Craig at Odds with Nature
So today we thought we would get up quite early and have an hour by the pool shower and then go out on some cultural adventures. I get up first and, as I cannot function in the morning until I have had my first cup of coffee, I go out onto the terrace and get the kettle out. For some reason the Hotel thought it would be hip to provide the tea/coffee making facilities out on the terrace on a very quaint granite bench with a sink in it.
I thought this is novel too, and got down to making my morning coffee, I reached for the kettle and switched on the tap to fill it. As the water hits the bottom of the sink I shat myself and let out an almighty squeal as I see this lizard do about thirty laps round the sink at high speed. I dropped the kettle and went running in.
I plucked up the courage to go back a few moments later and see if he was still there and to take a picture and he was. As I was getting into position (me as far away as possible and the camera on maximum zoom). I stepped on something and it started chirruping, I let out another yelp. I looked down and there is a big green cricket type thing scuttling across the terrace, hobbling quite badly (I obviously did it some damage with my high pitched screaming). I didn’t manage to get a cricket picture – he made a serious run for it – but did resume position to take the snap of sink monster. As you can see from the picture he is enormous and scary and you would have screamed as well wouldn’t you.
I then managed to calm myself down and go and use the outside shower bricking myself in case any other Balinese indigenous creatures wanted to share some quality time with me. Thankfully I showered alone – this time, who knows what tomorrow will bring . We did however have another visitor while playing in the pool. I made John take this picture I was too traumatised by then.
Now I know I should expect this being where we are, but I don’t do nature, well that’s a lie I love it when the creatures are on the telly and have no ability to touch me or move very quickly and frighten me. I am now checking all my shoes and clothes before I put them on obviously not with my hands , but with a very long stick. In saying that though I am typing this first bit of the blog on the terrace just before we go out and all I can hear is tweets, chirrups and other nature type noises and nothing else and it is truly peaceful.
Temples, Monkeys and Mopeds
So today has been a cultural trip; on the itinerary were some Paddy terraces, Hindu temples, the monkey and bat forest (you can see what’s coming here can’t you) and Tannah Lot, a temple perched on the sea to watch the sun go down. Given our experiences with Malcolm yesterday we shunned the Hotel courtesy vehicles and hired our own driver.
The first stop was the temple which was built, so our guide told us, in the 15th Century. Very beautiful place, peaceful and the grounds around kept immaculately, Lots of beautiful buildings, weather was a bit cloudy by the time we got there in the afternoon so my photography opportunities were limited, but I snapped a few for the holiday album.
Then we head for the Monkey forest. Now I know you may be thinking that I had planned this so that today’s blog could have a nice theme but I didn’t this is all to do with Hindu Karma. Which I am digging.
Now as the Monkey Forest was next on the trip we knew we were going there and what to expect when we pulled in, but as the guide pulled in to the car park there were of course Monkeys with tourists running about. What did John pipe up – “ohh look Monkeys”. What the fuck did he expect to see a rhinoceros – I pissed myself.
So we paid our entrance fee and picked up a Monkey guide (well this was in fact a kind Balinese woman who was going to tell us all about the monkeys as opposed to Monkey who could talk – now that would be some tourist attraction). She told us how long they had been there, how many and why they were given homes in the temples and then started on the tour, invited us to buy some peanuts to feed them which I duly obliged. She then showed me how to hold the nuts in your hand one by one and they would gently take them out (“No they very peaceful thy wont bite – NICE MONKEYS). This all went to plan for the first two polite monkeys and I thought that Attenborough has got nothing on me. Then I think I attracted the Monkey hoodies, all shit broke loose as one of the little greedy fuckers ran up my back, perched on my shoulder and reached for my nut stash (my monkey nuts rather than my personal nut collection thankfully).
I don’t know how but I managed not to squeal, but John in fits of laughter manages to fumble his camera and fail to get any of this incident on film – fucker. I then hurl my nut stash as far as I can and the greedy little furry fuckers abandon me and start a fight over my spoils.
Revenge was sweet though because after the tour we were watching someone have their pictures taken with an enormous Cobra when one of out little money friends made a play for John’s bag and he had to go chasing after the little bugger with it.
The guide pointed out who was top dog amongst the Monkeys during the tour but despite our probing questions could not explain how he had managed to get to that elevated position amongst the 1000 monkeys that inhabit this temple. As my first quiz to my devoted blog followers I provide front and rear photographs and ask you to write to me in no more than 1 word why you think he is top dog.
After that we then went for the more sedate experience of watching he sun set over Tannah Lot, sadly my e-mail to Sunsets4u@god.com must have gotten delayed somewhere as instead we viewed a horizon of storm clouds, sad but it was still an experience to see.
Other quick headlines for today
Updates on Moped maniacs – these come to you in the form of pictorial evidence. You know in a previous blog I told you about the guy carrying five crates – we he has got nothing on this guy – look at his stack. I count 9 – the race is on to beat that now!
Finally I provide evidence that a whole family can ride on a single moped. I wonder if the manufacturers market these in Indonesia as four person family saloons?
Another fantastic rainstorm tonight but with added dramatic thunder and lightening to help me type.
Last full day in Ubud tomorrow and we have planned a bike trip into the Balinese countryside – I fear my connection with nature may continue.