We woke up relatively early in an attempt to get on the tour of the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace that our hotel was providing, but the tour group (much to our dismay) had decided to leave an hour early so we had missed it entirely. It would have been a lovely way to end our time in Ubud.
Instead we rather unproductively spent some time simply laying in bed listening to the rain, then a little more productively organising our backpacks, drying some washing and taking some notes for work.
Lunch by the pool and a check-out that should have been simple, we spent an hour bartering with a driver to get us to Amed (in the North) who wanted to charge us pretty steeply compared to everything we have seen online. As soon as we told him we would go to central Ubud and get a taxi from there, he rethought our offer (which was still well overpaying him in all honesty), and we were left in peace to eat the rest of our Nasi Goreng. What a kerfuffle.
Indonesia is quite famous for its’ strong, high quality coffee, so we stopped at a coffee plantation along the way for a brief tour with a lovely local, which then got us a free tasting of various delicious teas and coffees all grown right here in Bali. We then (not that) bravely decided to try Luwak coffee – a coffee that is swallowed by a possum-like creature, fermented in its stomach and excreted, before the beans are thoroughly washed and roasted; in Vietnam they have a similar offering known amongst travellers as ‘weasel poop coffee’. It sounds disgusting but like with many food and drink products, if you didnt know its’ background you wouldn’t think anything of it. It just tasted like a decent, strong cuppa Joe.
Then began the long, windy coastal drive to Amed; it was great to see the sea again, and the surrounding jungle was beautiful too, but I have suffered with motion-sickness for some of this trip and it didn’t do my stomach any favours. We also got a pretty glimpse of the Tukad Yeh Unda Klungkung Dam from a tiny suspension bridge along the way.
After checking into the cutest little place by the water, we decided to have a sunset stroll along the beach. Due to volcanic deposits in the soil, Amed Beach has soft, jet-black sand, and a view of Mount Batur in the distance. The little boats in the harbour, and the incredible sunset all combined for the most picturesque place we have seen in a long time. And for a while, standing on that beach and taking in the views, it was like time stood still.
Until all of a sudden it it was dark. And we had to walk a mile in pitch black in unfamiliar territory to find an ATM so we could pay for dinner – they don’t do street lights here. We found our way along the windy roads – the occasional bike or car lighting the path for us a little – only to encounter issues with our bank cards and end up spending 45 minutes frustrated on the phone (being charged an arm and a leg for call charges abroad) just to resolve it. The most annoying thing is, we haven’t encounted issues with our cards this entire trip so far until we got to Indonesia: we informed the bank we were going away so they have notes on the system, and Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia were all absolutely fine. But tonight of all nights – the night we were hoping to sleep early to be up for an incredible sunrise – was the night our cards decided to go wrong! Typical!
When we eventually sorted things, we found a place to eat called Bliss Cafe, which was nothing fancy to look at but had the sweetest staff and some flavoursome fish and pasta for us to dig into. Deciding to postpone our sunrise in favour of (by this point) only getting 3 and a half hours sleep, we went back to the room with an actual plan (that hasn’t happened too often lately!).
Keep exploring! 🙂