Our time in Ubud has come to an end at least for now.
After a difficult start, adjusting to tropical life (being visited by Snakes, frogs, geckos and mosquitoes)
in the rainy season
and the general chaos we've grown to like it.
Yes getting around is hard with pavements that are slick in the rain,
covered in offerings,
...broken, misshapen or just missing and with scooters and cars driving wherever they want following a driving code I still find mistyfying (we saw no accidents however). But for tropical newbies like us, the high expat and tourist population means creature comforts (the door to our hostel room at the Onion collective opened onto the pool) ...
...and excellent food were easy to find.
Compared to London prices, food is at least half price, though apparently very expensive from a Bali perspective. Truth is I prefer eating in places like this:
...rather than grabbing a bargain from eateries like this:
...perhaps that will change as our trip continues.
Ubud on an island rammed packed full of temples is regarded as the spiritual centre. The main religion is Hindu but with a Balinese twist and a bit of Buddhism thrown in for good measure. Apparently every village has three temples and every family their own family temple. The result is even though all the ugly tourist focused commercial shops dominate the streets, you're never far from an interesting roof
...or from an ornate doorway into a traditional family compound guarded by a statue
By the end of the week, along with becoming expert road obstacle avoiders, one thing had definitely changed; we were smiling a lot! Apparently the more remote the place in Bali, the bigger the Balinese smile. But even in touristy Ubud everyone, even disappointed taxi drivers/shopkeepers smile at you, it's proved pleasantly contagious.