We stayed in Seminyak for another two nights before going to beautiful Ubud on Tuesday 6th October. Luckily we shared a taxi with two girls we’d met at Capsule Hostel in Seminyak to save some money. We'd booked three nights in a popular hostel called In Da Lodge which is at one end of the main street that goes through the centre of Ubud called Jalan Raya. After we dropped our luggage off in our room we went exploring through Ubud town centre. We'd been to Ubud before during a day trip when we visited Bali in 2012, so we'd done a lot of the touristy things to do there already, such as visiting the Monkey Forest, Ubud Palace and Tirta Empul Temple. But it was nice to see what the main town looked like. It was full of cute market stalls, boutique clothes shops, arts and crafts shops, pretty jewellery shops and unique textile shops. A very good place to shop it seemed! There is a big Yoga culture in Ubud so there were several Yoga studios in the town centre, with many of the boutique shops selling fashionable Yoga clothes.
We had some lunch at the first restaurant we came across as we were starving and then carried on walking around, looking for a nice, healthy restaurant to eat in for dinner. We hadn't got long until Australia and we were keen to get our bodies back in shape as quickly as possible. Jordan had a frozen yoghurt strawberry smoothie from Funny Monkey which did lots of delicious and healthy treats and also had a spa behind it. We continued walking around the pretty town and had a look through the Ubud market where Natalie bought a pair of shorts and a playsuit. We then chilled out in the hostel for a bit. In Da Lodge had a reputation for being a great hostel, and although it had a nice communal area with good wifi and a swimming pool for you to cool off from the hot Ubud sun, the actual accommodation was a disappointment - a bit tired looking with out-dated facilities and it was quite dirty. That night we had dinner in an organic, healthy restaurant called Juice Ja which sourced most of their ingredients from local farmers and they were big on slow cooked food. This quickly became our favourite restaurant. It was healthy, the food was absolutely delicious (really delicious!) and compared to many of the other restaurants in Ubud, it was reasonably priced, especially for an organic restaurant. On our travels, particularly in Asia, we discovered that if it says 'Organic', it normally means it's twice the price of a regular restaurant! Jordan had the grilled chicken breast with potato rosti and a pepper and sweetcorn relish (which was so delicious he had that every, single, time we went to Juice Ja) and Natalie had a very tasty thyme and pumpkin soup as she wasn't feeling too well. Although she definitely felt better after a warm bowl of homemade goodness. Washed down with an iced green tea, it was honestly one of the best meals we'd eaten in a long time.
The next day we rented a bike from a place near our hostel and drove to Jungle Fish - a luxury resort set in the rice paddy fields with an infinity swimming pool. You pay an entrance fee of 150,000 rupiah (which is about £7) and that money acts as credit on your account. So any drinks or food that you order comes out of that money. It's basically a way to guarantee that you'll spend a minimum amount there. And you can use the pool and the facilities for as long as you want. We relaxed in the sun a chilled in the pool for a while, then ordered lunch which was delicious but a bit pricey, obviously. But we stuck to the budget and only had a small extra amount to pay when we left for the service charge.
Late afternoon we found a cool little gym called Ubud Fitness Centre nearby and had our first proper workout in weeks! We each had a protein shake and then went for another wander around the town before going to Juice Ja again for dinner. This time Natalie had the tuna steak with spinach, new potatoes and green pesto and it was delicious! As we mentioned before, Jordan had the chicken. We shared some vegetable crisps with guacamole dip and treated ourselves to one of their organic treats. Jordan had a Protein Ball made from coconut and different kinds of nuts, and Natalie had a raw cacao chocolate square which were both divine.
On the Friday we drove to the beautiful Tegenungan Waterfall which was about a 20 minute drive from our homestay. On all of our moped trips around Asia we used this great app called Maps.Me which is free to download and runs off GPS so you don’t drain your 3G/4G data. You download the particular map that you need and search the location you’d like to go to and click ‘Get Route’ and the route will appear on the screen similar to a Sat Nav. It doesn’t speak to you with directions though so one of you really needs to be looking at the screen telling the driver the directions. Anyway, we got to the entrance of Tegenungan Waterfall, paid a small fee to get in and park our moped, and then climbed down the steps to get to it. Considering we weren’t planning on going there, we’re so glad we did. It was beautiful. The water was nice and refreshing and the noise from the water crashing around you was quite relaxing.
We spent some time cooling off in the water before heading back up the hill and driving back to the main Ubud town where we wandered around for a bit. During our wander we were lucky enough to see the end of a colourful parade but unfortunately we don’t know what the parade was celebrating.