Land of rice fields, culture, art, woodwork and village life
We moved up to Ubud just prior to Christmas and the rainy season hit us full on. Actually, we found it quite refreshing – as long as you have shoes with good grip, a good sense of humour and a big umbrella at all times – you will survive! The humidity was somewhat oppressive, but we enjoyed settling into our new abode.
We rented a lovely three bedroom villa in a great village called Tegallantang which was 2.5kms from the main street of Ubud. The villa was only one year old and owned by an Aussie.
Maybe the villa was not quite the traditional balinese house, but it was a luxurious transition and for us quite necessary to make us feel at home when we first arrived and had to do things for ourselves. Now we are move used to the way of life and can speak a little bahasa indonesian, we can look for a more traditional way of living.
With a villa come staff and above are two members of our beautiful little family – Tirta and his son Rasta. They had just been to visit the temple in their village and we had given Rasta a helicopter pencil which was a great source of amusement.
Ubud is a lovely area in which to live – it does have its tourists but they arrive (annoyingly by bus – mainly Chinese nationals) and they depart around 3.30pm leaving everyone to get on with their lives. The locals depend on tourism, but there is quite a large ex-pat community here and a bias towards wellness spas, yoga and holistic and healing centres. The westerners living here are very into organic vegetables and fruit and lots of little local markets are now appearing on a regular basis selling organically grown crops and unlike other places in the world, the quality of the organically grown product is far superior in taste and look than that of the supermarket or alternative version.
The ricefields are disappearing rapidly around Ubud as westerners discover what a beautiful place it is to live. Villas are springing up everywhere up to 10kms from the centre of Ubud (the Royal Palace). Perhaps Julia Robert’s Eat Pray Love had a lot to do with putting Ubud on the map, indeed Sri Widari, the street where we live, is the street where she road her bicycle along – supposedly to the sea (a little bit of Hollywood there methinks….as it just goes out to the ricefields and the sea is not a bike ride away!).