Thursday, July 26, 2007

Free Friday

It is Friday morning in Ubud and we have a free day!

Well, it might not be totally free since this is to be a shopping day and if there is one thing that abounds in Ubud, it is shopping. If it is art or craft related, it can be found in Ubud. There are very few shops that will not bargain, so how much you actually spend is somewhat dependent on your negotiation skills. Our general rule of thumb has been to start off at something around 60% of listed price and then you are off and running.

There are several restaurants and shops that we have frequented that we have particularly enjoyed. Nomads is a restaurant that was founded a number of years ago and serves the most delicious food and desserts. For lunchtime, Café Moka can hardly be surpassed for its fresh French baguette sandwiches. The Dirty Duck restaurant is very popular and got its unusual name because just as the restaurant was completing construction, a family of muddy ducks walked through and left muddy foot prints on the floor. The workers all exclaimed “those dirty ducks” or words to that effect and the name stuck. They are famous for, of all things, fried crispy duck.

We have also been a number of times to Dragonfly, a restaurant and wireless internet café. The breakfasts are wonderful, the staff is truly helpful to internet neophytes like me, and you are always welcomed back. Located on Jalan Dewi Sita road, I highly recommend it when you want to connect.

The Agung Raka Bungalows have gone out of their way to make our stay pleasant and to provide us with guides and drivers that are both knowledgeable and helpful. I would return to stay here anytime.

We went to see the Buddhist monument, Borobodur, yesterday in Yogyakarta. Imagine a temple that took 100 years to build, was actively used for 100 years, and then covered in volcanic ash for 800 years. It was re-discovered by Sir Thomas Raffles, the Governor of Java, and the volcanic ash was painstakingly removed from the entire site. Over 2,000,000 stones were then catalogued and moved to a staging site so that a firm foundation could be built on the site and the monument re-built, stone by stone. It was very impressive to see and as the golden hour of sunset approached, we went into high gear taking photos. A long day, we didn’t get back to Bali until 1:00 AM.

Thus, Friday off.

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