Last days of Ubud

Earlier today I had a great cooking class where I got to cook and sample a few different Indonesian dishes.

Not hungry to eat after my cooking class but I still I wanted to have a night out so I end up at a café that has live music playing.

The band is entertaining with their versions of popular western songs. The drummer and his bench drum is especially cool to watch.

It is a nice night out but I don’t stay out too late.

Little did I know the next day I would get pretty sick.

It appears that I have gotten some gastrointestinal or food born illness. I don’t feel well at all and I don’t leave my room for a day or so except to ask the hotel for these below.

breakfast of champions

A day later I am finally brave enough to try to eat something (but not brave enough to eat the fancy breakfast next door). I head to the grocery store about 1k around the corner. I still feel crappy and my walking is labored. The choices at the grocery store are less than exciting. I buy a loaf of bread plus a couple other things I think I might be able to eat. I carry my stuff back to the hotel. As I am walking back some men start screaming at me. I am confused and irritated. Turns out I was being stalked by a pair of monkeys that were in the process of stealing my groceries out of my bag. I almost have a meltdown at that point. I am sick as can be, can only eat this stupid stale loaf of bread and monkeys are trying to steal it from me. Because of the warning from the men (whom I never thank by the way – angry/embarrassed me!) my bread makes it back to the hotel. It is terrible but at least I am eating something.

I thank myself for choosing Ubud as a location to splurge for the nicer hotel. It is so much better to be sick in a nice comfortable room than a hostel or budget hotel.

Luckily by the next day I am feeling good enough to head out. Unfortunately it is too late to take advantage of some of the other sightseeing things around town. Another city on my to-return list!

I am off soon to travel to Yogyakarta to see a different part of Indonesia. Bye Ubud!

Monkey is not my friend

Bali Cooking class

If you have been following me previously you will have learned that one of my favorite things to do when traveling is to take a cooking class of the local cuisine. I still have a couple months of travel left but I believe Ketut’s Bali Cooking Class is the last time I attend a cooking class during my travels.

Like most programs this one begins with a trip to a local market after a pickup at my hotel.

I am always fascinated by local food items. It is always so much better to wander around a market with a guide who can answer all your questions.

Religious offerings for sale

After our market visit we go to our kitchen and gather all the ingredients….

They put me to work doing some mashing and grinding.

My arms are getting pretty tired. Making these sauces are hard work. Each one is used for seasoning distinct dishes.

Soup Ayam (chicken soup)
Final outcome of all the dishes
Kolak Pisang (Banana in palm sugar gravy)

For my cooking I am paired up with another solo traveler from the United States. She is a delight to chat with. She is on her own sabbatical journey. It is great to see others following similar paths as myself. I don’t approach too many people during my travels so it is always nice to be paired up once in a while.

Ubud Monkey Forest

My hotel in Ubud is very close to the Monkey Forest down the street.

If I am being honest I am not a big fan of monkeys. I can watch them at a distance but really have no desire to get close to one. I know they can be mean and nasty. Later in my Ubud visit I learn to dislike them even more (more on that later). Because it is such a big attraction in the area and so close I decide to go ahead and visit the Ubud Monkey Forest.

Upon entering the park there are some fun statues.

Candi Terbelah – owl

From what I understand the monkeys (Macaca fascicularis or Balinese long-tailed macaque) are free to come and go from the park but stay because they are fed and feel safe within the park.

This guy below is not one I would like to get into an altercation with.

I got to see lots of grooming, eating, and other tender moments.

But I also saw some jungle territorial action and some obviously bored animals. Definitely an interesting day visit but can’t say I’ll be back again.

Later in the evening I stop for a cocktail. I let the server talk me into an arak cocktail before I am fully aware of the dangers of that liquor. The drink is called Arak Attack that tastes what I believe like cat pee would taste like. Note: I get sick a day later. This drink could have been the cause of that illness.

It is ten months later and I am still alive so the drink obviously did not kill me but still not one of my brightest choices……

Ubud breakfast post

My fancy hotel in Ubud (Adiwana Monkey Forest) has breakfast included at the fancy cafe next door Watercress Cafe. It is a limited menu for the free breakfast but as you can see the choices are not your average free breakfast items.

The following is a post of all my posh breakfast dishes.

My number one buddy – coffee
Quinoa Granola Yogurt, Strawberries, Banana, Mango
Dragonfruit, Coconut, Rainforest Honey
Skillet Hotcake Mixed Berries, Toasted Almond, Chantilly Cream
Honeycomb Crunch, Edible Flowers
Le Croissant “Croque Madam” Fried Egg, Bechamel, Gruyere
Sprouted Goodness Miso, Avocado, Tomato, Feta
House Grown Sprouts, Sourdough

Ubud

I am now in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. I picked a week in Ubud because I knew I would be a travel break and from what I read this is just the place to do that. Ubud has a reputation for being easy going and relaxing if not restorative. I book a comfortable hotel here to spend a couple days. Good timing since I end up getting sick (post on that later). It is so much better to get sick in a high end hotel then it is in a discount hotel (Truth!).

Adiwana Monkey Forest Hotel

It is time again for a hair trim. With all the traveling, poor water and cheap shampoos my usually nice hair becomes unmanageable again. I find a salon down the street that can take me in for a last minute appointment. Their instagram photos show Chrissy Teigen as a former client so it can’t be too terrible? Once again not loving my cut (oh how I miss my hairstylist back home) but it will do for traveling.

It is time to chill and get a snack to finish off my first day.

The next day I take it easy and get a massage. Prior to the massage I fill out a questionnaire that determines my Dosha. The massage is catered to my primary Dosha. In the past I have learned about Ayurvedic stuff but it always great to get a refresher course.

The massage and pool time and a nice dinner rounds out my day -> I did say I wanted to take it easy.

This is a fun sign

My dinner out.

Grilled chicken, green beans, spinach mashed potatoes

I have some amazing breakfasts during my stay (so much I’ll dedicate a post to that later).

Also a cultural thing I learned about Bali first names is that they are given based on birth order. You will notice a ton of businesses with seemingly the same names. I discovered the reason why.

More on my visit later.