Winter Wonderland: Rice and Rain

Day 2
December 5th, 2018

It was a difficult morning start as overnight, Prunella and Felix were unwell. Luckily Lucas slept through it.

Soon we were up and walking, watching the day begin. We found a delicious breakfast of soto ayam that soothed our stomach bugs. Energy for the big day ahead.


Today, we were venturing to Ubud and beyond, more touristic areas. Rather then catch conventional public transport, we spotted a local cargo mini bus that had just dropped it’s wares off. Some quick negotiation and after another delivery of concrete and workers nearby, we found ourselves in Ubud. First stop a walk through the tacky ubud markets, then who could resist the hipster cafes for a second breakfast of French toast for the boys and a tall coffee for Prunella. And a looong chill with wifi…

On the way, we saw lots of monkeys (including baby monkeys) outside the monkey forrest. Unlike many visitors, we have never been there and and aren’t keen to ever visit this attraction.

We were so chilled out, we stayed at the same cafe for lunch too, this time sitting on the upper balcony to watch Ubud life pass by. Then we made final negotiations with another driver to service our days itinerary, this took a few tries and some walking away but he persisted and we finally came to an mutually beneficial agreement. After the usual go-to-driver-hub-change-drivers with one that speaks less English-wait-shuffle, we went to the Water Temple. Unfortunately the actual temple building was closed, but we really enjoyed the stunning entrance gardens at no cost. Whilst there we also stumbled upon a local couple having a beautiful wedding photo shoot.

Pura Taman Saraswati is one of the most popular landmarks of Ubud. The most notable feature of the pura is its lotus pond and water garden, marking the outer area of the actual temple. Plumeria (frangipani) trees decorate the edges of the pond, while the straight bridge-like access is decorated with paras (volcanic tuff) sculptures of Hindu mythological figures. Many of these statues are the works of Lempad. Access to the inner sanctum is provided by three red-bricked kori agung gates. The central kori agung is the largest of these gates and is flanked with two tall plumeria trees.


Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Next stop was one of the most famous rice fields in Bali. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces is famous for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies involving the subak (traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system), which according to legend, dates back to the eighth century. Avoiding the many overpriced tourist restaurants and instagram sets, we sort out a tiny local stall. It was nice to enjoy a snack of banana with cheese, and then some hot chips whilst overlooking the glorious, lush green. Just as we finished the chips, it started raining. Felix claims this was because the chips were cursed.

Petulu Heron Colony

We had heard about the village of herons. In the twilight, a remarkable, natural phenomenon occurs in the tiny village of Petulu (five kilometres north of Ubud), as thousands of white herons fly in to roost for the night. So next stop was to visit the Petulu White Heron Colony. It was a magnificent sight watching them glide in and slowly grow in numbers as we walked along the small tourist free village street. The rain really kicked off when we were there. There is nothing quite like an Asian downpour and the sound is delicious too. We requested our driver to pick us up down the street, but he had difficulty finding us, so it resulted in a long wait huddled under a small doorway whilst heron watching.

We ate dinner at a place our driver frequented, and then home – with the old temple/new temple kerfaffle* that’s becoming all too familiar.

*Felix suggested this word

And like tea dissolving in hot water, the sun dissolved in the sky… creating a velvet horizon, announcing for the stars’ night dance with the moon, the awaited joy for the wounded souls.

From Bali – The Rebirth

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