Morning Breaks Through on Ubud rice paddys
At the end of Olympic fever we are here in Ubud, the mountains of Bali, sadly hardly aware that it was even taking place!
The month of June saw us living on the Thai island of Koh Phangan. A picture perfect, coconut lined tree island that is over 50% protected national park and rainforest.
Some of you may know the island from its well known reputation of full moon party celebrations that go on. Truthfully, it seemed any moon activity warranted a perfect excuse for some kind of party. We had been advised to keep our distance and did just that, so I don’t have any wild stories to share of us drunkenly roaming the island or almost drowning at sea in a stoned haze…
Our beach on Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan has an extremely chilled out, laid back vibe still going from all the hippies that originally discovered this little gem of an island way back when. With an inclination to go with the flow of where we are, we soaked up the energy of the place, slowed our regular pace of life down and spent a fair bit of time soaking up the stunning view we had from our glass cottage on the hill. Sounds positively horrible – I know!
Miraculously we did manage to drag ourselves away from the cottage and explore the islands’ coast by scooter. When the roads became more suitable to a professional motocross bike or 4WD car – it’s still very much in a developmental stage – we switched to long tail boats. Sounds idyllic because it simply was.
Scooter Girl. After being given a most appropriate pink helmut, I decided to learn how to ride the scooter.
The island lends itself to lots of ‘alternative lifestyle’ options, one of which is detox centres. Somehow we managed to steer ourselves around actually doing a detox (if you know us well, you’ll understand just HOW miraculous that was!) and instead took full advantage of the raw food cuisine available.
When we weren’t taking in the coconut lined coast we were immersed in the delights of raw food at a
Coconut tree posing.
fabulous, specialised cafe we discovered. We made good friends with the owner and chefs who were always excited to see us and have us sample some of the new creations they were making. Truly mind bogglingly delicious food!
Ubud is the perfect continuation for this new found taste sensation of ours with raw food readily available all over the small town. Instead of the sea and coastline we are now living amongst rice paddies and jungle, though the coconut trees are still in abundance. So much so that we have three trees in our garden which the landlord climbs to chop down batches of coconuts for us to drink.
Coconut chopping landlord.
As we experienced in Koh Yao Yai, living so intimately amongst the wild does have its drawbacks especially when it’s mainly outdoor covered living with the bedroom being the only enclosed room. Our lives really feel like they have a recurrent theme of “The Myerscough’s at home on safari” at the moment.
We seem to have a bit of a continuing frog saga going on. Living above the curtain rail in our bedroom, may I introduce you to housemate #1 – Fabio. Like most housemates Fabio has an annoying habit – croaking at around 3am. We really weren’t impressed. At first we let it slide but then it became too much so we sent him off into the garden to find a new home and make some friends. Clearly it didn’t go well for him as he was back a week later occupying the 3am slot. Our next strategy was to put him over the wall into the rice paddy only to find him back again that very same night! As of yesterday, he has been evicted. Taken to a rice paddy a few kilometres down the road in the hope that he’ll find some new housemates. Farewell Fabio.
Housemate #2 is Gelsey. She is a very pretty brown, blue, red and white Ghecko, living again in the bedroom and doing her best to eat up all the mosquitos and endless other insects we are surrounded by that I couldn’t even begin to count. She makes her way around the bedroom walls and roof and ‘I spy Gelsey’ is a popular evening game for us. She too likes to get a little vocal, but only very occasionally in the wee hours of the morning so we’ll keep her on for now.
Ratty & Co make up housemates #3 and upwards. I think the name really says it all here and yes ‘yuck’ is a word that goes over and over in my head too! My mind was put at rest recently in finding out that rats are a very common occurrence here though it doesn’t ease my automatic yelp response when I see one peering inside the glass bedroom doors in the morning.
Ratty & Co have been living in our lush, green garden full of pretty butterflies and are a very healthy looking family. They do however go scouring the kitchen at night in the hope that one day we slacken off in our fastidiousness and leave some food around for them. NO SUCH LUCK! I’m hoping they’ll lose faith soon, though it ain’t looking good. Unfortunately we do have our suspicions that they have just started migrating into our bedroom roof which might mean more than just eviction should it be true. There’s only so much a city gal can tolerate…
So yes, in our gorgeous villa set amongst the hills, rice paddies and jungle, we have a few glitches but it’s still paradise. I have all the yoga one could hope for, food is fresh, organic and delicious, and there’s a feeling that we are really getting into a travel groove. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to be open and receptive to meeting people from all walks of life who you may not get a chance to meet in your regular environment and routine.
As I cycle up and down the hills with rice paddies either side (puffing and panting but don’t let that ruin your image) life feels pretty idyllic.
And with that I’ll let you get back to post Olympics recovery.