up Campuhan Ridge; a trail high up, with beautiful views on the edge of Ubud. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting lost in the vast Ubud markets; I could have bought an entire suitcase of clothes and accessories from the many interesting shops, but unfortunately (or probably fortunately) I don’t have space for much more.
We’re staying in a beautiful Homestay here called Artha Dewata, where we have a huge room, aircon, a patio and breakfast included, so I would definitely recommend it.
Ubud is just absolutely beautiful. I think I said this yesterday too but I really cannot stress enough how breathtaking it is, sometimes I look at views and actually want to cry.
We went on a 5km rice paddy walk today; the combination of jungle and rice paddy is probably my favourite environment to walk in. They use ducks on their paddies here as natural pesticides; they eat all the insects from the rice paddies and then fertilise them with their poop! I just think that’s a really clever and natural multifaceted approach to look after their crops. We stopped for a drink in a lovely little cafe with views out into the farms, before heading back to the town.
I did almost launch myself in to the ravine at one point during the walk, as we’d taken a wrong turn and ended up just walking on the tiny field worker’s path around one paddy. I slipped and planted my foot into the mud by accident, which I thought was bad enough, however I then tried to steady myself by putting my weight over the opposite side of the narrow path, at which point I slipped again and almost launched myself into the ditch that side. I panicked and shouted Elliot, but by the time he came to my rescue I’d instincively decided my best chance of survival would come from just kneeling on the floor; so there I was, with muddy legs and hands. But at least I wasn’t in the ravine.
We’ve done at least 10,000 steps 17 out of the past 21 days now, which is quite an achievement for us recently. For the first couple of months of travelling, we would have done easily 20,000 most days, but later on and particularly on the Thai Islands we’d do well to do 2,000 and I was definitely feeling fluffier for it. I think when it’s this hot, it’s very easy to get very unfit quickly by not doing anything, which is a bit of a vicious cycle because it then makes doing anything a lot of effort; but more recently we’ve been climbing many more hills and walking a lot so I’m feeling much better for it. I think especially due to the fact that we’re not going to the gym or anything, it’s so important to keep active in this climate otherwise it gets to a point where walking up a flight of stairs in the sun becomes unbearable.
So I thought I’d be coming here to write about the incredible meal we had in the evening after our walk a couple of days ago; but at about 2 in the morning on the 22nd we were both hit with violent food poisoning, which has lasted a full 24 hours. So as nice as the meal was, I won’t be recommending it. Yesterday we could barely move, but this morning I managed to eat bread, drink water, and wash my hair, so at least that’s a vast improvement. We might venture out for some proper food later if we feel like it.
Last night we mustered up the energy to walk to Falafel Warung (Warung = restaurant in Indonesian) for some proper food. It was nice to finally get out after 48 hours in the room.
Ubud has been really lovely and I’m sad that we had to write off almost two full days here. I’m still grateful to have had two glorious days before that, but would have liked it to be longer. It’s a stunning town, and there are so many walks to do less than a couple of kilometres from the town. So far it’s been by far my favourite area of Bali, despite it not being by the sea. It’s been a really pleasant temperature as well, which is very much appreciated after the 35+ we’ve experienced recently.