Wednesday, January 18th, 2017: Day 6 Ubud, Another Tour and then back to Denpasar
During our car ride back yesterday we narrowed down our list of things we wanted to see to Mount Batur (active volcano) and the healing water temple. Brian had a free night at the Intercontinental Bali so we had to make our way back towards Denpasar to check in there. We also mentioned 7am yoga at Yoga Barn in Ubud but that was ambitious as none of us made it. I think we all need the rest. I was feeling much better today. I had no nausea, still some stomach issues but it didn’t seem like it would be a big problem. I still took Imodium and charcoal after breakfast (which I ate a lot because I barely ate at all yesterday). Ketut picked us up at 9:30am and we packed all of our bags into the van and headed towards a good lookout point for Mount Batur. Originally we wanted to do a sunrise hike but its costly and long (like 8-10hours), plus you have to get up around 2am. I think if we had more time in Ubud, we would have done it but we were trying to cram as much as possible into a few days so we worked with what we had.
Mount Batur is an active volcano that erupts every 23 years (with that timing Brian guessed that 2017 should be an eruption year-what awesome timing). It was another rainy day again and the clouds were really getting in the way of our view of Batur. So we didn’t spend too much time here before we made our way towards Pura Birth Empul (Holy Spring temple and my personal favorite experience of this trip). Now I am not a very religious or spiritual person but this was an incredibly spiritual experience. I have to give Ketut a ton credit as he really made the experience. He brought sari’s for all of us and brought our offerings for the temple. In my mind, when I had researched this and saw people in the water, I thought you get in and dunk and then get out. Well the true ritual of it is a much longer process. The springs have around 10 spouts in each pool and you are to wash yourself at each spout. When you “wash” you clean your head 3 times, your mouth 3 times, your chest 3 times, and then your entire head 9times. It took a good amount of time to do that at each spout, not to mention how many people were going through it. Ketut told us to offer ourselves up to the gods and release anything you’ve been holding onto. It felt like I was cleansing my soul of some baggage I had been holding on to. I really loved it.
After we finished, we changed into a dry sari and tops that Ketut brought for us girls. We also had to put our hair up. We were going to go to the actual temple now. The praying area was off limits for most tourist but since we had Ketut with us, we got in. We met the head of the temple and he blessed all of us with holy water and put rice on our foreheads. He then spoke to us and thanked us for adhering to their customs. We took some pictures with him as well. Ketut said, “now you will remember him.” The head of the temple said, “Don’t remember me, remember what the gods have given to you. Don’t worry and stress because they will continue to bless you as long as you thank them.” I could be paraphrasing a bit here but he looked at me the whole time and I felt a connection. I actually teared up because how true are his words? No matter what religion you practice or don’t practice-isn’t life about being grateful for what you DO have and to count the blessings you have been given. Be thankful no matter what cards you are dealt in life because there is a purpose or meaning behind it all. This was by far the best experience I had in Bali and will always be thankful for being able to have it.
We headed back to Denpasar to stay a night at the Intercontinental Bali (thanks to Brian’s credit card perks). Follow Brian’s blog Biruvia and The Points Guy, who Brian also writes for if you want more travel hacks!
Now this hotel was exactly what I needed to end my trip. Talk about luxurious. They greeted us with a necklace of fresh flowers and a welcome drink (which was delicious). I do wish that we had reapplied bug spray (be sure to bring your tropical bug spray with Deet!) because we did get quite a few bites while checking in. We paid an extra $40 each to upgrade to the Intercontinental Club perks which got us access to the club, the club pool, free breakfast, afternoon tea (which we checked in on time for), and free cocktail hour directly after tea time until 7pm. I was loving these perks! I’m not saying I need this kind of treatment all the time but given my past travels accommodations, I guess I’ve been blessed and never really budget traveled so I was so happy to have something a little closer to my vibe.
Our room was amazing. We even had toilets that you could flush the TP in, praise the lord! We were hoping to get to the pool but we also wanted to take advantage of Aternoon Tea and the free cocktail hour (with apps). While at cocktail hour, I could feel myself getting more and more bloated and uncomfortable by the minute but I really wanted to enjoy the moment. Plus we were aiming to catch our last sunset all together. We made our way to the Sunset lounge on the beach to watch the sun set and finally we were blessed with a spectacular sunset in Bali. I had been waiting all week for this!
The moment was quickly gone as I started to have heartburn and even worse bloating. I knew my night would end early again. I let Brian and Jill enjoy the rest of their evening as I needed to go relax in the room. The pain from the bloating was unbearable so I was happy to head back and try to get comfortable. I took a nice long hot shower (another win in my book). Turn down service of course came while I was showering…but TURN DOWN SERVICE?!? haha, while it was an awkward moment yelling “I’m in the shower, please come back later.” It was a nice thing to have to yell. I settled into bed early and watched America’s Next Top Model (how is this still on TV? I used to watch it back in grade school with my girl Steff! Shoutout to my girl-follow her blog for amazing sewing and craft ideas and tutorials).