-Sunrise Dolphin Watching!
-Arriving in Ubud
Angie's back. Brace yourselves for picture overload! So today was packed but so much fun! ! I feel like we got a little of everything today: action, peaceful relaxation and culture. We woke up this morning long before the sun (Thanks again, jet lag) and headed out to Lovina Beach to see the dolphins! Apparently every morning at sunrise a whole group of them gather about a mile off shore and you can take a boat out there to watch them.
This is our sweet boat captain, Ketut and his mighty ship (basically a canoe powered by a weed wacker. Seriously.) We hopped in and set sail! Err...set weed wacker. To the sun!
There were about 50 other boats out there dolphin watching too. And when I say watching, I mean chasing. Someone would spot them popping up in the middle of us somewhere and all 50 boats would take off chasing them down and then they would disappear beneath the surface. At first I felt bad for the dolphins, but then I realized they have the entire ocean to escape to but they choose to keep popping up right in the middle of these boats. It kind of seemed like they were playing a game, like Nuca does when she's escaped and we are trying to catch her. Once I realized that, I just loved every second. They're hard to see on camera but it felt pretty miraculous in real life. Dolphins in their natural habitat! Just popping up all over the place!
Ketut was kind of a one-man show because we ALSO paid him to take us out snorkeling a little later, which was pretty dang awesome. I'm not sure how clean the gear was but I just blocked that from my mind :) These views were worth it!
After our morning adventures, we came back to our own personal paradise to suck out every bit of relaxation we could before we had to leave. Seriously, I know Robbie mentioned this yesterday, but THIS PLACE! We want to live here. And our room didn't even have hot water so that must tell you how amazing everything else was.
Employees giving the daily offering. These flowers with burning incense were placed all around the grounds, starting with the temple.
Gosh, I would come back here in a heartbeat. Plus, it was only about a block from the quiet beach. For anyone traveling to Bali, stay at the Rambutan Boutique Hotel in Lovina. It will blow your freaking mind.
We finally gathered the courage to say goodbye and jumped in a car with our new driver Wayan (yep, that's our third Wayan so far). We were heading to Ubud, but this sweet guy took us on a scenic path which was amazing. We started at the Buddhist Monastery. We had to wear sarongs, so this is little Wayan teaching Robbie the ways. This might be my favorite picture of the trip so far:
Quick History Lesson:For those unfamiliar, this statue below is commemorating the moment Siddhartha Gautama reached nirvana and became the Buddha or "the enlightened one." He had been a prince sheltered from the world for most of his young life and when he finally went out into the world, he saw immense suffering. As the Buddha, he came up with the four noble truths:
1) Life is suffering
2) Suffering is caused by our desires (attaching ourselves to objects or ideas)
3) The only way to end our suffering is to end our desires
4) We can train our minds to end desires by following the 8-fold path (having the right mindset, intentions, speech, etc.).
When we have completely ended our desires and cravings, we can reach a state of nirvana as well and become "enlightened."
Pretty cool stuff.
Funny story about this next pic. We got to the top of the hill to get to the temple and reached this opening. We saw this monk sitting there watching us and we didn't know what to do. We both quietly smiled and nodded and he still just stared straight at us, not smiling. Not even blinking. It probably took us two full minutes of avoiding eye contact with him to realize that he's not real. He's a statue. Classic.
At the temple:
After that awesome stop, we continued on our drive toward Ubud and stopped at some AMAZINGLY beautiful rice fields and lakes:
Is this place real?!
At long last, we finally made it to Ubud. We checked in and headed out to find some din! Our Airbnb host recommended this little Warung down the street. It was the tiniest outdoor kitchen with a couple tables on the floor in the small opening. Pretty fun experience actually. And we ate with a couple travelers from Chile and Argentina!
I know this drink may look toxic, but it is au naturel baby. Can you guess what's in it?
If you guessed dragonfruit, you win! I've never had it before and it was so good. Speaking of crazy fruits, they gave us these below to try for free. Mangostim, I think? The inside edible part is white! I have never had white fruit before! I kept thinking of the vampire bunny from that kids book that sucks all the juice out of fruits and veggies and leaves them white. Except these ones were full of flavor. They actually tasted like kiwi. Soooo good!
We finally made it back to our Airbnb and hit the sac for the night. Such a great day!