It Just Keeps Getting Better

Our pre-retreat retreat is slowly coming to a close so we decided to hire a driver to take us to the local market, shopping, lunch, and to the spa.  This was a good call as we had a fabulous day!  Everyday is better than the next.  I can't imagine what the next ten days here are going to be like.

The morning started at the local market in Sukawati.  This is where the locals come daily to get their food.  Most people are here gathering their goods as early as 4:00am because they only prepare one meal a day and that is breakfast.  They purchase their food daily because they do not have storage in their kitchens for food.   

This seller has many different kinds of fruits available.  We tried a mangosteen.  Good stuff!  

This seller has many different kinds of fruits available.  We tried a mangosteen.  Good stuff!

 

After our trip to the market we made other stops to shop that were at the opposite end of the spectrum.  First we stopped at a wood carving village where we had the opportunity to watch them work and then go purchase their beautiful pieces.  The craftsmenship and details are top notch.

A man carving a horse out of maple wood.

A man carving a horse out of maple wood.

We stopped at a silver shop and though the jewelry was beautiful we didn't purchase anything.  Our final shopping spot was a place where they hand paint batik.  It was crazy to see how they weave the thread on wooden machines that look like they were around in the frontier days to make beautiful patterns.  I was also in awe of those women who painted the batik designs.  It is so tedious to work with hot wax to creat these patterns.

A Balinese woman drawing wax designs on fabric before she paints them.

A Balinese woman drawing wax designs on fabric before she paints them.

Once we were finished shopping we had lunch with a beautiful view of the rice terraces.  The restaurant was under construction but if you could look past the workers the view was spectacular.

Simply beautiful.

Simply beautiful.

In the car we asked Nyoman a lot of questions about Lewak coffee so he took us to the coffee plantation to taste some.  The Lewak is an animal that looks part cat and part raccoon.  Apparently they have the gift of being able to find the best coffee beans and then they eat them. While going through the digestive process the beans ferment making the even better.  The down side is that in order to retrieve these beans you have to get them out of his poop.  Enjoy your catpoochino!  We also sampled other types of coffee and tea.  The views there were pretty spectacular too.

Next was what we've been waiting for all day, our Royal Ubud Massages.  It was the most relaxing four hand massage in a beautiful setting.  I could have died a happy girl at this point.  You can get that treatment at the Ubud Traditional Spa.  They are a wonderful family with a great business.

At this point we are two hours over because he is taking so much time with us and doing extra things.  It's 8:00pm and he insists that we visit his family compound.  There we got to meet most of his family from his parents to his uncles, his wife and children and his dog.  They could not have been more friendly and hospitable.  Truly very special people.

As fun as this day was the best part was meeting and spending time with our new friend, Nyoman.  I hope we get to see him again in the future!

Just About Perfect

The last couple days we've just been taking it easy until everyone gets here.  Lots of yoga and spa treatments.  Today was no exception, except that is was.  Today was just about perfect.

We spent most of the day at Taksu Spa.  If you are ever blessed enough to be in Ubud this is a must do.  It is absoultely gorgeous!  The day started off with a 90 minute Ashtanga/Vinyasa class which was challenging and inspiring.  Not only was the class beautiful but so was the yoga room.

You can kind of tell by the photo but this is an open air room.  There is also a stream that runs right underneath.  Very peaceful.

You can kind of tell by the photo but this is an open air room.  There is also a stream that runs right underneath.  Very peaceful.

We had a nice conversation with Devie, the instructor, after class and then it was massage time.  Each of us had a 90 minute Thai massage.  This is my absolute favorite type of massage but it's not everyone's cup of tea.  You get streched, opened, and prodded during this massage.  It can be super uncomforable at times and I LOVE IT!  Now Amanda and Rosa are hooked as well.  

After basking in our after massage glow and enjoying a cup of fresh juice we decided we were hungry.  As we were making the trek to the restaurant we took time to enjoy the scenery.  Taksu is an open air spa and covers quite a bit of ground.  You go up stairs, down stairs, cross bridges and more to get to where you need to go.  Every step is more scenic then the next.

A selfie with a Buddha.  How do you like my rockin' Bali hair?  I have to embrace my curls here.

A selfie with a Buddha.  How do you like my rockin' Bali hair?  I have to embrace my curls here.

We finally make it to the restaurant and I have a delcious salad and a Balinese Summer fruit juice (watermelon, strawberry, lime, and mint).  I'll let the picure do the talking for me.

Fresh food and a beautiful view.

Fresh food and a beautiful view.

Tomorrow we are taking a shopping 'tour' to see woodcarvings, silversmiths, and an art gallery.  And as luck would have it the day ends with a Royal Balinese Massage.  I have a feeling tomorrow will be a good day too.

Welcome Home!

Watching the sunrise from my balcony.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

Watching the sunrise from my balcony.  The picture doesn't do it justice.

It feels so good to be back here at Bhwana Ubud Hotel!  As soon as I stepped out of the van I got so excited because right away I saw one of my favorite Bali kids, Dewi.  Everyone who I've had an encounter with so far has remembered me.  I am so surprised!  

I wish I could share this place with all of you.  There is just something so magical about it.  The people are special for sure.  The grounds are beautiful.  The service is amazing. Even the bugs don't seem to bother me too much here. 

There is a special vibe in the air as the Balinese prepare for Nyepi Day, the Hindu new year.  All over you see men working on their village Ogoh Ogoh's and you can hear drums and gamelan's playing in the distance.

Ubud is not for everyone.  Most people come to Bali for the beautiful beaches and resorts.  Not me.  I'll take dirty ole' Ubud any day.  It's the heart and soul of Bali!

Welcome home!