After a 25 hours of traveling, Ben and I made it safely to Bali from Houston and were finally able to meet up with Jon on Christmas day night. We crossed the International Date line so we actually lost Christmas Eve and skipped straight to Christmas. I felt kind of jipped on Christmas this year, but it hardly mattered since Bali has been so beautiful. The jet lag has been super rough so far. Bali is a 10 hour time difference, so Ben has been very cranky and restless. He has been past the point of tired and just running on adrenaline. It has gotten better the past couple days. Last night he slept from 5 pm to 5 am, waking up a couple of times throughout the night for a few minutes. He is getting there though! Mostly we have been lounging around the resort, but yesterday was our first day that we went out for a whole six hours and explored the country side of Bali. Jon was lucky to meet a driver who worked for the hotel who is a private driver on the side. Private drivers are very reasonable here. We paid 50 USD for the whole day. He is native to Bali and very helpful so he pretty much planned the itinerary for us!
He took us on a drive winding through the country side of Ubud. It was very hilly and reminded me of something out of Indiana Jones. Our first stop according to him was the best rice terrace in Ubud. It was the Ceking rice terrace in the Tegallalang. This area was not very touristy and you could see more of the locals and what true Bali looks like: school children riding their bikes on the country side, woman carrying things on top of their heads, locals selling souvenirs outside of their shops.
After seeing the rice terrace, we headed out towards the town of Tampaksiring, home of the famous Tirta Empul. Our driver told us this was the best Hindu temple in the area since it has a holy spring where all of the other temples get their holy water from. It was built over a thousand years ago. We were given sarongs since we weren’t allowed in the temple without them.
The swastika symbol has been around for almost 4000 years and represents all that is sacred in the Hindu religion
Our next and final stop was a 40 minute drive to the Tegenungan Waterfall. It was definitely worth it.
For lunch we stopped at Bridges restaurant in Ubud. I found this cool spot on Trip Advisor after experiencing some funny tasting meat satay the day before. Needless to say, we were very happy with our lunch and the ambiance was nice. We ate our lunch on a deck overlooking the Ayung river in the heart of the jungle.
Ratatouille Fettuccine and Cinnamon Creme Brulee with apples… delicious!
We had a wonderful day exploring! Ben was so amazing and we couldn’t have asked for a better day in magical Ubud.