Last time I wrote, we had just arrived back at the island paradise that is Bali. After one night at the Intercontinental, we collected our friends in Ubud and were on our way to the first villa of the trip - Villa Kerasan. Set smack dab in the middle of these vividly green rice paddies, there's a really luxurious sense of being close to nature...sounds and all. Do be warned, the jungle comes alive at night and noises we heard included howling puppies, squawking birds, chirping geckos (so cute) and the occasional crowing rooster. If you're a light sleeper, you may want to bring ear plugs! Also, spiders. I'll leave it at that. Then again, what do you expect from the jungle?
If you're interested in booking Villa Kerasan for yourself, here's the link. Unlike many other villas which have on-site butlers and staff, this is true Airbnb style in that you are left completely to your own devices, as though you were at home. There's a lady who comes in the mornings to bring breakfast and do a quick clean up, but otherwise you have the place to yourself. The villa can sleep up to 8 people; the photos above are of the master bedroom and bathroom. Kerasan also has its own driver, as almost every villa will do in Bali, though I will say he complained a little too much about wanting to get home early as he lives an hour and a half away. However, in my opinion that's not fair to guests, either, because when you're on holiday you don't want to be stuck with a 10pm curfew every evening, rushing your dinner. Besides, taxis are few and far between in Bali. We were stuck one night for 2 hours trying to get back to our villa without the driver because we'd caved in and told him to go home, we'd find our own way. Boy was that a mistake!
Sorry, folks, no new restaurant recommendations this time; we simply had to introduce our friends to two of our favourites, Swept Away at Samaya Resort, and Naughty Nuri's in Ubud town centre, both previously featured here. We did, however, visit two new sights - Nungnung waterfall (beautiful, but you must trek 509 steps down to reach it...and back up :D) and Pura Bratan water temple.
Three days in Ubud passed far too easily, but where we were headed next had me squirming in anticipation...