Change of setting, change of pace! Although Bali is a tropical island as well, it has a completely different atmosphere than the Micronesian islands. The heat is much more humid and therefore oppressive, the streets are noisy and crowded with people, cars and mopeds, there are little shops everywhere and you are constantly being asked if you want to buy something, especially transport. There are eastern looking ornaments and temples everywhere, as well as little offerings that people place in front of their shops, houses, altars, hotel rooms, etc. It’s taking us a little while to get used to all of this… but our room at the Honeymoon Guesthouse in Ubud is more than lovely, with a large, marble floored terrace and lots of gold paint and a nice poster bed and marble bathroom. And the money is kind of fun: it features a ridiculous amount of zero’s, with 1 euro being worth over 13.000 rupiah! After our first run to the ATM, we walked around with more than a million in cash in our pockets, ha ha.
Today we went for a walk in the outskirts of Ubud, which consist of endless rice paddies. Very lovely! We even had some energy left in the afternoon, so we went to see another of Bali’s sights: the sacred monkey forest. Hundreds of rather ugly little macaques, that come very close to you because they are fed all the time. After that, we chartered a taxi to take us to one of the few truly ancient sites on Bali, Gunung Kawi. The temple was fairly disappointing, but the view of – again – the rice paddies on our way there was worth the trip. Our taxi driver, very happy to have found some passengers, took us for a little detour through the countryside after that, so even if we do nothing else for the next few days (which we are definitely considering as our next hotel has a small infinity pool, my favourite!), we’ve seen a part of the island!