Monday, December 18, 2006

Bali 2006 - Part 3 - Ubud - Rice Paddy Walk

Ubud Bali - May 16, 2006

Today's plan: Do the Rough Guide "A rice-paddy walk through Ubud Kaja", parallel and east of yesterday's walk.

Up at 7:45, breakfast at the hotel, but got a late start on the walk. The temperature was 82F and the skies clear, so we had excellent views of the Gunung Agung volcano and rice terraces.

Stopped around 11AM to chat with a local man, Renta Wayan. He climbed a nearby coconut tree, brought down a coconut, and chopped it open for us. We chatted a bit and gave him 5K RP for his troubles which he gladly accepted. Although not pushy, he became evident that he hangs out by the track to chat up tourists. He could say hello in several different languages, including Chinese.

The rice paddies and terraces were very cool. This time of year - after the harvest - ducks are allowed to forage in the paddies. We saw many ducks. Also, it is the time of year to repair irrigation channels and we saw much evidence of this.

The walk north out of town was not as pleasant as yesterday as today we ran into a small business of some kind every 500 meters or so, each trying to extract money from tourist by selling art, knickknacks, food and drink, etc.

It seems that we missed the turn around specified in Rough Guide and crossed the river by walking in/on an aqueduct instead of a normal bridge. (See photos). So actually the first hour of the walk back was not on any established track, but just a cross country ramble on the rice terraces, generally headed south. It was quite fun. Finally we hit the main track and came back into town on the famous "Graffiti Road".

Ate lunch at the Lotus Cafe: Storm Pale Ale (A local microbrew - yes!), mango juice, nasi goreng served in a pine apple, and tofu curry. Total of 111K Rupiah. The Lotus Cafe has a great view of the town palace with its temple and water garden of lotus flowers. A very relaxing lunch with a fine pale ale.

Next stop was the local Market for some souvenir shopping. We spent about 200k RP on boxes, hand bags, and various pieces of cotton clothing. And finally, a dip in the pool.

Dinner at the Terrace View restaurant near Monkey Forrest. Excellent! Ankor Beer, Sprite, Gado-Gado, Sayur with tofu soup. The night was clear and we had an awesome view of the Southern night sky including the Milky Way. And we were able to "see the Southern Cross for the first time."

Walking back to the hotel, the long way, we checked out some of the local massage places for a possible "couples" massage the next day.

SLHOTD: Dinner and rice paddy walk.
Sun-Ling strolling.

JHOTD: Cold beer hello!
a cold beer

Ducks in a paddy
ducks in a pond

Sun-Ling drinking fresh coconut water.
ahh!

Renta Wayan: Linguist, rice farmer, and coconut climber
renta - farmer, coconut hunter, and linguist

Great view of the volcano
volcano and rice

Local women threshing rice.
Rice harvest

A scarecrow to keep the birds out of the rice fields
scarecrow

Ready to harvest
Ripe rice

This local is much more graceful crossing the aqueduct than we were. But both Sun-Ling and I made it across with dry feet.
walking the aqueduct

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