Day 12: Unwinding in Ubud, again

Posted: June 10, 2010 in Cycle touring Mountain biking Bali, Indonesia 2006, 2008
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Thursday May 18, 2006, 10 km (6 miles) – Total so far: 553 km (344 miles)

As our bikes are taking a short break from rolling not more than 10 kms today, I thought some scenes of daily life in Ubud might be interesting.

a painting depicting local and foreign life in Bali

The Ubud equivalent of a downtown shopping mall. Locals throng the market for their daily needs from 5 to 9 in the morning. After 9 a transformation takes place. Every fish, meat and vegetable seller packs up and moves out, their spots taken up by vendors selling what they think a tourist might buy, cast iron toy bicycles, carved Komdo dragons, wicker baskets, placemats, t shirts, surf shorts, sandals, bamboo flutes, fake Rolexs, cell phone and I Pod covers and the list goes on. I found out that some road front shops are leased for $1000 a month, a very big sum in Bali. That’s where the big white buses from the south disgorge day trippers who have an hour to shop and dont bargain too much. If you’re not the shopping type the Ubud market is a great place to spend some time watching the human race. Hey there’s a lot of nationalities here. It’s also strange to hear Balinese proficient in 8 languages, well enough to make a sale or more.

Ubud market

One of the advantages of starting and ending our trip in Ubud is having access to even more gear, to use or wear. I’m talking about the number of things a bike box can hold. While the bike takes up some space and weight, the empty spaces below the down tube, between the wheels and front forks can be stuffed with shopping, extra footwear, mangoes, rattan matts, woodcarvings etc. After some time on the road, I really appreciated opening my box to dig out a seasoned pair of Adidas running shoes, a world of difference from walking in stiff soled SPD shoes. I was also thankful for packing a heavy and bulky digital camera batter charger in the box, since my after market, light and miniscule one started acting up and eventually failed a few days before.



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