Lake Temple and Monkeys!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
Trip End May 16, 2005

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Monday, May 2, 2005

Today I decided to do another tour w/ Gusti and the 4 Aussies who were on the transfer from the airport to the hotel. Darrell and his wife (whom I can't remember her name), Robert who is Darrell's wife's brother and then Neil. What was crazy was that Robert and his sister grew up in Paynesville which is where April was from and as they were older they didn't know her, but knew her parents and of her! SMALL WORLD! Anywho, they were all very sweet to have me come along even though had I not of talked to them about it, they probably would have had no choice as Gusti had mentioned it. They were all suffering from hangovers that day... too bad for them. We got on our way and made a brief pit stop for water and snacks. Gusti bought some pastries that were filled with fig. They were yummy. I immediately recognized the difference in how Gusti pampered this group as he was working for more of a tip that when he was just taking me around. That makes me a little mad but really I've learned that Bali and probably most 3rd world countries operate for one reason... money and they see tourists not so much as people but money machines. Frustrating as I don't have a ton as I'm near the end of traveling and I just wanted to be treated as a person such as with honesty and given a fair price. We stopped at Mengwi for a market. I did a bit of buying and got good prices on my items. Gusti had picked up some peanuts which I think had been boiled. They were a brightish yellow color and were still moist when you opened and ate them. Really he had purchased them for when we pulled up on the side of the mountain pass road and the monkeys came out of the forest to the roadside. We fed the monkeys and watched them fight and chase each other through the branches. We then made it to Lake Bedugui where there was a stunning view and lookout on the volcanos and lake that lie in the middle. We next stopped at the waterfalls of Gitgit and did a bit of a hike. I love how there are shrines or beautiful artifacts built throughout the natural countryside. As we walked to the waterfalls someone had built a bamboo lever that caught a trickle of water and upon filling up, tipped backwards and emptied and when tipping back hit a piece of wood that was hollowed out to make a percussive noise. They have these that you can buy but it was beautiful to see a rustic version built out in the beauty of the forest. At Singaraja we visited a temple built on a lake that dated back to the 16th century. Singaraja used to be the capital of Bali during the days of Dutch colonization and was just until in the 1980s? it was changed to Denpasar. We had another lovely buffet lunch at Lovina which is a beach village on the edge of the Java Sea. It's remarkable the change in climate between the north and south sides of the island. The further north you go the cloudier and cooler is gets. However the clouds and coolness stop at the mountains and rarely pass over making the southern part of the island mainly hot and dry. Bali currently was at the end of the rainy season and entering the dry. I enjoyed lunch thouroughly however my fellow travelers didn't eat so much from being hungover and also not trusting the food. I ate pretty much everything and a lot of it. We joked a bit about the food being dog as earlier that day Gusti had said that Awa or dog is a common food here and used in Satays tasting like beef. I would probably try it given the chance however I wasn't going to seek it out. Again there were the fried bananas and black rice pudding which is very yum! We then made our long trip back passing rice terraces along the way. We made our last stop of the day around 6pm for the sunset at Tahah lot the sea temple. The place was swarming with tourists as sunset is the best time to visit as it's very beautiful. The temples were perched on rocky outcroppings as the sea swirled and crashed around them. Of course accompanying the tourist attraction was a market where I did a bit more shopping:-)
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