Early April 2018: Bali!

As usual I am woefully behind in writing updates. In fact, as I am writing this entry, I am currently waiting at the airport for a flight to Canada, so I am EXTREMELY behind. As such, all of the upcoming entries will be bare bones and short!

At the start of April 2018, I decided to make a quick trip to Bali! My flight landed in Denpasar and I immediately hopped into a taxi and headed to Ubud (which is what I would soon find out – the yoga and vegan capital of the world).

While in Bali, I stayed at a little villa near the rice paddies that was about a 20-minute walk to the centre of Ubud. The villa (found on airbnb) was fantastic. During the first day and after a long flight, I decided to explore the area around the villa. Quite close to the villa was a restaurant called Alchemy that had a raw vegan food. As I would soon find out, vegan food is not a rare thing in Ubud.

After grabbing a bite to eat, I returned to the villa. Prior to landing, I had pre-arranged for a massage at the villa. What a relaxing experience! After a long flight and a massage, I fell asleep to the sounds of a torrential downpour.

The next day I headed to the Yoga Barn, which is famous for its various yoga spaces and different styles of yoga.  Yoga Barn typically runs about 130 classes a week. Unbeknownst to me, it was the Bali Spirit Festival that week. This meant that Yoga Barn classes were reduced from the usual 130 to 4 classes a day (the same classes repeating every day). While I briefly considered attending the Bali Spirit Festival, after looking at the price I nixed that idea because it was very expensive. Anywho, lucky for me, this was the last day of the regular Yoga Barn schedule, which meant that I got to try a Vinyasa Flow class and a Thai Yoga Massage class. Both were great.

The following day I returned to Yoga Barn for their modified schedule. The instructor was let’s say…interesting. There was a lot of talking at the class. Not a lot of movement or postures. Multiple off the cuff comments about his book, audiobook and going to check out his app…

Later that night I caught up with my former boss who happened to be in Indonesia at the same time. We went out for dinner and then went to a traditional fire dance which was incredible! K tells me that each village puts on a performance and all of the villagers take turns participating. The profits of each performance go to the villages.

The next day, Tuesday, I got up very early so I could run to the Yoga Barn. However, because of the modified schedule, by the time I got to the class it was packed out. This ended up being a great result though because I got to try out a different yoga studio – Radiantly Alive. The class I attended was an awesome class but it involved a lot of power, strength and core power (that I just don’t have). My former boss and I then met up for lunch and pedicures (one must do a little bit of pampering in Ubud).

On Wednesday, Yoga Barn was closed so I decided to go on a bike tour. The tour was awesome. You start the tour by driving to the highest point of Ubud. It is all pretty much biking downhill from there. The tour ended up being private as there was a large family group with young children and the guide was concerned that the kids needed to go at a slower pace. As part of the tour, we stopped at Luwak coffee which is wild cat poop coffee. The wild cats did not look like any cat that I’ve ever seen before. Apparently, Luwak coffee is some of the most expensive coffee in the world but I still couldn’t be convinced to taste the cat poop coffee. The coffee plantation also grows a number of different herbs like lemongrass, citronella and tin pineapples and banana plants. After the coffee stop, we biked past rice paddies and villages. As part of the stop, the guide showed us a golden orb spider up close and personal, putting it on his face. It was terrifying. Succumbing to peer pressure, I ended up putting the golden orb on my arm. It was less horrifying then I imagined! We then had lunch at the home of our guide which was amazing. The food was delicious!

 

The next day, was an early start (1:30 am wake up!). Why? Because 2:30 am is is the perfect time to catch a lift to the base of Mount Batur to hike and see the sunrise. It was about an hour drive from Ubud to the base of volcano. It was then an hour and a half hike up to the top of the volcano! We made it to the top of the volcano around 5:30 am. It was pitch dark except for our flashlights and surprisingly warm. However, as soon as I stopped walking, I cooled down very quickly. The guide then took me to the side of the volcano to show me the steam rising from it! We then watched the sun rise which was absolutely incredible. The colours of the sky were fantastic.

After an insanely early morning, it was time for a short nap! The nap was followed by afternoon yoga at the Yoga Barn with Chocolat (sp?). She’s from the Southern United States and had opened up a yoga studio in Uganda which is really cool. Her class was an Introduction to Yoga but was very intense and felt the burn. After yoga, I dropped by one of the local places for a quick massage. Why not, right?!

Unfortunately, Bali ended all too quickly! Before heading to the airport on Friday morning, I went to one final yoga class at the Yoga Barn (the guest instructor was another American). Again, the class was quite intense and I thought I was very lucky that I had to leave early to catch my flight. Lol.

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