Day #114 - Going Dutch in Bali

Ducks in the Rice Field
Another mini transit day today as we relocate to Ubud, nestled amidst rice fields and steep ravines in central Bali. It is renowned as a vibrant centre for traditional arts, dance, and handicrafts and we knew it would provide a third dynamic to our Bali experience after the chaotic bustle of Kuta and the stillness of the north coast. 

It was a two hour taxi ride between our hotels and although we were heading in a similar direction to our previous cross-island trip, the road we took and the towns we passed through were much different. This time, we were seeing a side of Bali that appeared to be more structured, more organised and more "together" than before. We definitely avoided the more rural dirt track roads of our previous trip which was a blessing. Like before, we climbed up into the mountainous region which allowed us to gaze across the dramatic valleys and as we approached Ubud, to see the terraced rice fields. 

Our taxi dropped us off on the edge of town, but our journey was not yet over. Since our accommodation is essentially in the middle of a rice field, there are no roads to it. In face there is a semi-paved footpath that's about 1.5 meters wide that winds its way up the hill, past tiny little shops, cafes and houses, all crammed together for about a mile or so that would take us there. We were not however, going to walk it - too hot for that! Instead the hotel had arranged for us (two largish blokes) and our luggage (two big 23kg suitcases, two big 20kg backpacks and assorted hand bags (notice the strategic use of a space there) to be transported to the hotel on the back of three scooters ridden by three very nice and enthusiastic teenagers. 
I wish I could have videoed the scene for you but I had to use both hands to hold onto the back of this bike as we sped up the narrow path, skimming past people, dogs, dodging potholes and weaving in and out of oncoming scooters! Either side of the path there was a water filled ditch that is part of the irrigation system for the rice fields. I have to hand it to the lads, they rode very skillfully. I dread to think how the guy with the suitcase strapped to the back of his bike was getting on! We walked the path the next day and took some pictures to show you:
We arrived safely after our exhilarating ride and while one lad went back to fetch the second suitcase, we were shown to our room. Well, when I say room, I mean house. Take a look:
We are in the "Dutch Master Suite" and when you take a step back and view (bottom right photo above) the property you can see that it has some Dutch elements. 
Once we settled in, we enjoyed a lovely lunch in the on-site restaurant. It has a small kitchen but what they are able to create in there is amazing from  what we've sampled so far. 
We went for a walk afterwards to explore our local area. We have a lovely view across the valley where we can see some other magnificent villas and accommodation.
We found a great restaurant down this infamous path - a lovely round building with open sides that look out onto the rice fields. We had a refreshing drink to cool down and enjoy the view.