Saturday, 6 October 2012

Day Four in Ubud: Monkeys and Massages

No trip to Bali can be complete without ample massages, one of the cheapest pleasures available.  At about one tenth of the price in Canada, spa services are plentiful and very good, or so we had heard.  It was time to treat ourselves to the experience.
Our day began with another fresh fruit tray and banana crepes, delivered to our rooms. Any primate would love that.
Next, we strolled down the road to revisit the Monkey Forest, Gina's favourite place in Ubud. We followed new paths this time, ending up at a gate that led out to a rice paddy, near a wood carver's house.  Of course, we had to check that out. It was all very beautiful, as if time had forgotten that corner of Ubud.  We fell into a bit of a reverie, mesmerized by his enchanting wares, nearly forgetting that we had appointments to keep.  A purposeful stroll through the Monkey forest is nearly impossible, with monkey antics of all sorts that distracted us, but we made it out in good time and found our next destination, the Three Monkeys Cafe.  My pals, Linda and Allan, had recommended this place as one of their favourites, discovered on their visit here a few years ago.  We just had to check it out!
Following the theme of the day, Gina and I had fruit drinks and vegetarian dishes for our lunches.  Kees enjoyed his customary Nasi Goring, a dish that always makes him happy. Add Bintang, and he's just downright cheerful!
Next, a driver arrived, right on schedule, to take us to the Putri Spa.   It had  received many great reviews on Tripadvisor, so I felt confident that we were in for a treat.  Our indulgence of "the works" was about to begin.
Oh, what a wonderful day it was!  We all enjoyed warm foot baths, pedicures and manicures. Then came a full body massage for an hour, followed by an exfoliating sugar scrub and oil rub, gentle shower and flower bath.  Ahhhh...would I like ginger tea and coconut biscuits while I soaked?  Yes.please! A warm shower rinsed away any petals that clung to my very relaxed body, before I was led away to another room for a full facial.  I am not sure what happened then, as I dozed off somewhere between the cucumber scrub and the orange scented facial peel....awoke to Gina's gentle snores on the bed beside me. Next came a cream bath hair treatment and neck massage, leading into shoulders and scalp massage.....leading to total bliss. Nirvana. I think we all floated out of there five hours later and $42 dollars apiece lighter. Enlightenment has dawned.  We must book more Bali massage sessions, soon!
 Such a day would not be complete without sushi. There it was, at a small restaurant not 300 meters from the spa. We had some.  It was very good.
So was the refreshing walk home,  past some of the grand older hotels along the Campuahan River, with stunning views of jungled valleys and picturesque trails along rice paddies.  Such trails were tempting in the fading light, but out of our range that day. Some things are just not meant to be.....but may happen another time. I would love to return to Ubud another day, with a better idea of where to go and what to do, but this time we managed. Quite well, indeed!
It was more out of fondness for the ambiance than hunger that led us back to the Warung Labalaba for a chilled watermelon juice and a vegetarian snack that evening.  We enjoyed just relaxing and visiting, catching up on a bit of email and planning our next day's events. We had a very nice chat with the owner of the small  restaurant, whose father had made two of the stunning acrylic paintings that I had been admiring all week.  They are of  beautiful  parrots in the jungle, so common and yet so unique.  I am glad I asked her about them. I wish I could look at them every day, but they are not for sale, nor do I want to own them. They belong in her restaurant, as her favourites.  I am glad that I enjoyed them, too.
 So much has happened in a few short days that one needs time to reflect and appreciate it all. Time...time to rest.

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