HAVING now found a place to stay for the remainder of our time in Bali, we are wiser than we were before our arrival. We did as we have done in most new locations and checked into a hotel for a few days (five in this case), the idea being to give ourselves time to see (house-wise) what was on offer.
Prior to arriving in Ubud, we searched online to see what was available and with anyone we knew living in town (we had some friends here). Most, if not all, online options, particularly short-term, were too expensive.
We thought five days would be sufficient to score a home. But, as ever, not everything went to plan. We followed our leads, the main one being to check the large notice boards (try outside most of the health food shops and restaurants/cafes: Bali Buddha, a local and popular cafe; Down To Earth; Alchemy, a raw food joint; Kafe and the public library). We made some inquiries and then waited for return calls or positive responses.
Nothing much happened, though. People in the property market told us that nothing much within walking distance of the town centre was available for what a low-budget family like ourselves desired.
If you have money - and many visitors who come here do - then there is plenty around. Ubud caters well for the wealthy. You can have stunning views, tranquility and a swimming pool.
We booked a few more days in a hotel (but a different one, which meant re-packing and lugging our stuff literally across the street) and opted to rent a car, the idea being that with more mobility we could conduct a search further afield.
Finding a car was relatively easy (several phone calls) and cheap - only £5 per day - but you get what you pay for. When was the last time you drove a car with a choke? And our Suzuki rattled as it drove and felt like the wheels would fall off every time I hit one of the many pot-holes along the road!
With wheels, we cast our net wider and finally had some success when inquiring about an ad we saw posted at a hair salon near Sopa, another cafe where we like to eat. The two-floor house in a quiet neighbourhood was about 4km from the centre, where it can be too noisy.
For anyone on a tight budget heading to Ubud, I'd recommend hiring a vehicle (or motorcycle if you don't have children) and heading away from the centre of town. There you get much more for your money.