We were there in the rainy season but had no idea of just how forceful these tropical downpours could be until the morning after we arrived.
We experienced spectacular thunderstorms. The best one began while we were finishing supper in a little roadside warung in Ubud. The humidity had built to uncomfortable levels over the past couple of days and, apart from small showers at night, we hadn't seen any rain. This was amazing--and amazingly beautiful. We stood at the edge of the warung watching for close to half an hour.
Lightning lit up the sky right across our vision, a lavender-bright light that revealed dark shapes of family temples and palm trees, as inky-black as shadow puppets. Car headlights showed the force of the rain, like thousands of pewter strings. Rain rushed down the street, filling the gutters level with the sidewalks.
But all this sopping wet air does have its positive side. Constant moisture and heat combined act like a steam iron on clothes. Creases immediately dropped out of linen. We looked elegant, if sweaty
The climate also encourages things to grow at ferocious speed. One morning, I walked down the little laneway from our homestay to find that overnight these tiny mushrooms had sprouted all over the wall.
A "homestay" by the way is what, in the rest of Asia, you'd call a guesthouse. Balinese families traditionally live communally in a walled compound, grandparents, brothers, sisters, kids, family temples, dogs, chickens all together. The owner and his wife lived on the premises of our homestay in Ubud; their family compound was a few steps down the road.
We rented two rooms, each with a large terrace, which is where we were served breakfast each day.
Next....a food post.