Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Thursday May 12, Friday May 13, Saturday May 14 – Catherine Arrives – Experiencing Life in Ubud: Campuhan Ridge Walk; Karsa Café; 12k Walk through Villages north of Ubud; Dinner at Made’s Warong; Yoga; Relaxation; Morning Chats; Pool Time; Food Shopping

Catherine arrived from Hong Kong on Thursday evening. We last saw her in Ontario about three or four years ago. Once again, it is always a treat to see a friend from Canada!!

Our days are active and lazy. Breakfast is taken at the large table in the outdoor eating area; cooling off in the infinity pool occurs any time during the day and evening when one, or all, of us feel the need; trips to the Bintang are made to stock up on dinner food; and trips into Ubud are made to shop, or load up on cash….that is of course, if you can get the ATM to work. We met one young Canadian from Vancouver Island whose PIN number on his card was 8 digits. The ATM machines here only accept PINs up to 6 digits!! Poor guy, I hope he managed to sort it all out. A point to remember for future travel!! Also, remember to advise your bank if you are leaving your local area. Laura experienced this. No money from the machines! So after a series of phone calls to ScotiaBank she is now able to access her money! Dinners are either eaten in, or out at one of the many available restaurants. Fresh food in the Bintang is limited. We tried the meat one day and it was so tough we have limited our purchases to chicken, which is excellent, and salmon, which is also excellent.

We did a massive walk (about 18000 steps or around 12 k) on Friday starting off with a hike along the Campuhan Ridge to the Karsa Café in Bangkiang Sidem for lunch. Instead of turning back to Ubud the way we came, we continued up the path and took the appropriate turn to take us out of the rice fields. We followed a small road winding down one side of the river gorge and up the other through the most beautiful green and colourful vegetation, then turned left into Payogan on Jl Raya Sanggingan, the road that the Bintang Supermarket is on, past countless art galleries and other craft makers and lots of locals waving “hello”.

On Saturday morning we did a yoga class, this time at 9:00 a.m. Although it was busier, the instructor was beautiful, and her body moved perfectly through the yoga poses with the air and beauty of a dancer. It was a great class and we flowed through a number of hatha movements and breaths creating a varied, challenging and fun program. The view from the studio over the valley is stunning. We all love walking through the lanes. First of all, they are quieter, but more importantly they are fun….the houses are camouflaged  with colourful flowers and palms, and their styles are eclectic and interesting.

During the rest of the day we sat around the breakfast table and talked about all the things that women talk about when they get together, including families, travels, fitness programs (or lack of!!), world issues such as those affecting women around the world, volunteer positions, jobs, and what we are going to do with the rest of our lives, etc. etc. No topic is out of bounds. In the evening we returned to the lanes for dinner visiting Made’s Warong, an attractive little eating place that provides OK food.

Saturday evening we were early in bed – 10:30 p.m. with the hope that we would get some sleep before our alarms went off.

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