Meeting up with the Backroads Group
Ubud Travel Blog› entry 10 of 23 › view all entries
I had a nice breakfast on the verandah of the hotel this morning with lots of fresh fruit (watermelon, honeydew melon, pineapple, papaya and jack fruit), Balinese coffee, and papaya juice to start. The village breakfast of the day was a black sticky rice pudding, bananas in a rice dough that was baked, and a Jaya cake of rice and coconut with palm sugar syrup. It was quite nice.
I had a little time to kill, so I went back down to the pool and read for a bit, then it was time to pack up and change hotels. I was just finishing the packing job when the room staff came by to clean. I gave one of the staff members my 'Nike' sandals that had not worked so well for me -- and he was thrilled, as they were just his size.
I checked out and took a taxi over to the Alila Ubud, the hotel where I am to meet up with the Backroads group. It was about a 35 minute drive from the Waka di Ume and cost about $5 USD. The Alila Ubud is a beautiful hotel/resort surrounded by a very thick forest/jungle. The pool is amazing! I was voted one of the top 50 best pools in the world in Conde Nast Travel magazine -- and has an amazing negative edge that makes it look like you could swim right on out into the jungle! As I checked in, the General Manager came over and introduced himself to me. He is from the Netherlands, and has been the GM here for a couple of years. It was amazing to get that kind of personal touch.
My room was amazing.
I went to the hotel lobby at 2:00 to meet the group -- and sure enough, there were 12 guests -- 3 men and 9 women, with Jo and Courtney as the Trip Leaders. Both the trip leaders were very positive, welcoming and gracious.
After introductions, we were fitted for our bikes. Then, it was time for a hike through the rice paddies to get a view around the area.
We shuttled back to the hotel, showered and met out at the pool for soem wine and an introduction to local fruits. We had palak (called the snakeskin fruit -- which was what I described as the "leather covered strawberry" in my Kuta blog), passion fruit, ramatan ("hairy fruit"), and mangiss or mangostein. The ramatan and mangostein were my favorites -- really delicious and different than anything I have had before.
Dinner this night was prepared especially for us by the hotel's Australian head chef, Stuart. I had butter fish accompanied by a great French chardonnay. I also had a chocolate souffle and ice cream for dessert. It was a great meal. I was so tired at the end of that, I wobbled on my way back to the room! I fell asleep very quickly!