Wednesday 5 May - Day 2 in Bali

Today we slept in a bit later than we have so far which was nice. The room comes with breakfast so we went down to the hotel restaurant and both had french toast, the french toast here is a little sweeter that we make it. A little later we saw monkeys in the restaurant where everyone was having breakfast. The waiter had a slingshot that he was scaring them away with.

We then went back to our room to get ready to go into town. today we have a better plan with our money and are much more organised. We went to reception to organise the shuttle bus to take us to ubud, I also asked for a map so we had some idea where we were. On the map we could see how close the hotel is to ubud. The lady suggested we walk along the scooter path through the side of the monkey forest.

Along the path to the monkey forest we came to a dead end where there was a wood carver working away, he ushered us into his workshop. the carvings were amazing, after quite some time looking around we decided to get the three monkey statue as it was a bit different to what we had seen before and it reminds Rachael of Kaleb, Blake and Zane.

We walked for about 500m through the monkey forest looking at the monkeys. The centre of Ubud is like a big circular 1 way street, it is probably 6 kms all the way around at a guess. We talked for a bit looking for a good spot for a drink with WIFI internet so we could upload our pictures as the internet at the hotel wasn't working very well. We went into The Warung which is the restaurant for the Ubud Inn and sat down. We ordered a small Bintang for 20 000 and a mixed juice also for 20 000. While enjoying our drinks a man came out from the Ubud Inn with a very large bat hanging from his arm! He was swinging the bat back and forth a little as he walked up to a tree and hung it from a branch. I am assuming the bat is a pet as the man seemed to know exactly what he was doing and they bat just stayed there. It nibbled from the branch for a moment and then just hung around like it had nowhere else to be.

We continued up the was a bit past 11am by now. We were heading for Ibu Oka Babi Guling - the famous suckling pig in Ubud. We decided to catch a taxi because we were still a fair way off the restaurant and we didn't want to be too late because we have heard that they can sell out quickly. When we got there they were packed out! We made our way in and sat on the floor at a low table. We ordered 2 x Nasi and Babi Guling Specials for 25 000 each, a Babi Soup for 5 000, a bag of the yummmiest freshest Prawn Crackers ever for 7 000 and a small bir (beer) for 20 000. The order came quickly and Rachael was in heaven. The crackling was different to what we are used was crispy but more moist and not as hard. It also came with a small piece of sausage that was made from the liver and other inside bits and some small crispy pieces of the intestine or something like that. Steve was way to wussy to eat either of these bits!

After lunch we went walking up the street with no idea where we were going but in search of a Commonwealth Bank which we were told was down that way somewhere. We stopped by a Circle K (mini supermarket) and bought a razor, some cheese pringles, dettol soap, tissues (can you believe I didn't pack tissues?!) a chocolate bar, a coke and a gatorade. All up it cost 100 000. Drinks are really cheap here - the coke was about 90cents aud and the gatorade was about 65cents aud!

Along the way we felt everything getting a little less touristy, as there were less and less boutique shops. Rachael noticed a small shop selling sarongs and she had no trouble finding on she liked for a good price. We kept walking until we found the Commonwealth Bank and withdrew some money. The banks here have very tight security...they have at least two men in security uniforms. They open the door for you when you arrive and again when you leave and are quite pleasant and friendly.

We decided to walk back towards the Monkey Forest and our hotel. We quickly noticed we were in a local area as there were no tourist shops just locals and noone was asking us if we needed a taxi.

We spotted a clothes shop which was full of locals shopping so we decided to go and take a look. I asked the staff where the shirts where that would fit me. He laughed a bit and showed me a tiny section of shirts. We also found a couple of shirts for the boys.

We continued walking towards the Monkey Forest hoping there would be a taxi soon as we had not been asked for about 1km and we needed to ensure we got back to the hotel on time.

We stopped and spoke to a couple of young local guys who were working building a new shop and asked where we could get a taxi and they quickly asked where we were going and would motorbike be ok.

Rachael was a little apprehensive but really enjoyed the trip in the end as they took us though all the backstreets too small for cars. It cost us $1.75 AUD each.

Back at the hotel now we quickly grabbed a Bintang and mixed juice and had a refreshing dip in the pool.

At 4pm we had a shower and headed next door to the Laka Leke restaurant for a cooking class.

Laka Leke restaurant is a large restaurant that has open air huts spread around rice fields and beautiful gardens where they grow fresh ingredients to use in their restaurant. In the middle at the centre there is a large area where traditional performances and dancing occur a few nights a week.

We started our class with a tour of the gardens and were shown all of the ingredients we would be using and how they are picked.

After this we were introduced to the lady who was teaching us who was the first born daughter of the owners of the restaurant. Order of birth here is very important and determines which first name you have. So for first born there are 3 choices of name, for the second born there are 2 choices, for the third born there are 3 choices and for the 4th born there is only 1 choice. After that it starts back at 1 again so the 5th born has the same name as the first.

The cooking class was fantastic. We did a lot of chopping (the teacher always saying "Now you Chop" or "Chop Chop" with a giggle. We prepared each of the 5 dishes together so we all got to be involved in each process which was fantastic.

We made a chicken salad, chicken curry, Balinese style prawns, black rice pudding and nasi goreng (fried rice).

We did the class with another couple from Melbourne so there were only 4 in the group which was great.

At the end we enjoyed the fruits of our labour by eating it all up. It was very very nice. Rachael and I especially liked the fried rice, chicken salad and curry.

Time for bed....

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