|Well, here it is! The last stop before heading back to reality.
We found a very cute, traditional cottage to rent for the week we are here. It sits out in the middle of the rice fields and is very quiet, relaxing and perfect for our last few days as we reflect on the past eighteen months and think about (often try not to think about) what lays ahead. We know we will not get much sympathy if we start complaining about how difficult it is going to be to have to get up early again, not being able to nap and/or go get a massage in the middle of the afternoon and try to remember what day of the week it is, but we will try. It will be nice to have a home base again and to be able to cook at home and visit with family and friends more often.
While in Bali, we based ourselves outside of Ubud and fell into a routine of going to town in the morning, getting lunch and a massage, wandering through town, then returning to our little cottage in the afternoon to read, nap and relax. Bliss! Because we had a kitchen, we were also able to prepare our own dinners (Indonesian food has not been a highlight so we haven't regretted missing restaurant meals).
Ubud and Bali, are very touristy, but the people here have maintained a strong pride in their island and unique, Hindu culture. There isn't much touting in UBUD, so it's been much more relaxing to walk the streets here vs. Kuta. We only spent a few days sightseeing. One day we hired a taxi and visited Gunung Kawi (11th century rock carvings and temple), Pura Tirtha Empal (a holy spring), and Tegalalang (beautiful, terraced rice fields). On another day, Wayan, the guy who cleaned our house everyday invited us to visit his village. He and his nephew picked us up on motor bikes and took us to his family temple, village temple, the temple by the river where he bathes in the morning. They also drove us to nearby Goa Gajah (11th century Buddhist ruins). It was so generous and nice of him to do this and was driven by pride in his home and culture and not by the possibility of a cash reward. Lovely.