Sarah (You remember Sarah!) and I arrived at our private gated 3-bedroom villa – complete with a pool, daily maid service, and private airport transfer – and spent our first day doing absolutely nothing at all. When Kenzie (Co-conspirator of ours in Sydney and Melbourne) arrived the next day, we graduated to doing ‘not too much’ – and split amongst the three of us, that lavish villa I mentioned would now be costing us each a wallet-busting $31 per night.
Ubud: Spiritual Juggernaut
Providing a gorgeous viridian ‘yang’ to Seminyak’s oceanic ‘yin’, Ubud is nestled under lush canopy, bursting with vivid flora and seeping in a palpable energy that’s pretty tough to put into words. Supremely serene, Ubud’s landscape combines seemingly-limitless rice terraces, steep ravines, ethereal forests, and mystical temples. The city center is surprisingly cosmopolitan, but despite a buzz of activity is nonetheless incredibly zen. I don’t use that word accidentally – Ubud has a global reputation for its focus on wellness, which manifests itself in manners practical (yoga, health foods, sauna), experimental (sensory deprivation tanks, colonic irrigation, detox), esoteric (ecstatic dance, crystals, ozone therapy, tarot), and… erm… dubious (DNA healing, reiki, etc).
Fire and Water: Adventures in the North
We rose at 3 in the morning to embark on the 2 hour trek to the top – certainly no Everest by any means – but the journey was a fun one that provided for one hell of a sunrise view to enjoy over breakfast. Not just any breakfast, though – fresh fruits and banana sandwiches that were cooked naturally by our local Balinese guide over volcanic steam, plus hot coffee and tea to cut the chill from the summit wind. Breakfast doesn’t get much cooler than that!
"But wait - there's more!"
See you again soon, Bali. Can’t be soon enough.
In my next update, I’ll tell you about Gili Air, the tiniest and most remote island I’ve ever step foot on – and about diving and trekking in Komodo, an unprecedented underwater paradise and a gorgeous cluster of islands where I’ll be meeting an ancient predator with ancestors that date back more than 100 Million years. Should be a fun post