Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
22Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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However, this hotel was worth the trip to Bali alone. It is in the middle of a tropical forest with natural palm trees and flowers surrounding the enormous property. The hotel itself is on top of a hill and spreads down into a valley
A few weeks ago, when I decided to take this journey around the world I got a message from Stephanie. We went to graduate school together in Philadelphia and she was in Bali the week before I got there. I missed meeting up with her by a few days, but she put me in touch with her friend Dek who is a local tour guide. I called Dek the next morning and he was able to pick me up at my hotel an hour later. I got into his car with no idea where to go or what to see and just said "show me Bali or as much as you can". One of the best decisions I have made on this trip was to put my trust in other people that I don't know and never question it. There is no way to see Bali all in one day but I think we came pretty close. Dek is another amazing person I have been blessed to meet along the way.
The first stop was at the Elephant Cave and I had to put a sarong on to enter as it is part of their culture. Before entering the cave itself there are fountains outside with Hindu sculptures worn down from hundreds of years of sun and rain
From there we went to the Water Temple, a pool built around natural springs where local people go to pray and it has special healing powers. Next it was onto a Bali coffee farm where they grow and produce the Kopi Luwak coffee. I learned the story of the Paradoxurus a small animal like a cat with a long pointy nose
I thought the monkey forest meant it was monkeys that were in cages and you could go up and see them. I was wrong. I got out of the car and before I was even in the forest there was monkey about two feet away. One came up and grabbed my finger and I had no idea what to do. I bought some bananas and tried to pass them out but one monkey didn't want to share and scared away all the other ones. He ate about fifteen bananas in two minutes. I walked into the forest thinking I was going to see about four or five monkeys and out of nowhere I was surrounded by thirty. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. They would come up to me and I wasn't really sure what they were going to do. Some jumped up like they wanted to fight me and others would ignore me. In the forest there are different groups of monkey similar to tribes and each has their own territory. One monkey decided he was going into another group’s territory and it got intense quickly. I'm standing in the forest alone and there were about forty monkeys screaming and fighting with one another. I stood there about ten feet away and just watched. The little monkeys were scooped up by their parents and carried away. I thought about leaving the forest because I wasn't sure if they would come after me but I felt safe enough to stay
I took a shuttle the second day to Ubud the nearest city in Bali to my hotel. I can't say enough about the people of Bali, especially Dek. Indonesia is a third world country and you can defiantly tell that as soon as you arrive but the people have a kindness that you can feel before they even speak, truly amazing. When I got to Ubud I had to check out another monkey forest because I could sit there all day and just watch the monkeys. After that I headed down a tiny coble stone street to a back alley until I finally arrived at the yoga barn. When in Bali I had to take a yoga class. The yoga barn is on the second floor of a building with an open-air 360 degree view of rice and pineapple fields. The yoga class was intense and the views were perfect. A statue of Ganesha, the Hindu lord of success and destroyer of obstacles, watched over us. Ganesha has a curved trunk with big ears and a huge pot belly of a human being. He has an Axe in one hand to cut down obstacles and a rope in the other to pull you toward your goals.
After yoga class I jumped on the back of a scooter taxi to the Agung Rai museum. The only thing scarier than driving your own scooter in Thailand is being this big on the back of one in Bali. In Bali two lanes are the size of one lane in the US and really anything goes. I didn't know where to put my legs and where to hold so I went with one hand on Kutu's shoulder and the other on seat. I think being on the back of that scooter was one of those times in life you just smile, appreciate it and know not to worry.
"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself"-Wayne Dyer