18.01.2012 35 °C
I think we jumped the gun a little bit when we booked our tickets home, we definitely don't have enough time here, this place is amazing. Surfing, kiting, diving, eating, jewelry making courses, island exploring, furniture shopping, finding the Blueberry Guitar factory...there is so much...we don't even know everything there is to do yet...how are we going to fit it all in!?
All we can do is keep exploring and find as many amazing things as we can. Nat got back from her wake boarding session this morning and we grabbed some lunch. We had some local fish and salad and made a rough map of where we wanted to go today; guitar factory, local wood carvers, monkey forest and then the town of Ubud was the rough plan. Nat is an avid musician and after a little online research found that the guitars made here by a company called Blueberry are some of the most beautiful looking and sounding in the world. Yesterday we were driving and found the place, so it wasn't too difficult to get back to it today. When we went inside we found an older lady with a giant baby, we were a little confused to say the least. She offered us a seat and roused an older gentleman from his afternoon nap, it took him a minute to get himself together and understand we wanted to see his operation. Mr. Tuges, as it turns out, is the master craftsman behind the Blueberry guitar and he took us across the street, down the street and down a little alley into his workshop. His team was hard at work building a number of instruments in all stages of completion. Tuges offered Nat a few samples to test and an eye full of amazing creations, she and one of the staff members played for only a few minutes, but I knew she had found her birthday present. Now she is hard at work designing the intricate carvings and choosing the types of wood he will use.
After that, we continued not too far down the road to an area that is full of woodworking shops and lumber yards, the carvings in wood and stone here are absolutely amazing. We wandered for a few hours, filling a 20 foot container a few times over with ideas and photographs of furniture for the house we don't have. Back in the car, we were off to find Ubud, the roads here don't make a lot of sense and we wound around a little bit before we bumped (mostly by luck) into the monkey forest. It's a forest area, with a deep gorge and a river running through it with a bunch of temple structures and a lot of well fed little monkeys. A few ladies sold us some bananas just after we paid the admission and entered the park, it wasn't long before the little thieves had cleaned us out of fruit. The temples were gorgeous, we didn't get into the innermost area as you needed to rent a special costume and we weren't in the mood for dress-up, but even the fountains and the carvings at the riverbed were beautiful.
From there we walked into the town of Ubud, driving and parking here are a nightmare, so it was just easier. The sun was going down and the town was coming alive, all the shops were still open and the restaurants were getting going for happy hour. There is a restaurant in this town that Nat wants to go to for her birthday so we thought we would try and find it and make a reservation. I think we walked for almost two hours and didn't find it, but we found a dozen other places that will work. The ride home was a little longer than planned as everything looks different in the dark, but we got back to the hotel around 9:30, just in time to grab a bite at the restaurant here before they closed up. Who knows what we will find tomorrow...