We spent our first five nights in Ubud on Bali. On day three, we decided to partake in a yoga class at, "Yoga Barn." This is quite an amazing set up...it was like entering a massive tree fort! Many folks come to Ubud for the Yoga programs. Many stay for a month to gain their mastery of teaching yoga. We were just hoping to get a little exercise.
There were several yoga studios but we took our class in a huge, open-air studio on the second floor of a "tree house." It was an interesting experience. I have not taken a yoga class before...remember...I'm a Jazzerciser. But we do several yoga moves in Jazzercise so I was familiar with most of the poses. Parts of the class were very challenging but I missed having music accompaniment.
After that it was time to wander around the town of Ubud. One of the big attractions is the Monkey Forest. This was a scary place! It is a natural preserve for the macaque long tailed monkey and temple complex. Two temples are in the area that is home to about 600 monkeys, the Holy Springs bathing temple and a temple used in cremation ceremonies. Almost as soon as we entered the preserve, one of my trip companions, Erin was attacked by a monkey that jumped on her backpack looking for food. What it found was a package of tissue.
I thought these creatures were pretty dangerous and I wanted to bolt through the place. I just read on the Wikipedia that many visitors are bitten by these monkeys when they don't surrender any food they are carrying quickly enough.
One of the temples...
After our hurried walk through the monkey forest we got on to the more fun part of the day...lunch! We headed to Clear Cafe and were very happy with our experience there. We started with juice drinks...delicious on a hot day. Notice the bamboo wood straw...a fun touch.
Fantastic food. My apologies if you are a real food detail person...I'm not. I think this was the Dragon Bowl...prawns and veggies stir fried over seasoned red rice.
I think this is the Ikan Asli, coconut crusted snapper with sesame long green beans, saffron rice with a pineapple coconut cream sauce.
My veggie meal...a curry stew with a heart shaped saffron rice serving. It was nice and spicy. Often my companions found the foods in Bali with more spicy heat than they cared for but I was a happy camper.
After lunch we wandered the streets of Ubud for a little shopping. We were visiting during their most important holiday, Galungan. On the right side of home entrances, "Penjors," are placed. These decorations are long bamboo poles with woven coconut leaves. At the base of the penjors are more decorations of fruit, flowers and cakes.
During our wanders we were hunting for a batik arts museum, "Threads of Life." We found it...and it was air-conditioned! We spent an hour in this blissfully cool but tiny spot.
Inside were wonderful pieces for purchase that displayed the unique patterns of individual remote communities in Indonesia. This is a business hoping to conserve the culture and alleviate property. These pieces were all several hundreds of dollars to purchase. I was tempted but didn't buy anything.
There were smaller pieces too. There was a video we watched at the shop that gave a wonderful overview of the incredible individuality of village community designs and the labor intense parts that lead to the final construction. A very worthwhile visit.
Walking back to the center of Ubud for our rendezvous with our driver we passed several baskets holding fighting cocks...it's a part of the Balinese culture!
We returned to the villa to clean up and then ventured back to town for an evening performance of Balinese dance. While we waited for the performance time we did a little more wandering and stumbled onto the Pura Desa Ubud or town temple which was lit up beautifully.
Some kind of performance was taking place at this temple but not the dance we were scheduled to see. Too pretty not to share these photos!
We saw a Legong Dance at the Pura Dalem.
All of this was outside. Beautiful dresses.
The all-important Monkey King!
He came from behind me at one point in the performance and jumped over my shoulder...scary Monkey King!
I'll skip the meal we had after the performance...but for the sake of keeping events straight in my head I will say we ate at Nomads. It was a good meal and it was listed as a recommended restaurant in our Bali guidebook. And as an after thought, we did find one shop in Ubud that had a few cotton batiks, Wanis, but a very small selection and I can't even remember the prices...not as good as the place in Denpasar.