Bali: Rice Paddy Walk and Visit to a Spa

We started the day early by driving a distance toward the northern mountains from Ubud to the start of a trail through a series of rice paddies back to town – something like a six km walk downhill.

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The paddies were of various sizes – some smaller ones obviously intended to feed a family; some of the harvest from the larger ones probably would be sold.

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The path was narrow, we needed to walk single file; nevertheless there was quite a bit of motorcycle traffic going in both directions. When a motorcycle came into view we had to step to the edge of the ditch beside the paddy to let it pass – not always easy to do.

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Some of the families have been enterprising by building small shops on the path – they sell art, trinkets, food items, gifts, you name it. However a majority of the shops were closed for the day due to a big religious festival where thousands of people get dressed in their going-to-temple white outfits and walk from Ubud to the ocean – a bit of a hike. In the afternoon we saw the procession returning in 100 trucks all decorated and carrying a load of people and large religious statues.

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What became obvious as we got closer to Ubud, was just how much construction is going on (much of it resorts being built) which in 5 years will likely obliterate much of the rice paddies. If tourism remains stable or grows that will mean income for Bali, but I couldn’t help wondering how the poor will be able to afford imported rice – the essential in the Balinese diet.

Later in the afternoon I visited a spa not far from the Rama Phala Resort where we’re staying. I had chosen a traditional Balinese massage. The masseuse began by loosening every joint starting with my feet – I go for a massage regularly at home – this was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. When the gal was done, I was so relaxed I could barely move. Quite wonderful – to be recommended to anyone visiting Bali. There are spas everywhere so I know for sure I’m not the only visitor to take advantage of the service. I hope to be able to have another massage before I leave.

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