Our stay in Candidasa went quite quickly for us and we were excited to continue onward to Ubud at the centre of this island. We have organised a driver named Wira to transport us from Rama Shinta hotel to Ubud with some sight seeing stops along the way. Just a quick note, we found Wira to be a very pleasant driver. He provides a wifi hotspot in his car and bottles of clean water during the journey. You can contact Wira on his Facebook page here.
We managed to get in a short breakfast and pack our bags just before Wira arrived at the hotel. Talk about timing! Actually this whole trip so far has been a series of events that nicely slot in and around each other to our highest advantage! A quick meet and greet and on the road for our first adventure of the day, Pura Goa Lawah the bat temple. If I thought I had experienced the locals of Bali already, I was mistaken. This place was festering with people trying to sell their items to you. No means yes along with anything else you say in this territory. The only way to get through it is to just keep walking and don’t look back. So we made it to the ticket booth to get in. I was dressed up in traditional clothing to cover my legs before entering the sacred temple. Just as I was making my way to the entrance, I felt a light wooden necklace fall over my head and rest on my neck. An old balinese lady had gifted me this necklace and repeated a few times this is for free. Being more of less uneducated in the way of trade over here, I smiled and politely said thank you. I wonder what surprises will jump out at me once we enter the temple…
The temple was quite small, very decorated with statues and carved walls. We made our way to the end of the path where a cave loomed in the distance. There are barriers stopping you from entering. Wouldn’t want to risk being bitten by a few thousand bats! The cave walls were moving with bats! It is really incredible to see so many of one species all gathered together in small places, it is no wonder the locals see them as sacred beings. After a few photos and some keen observation, we decided to keep looping around to the exit. Surprise, suprise, more people trying to sell things inside the temple area! I felt quite impressed with myself as my vibe seemed to bounce the marketing tactics right off me. We found ourselves by the ticket booth again where I was quickly swooped in on by the same old woman who gifted me the necklace. She demanded I purchase one of her goods and kept pointing at the necklace implying that I would be inconsiderate not to spend money on her souvenirs, but my willpower was strong, I smiled into her persuasive look and continued on to the car.
It was a beautiful feeling to get in the car air conditioning again! The next stop was Blangsinga Waterfall . This place was another paid entry but everything is around $1.00 entry fee. This place was packed! Such a hot day and an iconic waterfall spells it out well! The trail starts off at the top of the waterfall, slowly winding down, sometimes using stairs to the bottom of the falls. It is like a mini theme park once you are at the bottom. The crowds, the little huts, and different little pools to swim around in or set up some chairs and relax. The amount of water falling created a large radius where you physically could not gain access to. I observed some heavier looking guys trying to get to where the crashing water hit the bottom though they were being thrown back like a kite in a hurricane. We decided to head back to the car and straight to Ubud as we were too hot and getting hungry and excited for the food Ubud has to offer.
The general feel of our surroundings began changing. It became more calm and relaxed way of life. We came across a restaurant while looking for our bungalow. It was called Warung Ting Ting. There was a small chalk board with their specials on for the day. Katie and I instantly chose what our lunch was destined to be within seconds of gazing out of the car window! Our Firefly BnB was a little difficult to locate as it required a short walk along pathways not wide enough for a car. We managed to contact our host and were guided to our luxurious new home for the next 7 days!
A young man named Kadek wearing a traditional looking Balinese hat rode down to our car on his scooter to help guide us and carry one of our bags back. We made our way up the pathway and were shown at beautiful little bungalow which we instantly fell in love with. We had opted for simple living in a minimal place. Our bungalow was an ancient wooden traditional building which had been moved to the property from Java a couple of years prior. The windows were the type you opened like two doors. Thankfully we had a mosquito net over our bed which allowed us to sleep with the windows and doorways open at night.
A few minutes passed and Kadek was strolling toward us with two large drinks in his hands. Soursop juice! This was the first time I had ever tried soursop and instantly became one of my favourite tastes. We had become very hungry by now and decided to set off for the short walk down to Warung Ting Ting to grab those daily specials! Katie had ordered a salad with tempeh nuggets and I ordered myself the rice burger which is sticky rice in the shape of a flat bun with delicious tofu and salad inside. After nourishing ourselves we decided to do some exploring of the area to see what restaurants and interesting places we could locate. Walking around Ubud is a real treat. It is just as easy to get a taxi here as it was in Candidasa though we opted to walk for a while to really take in the surroundings. It wasn’t too far of a walk before we stumbled upon the closest supermarket (thanks to google maps of course!). It cost us next to nothing to stock up on the necessities and some light snacks. The way had been easy enough to remember and I felt more than happy to stash the phone and use the map in our memories instead. We arrived at our beautiful bungalow and went down to the infinity pool to freshen up.
Before we knew it, twilight had rolled around and our stomachs caught onto the fact pretty quickly too! Katie remembered a restaurant she used to visit years ago when staying in Ubud that was within walking distance. It’s called Yellowflower cafe and it serves traditional Balinese food. On the way to the cafe we had noticed a small print out stuck to a wall saying there was a donation plant based lunch on this Sunday. Well that sounds like a great lunch idea tomorrow! We arrived at this tucked away cafe yet it was almost full! I decided to order good old Mie Goreng and a chocolate milkshake for us to share. Katie ordered a coconut salad with coconut flakes presented in a hollowed out half coconut with a side of some kind of fried tofu. We kind of had to sit there for a little bit to let the food settle after finishing up our meal before we could walk home. The food in Bali seems to give you a very well fed feeling! By the way, that chocolate milkshake was insane! It had ice cream floating on top and whatever was in there, probably palm syrup made it one of the best milkshakes we have ever tasted. We eventually got up and casually walked back to our delightful home. Bali is so beautiful.
The next day we were awoken to a gentle sunrise peeping in through one of the open windows and the sounds of distant roosters alarming the world of their presence. Kadek soon arrived to ask us if we were ready for breakfast. Banana pancakes and fruit juice for us this morning! The food and drinks soon arrived. I thought I made pretty good pancakes and I do but somehow I was deeply humbled by the taste of these banana pancakes. I will be borrowing Kadek’s recipe from now on when I whip out our crepe maker!
Well, time for some more food. We were still keen on going to the donation plant based lunch so off we went. This little hidden place just off the main walking path was called Bamboo Flute. We strolled up some narrow stairs and a large house stood before us. Just inside was a bench top buffet and a bunch of plates and cutlery. No one was at the counter, just people sitting around eating. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before. Katie and I opted to sit at an outside table to eat this abundance of food. The food was incredible, there were about 8 different things to choose from and I have no idea what any are called! Who needs words when you are chewing anyway, right? After a donation we started to continue on to the main street of Ubud to explore and get our bearings. This place is definitely the busiest part of Ubud.
Twilight found its way back quickly again. Time goes by quite quickly in Bali for some reason. There is a new little restaurant called Oasis beside the walking pathway near our Firefly Airbnb. Well we had to try it out of course. This place was right next to a rice paddie field and the reflections off the water as you walk toward the restaurant are magical to say the least. Two tempeh burgers were ordered and it gave us enough time to watch the sky fade to darkness. The burgers were okay though comparing them to the other magical places we have eaten at in Ubud already, we decided not go go back though the atmosphere was very beautiful and the proximity to our home was hard to beat!
We always seem to be much more relaxed in our walking on the way back to our beautiful bungalow after a filling meal. The air temperature is perfect at night and it is so peaceful in this area. A little pathway that split off the main one came upon us and I asked Katie if she would like to join me on an adventure down this little mysterious way. A short walk down this little path led us to one of the most magical looking places we have seen in Bali yet! It was a valley with water flowing down below and a rope bridge joining the two hills. The hills had their own layers and gardens all illuminated by lanterns. Up the top was a restaurant and little apartments for holiday makers. On the way back we saw a sign saying “Ubud Heaven guests only”. Luckily we only saw that sign on the way out, or did we 😉