After Gili T I went back to Ubud in Bali, mostly because I had to book a destination in Bali and I couldn’t decided where I wanted to go. I had planned to stay in Ubud for a couple of days and then continue on maybe to Lovina or somewhere else in Bali. But once I got there I had a cold and just felt generally exhausted so I decided to just stay in Ubud for a while and relax. I had my own bungalow for only 150 000 rupiah (£7.50) / night including breakfast and it was a good place to just be on my own for a bit. The house was set in a Balinese garden and run by a lovely family.
They also had a small restaurant at the front with good, cheap food where I had many meals.
I had a few quite days just walking around Ubud, looking in the shops and the market.
I also spent a lot of time on my laptop in my favourite cafe, Coffe&, from the last time I was here.
One night I decided to go buy a pirated dvd (there’re lots of those around) and watch it on my laptop. I got Eat Pray Love, which I hadn’t seen yet, because I knew it was filmed partly in Ubud. I really liked it.
After a few days it was time for Balinese new year. Their new years day is called nyepi, “Day of Silence”. This basically means everyone has to stay inside and stay quite. The power for the whole island is turned off, however most people have their own backup generators, you can’t use lights, no one should work and the only people allowed on the streets are medical staff and police patrolling to make sure no one comes out and disturbs the quite. For tourists this means you have to stay in your hotel/hostel area, though the hotel staff still tend to work and keep their restaurants open.
Before nyepi, on new years eve, I decided to move back to the hostel I stayed at last time I was in Ubud. I had started feeling better and felt ready to be around people again. On new years eve in Bali, they create demon statues, ogoh-ogoh, and parade them through town. Later in the evening they take them back to their villages and burn them. I went down to see the parade with a couple of people I met in the hostel.
After the parade there were some performances going on, but it was so packed with people it was hard to see anything.
I didn’t stay too long, there were just too many people and so hot.
The next day was nyepi which meant no one could leave the hostel grounds. We had known the hostel bar/restaurant would stay open, but they had limited their menu and increased all their prices, a bit mean. I mostly spent the day reading and playing a game on my iPad.
The next day I went out for lunch with an American girl to a restaurant with a really nice view over this garden and temple.
Unfortunately the food wasn’t that great and we felt like we were paying for the view since it was quite expensive.
After lunch we walked around town for a bit looking at spas and their prices and she wanted to get a massage at some point. I found this awesome cat shop.
The next day the Kiwi girls from Gili T had made it to Ubud. I knew they were coming to stay in the same hostel as me and it was nice to see them again. We spent the day walking around town, having lunch and a couple of drinks. In the evening the New York girl from Gilis came there too and we went out for sushi for dinner.
After dinner we went to a fire dance show. We were a bit disappointed, I think we expected dancing with fire, but it was basically just a male choir sitting around a big candle with the occasional dressed up dancers coming in to tell some story. We couldn’t really follow the story, but I recognised it as one of the hindu stories me and Olivia were told when we visited the Prambanan temple in Java.
We spent the rest of the night having some drinks in the hostel. The next morning I left early for my flight to Manila.