A day spent touring Ubud, Holy Springs, Mount Batur and a Plantation!
We had a busy day today and tried to cram as much in as possible as we are leaving the bustling city of Ubud for the more sleepy, beachy Paddang Bai tomorrow. We left our home stay at around 7AM and headed straight to Tirta Empul Temple, a Hindu temple famous for its holy water where Hindu Bali people go for purification.
We left early as today is the day before the full moon which is when the cleansing rituals usually begin. We were the first to arrive, which meant Miks got to enjoy the natural spring pool and only share with a couple of Koy! Mikhail was told by our friendly driver, whom acted as tour guide, to splash the water from each spring onto his face 3 times and then “bathe” under each spring. The individual springs are believed to cure different ailments and problems in life for example -nightmares. We were told to avoid the penultimate fountain as it is only for the deceased! Next we drove to a Coffee plantation at Miks request as his family owned and lived on a plantation in the former Belgium Congo.
We walked around the plantation and first saw- mango, advocado, almond, coffee, ginger, papaya, cocoa, cinnamon, jack fruit, star fruit, bread fruit, snake fruit, tobacco, chilli plants (and so many more!) We met a curious little civet/luwak – used to make coffee. Luwak coffee has been labelled the most expensive coffee in the world, the civet eats the berries from the beans’ fleshy pulp, then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs- which is said to improve the flavor of the beans. I felt quite sad though, seeing several of these little creatures in cages being force-fed? coffee beans. Although there was nothing ALARMING about their appearance or living conditions, I did have the urge to open up their cages and let them free!
((… sidetracked*A feeling that was not isolated that day, as we later saw about 15 puppies all together in a small cage. One little pup had his head stuck in the cage- whilst their “owner” was oblivious he was crying out for us to help him, we helped poke his little head back inside, but felt like we should have done so much more. Our attempts to converse with the owner selling the puppies were useless and its not like theres RSPCA here but we did contact the BAWA charity to alert them.))
Following our short walk around the coffee plantations grounds, we “helped” to roast some coffee beans and then sat down with spectacular panoramic views of the jungle, for a fresh coffee tasting platter. Next we went to the viewing point of the active volcano Mount Batur. Although we did not arrive early enough to walk to the top of the volcano and overlook the bubbling lava, we have been told that locals (and now tourists) trek up before sunrise and fry eggs in volcanic steam whilst the sun comes up! We did a few jumps and frolicked about for some photos, after which we went to Tampaksiring to the Gunung Kawi temple. The complex comprises 10 rock-cut shrines carved into the cliff face. Then had lunch at “Boni Bali” overlooking the rice terraces and went to the main distributor of silver on the island of Bali. Where we watched a “conveyer belt” of people creating beautiful jewelry from the silver and being sold inside the delightful shop.We later treated ourselves to a Shirodhara accompanied by a massage- shirodhara the gentle, constant application of warm oil on the third eye or chakra point just above and between the eyebrows. Which is said to awaken the third eye and is also believed to treat greying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, skin and eye diseases and more. After the 90min, £7 treatment if not awakened we both felt very relaxed!
Ubud is a green, busy, happy, pretty, rejuvenating, idyllic spiritual playground. We have enjoyed our time here immensely, despite hordes of tourists in the city Ubud has maintained its gentle nature and traditional life. A space for meditation, relaxation, culture and free thinkers. A world away from the fast paced western lives we lead, here you can just surrender yourself to the peace and let go!
Sorry for the long and rushed post, but after such a busy day and wonderful treatment I am ready for bed!
LOVE AND LIGHT, as always
More photos can be seen on my memories page!by