|Today it rained. We still worked out and ate, but our morning was spent in the room rather than poolside. We arranged for a hotel car and tour guide to take us on a 1/2 day tour. The tour was supposed to include Tanah Lot, the Royal Temple (Taman Ayun), and the monkey forest. Unfortunately, the day was not spent so successfully.
Ryan and Amanda decided to join us on the tour. As it is by hour and not by person, it was actually a perfect adjustment to our plans for both the company and the price. I now, however, feel a bit badly that they came...
Our guide asked us what we wanted to do when we got in the car. We told him we wanted to do the tour we signed up for, which I still don't think should have been a question. The guide, Poota, said almost nothing to us as we made our 2.5 hour trip to the Royal Temple. When we go there, he walked us around the grounds and gave us a few pieces of information. The most interesting actually had nothing to do with the temple at all. Apparently in Bali, you can get married one of three ways: 1) wedding ceremony 2) kidnapping 3) elopement. In Bali, it used to be that if you wanted to marry someone, if you kidnapped the woman for 24 hours, she was considered your wife. Today, if parents do not condone a match, the couple can arrange for her to be "kidnapped" where the couple essentially hides out for 24 hours and hopes that their parents don't find them. If they do, the man will go to jail for at least 1 month. Kidnap marriage, as I understood from the guide, can only happen today if the couple knows each other prior to the kidnapping.
We also learned that cock fighting used to occur here as part of temple ceremony. They still do occasionally and there are cocks in very small cages on the property and a huge covered area where the fights occur. Cock fighting in Bali is now illegal outside of temple ceremonies.
From Taman Ayun, we bought some new flavored chips (barbeque beef, paprika chicken, shrimp, etc) moved on to Tanah Lot which is a temple on the a cliff overlooking the water. Depending on the tide, you can/can not actually reach the temple by land. It is a stunning view to the temple and the temple grounds. We hoped for a sunset at this location as well, but unfortunately the clouds got in our way.
We then headed to Chandi, a restaurant in Semanyak for dinner. It was delicious. I ordered poorly, choosing a vegetarian dish after witnessing a truck hauling a live pig in a burlap sack. Others ordered beautiful sate platters and Dave had the waygu beef. Prices were a bit higher here, but the food was great quality. Seminyak, while we only drove through at night, looks very trendy with lots of boutique shops and more contemporary store fronts, unlike the stores built into fronts of homes that we were used to seeing in Nusa Dua.
Finally, late and Monkey Forrest-less, we made it back to the St. Regis. I wished it had been a more educational day, but what can you do? The temples were still beautiful and one more day has gone by where I am continually full and happy with the food.