This eclectic warung/bar opened by Putu last year is set amongst the rice paddies in Ubud. You need to know the secret walk way beside Starbucks.
The secret rice paddy walks connects lots of hotels up the road… It’s a leisurely walk and once you are on it, it’s easy to find Sweet Orange Warung. Just follow the rubbish bins…
The beers are cold, the atmosphere relaxed and there’s plenty to see or not see.
I am interested in Putu’s gardening efforts – she is trying to grow lettuce at the moment in piping. Her other crops look fantastic and include eggplant, chilli, spinach, paw paw, corn.
I am going to make this a regular check in when I go to Ubud. Mainly to get out of the hustle and bustle of Ubud and also to support an entrepreneurial female in a third world country who has managed to create an awesome venue!
I did go back to visit Putu last week.
After the first visit I thought I would paint the hanging coconut heads.
My crazy idea is that I would paint the coconut heads, and ask Putu to hang the painting with the aim to sell the painting. I have been giving money to a local Balinese man, Wayan, and his family, for a few years. He was struck by bamboo six years ago and has been a quadriplegic since.
Unable to walk, move and being bed bound, has made life very difficult for Wayan and his family.
To my surprise last week, when I returned with my painting, Putu and her husband, Nyoman said they would buy the painting. They told me how they support local causes and believed this was a good cause.
So gratefully I accepted their money, and for now, the painting of that fantastic warung, Sweet Orange Warung, will remain hanging above the welcome sign.
A place where your taste buds are tingled, your eyes teased and your body is tickled!
It’s the most ecclectic fun I have had in a while.
I am not even sure where to start.
Execpt I know that upon reflection day one is the most extraordinary mind blowing experience and then day 2 you get the jist of it all and by day 3 you are really finding your groove.
I think and in no particular order that the first day ran a little something like this…
Arrive at Woodfordia camping grounds and find myself pulling into the Priaries in a lush paddock full of newly woken Woodfordians rubbing sleep out of their eyes. I pitch my tent (all by myself) and find my way along Lois Lane to the festival. My tent is pitched in “Goneamy Way” street, which is beside “ Bombsaway” and “ Let’s go this Way”
Up dales, down dales, past fairies and unicorns, the whole place is incredible.
After a chilled wine, which we are trusted to sip while walking around various venues (so mature), I find myself listening to a talk with Noel Pearson (what an incredible soul and orator) on environmentalism and helping minority groups such as indigenous, become self reliant through eco systems, permaculture etc.
Woodfordia self regulates. There is a definite non-code of consensus in some areas – dress, beliefs, singing, being etc but a definite code of “we don’t tolerate closed minds, non tolerant, critical people. Leave your rules, and laws at the front gate. Or don’t bring them up at all. Namaste, thank-you, bless”.
The art is stimulating and is a like a living art gallery.. stills, scultpure and acting arts (singing, pantamine and more).
The music is awesome. Blues, Jazz, funk, hip hop, folk, regae rock. It is endless.
We are all talking a similar language and defintely similar vibration. No angst, no stress and the only time commitment is working out how quickly you can walk the distance between two tents to see the next gig, comedy or talk.
People are muttering the same things too…
” How long have you been coming? Isn’t it wonderful!”
” I wish this was how we lived all the time”
The community is strong and self regulated. No BS, no over the top rules and great freedom.
People are gathered up in a wave of love and collective conscience of beauty and gratitude. This is a festival worthy of an annual visit!
This visit I am priveledged to catch up and see my friend’s band, CC The Cat playing. A funky five piece that play mellow, groovy reggae tunes perfect for an open air gig or a jammed hyped crowd. I dig their tunes and love the band.
I will write more about the labyrinth, the fire festival on subsequent blogs….
For now it is 330am, and I realise that it’s time to let my body drift to another Woodforia… cloud land. A glorious walk over the hills into Woodfordia and I am here in my beautiful nest to sleep with all the other “ villagers” in a very happy prairie vale.
It’s exactly what I expected without having any expectations and I love it.
For a few years now, my dear friends Rachel and Pete have been creating a living art space in the Tassie wilderness (secret address) which they have affectionately called Coopers Hill.
The adventure begins as one passes through the gates which is like entering an enlarged outdoor art amphitheatre.
Visiting the land is an opportunity to discover and uncover all sorts of things – Pete’s art, Rachel’s natural ability to create welcoming and zone out spaces and eat some amazing Tassie Tucker! I love it.
This short trip didn’t disappoint in re-charging my “buzzy city battery”.
Fresh air, heavy drops of rain, animal noises and nature immersion 101!
The Tasmania Bush is something else. So much wild life, so many noises and so wholesome.
Rach and Pete have a vision to bring the land to it’s climactic best. Where the land is thriving and tip top condition.
This is in keeping with nature’s rules – such as when a fire goes through, which is a natural 20 year phenomena – they are simply supporting the natural process of the land and helping it thrive – shifting wood piles, so birds can come and peck, bringing in the grubs, sapplings can grow and new life can begins.
I had a ride on their ride on escavator and found my altered bushman ego LOVED it. Moving dead logs, chomping up clumps of bramble seemed very empowering from my drivers seat.
What I love most about Cooper’s are Pete’s sculptures. Sprinkled throughout the land are art pieces, little sculptures and characters.
Coopsy is a fictious character that pops up here and there. He governs and protects that land and occasionally you can see his handy work, maybe some chopped wood, maybe a new path and if you are lucky enough, you might get to have a beer with him!
I must mention the loo.
Ingenious in it’s design, and fully functional the toilet is eco friendly. Pete and Rachel have given the dunny lots of thought.
Not wanting unwanted aromas to filter back to the camp site, the loo faces the northern sun.
It is ventilated well, operates perfectly, with 2 cups of charcoal (from the fire) and 2 cups of sawdust (from the wood cuttings) then Kobota excavator buries the excrement. The way loos should be – open aired, relaxing with the “business” going back to the soil.
The big fires of Christmas 2013 decimating the Peninsula also ripped through Coopers (burning 90% of it). But from old life, new life begins and in the morning the drops of dew on the leaves danced like disco balls around the property. The bush seems to cover in the scars of the bush fires only a few years back!
The morning autumn sun seems to have a different light frequency.
Last night I stayed in the guest’s suite, AKA the Place du Cafe, falling asleep in the bush, waking to birds and gentle sunlight seeping through the fly screens.
Waking with nature, feeling chilled out, Rach is making a gluten free (hearty) breakfast. Fresh brewed fair trade coffee brewed on the fire and a dash of last nights Tassie liquor port start my Sunday off just nicely.
Thanks guys, I love catching up with both of you and as you say ” its the impression that is left that matters most”.