4 am. Stupid birds ! I wake up at the noise of what sounds like a whole bunch of roosters that have decided to chorus. Damn roosters – it’s still 2 hours till sunrise. At least the room is colder than the ones in Legian and my throat feels better without the AC running all night. I’m really not keen on getting a cold with all those beautiful divesites out there.
We have some amazing Banana Pancakes for breakfast. While eating we are “interrogated” by Ekas husband who for western standards seems a little nosy when it comes to our plans for the day. But don’t misjudge the people. In Bali you like to know the ones you’re dealing with… to get in touch with us even for the short time of our stay. He helps us out by answering our questions and of course, there is always the chance to place a deal to their inner posse. People know there neighbours here and what they’re offering. Most of the time you don’t have to pay for an intermediary and if so it won’t be more the 10000 IDR (0.75 USD). Which still is a good deal since you are avoiding running around in the heat in search for the best deal.
At the tourist information on the corner of the palace we get an infoflyer, make an apointment for a tour (more like some sort of a private driver) and visit the palace. We are lucky. There will be a holiday within the next days with members of the royal family present. For this occasion parts of the palace which are usually closed for the public are now open.
At the temple on Hanoman street we buy tickets for the typically traditonal Lelong Barong Dance that focusses on the interaction between good and evil.
We eat lunch in a nearby Warung. I am still trying to find some better Nasi Campur than the one I’ve eaten in Legian which is still my favourite. It is good here too but not as amazing. The ambience here, however, is worth noting. Very rustique with a view into the kitchen which is under observation by a middle-aged woman who seems to be the boss. She reigns in a very strict manner over her employees… who probably also are her sons. Nobody else is allowed at the counter. “Don’t mess with Mama, cause Mama is the Boss!”
We walk down the picturesque streets back to our homestay with a quick stop at an ATM. Crazy. Whereas the houses are not airconditioned at all the little ATM cells are cooled down to what feels like 0Kelvin. Ekas husband mentioned something about renting scooters at his place or his brothers around the corner right next to the laundry which is run by the grandma (everything stays in the family )
Fairly straighforward we rent a scooter for the day and stroll around the ricefields following the familiar road Jalan Kajeng (Signature Street – Everyone who helps the streets’ maintenance with a donation is allowed to sign a cement plate. Balis Walk of Fame) to the north of Ubud. From a certain point however we can only go on on foot so we decide to follow on another road instead. By coincidence we find a little shack that is said to be one of the film locations of “eat pray love”. Since it is starting to get dark we are heading back. We even find a real petrol station which is rare compared to the plenty of places offering gas from canisters alongside the road. We hurry to find dinner and at a skightly lesser frequented Warung than the one we had lunch at and make our way to the Lelong Barong Performance.