Indonesia, Masterpiece Trip 2017

Campuhan Ridge Walk, Karsa Spa, and Crispy Duck (Bali, Day 2)

The only thing we had planned for the day was a few treatments at the #1 Spa in Ubud. I had read that there was an easy ridge walk you could do to get to the spa. Clearly my version of easy and the author’s version are completely different animals. At the end of the walk it told me I had completed 28 flights of stairs – so several hills. It was about 5 degrees hotter than the walk we did to town the day before, and that really made a difference. This time there was no rain and there were fewer clouds. Hot! Thank goodness for my trusty umbrella. It really helps with the heat and I don’t care how silly I look. This walk seems to be more popular with the tourists than the one yesterday, but the views were just as beautiful. Time to walk!

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We arrived at Karsa Spa hot, sweaty, and tired. There were a lot of people already at reception; this place was deceptively large but you definitely needed an appointment. After we got our paperwork filled out, had our fruit-infused water, and oohed and ahhed over how great the cold towel felt…we were led to our hut where we would have our 90 minute massages. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the hut, but I’m sure you can see it on the website. It had two massage tables, two showers, and was surrounded by a little stream that had actual koi in it, which I didn’t realize until into the massage when I heard them splashing around occasionally. Very relaxing. 

The first thing the masseuse asked me was if I was hot. I guess the fact that my whole body was probably the color of a tomato and I was sweating gave it away. How embarrassing. She had to wipe me down before she could even start the massage. Awkward.

I was smart and picked light pressure. At first it was light, but once things really got going it felt like she was finding all of the sore spots and push-push-pushing them with her thumbs. I know that’s the point of a massage, to get rid of the knots, but crikey that ‘light’ pushing hurt. While I was cringing while that thumb pokes happened, it made me appreciate the normal long strokes of the massage even more. Overall it was very good. This was our second massage in Ubud since we’ve been here, and one thing I forgot about with massages in this part of the world is their proclivity to expose and massage your butt. It feels like they expose you almost completely fully, which eeek – I don’t even like the thought of my husband looking at that up close and personal in full daylight let alone a total stranger. I always get a female masseuse, but Salajander had a man, so I’m sure that fella got a look at my scary full moon, too. Sorry, dude.

After our massages I had another treatment – hair conditioning. Oh my. This was 60 minutes of pure bliss, and if I lived here I would come every week for this treatment alone. I’ve never had my head massaged for so long before and it felt amazing. After the conditioner was all in she covered my head and then massaged my neck, shoulder, and arms while. I also had some lovely tea while this was going on. The only strange thing about it is she does it all with you sitting in front of a mirror. It’s a little weird to watch yourself being massaged. I just shut my eyes and enjoyed. I felt like a purring cat by the end of it.

There is a cafe that is owned by the same people, so we had lunch there with an amazing view.

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For dinner, we traveled about 25-30 minutes by cab ($5 each way) to this place known for it’s crispy duck.

The nice thing about our hotel is there are drivers available to take you where you want to go, as well as a free shuttle into Ubud center. Of course where we were going wasn’t in Ubud center, but that wasn’t a problem. The problem was this driver. Holy cow he about gave us whiplash. The traffic was crazy at one point because of a ceremony. I have never been to India, but it reminded me a little bit of how it might be there but on a smaller scale. Tons of motorbikes zooming by on each side of the car, bumper-to-bumper traffic, etc. You get the idea. Anyway, our driver had a real problem with the breaks in that he jammed them repeatedly, and usually there was no reason he needed to do it because we were going so slow from the traffic anyway. It was jarring.

Thank goodness we arrived in one piece for dinner. The restaurant is huge, with a very large garden. The duck was so good I had a stomach ache by the time we got back to the villa. That’s a compliment.

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Beautiful walk, wonderful spa, and crispy duck. Thank you, Ubud, for this great day!

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