As vacations go, we woke up when nature naturally woke us. Our couchsurfing host was nice enough to entrust us with her house and key, so we were free to explore on our own schedule while she was at work.
“Where should we go for breakfast, and what should we do today?” the golden words of vacation people.
“Lets drive around Seminyak and find a proper breakfast,” we decided.
We hopped on our motorcycle and checked out the cafés. They are all chic in Seminyak, and all about 7 times more expensive than the places where the locals eat. I lead us to a restaurant that I thought was a different restaurant that I had found online. I was mislead by the similar name titles. We were seated with menus by the time I had figured it out.
“Um, sorry, but this actually isn’t the place that I wanted to go to…” I shyly explained. I have a bad habit of changing my mind after getting settled in places that took way to long to decide to get to in the first place. But I couldn’t justify ordering a meal about 10x more expensive than I should in Bali, so I asked my friend if it was ok if we could leave. Of course, being a relaxed person as he is, he said sure (even though I’m sure his peaceful Japanese nature made him feel extremely uncomfortable for sitting and viewing the menu without ordering!).
We were going to go back to Cafe Seminyak, because I really liked the cafe and menu and wanted to try all of the menu items, as well as drink more Bali coffee that I had there previously. I usually don’t go to the same place twice on a short trip because there are so many options, but luckily my hunger took over and the restaurant next door’s menu
caught my eye. They had a delicious looking Eggs Benedict on the menu, and living in Japan, it’s hard to come across a proper Eggs Benedict! I jumped on the opportunity because that’s my favorite breakfast meal! We went to The Coffee Library.
The Coffee Library is a hip cafe selling delicious coffee, the best eggs benefit I’ve ever had in my life! and is a cool place to read books with a good coffee, juice or smoothie. The staff was also overly polite and friendly, which I really appreciated! I felt like buddies with our waiter by the time we left.
Side note: I was shocked out of my mind, because ever since I joined UC Berkeley’s Physical Therapy center as a volunteer, I met this cool chick who was into health like I was. She always talked about crazy hacks for life, and one day she recommended I listen to Bulletproof Radio, a podcast that I have been listening to for the last 4 years or so since. Dave Aspery is a bio-hacking man who interviews top specialists in nutrition and health and shares it with the world.
Dave Aspery is famous for coining bulletproof coffee, a fat-filled caffeinated ‘breakfast’ that charges you up for the day, gives you focus and helps you live longer, to state a few benefits. How? Dave advocates his rare micro-toxin mold-free coffee produced as per his careful guidelines (stating that most coffee has traceable amounts of mold-toxin that makes you sick, especially in the USA because we don’t have regulations for that yet, unlike Europe!).
The fat comes from grassfed butter, MCT oil, and other expensive oils he produces. I was shocked and overly excited when The Library offered “bulletproof coffee” on their menu. I felt like like a part of me also became famous! I asked the waiter, “what is bullet-proof coffee?” to see if it was the same.
“It’s coffee blended with butter and coconut milk.” he answered. So Dave Aspery has made it to Bali! (But honestly, what was more surprising was when I saw Dave’s book The Bulletproof Diet in Tokyo’s popular bookstore Maruzen–the book was translated in Japanese and displayed front and center! I was baffled. Congratulations Dave and his team! If you’re reading, please send me some BP Products because I love your work but cannot afford to pay shipping costs to Tokyo! ^^) The coffee was delicious, but not made with Dave’s beans I’m assuming, because when I asked our waiter, he was very confused!
Bulletproof Coffee–would Dave agree?
The best eggs Benedict ever
The Mighty Library
Balinese offerings for the gods giving daily!
We ordered the Eggs Benedict, Katsu ordered the bigger version. It was absolutely delicious. Their hollandase was to die for, and the sour-dough bread with avocado was a sweet and sour perfect combination. I wish I ate there every breakfast. If you like Eggs Benedict, go to The Coffee Library!
After breakfast, we went down the street to exchange our money. I had been keeping an eye out for the rates all day, and I was shocked when I saw the highest rate yet, 132.4 rupiah for 1 yen.We decided to go, and that’s where we got scammed. Read about it here: Getting Scammed in Bali
Overall, we only lost about $10, which isn’t a big deal for us, but it could have been worse! Be careful when you exchange your money!
So we rode through the heat to Ubud. Katsu hung in the back of the motorcylce giving me directions and I tried my best to keep up with the flow of the other motorists. They all wore long sleeves in the blazing heat, which I guess was to protect themselves, although on their feet they only wore sandals which seemed a bit counter-intuitive to me. We drove for what felt like hours, breathing in the exhaust fumes, and adjusting our sweaty helmets at every long signal.
Along the way, a local drove up beside us, keeping level and said “Hello!”
I replied back a friendly hi.
“Where are you from?” he asked. I thought it was weird how he was having a conversation with us on the road like that. He asked us where we were going. “Oh, Ubud! It’s about 10 more kilometers this way! (points) Don’t worry, I will show you!” He said.
I thought that was awfully nice of him, and a bit strange, since we didn’t ask for any help or directions. The man drove up in front of us, forcing us to follow him.
A few minutes later, Katsu said, “Monica, I think that guy is trying to get our money. He’s offering to be a local guide, and he will probably charge us when we get to Ubud. Try to pass him!” and I realized he was probably right! We sped up and passed him. Katsu turned and looked over his left shoulder, waving back to him in a friendly boyish goodbye.
We continued down smaller roads passing many wood carving shops, sculpture shops, painting stores, and coffee stores advertising Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, samples. Katsu tracked us on his GPS and we were confused when we saw a mid 20 year old Indonesian man holding a cardboard sign in the street with a sign that said “<-Ubud” pointing down a road that was not in the direction of Ubud on our phone. After dealing with scammers so far today, we decided to follow our GPS and speed around him as he stood there in the middle of the lane we needed to go down. I guess we made the right choice because we arrived at Ubud several minutes later!
Our main reason to visit Ubud was to visit Ubud Monkey Forest, or Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
I like monkeys. They’re always fun to be around, aren’t they?
This area is a sacred Hindu site. It is supposed to connect you to the Hindu principle of “Tri Hata Karana”, three ways to make you spiritual through humans, nature, and the Supreme God.
The area has paths build upon the hills of the forest. You are in a forest surrounded by 115 varieties of trees and a ton of wild monkeys, waiting on you to buy them bananas so they can grab it out of your hands. The monkeys are everywhere, sitting on the path, unafraid of anything. The adult monkeys are quiet terrifying though. They look so large and powerful! I tried avoiding them.
Down the stairs are is a big beautiful bridge decorated with elaborate dragons. Further down there are temples you can view from outside. We followed a path, that lead nowhere except to a running faucet with a sign that said “don’t wash your shoes here” and another stairway leading down to the river below. The area was very nice and a fun little hike to wander around.
We saw a sign for 10% discount with Monkey Forest Ticket at The Habitat Ubud, so we passively entered another little cafe. I ordered a delicious and vibrant bowl of fruits; kiwi, banana, strawberries, and granola covered my vibrant bowl of dragonfruit! Yum!
Another shower poured on us, so we took the time to relax and take it easy.
After the ride back, we went to sit on the beach in Kuta to watch the sunset. I have never seen so many tourists on the beach before. I wouldn’t recommend doing it! Find a quieter beach up north or south. We were unlucky, because the clouds covered the sunset.
We wandered looking for a good dinner spot. We were attracted by pizza samples at Colosseum Restaurant. Also, some of the best pizza I’ve ever had! We were easily sold. The waiters were also extremely friendly here, constantly smiling at us and eagerly ready to serve us. I ordered a Mojito and wanted to cancel it 3 minutes later, so I went up to ask if they started making it already. They said, yes, why? I didn’t want to inconvenience them, so I said nevermind. But I was surprised at how they wanted to help me, they insisted on me telling them, and once I said I wanted to cancel it, they said it was fine without any bitterness at all! That, along with the personal hand towels in the bathroom, and the delicious pizzza, made me love this restaurant!
In 2002, there was three bombings that went off in Kuta related to Islamic terrorism. 202 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. The bombs went off near the big nightclubs on this street. We paid our respects at the memorial.
We ended the night with a 2 hour massage at Kimberly Spa for less than $20!Two thumbs up!