We had an extremely comfortable flight from Perth to Bali on the 2nd February with Jetstar as there were only 61 passengers on board so we could spread ourselves out for the 3hr 10min flight. It was a very smooth flight and we landed 10minutes early.
Our friend Komang picked us up and took us to a lovely clean little warung for lunch where it cost us $1 per dish. Made a pleasant change after the food prices in Perth! You can still get good cheap food in Bali as long as you know where to go. He then took us via the supermarket to our brand new 2 bedroom private Villa Jepun with pool in Ubud. It is costing AUD50 per night whether there are 2 of us or 4 of us and includes daily cleaning of the villa, garden and pool and a breakfast of fruit and toast.
There is more and more traffic in Bali and the road from the airport in the Sanur area is pretty choked at the moment with a large underpass being built to alleviate
some of the traffic problems in the area.
We had some rain the day after we arrived but only a small amount which didn’t affect our wandering around Ubud. They have torn down the vast old Ubud market and have undertaken an enormous task of rebuilding and modernising the entire
area. I don’t know what the hundreds of shopkeepers are doing in the meantime.
The streets of Ubud however were quite deserted compared with high season and the last time we were here which was later in the year in April.
Our first five days were spent relaxing and sorting out somewhere to do yoga which happens to be only 10minutes walk away across the rice paddies and by local houses.
We have been doing a 2hour yoga session 5days a week in a lovely yoga hall in a high area with views across Ubud. There are lovely rice terraces nearby and a narrow walking path. It is a long way down to the river and I wouldn’t like to have too much to drink if going home that way! Luckily we live the other way down a wider path.
The three yoga teachers are Balinese and are very competent and give us all a good workout. Some of the classes have half a dozen people from all over attending and for a class the other day we had 20 people.
We have also been walking a lot around the area which is a mixture of villas, cafes, little restauants, rice paddies and jungle with the Campuhan river flowing below.
There is more and more traffic in the way of motorbikes and scooters as the density of housing and work increases.
We have had my aunt Franca and her husband Dayle here for the last week and we had a good time eating, shopping and lazing in and by the pool. It was just very unfortunate that Franca ended up in hospital when she got back to Canberra with an unidentified bug. She was in isolation for a week then sent home with no answers apart from having some gastro bug.
We have only had a shower of rain the other night and another heavy downpour yesterday, otherwise the weather has been fine.
In the 10months since we have been here in Ubud more cafes and shops have
sprung up. They build here at an astounding rate and all of it by hand. You see the little old (probably not so old but they look it) women wheeling barrel loads of dirt and heavy blocks up and down the alleyways to construct new villas on reclaimed
rice paddies.

Our villa is one of about a dozen in the area most of which are owned by foreigners but on land leased from the Balinese owner. At least a lot of the money stays with the Balinese when they organise it this way.
There is still a lot of land up here devoted to rice growing but the availability of ready cash is a big incentive to a lot of the land owners who want to give up growing rice and have villas built on their land. Sad in many ways but inevitable I suppose as people want a more comfortable life for themselves and their offspring.
We have had some lovely meals at the Bridges, Nomad, Casa Luna, Dolce Arancia, Il Giardino and at the Hanging Gardens.

Lindy our friend from Brisbane joined us for 5days and we had a nice time shopping and visiting various restaurants. It rained heavily for the first three days then fined up. A lot of the rain since has been overnight which is handy so that we can walk around without umbrellas during the day.
We had a quiet last week in Ubud apart from one day where we went to the Australian Consular Fortress to vote for our state election and meet up with our friends Frank and Raema from Perth in Sanur. We had a nice lunch and then did the 2hour trip back to Ubud. We went to yoga that week and went out for dinner to the little warungs along the road in Penestanan. We met a couple from near Boston (Ming was also doing yoga) and we are going together on the slow boat to Lombok on the 2nd March.
We also met Sharon from Canada at yoga and it was such a coincidence that she is from the same town Powell River as our friend Frank who worked with me at Qantas and with us in the business. We had a nice dinner with her and her friends at Kue – a great little cafe in Penestanan.

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