Bali 2014: Day 8 – Moving onto Ubud

Friday 14 November 2014

Yet again another bittersweet day for us on this holiday – today we leave Amed and head to Ubud.  We both love Ubud but today signals our little holiday is slowly coming to a close.  We have also fallen for Amed this trip so are a little sad to leave.

It is almost like Amed knew we were leaving today, she put on an absolutely gorgeous morning - perfect conditions.

It is almost like Amed knew we were leaving today, she put on an absolutely gorgeous morning – perfect conditions.

Before any of that however, we started this morning the same way as each morning: Coffee on the porch of our room followed by our breakfast at Blue Star.  This morning I went with Toast and Eggs, and Dan the Toast and Jam along with a couple of fruit juices and of course more of that fabulous Bali Kopi.

We paid up our bill – was so handy having Wayan just keep all our food dockets along with any other services – eg. fishing trip, and laundry – amazing value:

  • Room (Bungalow) – Rp. 1,350,000
  • Restaurant (2 x Lunch, 3 x Dinner, 3 x Breakfasts + Drinks by the water) – Rp. 848,100
  • Laundry – Rp. 56,000
  • Fishing – Rp. 200,000
  • Total: 2,454,100

Fantastic value when you think that is Rp. 820,000 ($82) per day for Room + Meals and entertainment.  Just a reminder we were staying at Blue Star Amed located in Jemeluk.

Last chance for us to enjoy the lovely calm Jemeluk morning.  Such a stunning view this morning.

Last chance for us to enjoy the lovely calm Jemeluk morning. Such a stunning view this morning.

While we waited for the wonderful Kasa from Drivers with Distinction to come pick us up to take us to Ubud we had a good chat with Ilu one of the owners of Blue Star.  Ilu is such a lovely woman, a great character.  We also found out that we could have taken a cooking class with Blue Star (damn it – could have found out the secret of that awesome homemade bread!).  Next time we are definitely arranging a cooking class.

Kasa arrived and we headed off to Ubud.

LUNCH

I had a sneaky feeling Kasa was hoping we would be hungry and wanted Lunch – we asked what he had for breakfast and he replied “just coffee and a biscuit” – then later asked if we wanted to eat at his favourite place nearby.  Always happy to try something new.  And besides how spicy could Local Balinese food be…..

Kasa's choice for Lunch today.  I was a little worried on arrival, Warung Lesehan Mertha Sari - looked very "local" on arrival.  But was pleasantly surprised.

Kasa’s choice for Lunch today. I was a little worried on arrival, Warung Lesehan Mertha Sari – looked very “local” on arrival. But was pleasantly surprised.

Kasa suggested Warung Lesehan Mertha Sari as a great place to sample Balinese Fish menu items.  Always one to try new things we dove right in! I was a little worried, in June when we were heading to Amed – Mandika suggested a lovely place for lunch that was spicy to the point where I couldn’t feel my lips for hours!

Warung Lesehan does not have a Menu as such, you are served a set menu consisting of a number of dishes.  You just let the staff know how many people are eating and they will bring enough food.

I seriously worry how much they expect three people to eat!

I seriously worry how much they expect three people to eat!

Kasa went and ordered for us – as well as getting us a few bottles of Coke.  The meals consist of Rice, Chicken Sate, Fish Skewers, Wrapped Fish, a piece of spiced fish, fish soup, vegetables, fried beans, and sauce.  Thankfully Kasa had ordered ours as “not very spicy”

Kasa explaining the various dishes.  I wont lie there was spice but it wasn't overpowering.

Kasa explaining the various dishes. I wont lie there was spice but it wasn’t overpowering.

Despite being a little spicy the meal was actually fantastic.  Each dish had it’s own unique flavour.  We are not the biggest fans of fish meals but the soup was beautiful.  Time came to pay and the price was only Rp. 25k per person.  All that food for such a great price.  This place is definitely not a “tourist trap” kind of place, in fact I think we were the only “tourists” there.

If you want to check it out – head to Warung Lesehan Merha Sari, Pesinggahan Village – Klungkung Region.  Can’t for the live of me tell you where it was, but from memory was just after the Goa Gajah Temple area heading towards Denpasar.  Just book Kasa to be your driver and tell him you want to try it.

UBUD

We headed into Ubud and on our arrival it was actually Raining! Being November it is technically in the Rainy season of Bali and had been worried we would be battling the rain but thus far hadn’t seen any.  It wasn’t heavy just a little shower to welcome us to Ubud.

Gerhana Sari 2 Bungalows

If you have followed this blog for a few years you would know we usually chose the Alam group of hotels when in Ubud, either Alam Jiwa or Alam Indah.  This trip we were trying to go as cheaply as possible and for a change wanted to try something in the centre of town along Monkey Forest Road.

Looking at Bookings.com we decided on Gerhana Sari 2 Bungalows – now I am being really generous here in recommending this place because we both really liked it and I would hate for you all to book it out!

There are only 4 bungalows available to book so you may want to get in quick to avoid missing out.  We booked the Superior Double Room on the ground floor.  It is only fan cooled so were worried a little about the Ubud weather and if we would need an Air conditioner.  But we found the room cool enough without an Air-Con.

We were in Room 4 which is on the ground floor.  There is a lovely little koi pond in front of the room and a lovely little lounge on the porch.

We were in Room 4 which is on the ground floor. There is a lovely little koi pond in front of the room and a lovely little lounge on the porch.

The room rates for Gerhana Sari 2 are fantastic, our room worked out at roughly Rp. 350k per night – so about $35 AUD per night.  The bungalows are clean and in a fantastic location right in the middle of Monkey Forest road, just across the road from the Lotus Pond Restaurant.

Lovely gardens in front of our room, being a small place there is a real cosy homely feel about the place.

Lovely gardens in front of our room, being a small place there is a real cosy homely feel about the place.

The room is comfortable enough, this is not a 5-star glamorous hotel so please don’t expect a room overfilled with furniture or electronics.  This is definitely a place you could base yourself and relax with a good book.  No TV in the room, but after 3 nights in Amed with no TV you actually don’t miss it.

Basic rooms, there was a lovely Double Bed that is more like a Queen Bed to be honest and writing desk in the main room.

Basic rooms, there was a lovely Double Bed that is more like a Queen Bed to be honest and writing desk in the main room.

Ensuite was in a separate room which included a large wardrobe and minbar fridge, along with ample storage space for toiletries

Ensuite was in a separate room which included a large wardrobe and minbar fridge, along with ample storage space for toiletries

Shower was huge, a large open wet-room type shower.  Good water pressure and the water was hot.

Shower was huge, a large open wet-room type shower. Good water pressure and the water was hot.

Wayan and Made are the two brothers who manage this place and nothing is too much trouble for them.  They will always provide you with a hot thermos of water for tea and coffee on your balcony and always willing to stop for a chat as they go about their day.

First impressions we are absolutely overjoyed at this place, fantastic value for money and great location.

MASSAGE TIME

Ok so formalities over it was time to get back into my Massage/Spa routine! We wandered up the road to Magic Fingers Massage on Monkey Forest Road.  Really ordinary name for a massage place but I can assure you it is all above board and very professional.  I have been coming here for a while now and always received great service.  This time I opted for a 1 hr massage while wifey had a Pedicure, all up came to Rp. 160k.  Overall we were happy with the service, the massages are conducted upstairs and the rooms are reasonably private.  Pedicure and Foot Reflexology are downstairs.  If you are trying to find the place it is just north of the Soccer Field on Monkey Forest Road.

PRE-DINNER

Full Disclosure – Ubud for us equals food! There is an amazing concentration of restaurants and Warungs in a small space so we do try and cram as many in as possible each day.

We wanted to have a quick pre-dinner snack so headed to the Art Café on Monkey Forest Road.  It did look a little too “arty” for me, a few too many hipsters for my liking but hey everybody deserves a meal somewhere I suppose.

Bingtang and Lemon Squash to drink and we ordered a serving of Potato Skins and Bruschetta to snack on.

It has been a while since I gave you an arty cliché tourist photo of a Bintang - so here it is - enjoy!

It has been a while since I gave you an arty cliché tourist photo of a Bintang – so here it is – enjoy!

Was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food produced here, the presentation was lovely and the flavours were perfect.  Exactly what you want as a nice light snack before dinner, or as a few tapas options to share among friends.

Potato Skins - a fantastic take on a "pub" classic.  Lovely Mexican style Guacamole and Salsa on top.  Very tasty.

Potato Skins – a fantastic take on a “pub” classic. Lovely Mexican style Guacamole and Salsa on top. Very tasty.

Look at that - two arty pictures in one day - the Bruschetta again very tasty, tasted Fresh - and actually had a "taste" rather than a bland bit of bread with stuff on top.

Look at that – two arty pictures in one day – the Bruschetta again very tasty, tasted Fresh – and actually had a “taste” rather than a bland bit of bread with stuff on top.

All up the bill came to Rp. 152k  – I can’t find a website for these guys but if you check them out here on TripAdvisor you will see they have some great reviews.

DINNER (or is that Dessert)

So I lost an argument tonight – not the first time in 9 odd years of marriage and I doubt it will be the last – turns out you CAN have dessert for dinner and it is not a problem. So obeying my darling wife we walked up the road to a little place we had read about online Caramel Patisserie & Café.

Located on Jalan Hanoman No. 48 in Ubud.  Caramel is an amazing destination for fabulous cakes and macarons.

Located on Jalan Hanoman No. 48 in Ubud. Caramel is an amazing destination for fabulous cakes and macarons.

As you walk into this fabulous little café your eyes will be affixed to the fully stocked cake cabinet, so many little treats it will be hard to make a choice.

I decided to try out the Red Velvet Cake and Danielle had the Chocolate Stack.  To drink we both ordered the Vietnamese Drip Coffee.  Sorry in advance if you are not a fan of Food Photos – I couldn’t help but take some shots of these creations.

Chocolate Stack - rings of Meringues with Coconut Chocolate Mousse inside.  Almost Paleo if you are a health conscious traveller...

Chocolate Stack – rings of Meringues with Coconut Chocolate Mousse inside. Almost Paleo if you are a health conscious traveller…

Red Velvet Cake - light but very rich in flavour.

Red Velvet Cake – light but very rich in flavour.

Vietnamese Drip Coffee - served with a Caramel Condensed Milk.

Vietnamese Drip Coffee – served with a Caramel Condensed Milk.

These guys seriously know their stuff – the cakes look small in the case and you might be thinking “is this really going to be enough?” – but trust me they are very rich in flavour and will leave you nice and full.  Plus the coffee helps that along as well.  Make sure you head upstairs and grab a set on the balcony.

Watch the world go by as you enjoy your delicious desserts.

Watch the world go by as you enjoy your delicious desserts.

Ok so perhaps I was reasonably happy with Dan’s choice for dinner tonight – even though it was dessert!  And perhaps someone might picked up a sample pack of Macarons to snack on back at our room.

Just a small piece of glass separates you from the delicious desserts.  Try to contain yourself!

Just a small piece of glass separates you from the delicious desserts. Try to contain yourself!

We walked out of there with huge smiles on our faces, the food was so tasty and for Rp. 200k all up (including the Macarons) was well worth it.  How are you able to produce such delicate cakes and treats in the humid weather of Bali I will never know.

Back to the hotel for the night to sit on the balcony read a book and just relax.


That will do us for today, bit of a quiet day today but it feels like we achieved a few things – if only just eating plenty of food.  Looking forward to tomorrow we will be heading up to the Chez Monique Silversmith Class.


Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog.  Please feel free to leave me a comment if you have enjoyed today’s blog or if you want to ask any questions about Ubud or Bali in particular.  Have you ever been to Bali?  What did you enjoy?

 

 

 

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