Not Feeling Ubud

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To break up the three-hour trip to Ubud from Pemuteran we stopped off at Pula Ulun Danu Beratan. Our daughter was beginning to feel sick after the car weaved its way around the mountains so it was a welcome break.  The lakeside temple was quite stunning and we spend a while walking around the grounds before moving on.

About an hour later we had arrived in Ubud.  Well not quite.  We were staying in the village of Penestanan which is just over a kilometre out from the centre of Ubud.  Our accommodation was not by the road. Our backpacks would have to be carried from the road up a little pathway. We were staying for five nights in Gerebig Bungalows and were greeted warmly on arrival.  The lady in charge showed us to our bungalow.  Despite being called a bungalow it had two stories, a porch area and a little garden space of its own.  A short walk through the small on-site rice fields led to the swimming pool.  The only thing lacking here was air-con so we would have to see how we handled the heat with just a fan!

After settling in we headed out for dinner.  Directly opposite the path leading to Gerebig Bungalows was the Alchemy restaurant.  They cater for vegan eaters and everything on their menu is organic and raw.  Mum was in heaven but for Dad and the kids it was a little too much.  We decided to give it a go but the kids version of a ‘Mexican burger’ didn’t go down too well with them. Dad had nachos but they tasted like cardboard.  They didn’t sell mineral water either and with no options that the kids would like we tried them with coconut water instead.

It only took a few sips for them to decide it was not for them.

We left Alchemy with 3/4 of us still hungry and the kids thirsty.  A short walk down the road led us to Warung Mendez.  A lovely little restaurant with a nice atmosphere where we fed the kids some pesto pasta and cheered them up.  Warung Mendez would become our favourite restaurant for our stay in Penestanan.

Following breakfast the next day we set off walking to the centre of Ubud.  As it was such a hot day we stopped off for milkshakes along the way.  After taking a good look around Pula Dalem Ubud we continued to Ubud Palace.  Ubud is quite small but very touristy.  It has made the place quite busy and you get the feeling that while it is still a charming little place, it is now nowhere as authentic as it perhaps once was.  We walked back to our bungalow through the sweltering heat after lunch and cooled off in the pool.

We had promised the kids a fun day and so we took them by taxi to Kids World outside of Ubud.  When we arrived, we thought it was shut.  There were no other children on site and all the indoor inflatables were deflated.  However, that soon changed.  We were the only customers and they were just conserving energy.  The pumps all went on and the many bouncy inflatables started to rise.  The children of the owner came out to join our two playing.  After working up a sweat the kids then changed and had a swim in the on-site pool.  When it was time to leave the owner kindly gave us all a lift back to the bungalow!

Up early the following day we arranged transport to Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) which was built in the 9th century as a sanctuary.  The driver provided the adults with a sarong for entry and we made our way down the stairs to the temple.  Before the cave entry there is a water feature with fountains.  We entered the small cave through the demon mouth carving but it was quite hot and stuffy so didn’t stay long.  We walked around a bit more and found some stairs leading into a more remote part of the temple.  Exploring this area was great fun.  The kids thought we were on a mini adventure through the trees at one point.  We worked up quite a sweat walking around so headed back for some lunch and a cool off in the pool.

On our last day in Ubud we went to the village centre and visited the market, which is deceptively big!! Having lunch and looking around at the tourist crowds we felt like we were missing something with Ubud. It just didn’t do anything for us.

We checked out and made our way to the Kuta beach area of Denpasar for a one night stay.  We were harassed constantly on the walk to the beach and again once on the beach to meet up with another Worldschooling family.  However, the kids enjoyed playing with friends and there were lots of laughs shared when bartering with the women selling their wares.

The Flora Kuta Bali Hotel was our choice for the night and in the morning, we made the most of the swimming pool before checking out.  As a family, we had decided to go on a mini adventure to see Komodo dragons and our flight to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores departed in the afternoon.


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