Monday, July 7, 2014

Trekking with Joey and Stuart

Wah! The internet is like molasses, so pictures will have to come tomorrow.

Whoever said that a baby can slow you down is a total.... truth teller.
This trip has definitely been far different with Joey with us.  Without him we may have hiked Mount Batur at sunrise, or gone to Lombok.  With him, we are taking a more relaxed approach and are loving it in a totally different way.

That said - we still did attempt a small 'trek' today. And it was a success.
We went to Campuan Ridge Trail, which is in Ubud (where we are), and begins just outside of the city center.  We had a driver with a nice car and air conditioning (all included in our awesome guesthouse), take us near where we needed to be.
There were not many people along the trail, which was a welcome surprise, as the city center is definitely a busy place with both tourists and locals alike.
I will mention that our place is not right in the city center.  It is about a five minute drive or a 20ish minute walk and I wouldn't have it any other way.  We are just outside of the hubub and right smack dab in front of a beautiful rice terrace straight out of a post card.
We actually haven't spent much time in the downtown area itself because there are a lot of great things right around us including a kick butt grocery store where I got the following items for the equivalent of eleven dollars:
-8 thick slices of red watermelon
-8 thick slices of yellow watermelon
-3 oranges
-3 bananas
-baby wipes
-tooth paste
-2 sleeves of baby crackers
-a stuffed soccer ball for Joey
-2 packages of coffee

Can you imagine all that for eleven dollars?!?!

Anyway - we began our trek in the late morning, which is likely why there weren't many people along the ridge.  It's a bit tricky to find because the trail head is in a pretty random spot in front of a hotel that's off the main road.  With a little research before heading out, I knew exactly what we were looking for and we found it right away.

It was a bit of a hike, but mostly just ups and downs along a nice path with lush, dense jungle on either side, eventually entering a town.  After that the landscape breaks into beautiful bright green rice paddies and has a few places to rest.

We stopped at a small cafe that has small huts with thatched roofs looking out onto the rice paddies.  It's kind of magical. Kind of something you never thought you would be able to do, but have seen in national geographic or something.  I wish I would have taken a picture of them, but there's only a picture of us inside. Rats.  Maybe we'll have to go back.

As we sipped our amazing watermelon juice with a flower decorating the rim (for just one dollar) and looked out onto the rice paddies, we wished we could stay there for hours.  Joey didn't quite feel the same way. And he was right. We needed to take advantage of the short stint of clouds overhead and find our way back before it got too hot.

Butterflies flew as we left and walked along the path all around us.  Totally different kinds than we'd ever seen.  Some were purple and black, others were a rusty orange and black.
We saw some small lizards, geckos and one absolutely giant spider on the walk back.

The entirety of the trek would have been 8.5 km of gentle hills.  Our version was probably just a few km's because it was beginning to get quite hot and I was carrying Joey on my front and he's getting super heavy.

We decided that we're going to come back and do it again because it was such a fun (and beautiful!) experience.  But, this time we won't bring all of Joeys stuff (no need!) and we'll try to get an earlier jump on things. (Probably aim to begin at 8:30 instead of 10:00) so it doesn't get too hot by the time we return.

We wandered through the town once we got back, looking for somewhere cheap and good to eat.  It's easy to find good places to eat in the city center.  It's mega touristy and there are (apparently) some well known chefs working here.  There are also plenty of organic eateries because Ubud is supposed to have this 'cleansing' aura about it.  Lots of people wandering around trying to find themselves.  All we were trying to find was some cheap fried stuff. Am I right?!

We found a place off of the main road that made some AWESOME Gado-Gado for me (a vegetarian dish with plenty of green veggies and peanut sauce), and some AWESOME fried pork with greens and rice for Stuart.

A lady at the small restaurant hung out with Joey.  She actually asked if she could take him to her house which was apparently attached to the restaurant.  I told her that it was totally ok if she played with him, but I needed to see him at all times.  She was really nice, but I can't take my chances.  She played with him in a corner of the restaurant with her two grand children (ages 10 and 3).  The 3 year old kept getting super jealous that the grandma was giving Joey her toys to look at and she kept crying, so eventually the three of them left!

After lunch, we hopped back into our nice ride and ended up in the vehicle with an Indian woman from (can you imagine) ABBOTSFORD! It was nice to have a connection there and we found out that her and her family have been to Bali six times.  They recommended a place for us to stay when our time is up here.  The place we're at needs to be booked months in advance. I booked our stay three months ago and we STILL had to switch rooms half way through and then go BACK to the same room because there were no sequencial stays of five nights available.

We've decided to stay in Ubud a little longer than planned . At the pace we're going, we are doing about one activity per day for a few hours (aside from restaurants and basic lounging around in our room and at the pool).
We still have lots of things to see and do here.  More trails. Markets. Balinese traditional dance show. More food to try.

The rest of the day was nice. Restful and full of playtime.  Joey went to bed around 7:30 and Stuart and I ordered some vegetables, rice, and chicken/beef to our hotel room and ate on cushions on the floor.

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