Holidays! This is our third full day in Ubud, staying at the Puri Sarasawati, at the Royal Palace. It’s clearly and Indonesian hotel, and expensive, compared to hotels elsewhere in Bali, but very nice. I’m able to type this on my balcony, overlooking the pool and gardens, courtesy of Indosat 3G.

We’ve done a lot of walking, and Helen has also done a long run. (I did a mile the first morning.) A lot of the walking was done around the shops, but, yesterday, we went for an afternoon walk up the Penestanan steps. Despite the increasing drizzle, all was well for the first two kilometres, and we were on the road back into Ubud. Helen then decided to cross the subak (irrigation channel) and climb the mud steps up to the rice paddies. The last time we did this, we walked to the right, and went 10km out of our way. This time, we went left, and ended up going10km out of our way.

All we had to do, we thought, was to keep parallel to the road, and end up at the back of the Monkey Forest. However, the twists and turns of the roads, once we had finished half an hour of circumnavigating the paddies, resulted in us having little idea of where we were. One village lady sent us 600m down a dead end, beside a river, then another pointed us in the direction of Nyuh Kuning, our entrance to the Monkey Forest. Somehow, we missed a turn, and ended up two kilometres from the entrance. The rain was steady by now, leaving us soaked.

We entered the forest, in the failing light, and trudged up Monkey Forest Rd. We stopped at The Waroeng for a drink and snacks, before going back to the hotel.

We both love Ubud, because it is always an interesting place to walk around. The market has good stuff that is hard to find in other places, and there are some great clothes shops. The real attraction, however, is the plethora of excellent restaurants, which makes running and walking frequently, and far, a necessity when staying here.


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