Ubud Market, Rafting the Ayung River, and a Hindu Ceremony at the local Temple
Ubud Travel Blog› entry 13 of 23 › view all entries
It was an early start to the day -- 6:15am meet up in the hotel lobby so we could see the morning market at it's prime. We were shuttled to the market area in vans, and then it was out and about the market for some eating, shopping, sight seeing and picture taking. The market acts as the local supermarket for the city. You can get anything here from meat, fish and eggs to vegetables and fruit to clothing. Lots of touristy stuff too. You could also get some pre-made offerings for the Hindu Gods if you needed a ready supply! I stopped at one of the vendors to try a drink called 'cendol' (pronounced chen-dol) that was pretty amazing. It is made from a green gelatinous liquid made from some type of leaves, pink beads of tapioca, white coconut milk and brown palm sugar syrup.
There were lots of fruits here to buy -- including Durian -- the fruit that has the most horrendous smell of all fruits. It smells very sulfuric and rotten, yet tastes like custard (if you can ignore the smell). It is banned by all commercial airlines and most hotels. It was very abundant at the market, and, of course, I had to try it!
Oh, and they gave me a new nick name -- 'Sash-boy' -- because I wore the sash that I was given on day one every day.
We headed back to the hotel around 8am, changed clothes for our white water rafting trip down the Ayung River, and were back out to the vans. It was about an hours drive to the put in site. The Ayung River is in the gorge that is right behind the Alila Ubud Hotel as you look out across the negative edge pool. The water was class II and III rapids -- so not a dangerous ride -- fun and wet, but no one fell out.
The raft crew provided us a nice lunch at the end of the trip. We had fried noodles, chicken satay, pork curry and fried tempeh. I had seconds, I was so hungry!
After lunch, we went back to the hotel. I went down to the pool with a book and relaxed for awhile. It felt good after such a busy morning.
At 3:00, we went to a local ceremony celebrating the rice harvest at the nearby Hindu temple. The ceremony was amazing -- hundreds of people attended, all dressed in awesome costumes. There were bands, children, actors, singers, religious leaders, and beauty queens. It really was a spectacular event.
That evening we went to the home of one of our drivers, Made. Because there was a temple at his home, we were not allowed to show up just wearing shorts.
Wayan's wife, Nyoman, welcomed us profusely to their home. It was actually a family compound, with a part of the compound a house for the elders, another part for Made, Nyoman and their children, a common kitchen area and a temple. We had a tour of the house, including the kitchen and sleeping areas. After the tour we went to the home's temple area. We were all given a traditional Hindu blessing, a ceremony involving holy water, rice pressed on your forehead and a frangipani flower behind your ear.
We had dinner at a restaurant in downtown Ubud called Luna. I had a Bali Hai beer and a grilled beef salad that was excellent. It was spicy and tangy and quite tasty. Many of our group was going to go on to a Bali dance festival at the Royal Palace, but I decided to forego another ceremony. I hung out with Nancy and Kat and shared a bottle of wine with them at the bar at the Luna. If you are ever there, be sure to check out the restrooms -- there is a trough of water that runs through the restrooms that has koi swimming in it! Very unusual!
I learned another Balinese factoid tonight concerning naming traditions here.