Poco's great adventure 2009 - 2010 travel blog

Our driver picked us up after breakfast to take us to the Australian consulate so we could make arrangements for our visa. The consulate sent us over to the visa office. Having the driver was already proving valuable, as we would have been completely lost. All excited now, about getting the application filled out, and getting our visa in our passport. Some of the countries have really cool visas. We were informed by the staff at the visa office that because we are Canadians we are eligible to apply online, and it is strongly encouraged. Apparently if you can, fill out online and choose not to you have another form to fill out to explain your reasons for not filling it out. When she showed us the 16 page form, we thought filling it out online will work.

Our schedule for the day was now wide open, and we entrusted our day to the driver to show us around. Bali is quite interesting in that it is part of Indonesia. The people here speak Balinese as well as Indonesian, or is it Javanese, however the people on the mainland do not necessarily speak Balinese.

Our first stop was to watch a Barong dance. Cory and Elaine have commented that most of the countries they have visited have a national dance and they all have something special to offer.

After watching the dance we made our way to the Bali Bird Park. This is quite an amazing place with a wide assortment of birds. I couldn’t help but laugh when Cory made the Kookabura laugh, laugh Kookabura, laugh. We watched a 4D show, actually Cory and Elaine did, because they didn’t have glasses small enough for me.

We also went to the birds of prey show, and Elaine put up her hand to volunteer, but she was rejected as being a suitable volunteer. She had on a red t-shirt, and that must be some sort of gang colour or something, but it excluded her.

After the Bird Park we went for lunch. One of the national dishes here is roasted suckling pig. Whole pigs are roasted on the spits, and then served with crackling and rice. Lunch was very tasty.

With full bellies we headed off to the Monkey Temple. It is hard to remember that the monkeys home is actually a temple with all the customs of other temples because everybody seems to focus on the monkeys. It is forbidden for women to enter the temple area if they are menstruating. There is nowhere to indicate what happens if you do not follow or obey this rule, or if there is someone actually checking. I just don’t understand. As with many other temples proper dress is required. Nothing was occurring in the temple area, so it didn’t matter that Cory and Elaine were dressed in shorts.

Back to the monkeys. Cory purchased some bananas to feed the monkeys. These creatures know their role very well. Entertain the guests, eat the bananas, occasionally steal items from the guests. Elaine put her water bottle down to grab something and the monkey took it. It was a brand new full bottle so Elaine took it back. Oh oh, there was a bit of a stare down contest and stalking. The monkey was stalking Elaine not the other way around. The monkeys range from baby to grandparents. At one point Cory got down to take a picture of a monkey and one jumped on his back and started playing with his hat. Cory handed the camera to Elaine who started clicking pictures. The monkey removed Cory’s hat, which Elaine took from the monkey before he ran away with it. The monkey then checked out Cory’s hair to make sure there was nothing there that didn’t belong. In this very brief time the monkey and Cory were bonding and getting quite close. As Elaine is continuing to snap photos, the monkey’s jealousy surfaced very quickly and growled and bared teeth at Elaine. OK now it was time to get the monkey off of Cory’s back and we called for a guide. Here Cory could be in huge danger and all Elaine was doing was capturing the moment.

As we continued around the temple grounds we heard crying children. Apparently the monkey was not content with one banana and had taken the whole bunch.

Having been in a cage with a tiger and being with a bunch of free roaming monkeys, I think I would rather take my chances with the tigers.

It was time to go back to the van. Our driver was very informative and explained much about the Hindu religion. Ninety-five percent of the population is Hindu.

We drove through an area called Ubud. This is considered to be the cultural centre of Bali, and is known for it’s crafts. It would have been possible to spend an entire day wandering around the different shops.

Our last stop was at a little market, and we wandered around and made a few purchases.

From here it was back to our hotel to pack, as tomorrow we are heading to Candi dasa to spend Christmas and New Year’s at the Bali Palms Resort.

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