Ubud Hospitality

Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
Trip End Nov 19, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Sunday, March 6, 2011

We were late in ordering another mediocre breakfast again, but it worked out as our energy level was low, and the Balinese are so accommodating. At some point around noon we got our act together to check out the town and catch up on the internet.  I don't even know if we had lunch, as Erica didn’t last long at the internet lounge as she had started feeling feverish.  The weather wasn’t great so I wasn’t much motivated to do anything else, so I joined her in lounging back at our guest house.  We had a time set to meet Tara and Odeck at Ary’s Warung for a walk at 4:30pm and Erica still wasn’t feeling well so she stayed back to rest.

I made my way to Ary’s and met Tara after a beer and we walked to their home.  We were able to walk on a nice trail leading up onto a ridge between two small rivers, one of which we would later raft down.  There were dozens of teenagers hanging out on the day after Nyepi as Tara pointed out several expensive bungalows and resorts nestled into the hillside.

I was given the story about how Odeck had acquired his property before there was a road to it, and that Tara used to walk the ridge regularly.  The approach to their home was quite modest and belied their wonderfully balanced modern take on the Balinese compound.  I was given a refreshing towel and a cocktail upon arrival, much appreciated in the warm humidity of the afternoon.  Odeck had been collecting Southeast Asian structures for some time, including traditional Indonesian homes and rice houses.  They had a fantastic outdoor dining room and rice house for lounging next to their pool.  The family temple was kind of a modernist Aztec pyramid shape with rudimentary temples mimicking the traditionally complex ones seen throughout Bali.  I especially liked the rustic stonework, which Odeck explained was difficult to get the workers to understand because they prided themselves on their trade.

After exploring the compound we eventually retired to their outdoor living room and began a lengthy discussion on Indonesian history and politics such as the unique Subak system that organizes the distribution of water for agriculture throughout Bali.  Most interestingly, I got an explanation about the excessive taxes on alcohol on Indonesia and how it has been hurting tourism.  This also explained why the vodka we purchased before the Conrad tasted like it was made in bathtub full of dirty shoes.  We made an attempt to contact Erica through our guesthouse staff with no success, so I enjoyed  a wonderfully prepared meal stag and fell in love with Jackfruit which was like the best of a Portobello mushroom and an artichoke.  We continued the conversation through dinner and delved into global issues, religion and Odeck’s casual meetings with George Soros, the whole time wishing Erica was able to join us.

Around 10pm she called and Tara was generous enough to pack some food for her, as she hadn’t eaten all day.  Odeck and I piled into his 1970’s Mercedes with two big dogs, Jack and Bob as he gave me a ride back to our guest house on roads too small for such a luxury vehicle.

Erica was in terrible shape, and what I was hoping was just a little bug was clearly much more.
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Steve Manning on

I love those dogs!

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