Now, I knew Ubud was going to be pretty. However, I just wasn't prepared for the amazing scenery that surrounds this part of Bali. The other Brucey Bonus was that my punt on the rather inexpensive 'Sri Rathi Cottages' had paid off as the place was stunning - and my suite had a bathroom bigger than some apartments. That the place was good was a double bonus as Evie had also booked a room on the back of my booking and I knew the trouble that would be in store had it not worked out.
So, feeling smug, I went to reception and asked for Evie's room number. The chap then starting chatting away about 'iPhone' and just when I thought something had got lost in translation I twigged that was his pronunciation of 'Yvonne'. So, from now on 'iPhone' it will be...
In the evening we braved the humidity and treacherous pavements (and lack thereof) to find somewhere to eat. Fifteen minutes later and both sweating uncontrollably we stumbled upon a lovely little cafe that appeared like a mirage. The food was lovely and again, when ordering dessert, I thought something had got lost in translation. The waitress said there was only 'Banana Fritters with Cheese' left. I assumed there must be some confusion or perhaps it would be Mascarpone or suchlike. Nope - sure as cheddar is cheddar, the pudding turned up covered in grated cheese. I put this down to a Vicar of Dibley-esque Letitia Cropley style recipe and we ate up like good boys and girls and politely made our leave (it didn't taste that bad surprisingly).
Too tired and lazy to walk back, we grabbed a cab and in so doing got ourselves a driver for the next few days. After a brief night drive around Ubud, we headed back for some much needed sleep.
The next day kicked off with an Elephant Safari and show. The elephants looked well cared for and happy (just call me Dr Doolittle) but I didn't like the way they were chained up with not much room to move when back in their pens. Nonetheless, the ride was great and we gripped nervously as they went into the pool and spurted water from their trunks for the cameras. Afterwards, the elephants showed themselves to be adept at maths, football, basketball and painting!
The afternoon consisted of a walk (sweaty obviously) around Ubud and a cheeky glass of wine before we got our glad rags on for our appointment at the Mosaic restaurant (http://www.mozaic-bali.com/) for a six course meal with accompanying wines. The food and setting were stunning (as indeed were we shimmering nicely with mosquito repellent) and the wines paired with each course were superb. Full and slightly merry we headed back to the hotel.
My final day was spent sightseeing and started with a trip to see the medicine man. For those who have watched Julia Roberts in 'Eat, Pray, Love', this is the chap featured - Ketut Liyer.
Thanks to our driver Nick who had collected our ticket the night before, Evie was number one in the queue. I think it would be fair to say that his magical powers may have departed. Evie's suspicions were first raised when he was picking his nose, and heightened with his first piece of analysis: "You have two eyes - this is good". Apparently, having a nose is also good... This didn't give much hope to those who had tickets numbered 2-20...
After escaping from the madness, we went exploring into the mountains for a look at the terraced rice paddies which were absolutely beautiful, before being taken to some hot springs (read: hotel that was closed fifteen years ago) for a swim in the sulphur pools. As the place hadn't really been attended to in that time, I'm not really sure what was festering in the pools but decided ignorance is bliss.
Escaping once again, we managed to spot the iconic conical hats in rice paddies and stopped for the token photos.
Our final tourist stop, was a trip to see the monkeys (apparently there is only one type on Bali). Evie managed to make a friend who kept climbing onto her shouder (obviously I supported her by making sure her terror was captured on camera) and our rather pushy guide whisked us around before trying to get us to visit her shop. We were having none of it and made a sharp exit.
So, following a quiet dinner at the hotel, I made a promise to come back to Bali one day and see more of the place. I don't think I had a Julia Roberts style epiphany, but the place certainly deserves further exploration.
Final stop: Dubai