Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Ubud Scooter Girls

Not quite sure how I missed creating this post as it was one of my favorite things we did while in Ubud. I rented a scooter for several excursions out and about with the girls. The first time was when we were in the Villa and we rode into town. The second time was when we were staying at the hotel nearer to town and we ventured out into the rice terraces. Really fun and the girls loved doing it. Ada did take a bit of coaxing but she did great once she felt comfortable about the seating arrangement situation.

As we were riding by the monkey forest we passed by Mommy so we stopped and had her take this photo. It is quite amazing how safe and comfortable this feels - explains why you see this riding situation all over Indo and other parts of SE Asia.

Start of one of my epic treks/forced marches that the girls always get stuck with me on. They always begin so manage-ably but then there is always that need to see what is just up there our around that corner. Add to this 90* temp and similar humidity and I begin to see why the girls look like they do in the next few photos.

This was after about a 20 minute walk all uphill in the blazing tropical sun when we were supposed to be scooter riding! I new this trail ended in the rice terraces but forgot how far one had to go. Fortunately the girls unpleasantness with the less than pleasant conditions won me over and we headed back to the scooter. This was a good thing as a few days later I ran up this trail and it took a solid 30 minutes running to get to the terraces. 

I think Ada is just about in tears. Father of the year .... 

Way to go Ian. Cool back drop though, right? 

Finally a kind of a smile as I told them we were heading back ...

Back in business on the scooter - smiles all around!

For the collection - no, no Nazi's in Ubud. 

Emmerson dutifully pointing our what is either an irrigation retainer or more likely a small fish pond.

Modeling the ripening rice kernels.

Papayas grow all over the place.

Not sure what I was trying to get Emmerson to do here, but she certainly does not seem all that keen about it! But I bet she did it!

Best travel girls ever!

Ada taking over the controls.

And Emmerson's take.

Obligatory selfie. 

Scooter girl ready to ride.

Lunch at the babi gulin restaurant. This is going to take a bit of explanation and says a lot about a lot. Eight years ago I had the most epic lunch of my life. I was in Ubud on a lone walkabout and came across a curious scene; a house/compound on one of the side streets near the palace was using its outdoor space and sitting area to serve lunch to customers. As I approached the scene I saw quite the sight, a whole pig being portioned for serving. Not sure if this was a private function, I observed a bit and saw enough random people walking in off the road to convince me it was indeed open to the public. So I kicked off my shoes and made my way up to the bamboo matted floor/sitting area and grabbed a space. I new enough Indo back then to get by and said I'll have lunch please and moments later I was served the best dish I have ever eaten in my life. It was rice, spicy greens, and various parts of the babi including a generous slice of the roasted skin that had been basted for hours with coconut oil/milk. All of this for about a dollar. I visited it several more times and each day it was a similar experience. The next year I went back and it was quite a bit more crowded - but still incredibly tasty and about the same price. The following year, to my dismay, it was gone - but on closer inspection saw a sign that explained the restaurant had moved up the street to a bigger location. But it was still in the compound of a Balinese house, just a much bigger compound and it was way more crowded. And then things got crazy - as I approached the street on my subsequent visit to Bali, I turned the corner and noticed several tour buses lined up outside the establishment .... and that was the last time I went - not because it was bad - just because I returned to the States. It was still good, just way more orderly and took a long time to get served - but hey, they had a great product and were doing great business. Back home in the States, I was watching a Cooks Tour, and sure enough, while in Indo, Bourdain visited this place and raged about the meal, as it was incredibly good. So I was very excited to visit the restaurant and see how it had changed in 7 years. Well it certainly had changed ..... several signs here and there led you to its new locale - a properly styled restaurant with proper tables and proper menus and proper wait staff and a variety of dishes offered and almost no one there. The food was still decent but it had lost that je ne sais quoi, that had made it such a unique and wonderful eating experience. Another casualty of success ..... addendum - just did a quick Google of the place and got some contradicting info. The name of the place is Warung Ibu Oka, and apparently it is still open where it was the first time I went but when I went there a month ago, there was a restaurant there but it was not the one I had gone to originally and the one pictured above had the name Ibu Oka so maybe one is for large visits/tour groups and such and the other for other customers ... anyway will have to investigate more - just did and apparently what I have written is accurate, the original is gone or only open temporarily and the above pictured is called Ibu Oka 2. 

Sure do have a lot of pictures of rice terraces ... 

And one more for good measure.

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