Start with some Simple Geography – Ubud is built upon a series of ravines between, beside, and parallel to the parths 2 rivers. We hiked about 10 KM total along the ridge line that divides theses rivers this morning – (it was lovely) – but this blog is not about that hike – it’s about living in a rain forest.
To the south of Ubud is the plain of Dempasseur – the main city of Bali and the location of the airport. To the north East of Ubud is Mount Agung – a volcano that errupted most recently in 1963 and is still considered active. At 9,944 feet – it dominates the skyline from all directions – and is actually clearly visible from the back porch of our ‘Balanese Palace.”
Naturally – the clouds are forced upwards as they move from the hot wet coast towards the mountain – and thus we get rain here in Ubud. Lots of rain. Even now – at the ‘end’ of the rainy season, there are 2 or 3 rain storms a day – and the one last night was a dosy.
At about 3:30 AM I shot upright in bed to the sound of a clap of thunder so loud the house shook. With no insulation to speak of – and basically a thatched roof – while water tight – our little home is barely protection from the elements – it’s certainly not entirely safe in a thunder and lightening storm – at least that is what went thru my mind at 3:30 AM!
Next thought – what’s the tallest thing around? There’s a series of Palm trees at one edge of the rice fields that surround us – and there’s a magnificant Banyon tree South East of us that fairly large. But in the general height department – there’s not a lot to choose from. It’s a random chance if lightining should hit us rather than our neighters.
So – it rained, and rained, and rained. I had visions of flood warnings – but Ubud takes rain in it’s stride. All streets have 2 foot deep tranches on the sides – and the roads are slopped to drain into the trenches. The trenches funnel the water from the frequent rain storms into one of the 2 rivers – after providing water for the multitude of rice plantings that occupy any land not uesd for housing.
So Ubud can handle the rain. And it sure looks pretty while doing so! The flowers are amazing – everywhere you look there is one flower more glorious, more prefect – than the next. I had to look them up – Heliconia (red firm flowers (leaves?) hanging down from trees everywhere, Bananas – both wild and cultivated – and even growing in our back yard, Flamboyant trees are everywhere – in fact avoiding them is harder than finding them. Water Lilys, Bamboo trees, lotus flowers, the list is never ending – and all are lovely.
For a rain forest habitat – Ubud does not disappoint.
Clearly the issue around here is not on how to get plants watered – it’s how to deal with incredibly rapid growth. Trees have amazingly huge roots, statues if not cleaned frequently quickly develop a glorious green hue – and there are water falls – and signs of wash outs everywhere. But if you’ve always wanted to know what a rain forest feels like – Ubud is your place.
Signing off to go dry her feet – The Soup Lady