We meet up with J & A and look for the grail of the holy pig.
I saw a place, Ibu Oka, featured on a tv program I'm fond of, Anthony Bourdain No Reservations.
I can't explain the wonders of this pig any better than he did so check out the first part of his show on YouTube.
All I can add is that this was the beginning of a love affair. I vowed to eat at Ibu Oka every day if possible. I believe this pig was Bali's way of apologizing to me for all the chickens.
Kat, a vegetarian, was kind enough to document the three meat eaters is various stages of ecstasy as we devoured our meals.
The meal consisted of rice, white meat, a rib, blood sausage, and a mystery bit, more than any of us could eat for the steep price of $2.50.
After lunch we notice a large amount of bamboo construction.
Turns out that Ubud is preparing for the largest burial ceremony they've had in 25 years. They were building a 90 foot high tower to carry a king who had recently passed away.
Next we decide to do a walking tour as advised by the nice guy who runs the guest house where Jason and Alison are staying. We make our way outside of town and start wondering around some rice paddies.
Everything was so green and lush that despite the extreme heat everything felt just a bit cooler than it actually was.
Along our walk we met a nice rice farmer named Made.
He was a small older man with a magnificent smile. Like most Balinese we've met he had a great sense of humor and a light heartedness that is incredibly enduring. We took some pictures with him and bought tickets to a Kesak dance his village performed.
The entire village is required to participate, whether you're a performer, or stage hand, or someone who helps sell tickets. Made played the old priest in the show. All the proceeds from the performance go to the needs of the community. After leaving Made we ventured through more rice paddies, along rivers, and unfortunately several kilometer in the wrong direction. Once we got ourselves headed in the right direction we found an organic restaurant plopped in the middle of a rice paddy.
After some refreshing food and fruit juices Jason and I giggled as we listened to a 40 something fellow from England tell the American gal he was eating with a sob story about how he lost all his money in an antique car poster deal gone bad. The story was loaded with gems like "He seem to know everything about the business" and "I have no idea what went wrong".
After they left Jason and I took in a sick delight mocking the guy and theorizing that he was trying to fleece his lady friend for cash. Ooops. His lady friend hadn't left yet and was standing just a few feet away. Maybe we saved her from making a bad financial decision ?
That night we decide to check out the only place with nightlife in Ubud, the Jazz Cafe. We paid the cover charge, WTF, a cover charge in Bali? We could have stayed in LA for that. We enjoyed the music and recouped the cost of the cover charge by pouring from the bottle of Stoli we brought with us. The night went late and we all decided to head home and hope for a chicken free night.
Traveler's note: Even though the Lonely Planet claims the Jazz Cafe is the only nightlife it isn't true...it's almost true but we did find a less expensive and more laid back place to hang. Unfortunately I don't the name of it but it's a reggae bar on the 2nd floor about half way down on Monkey Forest road lit up with x-mas lights across from a Circle K (really not hard to find) If you're interested they have VIP mushroom shakes on the down low, wink wink.
I wake up around 4 a.m. Much to my dismay the chickens did in fact follow me to Ubud! Kat and I walk around and find a new place to stay, I'm quite determined to get a decent nights sleep. We decide to stay at the White House which has modest rooms but an incredible view of some rice paddies from the rear of the room.