Oh that little thief!!

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April 4th 2010
Published: April 4th 2010
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The temple high atop the cliff
The day started with me first checking out the pancake situation at the hotel restaurant. Well actually, the first order of business was to check the water drain situation …yes it does turn the other way. Now I can die saying that I’ve actually seen it! I know … the smallest things make me happy. I’m simple like that! So back to this pancake situation … they are banana pancakes and oh my sweet Lord …I am definitely going to take full advantage of that for the next couple of days!! There’s a reason that this guy is so popular! It’s funny how every trip, there’s a new obsession that starts … I mean Anik and I practically had to go through cappucino detox after a week in Santa Lucia!

From breakfast I headed to the reception area to see what was the best way for me to get to one of the temples. Taxi was too expensive so I chartered a driver for a couple of hours. I didn’t expect for them to have a driver available right then and there but 30 minutes later there was Mr. Oka bounding up the stairs of the lobby looking for “Ms.
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Big bear hug ...
Caroline“. The destination was the Bukit Peninsula in Southern Bali to go and visit Pura Luhur Ulu Watu. A “pura” is a temple and this particular one is part of series of temples that were built to honour the sea gods. They are perched high atop cliffs that overlook the ocean. There are nine such temples on the island of Bali and apparently they are designed so that you are able to be within sight of the next temple. The drive there took about 40 minutes and I was being very much entertained by Mr. Oka who told me the stories of some of the hindu gods. There are these incredibly large and ornate statues in the middle of traffic circles and on the side of the road … so of course I had to ask and he was very much willing to tell me the stories behind them.

We arrived at the temple and Mr. Oka says to me something like “you go pay and I find you stick”. Uh? So I proceeded towards the ticket booth to pay my 3,000 rupiahs (that’s about 30 cents!) which allows you entry and where they tie this brightly colored sash
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Doing a little grooming
around your waist which is meant as a sign of respect to the temple. As I walked towards the entrance of the temple, I see Mr. Oka coming back with this branch. Well turns out that there are monkeys that live around this temple and they can sometimes get a little frisky. He proceeded to give me a demonstration on how to use the stick because of course it definitely was not meant for hitting these poor little creatures. I then got drilled (and the fear instilled in me) about how the monkeys grab things (man this was flashback to when I was 12 and going to the African Safari Park and having the monkeys pulling the lights off the bus in front of us!). So off came the sunglasses and I carefully packed my lens cap and scarf.

I ventured down the pathway and crossed paths with another gentleman who said something to the effect that I need to hold onto my bag because a monkey had grabbed one earlier that morning. Okay so we’ll tighten the straps on the backpack then! And then I passed another gentleman who said the exact same thing … so by that
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The thief ... so happy with himself!
time I’m having visions of being mercilessly attacked by these macaques and ending up at an Indonesian hospital with rabies.

As you make your way down the path, you come to a bale which overlooks this amazing cliff. The ocean is lapping and the sheer power and sound that it makes is truly beyond words. I continued down the pathway and was all of a sudden distracted by monkeys playing in the trees. There were a few babies who would just hurl themselves into the branches, fall off and then start all over again. Well guess what … that’s how they get you. Oldest trick in the book! You are pleasantly distracted and then that’s when the sneaky little bugger grabbed my bottle of water. He scared the living daylights out of me coming from behind that cement fencing that wound around the pathway. And so there he sat with … dare I say … a smirk on his face looking quite content as he chewed the bottom of my bottle and drank away.

I continued making my way around the grounds and caught a glimpse of the temple perched high atop this cliff. Unfortunately, only worshippers can enter the temple itself but the views of this structure is absolutely stunning and worthwhile of a visit. Again you could hear the rumblings of the ocean … just an amazing sight to behold. Sadly it is also a place where a number of people have gone to commit suicide which apparently is also considered an insult to the Gods by the Balinese people.

On the way back, I asked Mr. Oka where he lived and he actually lives near another sea temple called Pura Tanah Lot. I mentioned to him that I wanted to go see that temple and other sights in Western Bali so we have a “date” on Tuesday to go see three more temples and he is going to also show me some rice terraces. And of course because now that we are friends …”I make good price for you!”. I will have him at my disposition for my custom made tour for about $ 40. I can't wait!

I then returned to the hotel to freshen up a bit, have a bottle of water (ahem …) and then head back out for a little souvenir shopping. I headed down towards Jalan Legian where
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One of the cliffs
there are tons of small shops. Every country has it’s “thing” that is so popular with tourists … in Cambodia I must have seen about a million scarves. Well here in Bali, it’s beads … necklaces, bracelets, earrings. It’s almost dizzying what you have to pick from … so far I’ve bought one pair of earrings but if the 10 scarves from Cambodia are any indication …there’s more to come! I also made my way towards an art market and managed to find beautiful cushion covers … I had that in mind even before leaving knowing that there were beautiful fabrics and such so now I just have to buy that new couch!! Ugh ... so much to do!

I stopped in for lunch at a place called Sheppy’s which was directly across from the art market. I had some yummy beef satay with the most amazing peanut sauce. I have got to find a cooking school while I am here!! Or at least bring back a cookbook! And God love a restaurant that welcomes you with an ice-cold washcloth so that you can freshen up!!

I made my way back to the hotel via the beach to only return a few moments later with a book in tow. The red flag was out but of course there were tons of surfers in the water. I had never seen waves that high and again that rumbling sound is just amazing. I did go out in the water a bit … and yes I can confirm that the Indian Ocean is salty … having taken a big gulp of it when this big wave came in and pretty much knocked me off my feet. It wasn’t pretty nor graceful is all I have to say!

So now just whiling the hours away … there was another torrential downpour which lasted all of 10 minutes. I was hoping for some sunset shots but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen tonight. Hopefully in the next few days the sunset gods will cooperate!

Tomorrow ... my gentle downhill bike ride ... woohoo can't wait!

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


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Overlooking the bale
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Entrance gate to the temple
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The temple
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The temple ... it's that tiny little thing that looks like a pine tree
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The temple
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Another monkey
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The little family
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Colour boxes at the art market
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Selling peanuts
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The many offerings to the gods
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Surf boards on Legian Beach
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Legian Beach
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The bikes have these racks off on the side to carry surfboards

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