Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ubud

Ubud

I've been really looking forward to coming to back to Bali, Ubud in particular. I just had this feeling that Ubud was going to be my kinda town and I was right. Bali is predominately Hindu, unlike Lombok and Flores, where I previously was. Everyone that I spoke with who had been to Bali said it was very different from the rest of Indonesia.
I finally arrive in Ubud after my 33.5 hour adventure in transportation. I'm EXHAUSTED. I vow to take things easy this week while I soak up the Balinese culture. The nice thing about coming to a place and having some time is that you can actually take your time getting to know it. Peal the layers of it off. Wander around town, find the best/cheapest massage pallors, locate the warung shacks, find who offers what specials and when. It's almost refreshing to be able to do this again after so many places that I've blown through in a matter of days lately. I found a great place to stay, tucked just off one of the main roads, surrounded by the family temple and frangipani trees, which left the walkway littered with fragrant white and yellow blooms. I took my first hot and non-salt water shower in over 2 weeks. It was blissful, let me just say, absolutely blissful. I set out for dinner and quickly found 2 yoga studios within walking distance and then, one of my favorite finds in Ubud, a warung shack, where everything was 15,0000R ($1.80) and tasty to boot! I am officially in love with Ubud! And from there slid into the easy going tempo of Ubud.
 The culture here is steeped in rituals, morning, evening, daily, weekly, yearly rituals. Street intersections, doorways, and shops are covered with small offering cups, leaving brightly colored flowers, rice, and bamboo leaves littering the streets. I loved walking the streets in the morning and watching the Balinese women dressed in traditional sarongs with baskets of offerings balanced on their heads, with curls of incense wafting into the breeze. Or watching the many women in the markets making offerings for the locals to purchase throughout the day. I found the peace and comfort of the rituals to be very soothing and grounding. I am definitely a person who likes my routine and after 6 months of vitally no routine I found a culture that is so steeped in ritual and routine to be very a pleasant. This is also why things like cooking classes and yoga classes have been so predominant and important in my travels. It brings me a piece of my own routine and ritual from home with me on the road, keeping me sane and grounded. Well, as sane as I ever am!  
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I explored town, the richly green rice fields, and took a cooking class. Nothing I did was over taxing, I slept and sat around the many cafe's and strolled through town. Yet, by Wednesday afternoon I was going I'm tired, still. So I backed off even more. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I slept in even more, cafe lounged more, and took yoga classes in place of rice fields and cycling tours. In fact I did 6 yoga classes in 4 days! Now, let me say that half those classes were restorative yoga classes where you do nothing but get into a pose, get comfy, and meditate for 5 minutes, then repeat. I did some shopping at the market and picked up batik sarongs and insanely cheap vanilla pods. By Saturday night I finally felt rested and recharged and ready to take on the remaining weeks (holy cow, only weeks left guys!) of my journey.   

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