After enjoying our time in Gili islands, we set sail on the boat back to Padang Bai. Approximately one hour and twenty minutes of stomach churning fun. Our trip to the islands, we were allowed to sit on top of the boat. This time though it was not advised, and we found out why. If I had been sitting up there I would’ve been catapulted into the sea.
The wave current was very strong, but we prevailed, and arrived at padang bai in one piece. Bluewater express provided us with a free shuttle to our hotel in ubud; tanah semenjan. A one star hotel that, to me, seems like a three.
Ubud is surrounded by rice paddies, tropical trees and a ton load of tourists. The main road is full of restaurants that will cost you a mortgage, so best to avoid that.
Our hotel is just off the main road and has some cheaper food alternatives. We had a walk around, topped up on water and sun lotion, then headed out later on to a restaurant called the Black Pearl.
The black Pearl is known for its hot spicy foods. The food was great but also contributed to my bali belly. The next morning we tried to find things to do, we agreed on doing an elephant ride, something we later regretted, and here’s why.
Me and my friend were a bit naive to embark on this trip to the Bali Elephant camp. As soon as you arrive and see the elephants you can see the sadness in their eyes. They are so strangely obedient, as if the guides punish them if they do something out of line.
We took a twenty minute ride through some sloped terrain, and at the end took some photos. Something about the whole day just made me feel sad. I’ve deleted all the photos, even the one I bought, because I don’t want to support this touristic exploitation. I hope that my experience will encourage any travellers reading to find alternative ways to enjoy Bali and maybe one day we can put an end to this.
On the trip back we stopped off at a place that does great chocolate, known as pod.
Once we got back to the main ubud we stopped in the monkey forest. It cost 50,000 to get in. The forest is very nicely formed and there is a lot of room to maneuver between the little chaps. I went full military on my belongings, making sure nothing was in sight for the monkeys.
On our venture in, I saw tourists handing out bananas for the monkeys, enticing them to climb their body and reach it so that they could get their photos. I saw some girl sit down and get bitten in the ass, another monkey was clinging on the back of some ladies dress and trying to reach into her bag. Her partner had to physically pull the monkey off, in turn the monkey tried to bite him. One monkey reached into Adam’s pocket to unzip and grab his passport. That would’ve caused some problems…
Some guy who worked there offered to get the monkey and perch it on my shoulder while he distracted it with nibbles of food. I was a bit unsure, but then decided to go ahead. It was cool for a minute or so until another monkey decided to attack the one on my shoulder, who in turn springed off of me, using my head for leverage. Oh well, got pictures, was worth it.
We stayed for about twenty minutes, then decided to leave. It was cool but all the monkeys were the same breed so we felt we saw all that was there to be seen. Again, very touristy. We took a trip along monkey forest road. The pavements are quite dangerous, each feeling like a trap door into the sewers. A lot of people hassling you for taxis. One thing to note is that uber and grab are completely forbidden in ubud. So a cab to seminyak in hindsight will be very costly.
We finished the evening with some good ol’ pizza at a very popular pizza restaurant near our hotel. Umah pizza, very good value for money and serves more than pizza if you don’t fancy beige food. Expect a queue though.
My friend Adam is hiking at 01:55am while I am tucked in my bed. We plan to go our separate ways for the day. So until tomorrow.