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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Bali Travel Diary - Part 4

  

This post marks part four in my Bali travel diary series if you haven't yet read any of the others, you can check them out here - #1 #2 #3


Today marked our last day in Ubud and our last hours at our amazing rainforest villa. Instead of sitting around the villa in sadness at having to leave, we decided to venture to the famous Yoga Barn to kickstart our morning.

Walking into the Yoga Barn complex, there's nothing else to say except it was stunning. Beautifully designed buildings woven seamlessly into the surrounding nature. After walking down a few steps and past a couple of other buildings and studios, we reached the main yoga complex.

Walking into the building, which is completely open at the front, we all left our shoes to one side, and paid for our class. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly which class we did (the timetable is jammed packed), but I do know it went for an hour and a half, which is the longest yoga class I've ever done, and seen. Walking further around the building we eventually walked into the doors of the yoga studio. It was quite a large room, with beautiful wooden floors and floor to ceiling glass along the back and down one side of the room. The other side housed a bunch of shelving which contained everything you needed for the class; mats, blocks, cushions and more.

The class went through all your usual yoga poses and techniques, but thanks to the intense humid, the length of the class, the length we held some of the poses and my general lack of yoga participation for an extended period of time, the sweat became real. Luckily it happened to most people in the room so I didn't feel so unfit and out of shape. While I'm not sure I would want to be doing yoga for that long all the time (I'll stick to my hour sessions thanks), I highly enjoyed the class and our instructor was so awesome and super helpful.

By the time the class was over, we only had about half an hour to get ourselves some breakfast, but the cafe/restaurant there had looked way to good to miss, so we swiftly made our way there and didn't dawdle in picking something to eat. As you can imagine, pretty much everything on the list was super healthy, which is exactly what you feel like after you've just started your morning with a serious yoga session, and everything my friends and I ordered looked and tasted amazing. Again I can't remember exactly what drink I ordered, though I do know it was one of the many smoothies on the menu, and it was downright delicious. For food a couple of us ordered what I'm pretty sure were called Pineapple Pancakes which came topped with mulberries and they are some of the best pancakes I have ever had in my life.


After finishing breakfast, it was a mad but sad rush back up to the main road to meet up with our driver. He took us back to our villa for one final time as we packed all our stuff, had our luggage loaded into the van and said goodbye to our wonderful staff, who were also super cute and asked to have a final photo with us all. We then gave our driver the address for our next villa in Seminyak and off we went. 


It was about an hour drive from Ubud to Seminyak, and most of us dozed off at some point during the trip. Driving back to Seminyak, I recognised a lot more of the landscape from my previous trip, particularly the magnificent statutes they have standing tall and proud in the middle of their large roundabouts. We had a pretty much smooth trip there, the only hiccup came once we were on our street and we needed to find the right laneway that our villa was down. The street our villa was on was lined with these super long, narrow laneways. As you drove down them, along one side would be the entry to numerous villas. Once we eventually found the right laneway, our villa, called Villa Odyssey was located right down the end; great for being away from traffic and the busy street, not so good for having to walk up and back every time you wanted to go somewhere because it was pot luck whether a taxi driver would choose to drive down it or not.  When our bus driver pulled up and unloaded our bags, we were greeted by an Indonesian lady who we quickly figured was one of the staff for this villa. After having to sadly say goodbye to our awesome driver, we opened the gorgeous wooden door and stepped into another paradise!

As soon as you walked in you were greeted by the amazing pool, with an undercover seating area directly to your left. There were two pool lounge chairs set up facing the water, as well a small lounge and chairs behind that. On the far end of the pool were glass doors to one of the four bedrooms. As we walked around to the main living area, we saw there was another set of glass doors to another bedroom (this bedroom was only accessible via these doors). Walking into the living area it was nothing short of amazing. Overall the place had a much more modern and trendy style to it compared to the more traditional layout of the villa we'd been in while staying in Ubud, but I'm glad we got the chance to experience both. The kitchen (not that we used it much except to store drinks) was super spacious. Down from that was the long dining table, perfect for our group, and beyond that was a living area with a TV, sound system, lounges, chairs, all the usual living room stuff. Again we appreciated all the different options we had for lounging, and I think it ended up being key to all of us having such a smooth trip. Having so much space to spread out meant we could all have moments off by ourselves to chill out and we weren't cramped into each other's personal bubbles 24/7; the result - an entire trip without a single fight, though it probably helped that, after knowing each other for five years, our group had never had a single major blowout, another reason I love and cherish these beautiful group of ladies so much.

Next was the bedrooms and bathrooms. Each bedroom had it's own bathroom, and both were massive. Walking into the bedroom that I was sharing with one of my friends, the first thing that hit you was the sweet, sweet cool air from the bedrooms air con. Along the right hand side was a desk and day bed where we dumped all our stuff. To the right was the queen bed in the middle of the back wall and over the far side was a mirrored wardrobe. Walking across the stone floor, decorated with a faux cow skin rug (which always creeps me out just a little bit) the front of the room was lined with glass sliding doors through which there was a small pebbled pathway and a row of tropical greenery. Over the left side of the room was the large wooden door that led to the bathroom; the most amazing, beautiful, downright awesome bathroom I have ever used. Walking in, to the left was a huge sink and a toilet. At the back of the bathroom was the bath where the roof was actually non existent. The entire perimeter of the bathroom was open to the heavens, which in a hot and humid climate like Bali was awesome. Right against the right hand side wall was the shower and a bamboo towel rack. 


After walking around and dumping all our stuff in our rooms, we meet the owner of the villa who told us all about it and even gave us some sweet food recommendations, including a banging burger place that was just around the corner from where we were staying. With all the formalities out of the way, the first priority was to grab some lunch before jumping into the amazing pool. Seeing as our villa owner had recommended a place around the corner we decided to venture there for lunch. Walking down the strip, we saw there were numerous food shops, and while some of us choose to stop at a place called KZU. The rest of us made our way to the famous Wacko Burger we'd heard about. 

After getting back to the villa, eating and chilling for a couple of hours, it was time to work out what to do with our night. We decided to head down to the beach which was just a couple of blocks from our villa for drinks and a light dinner. Once we cleaned ourselves we began to walk down to the beach, and I suddenly realised everything was looking very familiar. About five minutes into the walk I figured out why when I walked straight past the place I had actually stayed in five years previously. It was sort of crazy to walk past it and have all the memories and moments from that time flash back to me. That's when I realised we must have been walking to a beach that I had also gone to five years ago, at the same time of day to view the sunset. Once we reached the beach I was 100% sure I'd been there before; in particular a memory I have of being there five years before was the time when my friends and I were standing around on the beach, taking in the view, and having a man come up to us and try to sell us a full-on crossbow, which I still find so crazy and laugh about to this day. A quick side note for those who may not know; though it may be a hot and beautiful night and we're at a beach and you would think that high on the list would be to jump in the ocean and go for a swim, most beaches in Bali actually have lice in the water so you run the risk of being left feeling quite itchy, so it's best to avoid most beaches unless it's known that people swim there without a problem (a recommendation of which I'll have in an upcoming post).


We spent a couple of hours chilling out and just enjoying the night, and it was honestly probably one of my favourite nights despite the lack of anything really going on. Everyone and everything was just really relaxed, the weather was perfect, there was awesome music playing, I was surrounded by amazing people and I was finally giving myself a moment to let it sink in why we were here; that we'd managed to complete a five year degree, something that will forever be a major part of our lives, and we'd been able to do it together - it that moment I realised just how grateful and lucky I was to have found the friends that I had.

Eventually we paid our bill and made our way back to our villa. Once we got back, I believe we sat around for a little while longer just chatting about various things before eventually deciding we were all buggered and heading off to bed. Another nights sleep in paradise!


Keep your eyes peeled for part five of this series to read all about Mexican fiesta, first shopping trip and our experience with the Indonesian version of Uber Eats.

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