A visit to Ubud

Keith Lisa has found quite a bit of a readership with her travel weblog, set-up for her first long trip, intending to spend 7 months travelling to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Philippines before heading home to South Africa. She has reached Ubud by now, and this is what I found in her weblog of today.

We took a local flight from Flores to Denpasar, Bali and then hopped in a taxi with a Dutch couple to the cultural town of Ubud, about 2 hours from Kuta. It is a lovely place - the streets lined with art galleries, craft shops, clothes stalls, bead shops and endless cafes and restaurants. We found a lovely Balinese style guesthouse with a pool, and this became our oasis and retreat from the heat after long walks in the surrounding paddies and fields. We left early our first morning there and took a long trek along a river gorge, through rice paddies and unbelievably green fields. It was hot and humid already at 0730am. We reached the top of a steep climb along the ridge and came upon a couple of small houses and local artists' galleries.

Wayan is a local artist who learnt how to paint from his father. He was sitting quietly painting on the steps of his shop. We went inside to look at his works and came out having bought several paintings and feeling pretty poor! He was delighted and said he had sold more paintings to us than he had in 2 months! Considering his location it is not surprising, but his works are so detailed and intricate and it is probably the only original art we will ever be able to afford. The rest of our walk took us through local villages, ducks in the fields and women washing by the streams. Wayan directed us to a bamboo bridge which crossed the river gorge. It was a steep descent down to the bridge which happened to be only a few pieces of bamboo separating us from a very steep fall. We made it across and climbed up the muddy slopes to the other side. We must have looked a real sight in our muddy pants when we got back in to town.