I had another little freak out when I got to my hotel in Ubud. Talk about culture shock, just like when I arrived in India. I went from a developed, super modern country to one that looks like it is falling apart in some areas. Denpasar, where the airport is, looks like an earthquake hit and they still haven’t been able to rebuild.
It is much nicer in Ubud and Canggu but the streets are narrow and feel a little claustrophobic when you are used to much wider streets and sidewalks. Its all still so beautiful. The amazing temple architecture in Ubud and the green rice fields are breathtaking. It is all overwhelming but incredible.
The first night, I felt very secluded in my villa in Ubud. I went from staying in hostels and sharing rooms with 5 other girls to a huge room with my own bathroom, and kind of a yard. It was definitely lonely so I retreated to my iPad to distract myself with some YouTube. The next morning I felt so much better. The night before I had initially planned to stay at my hotel by the pool but woke up wanting to wander around and adventure instead.
That morning I also realized the solitude of this portion of my trip is so I can relax. I wanted to get massages, do yoga, and fall asleep at the pool. And not get killed by a motorbike, which almost happened in the first 10 minutes of getting to Ubud.
The first couple days in were so relaxing. I walked around Ubud, did some shopping, and ate really good food. And one day I got a massage and facial after an afternoon of chilling by the pool. A friend I had met in New Zealand, Ryan, joined me and we spent the whole day exploring the tourist spots of Ubud.
Canggu was a completely different vibe though. Just like when I got to my hotel in Ubud, in Canggu I was a little anxious because the hotel again was out of the area I had thought it was in. Technically we were staying in Berawa beach, not Canggu. But after walking around a little it was so chill, just like any surf town. When we actually took our motorbike to the town of Canggu, I realize I accidentally chose the better place to stay. Berawa was much less populated than Canggu and the beach itself had much less plastic pollution on the sand. Also there weren’t merchants coming up to you every 5 minutes. It was also icing on the cake that on our last beach day a stray dog lay between our beach chaises in the shade. He was so sweet and just napped there, even staying after we had left for the day. What a life.
I think I embodied that beach dog pretty well on this trip. Little bursts of exploring, eating when hungry at whatever place was closest, and resting. Preferably on the beach with the sounds of waves lulling me to sleep.