Days like today are the reason I travel. The beauty of some places can often take your breathe away – make you stop and think how much there is to actually see out there. It amazes me as to why more people from the States don’t really travel. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard on this trip, “I never meet American women traveling alone. From other countries, yes, but not American women…nor many Americans in general for that matter.” I hear it ALL the time. I decided today, that my goal in life is to see 50 countries. After this trip, I will be at 24.
Today, I rented a moped and drove around Ubud and the outer perimeters. My first stop was the monkey forest, a park that includes a couple of temples, amazing statues, and monkeys running around, likely outnumbering the people. There were literally monkeys everywhere. Vendors sell bananas in the forest, so the monkeys are very accustomed to people. I sat down to take a picture next to one and he came right up to me and tried to nibble on the beadwork on my dress. I was a little freaked out, but the woman taking my picture told me to relax and just not to touch him. When I started to get up and pull my dress away, he then started to bite my arm. Fortunately, his teeth weren’t sharp at all. Still, I was pretty much done getting close to the monkeys. Last thing I need is an F-ing rabies shot.
Next I ventured off to the botanical garden, which sucked, but I was able to see some pretty cool puras (temples) and some decent countryside on the way.
I stopped off to do a little shopping and then decided it was too hot to walk around, so I got back on the bike and off I went.
I drove pretty far north of Ubud and saw one of the most beautiful countrysides I have ever seen. The rice-paddies are pretty amazing – set back off the road, extending for miles in this unique stairstep fashion. They are often surrounded by big swaying palm trees. I saw a number of fields being harvested. Small Balinese men and women were up to their knees in mud, gathering the rice I presume. I drove through some small villages – saw children playing in the street, dogs running around, women balancing baskets of goods on their heads, roosters and chickens walking next to the road, and men carrying goods with opposing baskets balanced on their shoulders via a long bamboo pole. It was like taking a step back in time, or at least taking a step back to a more simplified lifestyle.
On my way back, I stopped at a resort and ate a late lunch on a terrace overlooking the rice-paddies, an unforgettable view.
My evening ended at the Ubud Bodyworks Center where I received my final massage of the trip. You just can’t beat the prices here, and plus, it was a long-hard day of sightseeing 🙂
It saddens me to say that, tomorrow, my time in Indonesia ends. This is by far, one of the best places I have ever been to. Hopefully, I will find my way back here again someday.