Once we recovered or at least we thought we had recovered all of our wold schooling friends had left (this had been planned before we got sick) and although we enjoyed being with other families is was a relief to just have our family around. We began exploring Ubud, first by walking around; we visited the monkey sanctuary that was near our bungalows. The monkeys had free reign in this valley near the town with ancient temples hugging the small stream that had cut down into the rock. So what if the stream smelled like sewage, it was beautiful. We found someone who helped us feed the monkey as we had heard they can be very aggressive if you are not careful. We just relaxed the rest of the day so as to not do too much on our first day back in action.
We did feel well enough that the next day we scheduled a rafting trip to the Agung river. It ended up being a really warm day, perfect for the cool bottom of the river valley. We had to hiked down into the canyon, it was about half mile and mostly straight down. Once we got to the bottom we met our guide and got into our boat and once into the river we entered directly into rapids. The rapids were suppose between level 2 and 3 which was enough to get our blood pumping. We all had a great time navigating the pretty constant rapids; the girls did great. Our trip was about 1 hour and a half and then at the end we had to hike out of the valley, about half as far up as we hiked down. They fed us lunch afterwards and then we headed home.
The rest of the afternoon we finished up some school and had dinner at Clear Café. Clear Café had been recommended to us and had great food, very good kombucha and good prices. There was also a fireman’s pole that the girls made use of. After dinner we watched a traditional Balinese dancing show. I was really quite mystical involving lots of Hindu stories and rhythmic chanting and lots of fire.
The next day we completed school and then scheduled art class and went and created some Batik fabric. We all created a design by melting wax onto a pillow case size piece of fabric then painting the fabric with vibrant colors. I apparently picked a design that depicted the three deities of the Hindu religion (Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu). Caroline painted a lotus flower; Maddy a sea horse; Julie a Volcano and Mimi made a floating island with waterfalls. We all had a great time completing our art pieces and now we have some fabric for Nana!
The next day we went on a car tour of the surrounding area, touring a coffee plantation. The plantation is well known for Luwak coffee, which is coffee that has been eaten by the Luwak then once the coffee has passed through the animal it is collected and cleaned and then brewed. It is suppose to make it more mild although it didn’t seem all that different to me. Next the girls got to swing over rice terraces on these contraptions attached to palm trees, that cost about $10 for 15 swings, seems a bit pricey for Ubud. After getting our fill of tastings from the tea and coffee we took a hike down into the rice terraces. We loved the view although the kids were a bit whiny about hiking up and down the hills.
Our next stop was the spiritual springs temple, where you can be blessed in the spring water. We were told that the adults needed to wear sarongs and then you could enter the temple and submerge yourself into a pool where the spring water was entering. Julie and I were the brave ones, we had to enter in all our clothes, and the water was cool around 60 as the water comes out of the ground at that temperature. It actual felt nice on such a hot day.
We were able to enter the temple and see the source of the spring and witness some praying Hindus. There was a huge amount line of people waiting to take a plunge in the water and collect some water for other blessing purposes. It was amazing to see how another culture venerates a hydrogeological feature. We had a waterfall left on our tour but Julie started to get sick, and we cut all our activities short and headed for home. We laid low for the rest of the day and Julie just got sicker and sicker. She threw up all night but was finally feeling better by the morning and had started to drink and eat a bit, she stayed in bed for the whole day. We completed school for the other two kids and then I explored the city a bit more. I ended up having lunch with a French couple who introduced me to the local moonshine called Arak. It was distilled from rice and tasted a bit like a mix between sake and vodka. It was pretty potent but tasty when mixed.
The next day we just laid low again and packed up our stuff before heading out to Nusa Lombongen for our last 4 days in Bali.