All photos in this post are credited to A. Except the last one. The last one is credited to a random cleaning guy at the airport.
We awoke at about 6:30 am on Day 3 in Bali, showered, had breakfast and were hightailing it away from our hotel with Endrah by 8 am. We had quite a bit to get through and not a lot of time to do it, since we were only booked for a half day tour that day.
We began with a visit to a silver factory. It was so underwhelming that I won’t even talk about it. We spent maybe 15 minutes there, with a saleslady tagging along behind us the entire time. Then we made off for what would turn out to be for me the highlight of our time in Bali.
Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud. I’m not even going to start by saying anything. Just look…
People, it was seriously breathtaking. To get to the waterfall, we had to go down a long flight of steps then across a path. Even knowing that we had a tonne of stairs to climb to get back to the car, we didn’t care – it was just that gorgeous!
There were about 10 people standing on the bank taking pictures when we got down to the falls, and we did the same for about 10 minutes. Then we stripped off our clothes and waded right in, taking it in turns so we could take pictures of each other in the water. I guess everybody else was waiting for someone to be the brave first one into the water, because within 5 minutes other people were wading in. When I got out so that A could go in and have me take pictures of her, I told a British couple who were staring longingly at the water that they should go in because it was lovely. They followed my advice and later thanked me for it. Eventually, A and I covered up our stuff on the bank and we both went in; we made it most of the way behind the falls and sat on a ledge back there just reveling in the crashing of the water – it was sublime.
After about 15 minutes in the water then a pit stop at a Roman-bath style shower, we decided that we couldn’t leave without trying to get to the top of the falls. That doesn’t mean we climbed up the falls. It means we walked (and jumped in 1 or 2 places) up a path off to the right of the falls and we stood beside the falls at the top taking pictures and reveling in the beauty of the scenery and the moment.
Then it was time to go. I’m proud to say that we made it all the way back up those steep stairs with only 1 brief 5 second pause. We were sweating like Usain Bolt after a 100 m race but we were proud, considering how out of shape we felt, and I was blissfully happy to have seen the beauty of that place.
Our next stop was the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, also in Ubud. More gorgeousness…a green so sharp it was almost painful to the eye. We spent about 30 minutes jumping and climbing from terrace to terrace (I got a muddy right foot for my trouble, while A leapt and bounded like a gazelle), going from the top of 1 side of the field almost to the top of the other side. I had been hunting for postcards for my loved ones since the previous day, but it was there at the rice terrace that I finally bought some from an adorable little girl who couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 years old. She should have been in school but there she was, sweating it out on the rice terrace in her Angry Birds t-shirt and with her little bag, trying to sell postcards. I bought 2 packs.
From there, we went to the Ubud Royal Palace, where we spent 15 minutes taking pictures of the architecture, then across the road to the Ubud Market, where we were again underwhelmed. We wrapped up the tour portion of the day with lunch overlooking a rice terrace. This was my only non-salad meal in Bali – I had pork ribs and they were delicious!
Endrah dropped us back at our hotel, where we relaxed by the pool for a couple of hours then we showered, changed and continued our food tour. We headed for a restaurant on the beach. Again, this was literally on the beach. There were colourful bean bag chairs set up around low tables under colourful umbrellas, and gourmet food was on offer. At sunset, patrons lit Chinese lanterns and released them to float up into the sky. We just managed to miss that spectacle because we couldn’t find the restaurant at first and had a bit of an off-the-path wander. After filling our bellies and hiking it back to our hotel, we slept peacefully again that night.
We had booked our return tickets for the last possible flight out of Bali that would still allow us to get back to the centre at a reasonable hour – we wanted to squeeze all the juice out of the fruit that was Bali. So on the morning of day 4, we spent a couple of hours at a crossfit gym, where I watched A and about 8 or 10 other women lifting weights, doing chin ups, swinging from bars like they were performing in an Olympics gymnastics competition, and generally showing how strong and tough they are. A ended up with cut up palms because she hadn’t worked out in so long, but she’s an exercise thug so she powered through the pain. Respec’, my girl; me nayna do dat! (Patois translation: all due respect to you, my friend; you did something I sure wouldn’t.)
After that, we had the rest of the day to wander around town, eat some more deliciously nutritous food, and drink some more coffee. That’s exactly what we did until it was time to leave for the airport at around 5:30 pm.
Our time in Bali was over. A took the opportunity to have 1 last coffee at the airport, we ate our dinner which we had bought to-go at a health food restaurant back in Seminyak and relaxed and reveled in the bliss that was Bali before we boarded our plane headed back to reality.