White water rafting and monkeys in Ubud

Ubud Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 12 › view all entries

We didn’t know much about Ubud. Most of what I thought I knew turned out to be slightly inaccurate. I thought it was in the mountains. It wasn’t. I thought there were rice terraces. There weren’t, at least not in the town. I thought there were monkeys and white water rafting. There was…and wasn’t…. but no matter. We got things sorted quickly.

Our first afternoon I rented another motorbike so we could go to the ‘monkey forest’. Then the guesthouse lady said it was a 5 minute walk. Ahhh. :P I drove anyway! And on the left side of the road. Every turn on to a cross street still had me in a desperate scramble to figure out which side of the road was the correct one, but there were no problems. Anyway, on to the monkeys.

The monkey forest is just that: a lush jungle type forested area stacked with monkeys, Balinese macaques to be exact.

They were great! Ji was still a bit apprehensive after the Angkor Wat monkey episode so she wasn’t too keen to get close for a photo op. I was ready, though, and when we spied a few babies frolicking around, I jumped right in. To the middle, not the frolicking part…well, hmm. One of them came up, then got on his belly and wiggled right up to me, reaching up and taking my fingers in his tiny fingers. Too endearing. Eventually a bigger monkey came up and pushed the little one out, but I think we made a connection in those moments. A monkey connection! Rafiki (friend)! I really like monkeys.

The next morning we went white-water rafting. Not in Ubud, actually an hour and a half away. But it was a pleasant ride through the jungled mountains (ah, here they are). This was Ji’s first time and she mentioned not wanting to fall out and get eaten by an anaconda a few times. Ha. That would have been a sight. I told her I’d knock her out with the paddle if need be, but I don’t think that’s what she wanted to hear. We walked down through more rice terraces to a river not more than 5 meters wide with jungle on each side. Our guide got out a pump and pumped up our raft. Huh? Hmm. Interesting.

We set off and it was gorgeous. Jungle gave way to 50 meter high cliffs and then back to jungle. A dozen waterfalls plus dropped into our little river. It was fairly constant so we rarely paddled, and the rapids didn’t get more rough than Class III, so it was perfect for taking in both the river and the surroundings.
We stopped at one of the bigger waterfalls for photos and then continued on. Our trip culminated with a four meter drop over a sloping dam! What an ending. Ji and I were in the front and since our raft was quite collapsible, when the front struck water after the drop I flipped backwards into the seat behind me. Sweet.

We climbed out of the gorge and had a nice lunch before hopping in the bus/van for the drive back to Ubud. Later that afternoon we wanted to find a 1000 year old monument carving thing but we never did. We drove on the motorbike for about 30 minutes looking for it before turning back. We did get to see those rice terraces I’d heard about, though, and they were really spectacular. Since the rainy season just ended, everything is a superb, vivid green and really, really beautiful. Great sights.

We left the next morning and headed to the east coast of Bali to a string of villages collectively called ‘Amed’. Time for more diving!

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5,425 km (3,371 miles) traveled
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photo by: eddie8498