Ubud Round 2
Whilst volunteering at BAWA I got to enjoy Ubud in the evenings also and found Earth Café; a fabulous vegan restaurant inside Paradiso, which had a cinema for film showings and documentaries, along with dance classes and various other healthy living classes. It also hosted a health food market and store downstairs; needless to say I spent quite a lot of my time here. The food was delicious and over the few weeks I sampled many of their options:
I also found 3 other restaurants serving vegan and vegetarian local food and enjoyed their Tempe satay, Nasi Campur and vegan quiches, as well as their deserts of course.
I visited Clear Café too and found their amazing burrito; a black bean and veggie filled delight – my Mexican fix of the journey so far! Their puddings were slightly disappointing compared to their main meals, but this was a benefit to my waistline so I won’t complain.
I did a few walks, one of which was very underrated – the Campuhan Ridge walk. This was a walk along the top of the rice paddies and then continuing high along a ridge with valleys of rainforests on both sides. It was a beautiful, peaceful walk with stunning views. There were very few other people along the walk, most were young couples, and I was told after that this was a common romantic walking spot for young locals.
Here are the 2 guesthouses I stayed at in Ubud, the first is Ubud Bungalows and their beautiful pool and breakfasts!
Then I moved to a guesthouse with a view as I needed to do some writing and wanted some inspiration; views always help me feel still, spacious and happy to sit and write.
Yoga in Ubud
I did the obvious thing and attended some classes at Yoga Barn. The strong flow was great, although a little militant for my liking. I enjoyed the restorative yoga too and the Tibetan sound bowl meditation, but by far my favourite was the ecstatic dance class. This class I was told, was full every Friday and Sunday, and with 150 slots it clearly was very popular. I soon learned why. They started with some more gentle welcoming music, the upstairs Shala filled up and we were instructed that if you were new to this, perhaps to close your eyes and just go with the music. I followed their lead and as the music morphed into a heavy based African/tribal beat, I really got into it. This was THE most releasing form of dance or expression I had ever done and could see why I had been recommended to take part in ecstatic dance by my reiki therapist at home and by the sports masseuse I had seen in Canggu. I felt new after, like I was walking lighter and truly in tune with myself. I found that as we got deeper into the hour and a half dance session, I let go more, cared less about judgement from others, and was actually encouraged by the people around me also letting go and enjoying whatever expression their soul wanted. It was invigorating and awakening and I felt tension and stress work out of me through the movements. I would love to teach this at home and will be going about earning how and setting it up; I think we could all benefit from some expression in our often rigid daily lives. It seems that through the ages humans have had traditional movement and dance incorporated into daily life and ritual all over the world, and now the Western world has largely lost this, perhaps with country and line dancing being the most recent form. I think in losing this, we lose a lot, we lose the ability to express through more than just our voices and can lose the feeling of being connected to your body. Yoga is great to re-ignite this connection, but this free flowing movement didn’t come from me or a learnt routine, it was from Me, my soul, my consciousness, whatever you want to call it, just not thought or ego. It came through my body and the 2 were in union. You really have to try it!
I also tried Kundalini yoga for the first time at Ubud Bodyworks, it’s something I would like to learn more about as well as tantra, which by the way is not just the part that most people think it is, it’s connecting with your energy flow.
I also wanted to try out Radiantly Alive yoga studio and Intuitive Flow, which I was told have an awesome Shala with a view of Mount Agung, but I didn’t get time. If anyone knows how they are, please leave a comment.
As you can see, there are a lot of options for yoga in Ubud. Unfortunately I needed walking training and the surround flat landscape was not going to provide that, so it was time for me to leave Bali. But not before I collected my new debit card from Canggu and then headed to Lia’s spa in Umalas for a visit.
Collecting my card – or not!
The driver I had used a few times, Inyoman, came to collect me. He always surprised me with his patience and gentle manner. He would detour and wait places for me and it was always genuinely not a problem. We drove to Canggu and he offered to wait for me whilst I collected my card and met Mark, Lia and Lewis for dinner and then take me back to Canggu. I arrived at The Spareroom, opened my parcel, noticing that it had tape on it saying that it had been inspected at customs. Low and behold, my bank card that I had waited 3 weeks for had been stolen out of it at customs; something that apparently is very common in Bali. I cried, I felt a little helpless, I had officially ran out of cash and had no way to get any. I called Mum just to check how it was sent, she said it had been sealed in the box along with the other little things, so it definitely had been taken. Great. She called the bank for me to heck if it had been used and to get it blocked. Round 2 of blocking my cards and I wondered how I was going to receive it.
I headed for dinner and Mark and his lovely family immediately cheered me up! We had lots of laughs over Tempeh burgers and sweet potato fries. Lewis was a charming young man and his Mum Lia was so kind, we all had lots in common and before we knew it it was late and we needed to go. Mark was heading to the UK a couple of days later and Lia invited me to her salon, so I said I would arrive in a few days before I left Bali.
I had to borrow money from my guesthouse to pay the driver, and to be able to eat the next day, and a lovely woman I had met at yoga called Helen also took money out for me and I transferred it to her. This no-card stuff was getting boring, but I was grateful it wasn’t worse and it made me appreciate how easy and convenient things are for me normally. I was also blown away by how kind people were, offering help with trust and kindness. I had met some lovely people in Ubud including Helen so was sad to be leaving but excited to leave the rain and knew I would come back to Bali next year in the sunshine.
Aaliya Spa and Guesthouse
I had a lovely few days relaxing at Aaliya, it was such beautiful surroundings and spending time with Lewis and Lia was lovely. I even got my hair cut and nails done as Lia insisted on pampering me, which was very welcomed. We ate at Pelaton and Motion in Canggu, two of my faves and she was so generous and treated me every time; I really was spoilt. She also helped me get cash from my credit card at her salon, a big help.
The little cafe over the road from their guesthouse did yummy breakfasts too, and matcha lattes, which I may have mentioned I love! See pics below :)
I was sad to go but knew my training for Kilimanjaro was overdue and I needed to get walking so I got the next flight to Chiang Mai in Thailand - the nearest place ideal for walking that wasn’t drowning in this unusually wet ‘wet season’ that had hit Indonesia and The Philippines.
Farewell Bali, until next time…(see you in May)