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  • Tara B. Vasi

Day 5/44: Northern Bali to Ubud, Waterfall, Monkey Forest, Yoga Barn, Buddha Bowl


I find out this morning that the home stay had peanut butter. This. Whole. Time.

Besides the obviously Silk Almond Milk Vanilla coffee creamer, I have have been missing my almost butter toast with seeds and honey, and my protein bars, RX and Perfect from my diet.

I make a peanut butter and banana sandwich and grab a large handful of lychees for the bus ride. Today we drive to UBUD! The journey is supposed to take about 4-5 hours and we will break at a waterfall and a lunch spot.

We hiked down to the waterfall and it was absolutely lovely. After seeing the massive waterfall the day before this one paled in amazingness but was still a beautiful sight non the less. When we got to the base of the waterfall, I hid behind a mini temple and meditated.



The shop owners along the way hollered at us to buy things as we walked by. I bought a woven pink bikini because my white one had turned slightly orange ( instead of magenta) overnight just as I was told it would if I wore it in the hot springs. The new bikini was $3.5.

The lunch spot was delicious. I ordered a veggie omelette. I had never had such a crispy flavorful veggie omelette before and determined it was not the healthy decision I had imagined it would be. A few the group had too much fun the night before and didnt make it out of the bus and inside the restaurant.




I spent a decent amount of time talking to the owner of the restaurant. He spends half the year in South Carolina where he imports marigold seeds. I asked him if he felt the earthquake a few days prior and he told me he was sitting on the toilet when it happened. He offered his farm to me anytime I wanted to lead a yoga retreat. We talked for a little while about the tsunami that hit in 2004 and I keep learning more and more about that disaster. The earthquake that started it all happened in the norther part of Indonesia. Thailand, the Indonesian islands, and Sri Lanka lost the most amount of people and had the worst destruction. Holy hell, imagine if that earthquake I felt a few days ago had been a bigger deal?

The traffic going into UBUD is unreal. Why is it that whenever you are excited to get somewhere the traffic seems to be holding you back the most?

I don’t sweat it. I enjoy the views from the front seat of the bus. We eventually get to the Monkey Forest. I get a tip from a friend to take out my earrings just to be safe. We enter and Hayley is waiting there for us. Apparently there are two Hayleys and they were both sick. One went home, one just stayed behind. We are told to put all water bottles, sunglasses, etc away because the monkeys will snatch whatever they can. We are told not to feed the monkeys. We are told to not touch the monkeys especially the babies. We are told to not make extended eye contact with a monkey or it may attach.

Monkeys are sacred animals in Balinese Hinduism. They are protected and taken well care of in this forest. They are cute, but little assholes, so I keep my space. They pretty much do there own thing too.

I see a bunch of cute little babies and a mama breast feeding while walking around, the babe latching on with all four limps.




We get to the hotel and I am given my key. I go to the room and see only one bed, and just say, “Yessssssssss. So much Yesssssss.”

I walked around UBUD for a little while and it was intense and not exactly like I thought it would be. No thank you, I do not want a taxi.

I have heard so many great things about the Yoga Barn, (some not so good things too) and I am so excited to check it out. I get there about 45 minutes early as they open registration for class 30 minutes before the start time. Its an actual barn. Well, its like 5 barns where they have yoga rooms, massage, cafe, juices, smoothies, merchandise, stuff like that. Did I mention all the posh yogis? So many beautiful vegetarians with lulu lemons and om tattoos in one place. I suppose I was floating around just like they were.

The class is at 6pm and its Alignment flow with Jose. Jose is from Spain. He is still working on his English. I didnt particularly like class. He kept saying “Engage your core because no one likes a muffin top.” His adjustments with rough and I just didnt really know where he was trying to take us half the time. I heard him say to one woman, “Where were you when I told everyone to keep their knees together (in recline hero pose).” I genuinely felt bad for her.

I was in a twist, but not exactly trying to push myself because of back pain. He approached me and said your only 30% into the post and tried to crank my shoulders. I told him I was good and I didnt want an adjustments. I usually really enjoy adjustments, but there’s a certain level of a student listening to their body that should be respected in that sort of atmosphere too, but as a teacher, I know sometimes it can be really hard distinguish one from the other.

I wanted to leave, but didn’t. I didnt know if I was over reacting. I didnt know if I should run for the hills before the man hurt me. I didnt know if I was just being a brat or had unrealistic expectations for the place. I look back on it now and wish I had left. I didnt really have anything to prove by staying. Theres such a fine line between following your heart/intuition and leaving a situation and “being an adult” and just holding it together until the coast is clear.

I was so disappointed with my experience at Yoga Barn, but I didnt want to give up completely so I told myself I would try again to morrow.

I decided I wanted to hike an active volcano for sunrise the following morning, so in order to get there on time we had to be picked up by 2am. I’d have to call it an early night.

I went to Buddha Bowl and ordered some hot vegetable soup.



Thats it. It was delicious. I haven’t had any red meat since Lantern restaurant in Vietnam. I have had a little chicken here and there but other then that 100% vegetarian.

Then I watched a little American Beauty in my big bed wondering why I didnt get a gelato.

I think Ubud and I got off on the wrong foot. I’m going to try again tomorrow.

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