After a month of island life, local basic food and a very relaxed pace of life bordering with chronical laziness, i was quite happy at the idea of going back to Bali. The change of scenery and the amazing offer of diverse cuisines was a good way to enjoy my last week together with my girlfriend before going back to a busy summer of work, mine being in UK and Europe and hers in Australia. Thanks to our favourite restaurant called Black Beach, runned by some good Italian friends, we had the privilege of waking up smelling the most amazing coffee! For a caffeine addict like myself, that was a good excuse to get out of bed early in the morning and get on track before the strong heat of midday would take my forces!
An healtier option would often be abot fresh juices and homemade yoghurt with muesli and honey!
Waking up early has its perks: getting to visit the Monkey Forest before the tourists crowd the place with cameras and selfie sticks! Some of the locals women were up early as well and on their way to the main temple where the traditional offerings are prepared and sold.
When one is lucky enough to visit this fantastic spot before the crowds invade it, he has the chance to witness the early morning light making its way through the branches of the huge banyan trees. The atmosphere is so intense that it’s hard to believe this place lies few meters away from a busy street and a car park.
After been playing Indiana Jones and taking few pictures we went towards the exit gate passing through the graveyard.
Even though Ubud get very busy with cars and scooters, there are few locvely walks right on the outskirts. Some of them lead straight to a Spa and take the visitor on a beutiful ridge cutting through a little neighbourhood full of artists at work.
Before leaving the island we woke up an early morning and drove the bike until the beautiful area called Jatiluwih, where stunning rice terraces will make the day of any photographer or hiker. It’s a refreshing change when coming from the south of Bali.
Not too far from the rice fields there is a very special hot spring that remains pretty unknown to the foreigners. My Balinese friend and occasional guide took me here last year. At the time it was so crowded with locals because of the school holidays, but when we went back we were the only ones apart from an Indonesian couple. It’s a very atmospheric place where one can bathe in the hot sulphurous waters whilst being immersed in the green tropical lush of the surrounding forest!
You know you appreciate Thai food when on a 4 hours stop over in Bangkok airport, instead of going for pad thai or green curry, you opt for a slurpy fish ball noodle soup and a super spicy papaya salad with prawns!