The Ocean... Finally!

Thursday marked the arrival of my first houseguest. Elizabeth, my friend from Singapore, was coming to Ubud for a weekend of spas and indulging, I used her impending arrival as an excuse to finally go to the beach. I called Pande, who has become my regular driver here in Bali and asked him to fetch me around 11:00, by 1:00 I was settled into a beach chair at Dreamlands, a surf break on the southern tip of Bali. I was beyond happy to finally get to see, and bathe myself in, the ocean.
A few hours of vitamin D and salt water and I felt like a new woman. Pande then took me to Ula Watu Temple, a three-story shrine set atop a breathtaking cliff. I braved the purse and sunglass-snatching monkeys and made my way out to an overlook where I spent about a half-hour meditating and generally being thankful for my current state of being and geographical location.
We got to the airport about an hour before Elizabeth arrived so I could change my return airline ticket. This required $70.00, every bit of that hour and then some, but the result is a ticket I can use to leave Bali any day between now and Jan 31, 2009. US-based carriers take note – Garuda Air allowed me to change my economy-class ticket to any date I choose within six months of my original departure date for just $70 and they were even pleasant about it. This is as it should be.

An hour later and Elizabeth and I were happily settled into a table at Indus (the restaurant next door to my villa in Ubud) for a wonderful welcome dinner.

Saturday we filled the day with a trip to the healer so Elizabeth could get the full experience. Sadly her issues required no spitting only some toe poking and a nice chat. I got another consultation, no spitting for me this time, just some work on my knee which had been bothering me and otherwise a gloriously clean bill of health. After healing it was time for the spa.

Among the many pleasures of Bali is the super cheap massage! There are about six spas in my neighborhood and they range from kinda scary to super posh. The most expensive of them charges 250,000 Rupiah (about $25) for a one-hour Balinese massage, the cheapest I have found so far charges $7.00. My favorite spa is called Bliss, where an hour massage is $15 after tip and includes a welcome glass of ginger lemonade, a shower in a beautiful outdoor bath and a post-massage cup of cinnamon tea.

As a result of the super cheap massage phenomenon, I am struggling with justifying a massage a day - at $15 it’s hard to convince myself that this could be a bad thing. So far I have managed to average a respectable two massages a week. Of course three of those weeks were during yoga school when free time was hard to come by - now I am making up for the yoga school-induced massage slowdown by trying out all the spas in my hood.
I have had hour massages, hour and half massages, salt scrubs, sugar scrubs and a two and a half-hour massage/scrub/flower bath combo that set me back about $22. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The spas offer facials and pedicures and milk bath wonders that I have yet to explore. A whole day (six hours) of pampered bliss costs less than $50. On this day I had to settle for just a facial and a massage, no need to be greedy, after all I have two months left here and only about 100 more Ubud spas to try out.

Between my massage and my facial I got a text message from Mary.

Hello beautiful.
Day sail tomorrow.
Hope you can join.

Does life get better?


Anonymous said…
Well I hope you got to sail!


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