Thursday 6 May - Day 3 in Bali and our 10 year wedding anniversary!

Today we were up early for our day trip with Banyan Tree Bicycle Tours.

Gede and Nyoman arrived at 7:15am to pick us up from our hotel and then we went and picked up another couple from Germany (I could not understand the man's name but his wife's name was Christiana) and a solo female traveller (Vanessa) from Australia. After talking for a little while we found out that while Vanessa now lives in Darwin she grew up in Nambour and her parents are living in Palmwoods.

We drove for about an hour before coming to our first stop - Labhagga Restaurant. After a light breakfast we continued on driving for about another 20 minutes before reaching our starting point where we each got a bike and helmet. We were about to face a 26km ride back to Ubud where we would have lunch at the home of the owner of Banyan Tree Cycling Tours. His name is Bagi.

We rode for about 5 minutes before stopping to visit a traditional Balinese home. Gede told us about the purpose of each hut and took us through the garden explaining how each plant is used and showing us the animals that are bred for food and income.

The next stop was the rice fields where women where harvesting the rice. We each took our turn to whack the wooden board to release the rice. It was explained to us how the cycle works with a new crop being planted every 3 months. As we were leaving the ladies were talking and laughing with Gede. Steve asked what they were saying and Gede's response was "I not tell you...embarrass you". After being assured by Steve that it was okay he said that the ladies were saying that he was handsome and they liked his fair skin. They were joking around and saying that Gede could leave Steve with them and take the rest of us...well at least I think they were joking! Gede went on to tell Steve that if he stayed in Bali he would have lots of women!!!

After prying my husband away from the rice fields with an extremely inflated head we continued on down the road to a local temple. Each village has a temple and Gede talked to us about Hindu beliefs.

Next we came to a dam. We crossed the dam and pushed our bikes up through some lush green rice fields. The view was amazing! By now we were exhausted - it was extremely hot (about 36c in the sun) and my butt was hurting so badly! We kept going through the rice fields, passing about 5 women who were bathing naked in the water along side the path and yelling at us. I have no idea what they were saying but it did not appear to be hostile. On the other side of the path were two women resting in the fields - they were pointing at Steve and watching him as we rode along the track. I am going to have to keep a close eye on my husband now and maybe even be nice to him. He appears to be attracting a lot of attention!

After we left the rice fields the roads started to get busier and we were coming into the more built up area. As we rode past houses young children who were playing in groups would yell out "hello". Sometimes when we yelled hello back they would giggle.

After a while and a few big hills Steve and I decided to pack it in and take the easy way out - in the soft leather seat and air conditioned mini bus with Nyoman. Nyoman drove us to Bagi's house where Bagi was waiting with cold face clothes to freshen ourselves up. As we were still waiting for the rest of the group to arrive we took a short stroll down the drive way and spoke with the children who were there. The language barrier made it a little difficult but they knew a small amount of English and they were extremely adorable!

We sat down in an outdoor eating area with Bagi and Gede. Lunch was cooked by Bagi's wife and served by Gede's wife and was absolutely beautiful. It was one of the best meals we have had here so far. Gede explained to us that everyone (men and women) can cook in Bali because there is little fast food or convenience foods and the men cook for ceremonies while the women make the offerings.

It was interesting talking with Bagi. He is a very intelligent man and his knowledge of the world and politics was amazing.

We were dropped back at our hotel at about 3pm and we headed straight for the pool! We had a quick swim and relaxed for a while before deciding to get a massage.

We each had a 1 hour massage and they massaged everywhere. There were only two places they didn't massage on me and you can imagine where they are! They massaged our knee caps, our eye brows, our noses and even our ears! We were out by the pool and this was my first massage ever so I was a little surprised when she asked me to roll over onto my back and pulled my 1 piece down to my waist. I am not big on showing my bits to the world but there I was laying by a public pool with almost nothing on! I decided to go with it because I am never going to see these people again and the hotel was very quite at the time...I couldn't see anything because my eyes were covered but I could not hear anyone in the surrounding area. Steve tells me however that photos were being taken by mobile phones and passed around to mates....maybe there will be a big controversy over that soon.

We headed into town for dinner at around 6:30pm. We went to a restaurant called Nomad.

For starters we ordered Rice Paper Rolls for 35 000 and Japanese Gyozas for 33 000. Both were extremely good and I knew this was going to be a good dinner!

We decided to share a main of 9 Tapas for 69 000...again it was really good...

We also decided to share dessert and chose Banana Cream Caramel with Chocolate Ice Cream for 25 000. The dessert was different to what we had expected but was nice. It appeared to be a small banana cake that had been soaked in caramel sauce.

Steve had a few small Bali Hai's for 17 000 each and I had a Sweet Dream for 37 000 and a Cosmic Colada for 48 000. I didn't really like the Sweet Dream. It was very strong and was made with Arak which is a potent local "wine". I imagine it is highly flammable!

We had hoped to see some shops but by the time we finished dinner they were all closed so we headed back to the hotel.

Later in the night when we were both asleep there was a knock at the door. It was Lau (not sure on the spelling). We had told the hotel driver on the way to the restaurant that it was our wedding anniversary and Lau was delivering a small chocolate cake to our room for us to share as a celebration of our anniversary. The next day he apologised for waking us and I told him that it was okay as it was a very nice cake to wake up to!

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