Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bali – Villa at Keliki near Ubud

Days 9 and 10

I woke up determined to find my friends somehow. I assumed their internet was down or not present at all so I figured I would just trek up to their villa and surprise them. The owner of my bungalows, Madi, offered to take me up to the village of Keliki (about 20 minute drive) for 100,000 Rp. That was the price of one night at her bungalow. I shopped around and that was the going rate.

Before we left I got my second massage – they are so cheap here. It was pretty good and cost about 60,000 Rp (six dollars).

We set off out of Ubud and into the surrounding villages. I had once thought I could ride a bike to this next village, but am very glad I thought better of it. There were many hills to climb. We eventually passed Seliba and the villa was supposed to be in between Seliba and Keliki. At last we came upon it. Down a long narrow driveway and between two rice fields and backed by a jungle was Villa Amala. The only problem was that my friends weren’t here. They had just left to go to Ubud for the day for lunch. After a phone call between Madi and the driver of my friends car we found them. They were eating in Ubud where I had just come from.

Madi and I got back in the car and drove into Ubud. I eventually found them and said goodbye to Madi. We all had lunch – I just had a pizza and after they took some photos of Ubud proper we got back in the car and made our way back to the villa which I hadn’t really seen yet.

Villa Amala would mark the first time I have ever really been at a villa where there is staff, a cook, etc. The villa itself was very cool. I will let the picture do the talking. I spent two nights here in my own swanky little room and bath (and the occasional huge fucking spider … uggh).

That day I immediately jumped into the infinity pool and a quick little monsoon started up. Very few things are as relaxing as laying on the edge of an pool as rain is pouring down on you. At least for me. After some Bintangs and some appetizers it was time to get ready for dinner.

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Here is a vid of the monsoon:

The group had already planned on going to dinner at the Chedi Club which was on the opposite side of Ubud. With the exception of my lobster dinner I was due for another more indulgent meal. I hadn’t really planned on going out to any nice outings however and only packed t-shirts and shorts. Fortunately Brett packed a bunch of linen shirts and pants and gave me some stuff to look more appropriate in.

The Chedi Club lies on huge spacious grounds filled with ponds, pools, statues, and tropical plants. The actual resort itself does not have that many rooms. After snapping a bunch of photos and walking around the grounds we settled at a table where we could catch the sunset going down over the rice paddies and the jungle beyond. The drink of choice was a purple basil cocktail – I think I had three or four.

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Dinner at the Chedi Club resort was in a huge open air building that looked out over the rice paddies. What was really cool was that set amidst the rice paddies were stone lanterns that someone had to – each night – go and manually light up. The effect after the sun went down was very cool. I have a pic before the lanterns were lit:


We were seated at the far end of the building right next to the rice paddies. As dinner commenced we were the only people eating which felt kind of strange but as the night went on more people showed up. Dinner was great, the drinks were good, and the dessert filled me up too much (one scoop of ice cream is enough – no need for three– but it was butterscotch!).

There was also a cool bird in a cafe there that would do a little dance for you:

That night everyone promptly crashed – except for me. I had a nice little visitor waiting for me in my room…


Now this picture doesn’t do the size justice but that thing is huge. Everyone who knows me knows I have a strong sense of arachnophobia.  This spider was large enough that it wouldn’t just crunch when you killed it; it would crunch, ooze, and pop. It was huge. And there it was just chilling five feet from my bed (thank god the room was huge).

I resorted to throwing things at it. First a sock, then another, then a shoe. It eventually scurried towards the floor to ceiling doors that open up into the jungle (and had been closed during the day) and went behind the drape you see it on above. So I didn’t kill it, but it didn’t bother me anymore. I have a video I will try to post later of me being quite squeamish and cursing a lot under my breath.

Sleep eventually overcame me and I woke up to a gorgeous morning and and the staff started spreading out a huge breakfast spread:


The fruit in the middle is called mangosteen and is super good. I don’t believe you can get it in the states – yet.

Half the group went to go on a tour given by a Balinese man through his “backyard” to give you a glimpse of how they live. Jeff and I decided to use the bikes at the villa and ride up to the next village, Keliki, and beyond.

The bike ride was short – its too damn hot – but was fun. The way up to Keliki was up hill just slightly which made the ride back down fast and fun. At one point a van almost brushed me (people drive crazy here) but other than that it was a clear ride.

The rice paddies and the people working them are pretty amazing. People walk around with scythes chopping away, others have sheaths of rice bundled on their heads. Some are “ca-cawing” at the heavens to scare away birds, and lastly you might see someone herding ducks to a rice paddy. The ducks keep bugs out.


After the bike ride I just chilled at the pool and read my book (surprise surprise).  Uber relaxing. Pool. Rice paddies. Jungle. Drinks. Book.


The rest of the crew eventually came back and everyone settled in for lunch which was huge. Brett had originally requested that the staff keep lunch light because everyone but me was going to go to Mozaic for dinner that night. Mozaic is a really nice restaurant that was just to far out of my budget. Something got lost in translation and a huge plethora of meat was laid before us:


I think we ate almost everything and just had some chicken left over. The rest of the day was spent just chilling at the pool, drinking, and reading.

That night the idea was to go check out the Four Seasons hotel in Ubud for some drinks and then we were going to split off – myself to Naughty Nuri’s for diner and the rest of the group to Mozaic.

The Four Seasons hotel was amazing. We had just one (long) drink here after walking the grounds. The hotel pools are built right along the edge of the river. The hotel bar is about two stories up. The entrance to the hotel is actually the top story. You walk out onto a huge circular pond that has a staircase in the center. The jungle is surrounding you on virtually all sides. Again, I will let pictures do the explaining.

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After dinner the driver dropped everyone off at Mozaic and then took me to Naughty Nuri’s. The menu at Naughty Nuri’s was all meat and that was the exact opposite of what I wanted given the lunch we had.  I decided to go eat at Casa Luna again. It was good the first time and just as good the second. I did some emailing there, ate my dinner and then the driver took me back to Mozaic to pick everyone up. Back at the villa everyone slept and luckily there were no spiders in my room …

1 comment:

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