Our last day in Ubud. We went for our usual 3 hour walk amongst the hordes of tourist and have to say that one of our lasting impressions of Ubud is the pollution and noise from the traffic. Stood at the side of Monkey Forest road near the Palace for a while and observed that 95% of the traffic was tourist transfer vehicles. The thousands of motor scooters make walking anywhere difficult including the walking street that hosts the market! It seems to us that years of tourism has left some of the locals a tad jaded and not as courteous as they could be when pushing through pedestrians with their scooters.
Having got that of my chest I can say that we have enjoyed our stay here. Off in the morning to the Sidemen Valley at the foot of Mount Agung. “The Booking Queen” spent hours this morning finalising our accommodation up till we depart for our Australian trip. It seems that the many flight cancellations due to the Volcanic ash Cloud at Denpasar has resulted in some cancellations and it has opened up more choice of where to stay.
We are booked a week in Sidemen at Pondok Uma Ayu which is situated among rice paddies with views of Mount Agung. From there we head to the Amed area on the East coast for 5 days at Volcano Beach Bungalows. The Bungalow is on the volcanic pebble beach and has stunning views of Mt Agung and the ocean. From there we head to Candidasa to be nearer the airport and are staying at Bungalow Geringsing again right on the beach. Surprisingly we are doing all this at retiree/pensioner prices and the only drawback is the cold shower at Volcano Beach!
We hope the Volcanic ash does not disrupt tourism here further as so many of these gentle folk depend on it for a living.
An interesting observation here has been the ramp in the middle of the entry steps to all family compounds. Snapped a great pic of our host leaving on his motorbike which is the reason they are there. Because of the critical traffic/parking problems he keeps his car 2 km away and when needed he rides his motorbike to pick it up. Also took a pic of his Dad cooling his stomach on the street outside the compound “Bali Style”
It has been the most interesting 11 days in this compound observing their family life. We learnt only yesterday that the great grandfather is living here also but bedridden. Until recently the two daughters lived here too but when they married they had to move to their husband’s family compound. Somehow they seem to live in harmony.