Well, what happens in Bali definitely doesn't stay in Bali. At least...not for me. Unfortunately I came home with much more than souvenirs and amazing adventures to share. I was injured the beginning of the second week and had a much different experience than many of my fellow students. It wasn't quite what I expected...but it was still amazing on so many levels. More importantly, I FINISHED. I am now, in addition to a Certified Fitness Trainer, a Certified and Registered Yoga Teacher.
But, let's go back to the beginning. The day I left, I wrote in the previous blog post:
"It's currently 3:30 pm and I leave for the airport at 5 pm. I am excited, nervous, and all sorts of other incredible and scary emotions. DEEP BREATHS! Radical self reliance for a full month. I CAN DO IT. I CAN DO HARD THINGS!"
I think the Universe took my confidence as a challenge. Well played Universe. Well played.
After three flights, totaling almost 30 hours, I arrived in Bali. The first flight was just a hop to San Francisco with a 4 hour layover. The second flight was 13+ hours and I was in a middle seat in the middle of the plane. YIKES! There is no way I would have survived this 180 pounds ago and my neighbors would have been even more miserable. I didn't want to ask the older gentleman next to me to keep getting up but sure took advantage of the two times that he did. I arrived in Taipei and was so glad to be upright and walk around for a bit. Unfortunately, it was an almost 5 hour layover there. Finally, a 5.5 hour flight to Bali. I was THRILLED to done with air portion of travel but still had a long day ahead. I caught up with another yogi waiting for transport and we had to wait just a little longer for one more; then, the long-ish ride up to Ubud from Denpasar. It's not THAT far, but traffic on this beautiful island is INSANE and it makes driving time extensive. I arrived three days before training was to start, checked into my first resort and slept VERY WELL that evening. Fortunately, going forward didn't leave me thrown off time wise. (Coming back was jet lag hell.)
I spent those first few days enjoying the beauty that is Ubud. I stayed at Cendana Resort & Spa. It was a little intimidating choosing in advance where to book as so many places look INCREDIBLE but the prices are RIDICULOUSLY inexpensive. Our dollar goes extremely far in Bali. Currently:
So, for $27 a night, I was in a beautiful suite at a gorgeous resort, breakfast included. Some pictures from my stay there:
If you read the captions, you'll sort of follow that my room was a haul from the lobby and entrance area. Again, I WOULD NOT have been able to do this before. It was a long walk including a lot of stairs AND IT WAS HUMID! Humidity was the most difficult thing to adjust to. Especially for this desert girl since I was still trying to protect my recently healed armpit (Brachioplasty surgery...see previous blogs.) I didn't want to be sweating for fear the bacteria would cause another issue. I spent the next few days showering three times a day.
Fortunately, the resort was very central to most things interesting about Ubud; at least, in the city itself. The following day I went to the Monkey Forest. From their website, "The Ubud Monkey Forest lies within the village of Padangtegal, which owns it. The village's residents view the Monkey Forest as an important spiritual, economic, educational, and conservation center for the village. There are many of point of interest that you can see here. Other than around 700 monkeys, you also can see 186 species of trees in 12.5 hectares of forest, where will allowing you to get an abundant of fresh air."
I took at least a hundred pictures of the monkeys and quite a few videos, but I'll spare you. Many visitors encourage them to climb on them for the perfect picture. BUT, I did see one bite a man, breaking the skin, right after entering the park so...figured I'd play it safe. This little, gentle guy liked my fingernails and just reached out to play with my hand and fingers. That was enough for me. I didn't want to risk my health or safety before training even began. I spent the next couple of days exploring Ubud near the city center. The lotus garden, temple, and palace were all beautiful. There had just been a royal wedding so there were offerings everywhere and clean up was in progress.