We decided to return to Bali because we found a great direct flight from Brisbane, it's on the way to South-East Asia, and we love Ubud.
Originally, we thought we might visit some new places in Bali or Indonesia, but after spending a few days relaxing in Ubud, we decided to stay in Ubud longer to research and plan our trip and get up-to-date on our posts. We don't normally plan much in advance, but with uncertainty around covid restrictions, visa constraints, and having specific tour/friend&family meetup dates to manage, we needed to be a bit more prepared for this trip.
Despite spending a lot of time in Ubud researching and planning, we still had a great time and wanted to highlight some of it here.
We again stayed at Green Field Hotel (one of our 2 usual/favourite spots in Ubud). It has a really quiet setting, 2 relaxing and well-kept pools, a wonderful breakfast next to the rice fields.. we could not ask for more.
We are creatures of habit and although we tried a few different restaurants, we really frequented a select few:
D’Gamma Warung: A super small local place (3 tables) in a small alley that serves delicious food at a really low price. We could order 1 appetizer, 2 vegetarian meals, and 2 fruit juices for about $12 CAD
Kakiang bakery: Really nice desserts - we liked the Milles-crepes, the Hokkaido Cheesetart, and Jamu Juice (tamarind+tumeric medicine drink)
Cinema Paradiso: Small Movie Theatre where you can use part of the movie ticket price towards food. The food is ordered and served in the theatre and is really good. We ended up seeing Amsterdam, The Women King and Triangle of Sadness.
Twist Ubud: A slightly pricier restaurant that serves really delicious curries, burgers, and drinks.
We also (finally) tried the Balinese Snake Fruit (yum!) and some local gelato.
Walking around town
Although our resort is quiet, relaxing, and has one of the best views of the rice fields, we did venture out on a few explorations around Ubud to see how much has changed since we were last here. Walking along the streets of Ubud is still very noisy and nerve wracking with crazy scooter & car traffic, narrow roads, and little to no sidewalks. That being said, if you manage to find your way to the smaller streets or go a bit outside of the city center, you can find some interesting and nice things to see.
We saw one monkey drinking water out of a dripping tap. We thought it was pretty clever... until another monkey came along and actually knew how to turn the tap on (full blast)!
Campuhan Ridge Walk
We had done this walk on out previous trips, however, this time the path was paved and the village at the end now has a new resort with awesome lounge chairs, chill music, and an amazing infinity pool with a beautiful Instagram view 😂.
That ends the list of the fun, sunny experiences we had.
Unlike our past trips, we actually experienced a LOT of very rainy days in Bali this time. We normally don't post about the rainy days or when we are stuck inside sick (mainly because pictures of that wouldn't be very interesting/fun 😂), but it is inevitably part of travelling and we usually make the best of it getting a massage, trip-planning, tidying pictures, catching up on our blog posts and movies.
One night, it actually rained so much that some of the other resorts flooded and lost power so the guests had to move over to our hotel.
On the next evening following the rain, we had a crazy new experience... We first noticed that there were some unusually large (huge!) geckos out hunting on the walls of the open-air restaurant that we were eating dinner at. We assumed that particular restaurant just happened to have big geckos - we thought little of it and headed back to our hotel. We saw a few more geckos than usual on our way through the resort - they are such fascinating critters to watch!
Each evening, the hotel turns on all of the balcony lights so that guests can safely walk through the resort, to their rooms. This evening, as we turned the corner to our room, we both froze at the sight of thousands.. felt like millions.. of 2 cm-long flying insects swarming the front balconies and stairwell of our entire building.. there were SOOO many of them - we've never seen anything like it. It was shocking.. it reminded us of the bug-filled tunnel from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! Even though it's not something we will easily forget, we do wish that we had taken a video or pictures of the experience as it's hard to really describe what it was like to see, not to mention the chills/goosebumps you get from such an unexpected encounter 😂.
Anyhow, we managed to sneak close enough to turn off the balcony light and went to reception to let them know what was happening at our building. They said they would send someone over to clean up the bugs, so we just had to wait for a while before returning to our room and all was good. Apparently these termite swarms happen every year after really big rain falls - they all take flight and swarm toward the lights to mate, then they all shed their wings and crawl out to the soil to start their colony. The whole thing lasts a couple of hours and then just suddenly ends. The only evidence that it ever happened is the huge mess of shed wings scattered all over the ground!
Regretfully we didn't take any videos or pictures of this (we were too much in shock?), but while waiting for it to end we did try to google to try to understand what was happening, and found this article about the Laron (aka Flying Termite) Swarms.