The last 2 weekends we have spend in Ubud and Padangbai. Here our story's:
Ubud (12 – 14 November 2010)
The foundation of Iris (Sjaki-Tari-Us) was hosting (their building) to Bali’s International Meditation Festival, with the motto: “Living life in peace, love and harmony through mediation”. Therefore Iris was scheduled to sit by the booth of the foundation for half a day. This was a good opportunity for us to explore Ubud some more and maybe find our inner self’s ;-) Besides we could participate for free at all workshops and seminars because of them using the building :-)
On Friday night we arrived by our home stay and went out for some dinner by the Warung of Sjaki, called Sjaki’s Warung. Iris knew that one of the teenagers was working and wanted to see how he was doing. He was doing very well and we had a lovely and cheap dinner. Afterwards we had some drinks with Dutch and Balinese colleagues of Iris. The Balinese drink (spirit) arak was having its effect on us this night, haha, we don’t drink much alcohol here. And when the Balinese drink, its mostly the strong arak witch goes around the table in 1 shot glass.
The next day was the first day of the meditation festival and while Iris was sitting at the booth of the foundation Rino joined some workshops. By the booth Iris had some very fascinating talks with some interesting visitors of the festival and Rino tried to meditate… One of the workshops, Rino joined, was held by an Indonesian women and the other by an American. Especially the workshop held by the Indonesian women was hard to follow while everything had to be translated, but still a nice experience to try to meditate. At least it was very interesting to witness all the meditation around us and all the knowledge and experience of the people coming there. And last but not least the vibe and atmosphere that was hanging around the place. It’s sounds “flying high” and dreamy, we know, but this were mostly down to earth people with a message how we all can live more balanced lives and contribute to world peace. So guess its good for all of us…
In the evening a ceremony was planned and we decided to see what it entailed. It was a wonderful evening with lots of Balinese dance -and sing performances, we both enjoyed it very much.
Sunday we both joined two seminars, with discussions about meditation and Balinese culture. This was again a bit hard to follow while the Balinese speakers had to be translated and sometimes they where so caught up in their story that they forgot to pause and wait for the translate. Although this fact we still enjoyed hearing these great speakers talk. Later on in the afternoon we joined a workshop about meditation from an American lady, which was a special experience again.
In between we walked around the city Ubud and saw what attracts people to this village, while walking you can feel the Balinese culture. The village is full of creative souls, arts & crafts and environmental friendly alternatives. There are also so many great shopping places and nice restaurants. It is a great alternative to Seminyak and Kuta, which is made for mass tourism. We decided that we would go for some more weekends in Ubud in the future.
PadangBai (19 – 21 November 2010)
We wanted a chill-out weekend and chose to go to Padangbai, which is a small harbour and backpacker town located on the east side of the island. Rino had read a nice story in the Bali Advertiser (a local paper, with advertisements and some stories) about a hostel in PadangBai and that same hostel was the ‘Our Pick’ of the Lonely Planet, so the choice was easy. The hostel was called Topi Inn and owned by a Dutch man. It had a great atmosphere and was very cosy, read more about the hostel in Rino’s review on TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1078452-d1656115-r87818781-Topi_Inn-Padangbai_Bali.html. In the evening we went out for a drink in a local bar and there we could really feel the backpacker vibe.
Saterday morning we rented snorkelling gear and headed up to the near Blue Lagoon beach, which would be a great snorkelling beach. The snorkelling was great and we saw our first tropical fish and corals of this trip. The beach however was very small and not a good place to swim, so in the afternoon we decided to go to the other beach of PadangBai. That beach was amazingly beautiful. White sand, turquoise waters and some real warungs (small kitchen made out of some bamboo sticks). It was a great spot and we loved to hangout on this beach. To come to the beach we had to climb a small hill though, but that made the beach even more idyllic. We loved the beach so much that we spend the complete Sunday over there. On Saturday night we went back to the Babylon Bar, where we were the day before as well. They had live music planned for the evening, the band was great and we had a real good time together and with some of the local boys working in the bar.
All together it was a very successful and relaxing weekend :-) It may be a place were we return once again :-)
If you are not jealous yet from the story, check out the pictures:
Link didnt work right now, but check out our facebook and we put the link on the blog a.s.a.p. :-)