The next day Matt, Sophie and I took a long walk to Kuta Beach, taking in some souvenir shops and an expensive but beautiful muesli breakfast on the way. We relaxed in the sun and nursed our hangover before attempting to use a resorts swimming pool, only to be chucked out in embarrassing form. Kids pointed at us whilst parents explained that we didn't belong there, leaving me to repeatedly tell security 'You know, you really should put a sign up its very misleading'... Well it was! On the way back into the hostel a familiar face waved at me as he spoke on the phone. It took me a minute, but I realized it was Michael, who's message I hadn't yet read. I was so excited that the group was reforming and soon enough Julian and Georgie would be back. After a quick catch up with Michael about his theft issues similar to mine and his current situation, we headed back to the night market for some food! That night, while Sophie and I chilled out on my bed eating shit food, listening to girly pop music and talking about my 'infected' leg, the boys had another crazy one in SkyGarden. The next morning Joe, Sophie and I left for Ubud, while I had told Michael to stay and enjoy the surf with everyone and join us the next day, which they did.
Our first day in Ubud was great, as soon as we arrived, we stood roadside waiting for a taxi and talked about how even though we just got here, we would stay forever. It had an aura, an energy, the kind I had eagerly awaited since Rishikesh and the place I knew would have it. It oozed spirituality, Bohemia, relaxation, pampering and the most comfortable atmosphere around. I was in my element. I planned to do some yoga sessions in Yoga Barn and other schools to broaden my knowledge and learn more about Yin yoga which i loved since learning it in Rishikesh from our guest teacher Steph. We checked into our guest house- Arjana located very centrally in Ubud on Jalan Kejang. It was super cheap, we had our own bungalows, with porches and had a free breakfast each morning included. Our first night, we went to the chilled out Sheesha Lounge nearby and listened to the most incredible local band after having a lovely dinner. We then carried on back to our street where a street party took place with a local band performing and avid travellers danced and swayed fearlessly to the music. The next day the boys arrived while I was at my yoga session at Yoga Barn. It had taken a good while to get there considering I got lost, happily, wandering through the local backstreets, asking for directions from smiley shop owners. My first class was Iyengar which was pretty basic, even though it was level 2, and started off with a handstand which was super weird. I picked out the flaws in the class and took what I liked from it which I did for the next two Yin classes I attended. It was great to get inspiration in the most inspirational place out there- apart from Rishikesh of course... My love! Later on after the boys got back from Monkey Forest, they said a quick hello and biked off to a temple up north for a few hours. Sophie and I took the opportunity to roam the hippy streets, browse the stores and eat vegetarian for a while before meeting them later on for dinner at a local place. Patrick and Julian left back to Kuta that evening but the next day we were joined by Matt and Chris (Weird story, Chris who I had met in Singapore, who I recommended Bedbunkers to, told his friend about it, who ended up being Sophie, who I ended up travelling with before I even knew- Crazy). That day we had hired scooters and biked around Bali,through lush green paddy fields, gazing at awe inspiring temples and swimming in ice cold water falls. I was biking with Michael while Sophie was with Joe, we had such an awesome day together and I loved these guys like Id known them forever. It was the perfect setting, and even better to have Michael there with me. That evening, we had dinner at Bali Buddha, a very organic, vegetarian (serving some meat- weird) restaurant that Sophie and I had spotted earlier and convinced them to go to. We ate and then went to The Sheesha Lounge where we all cuddled up on the sinkable sofa's and drank beer until the live band had come to an end. Michael had done the grand gesture of presenting me with a Toblerone which he had bought me because it came from Bern, Switzerland, his hometown. Pretty sweet I thought! (Literally). The night couldn't have been more perfect everyone was enjoying each others company, the cold Bintang's, the atmosphere and the band just topped it all off. I never wanted to leave!
The next few days were spent doing more yoga, more chilling out, eating in the incredible Fair Warung Bale and saying goodbye to Chris and then Joe, leaving just the four of us in Ubud. Matt, Michael and I planned to leave for Gilli Trawangan on our last day in time for the full moon party, while Sophie who was due to fly home decided to chill in Ubud for a bit longer, to also get over her illness. Poor thing! Bali has some amazing memories for me, and Ubud was for sure the highlight. People come to Bali to surf of course, but people come to Ubud to better their practice and better themselves. I learned a lot from Yoga Barn and Radiantly Alive Yoga where I took a Yin class in each and also introduced Sophie to her first yoga class which she thoroughly loved. It was always so sad to say goodbye to new friends, but that's the downside of travelling. The upside however, is meeting old travel mates again and again and again which was about to happen...
On Gilli Trawangan!