Although taxis are overpriced and corrupt in Bali – most will claim to have a broken meter and/or take the long way everywhere – we were lucky enough to make a friend at our hotel that was willing to drive us around for a fair price.
He offered to take us to several spots in Ubud, an hour and a half from Kuta. Since our budget’s tight, we figured an all-day adventure was our best bet.
What we ended up getting was a private your at 1/4 of the price of the professional ones. He took us to several temples and spots throughout the day – and the trip was extraordinary.
In between temples, we stopped to view gorgeous rice terraces. Years ago, the Balinese cut little plateaus – or terraces – into the mountain to make more rice paddies. That way, even the villages in the mountains could feed themselves. Plus, it looks really, really cool.
Our driver wanted to stop for lunch, so he took us up a steep mountain – definitely the highest we’ve ever been – to get some food. We were shocked when he dropped us off at a mountainside buffet with an unbelievably breathtaking view of one of the island’s active volcanoes.
The outward facing bar almost hung suspended from the cliff’s face, and it was a crazy good view. The volcano sat directly in front of us, so close we felt as if we could touch it. It was flanked on one side by more thick green rainforest, and by a vast, pristine lake on the other.
The lake seemed untouched by modern life; the clouds cast perfect shadows over its shimmering, glossy surface. It was at the foot of another sizable mountain, and the coolest part was that there were enclaves of teeny-tiny villages tucked into its feet. I can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up in a small town – or I guess I should say village – in such an isolated place. I found myself wondering if it could actually be real.
The food at the buffet was delicious;
given the view, the $10 per person price tag was a steal. Since the portion sizes are small here, it was great to actually be full. My boyfriend, who’s over six feet tall and has been hungry the entire time we’ve been here, happily polished off three full plates. Plus some dessert.
There’s so many unique things to see and do in Bali – and eating lunch next to a volcano seems to be just anther one of them.
Till next time,