Upon arriving in Bali we had heard something about a festival being held around Ubud. It was the Bali Spirit Festival. We didn’t know much about it, but what we did know was that it held yoga classes daily, so we thought we might as well go and have a look. We woke up early and started the day with a good breakfast of banana pancakes, fruit salad and a big cup of steaming hot coffee. After every last piece and been stuffed down our throats, we began to wander around to see what was about. The roads were still quiet with just a few shop owners beginning to open for the day. The shops that were open, invited us in with interesting and fresh designs of jewelry and clothing that were to good to overlook. After a few pennies were handed over we carried on up the street, looking for any sign of this so called Bali Spirit Festival. We finally made it to what we thought was the place, but when we got there it was just a shuttle bus pickup point taking people to the festival. The price for a one way ticket was 50,000 rupiah, a little pricey we thought, so we decided to rent a scooter for the same price and at least we would have transport for 24 hours. The process was simple enough. One piece of paper to fill out, no passport,no money and that was that. We had wheels for a day. Finding the festival seemed easy enough as we just had to follow people on scooters holding yoga mats. This seemed to work out and in no time we had made it the grounds were all the action was going down. We parked and made our way to the entrance only to find out it had been sold out and was more like a giant workshop offering course, talks and theory for those who wanted to take yoga and meditation to the next level. We were told about some music in the evening (200,000 rupiah for the night) and considered checking it out.
Having nothing else planned for the day we had heard about an elephant cave featured as a Unesca world heritage site that was meant to be pretty interesting. We made our way there with the map that had be given to us when we rented the bike. As our map reading skills aint that good, we ended up getting a little lost and driving straight past the place without even noticing it (blame Angela). Way off track, we needed some help so we made our way to the closest resort for some new directions. A local taxi driver was happy to direct us and we finally got there, understanding why we couldn’t find it in the first place (apologize to Angela). It’s official name is Goa Gajah (which I think translates to Elephant something, but don’t hold me to that one) and us silly tourists were looking for a sign saying the Elephant caves, which as you now realize didn’t exist. As you might be thinking, there were no elephants around, so don’t get your hopes up if thats what you were expecting. It seemed to be some sort of temple built in the 9th century and thats about all I know. We didn’t have a guide, so nothing was told to us. I thought it was worth a visit though and enjoyed the walk into the jungle and down to the river, passing various temples and meditation points.
As it was my birthday we wanted to splash out and decided to go and eat at the lotus restaurant, which seemed to be very popular choice, situated in a prime location with views of a beautiful pond and some sort of temple. However on arriving at the door it was totally booked out and with no reservation getting a table was impossible. We did have a backup, which was a Cuban restaurant called Cafe Havanna. We had passed it the night before and made a note of stopping by. There had been a live band and the atmosphere seemed vibey and energetic. We had a great time that evening listening to rhythmic cuban beats and watching staff salsa the night away. It seemed the staff members had been trained in the art of salsa and did the dance flawlessly every time. We ate (amazing food), drank (a jug of sangria and some beers) and enjoyed listening to the band and watching the staff and even some customers dance the night away. It’s definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Ubud.