One of our first excursions had us take in a traditional Balinese dance that dealt with the never-ending struggle between good and evil spirits, and featured a stunning performance by a monkey.
After the show when we were trying to get the a picture with the monkey, we were suddenly swamped by photo requests from other Asian tourists. Our guide later explained to us that these tourists were from Java, and apparently not many tourists like us go to Java. As a result, when these people meet tourists like us, they love to get pictures with them so they can prove to their friends back home that they actually went somewhere.
We also visited the Elephant Cave temple, where aside from melting in the heat and humidity of the moment (ok - it was just me having an implosion), we discovered that for foreigners to enter a temple the wearing of a sarong was required so as to cover up your knees. Also, and perhaps a little more socially awkward, woman are asked if they are currently having their period and if they are they cannot enter the temple.
The day's adventure ended with a drive to see the local volcano and have lunch, which resulted in our first brush with the "rainy season."
The best meal we ate in Bali was one that we all had a hand in when we took a cooking class with a Balinese woman who, along with her husband and members of their extended family, set up a school in their home. Can't imagine we'll ever be able to replicate the amazing results of this meal at home but we do have the recipes and will eventually give it a try.
Heather and Chloe spent a day in the Balinese countryside on a cycle trip that took them past rice paddies, small villages and chicken farms. The tour ended at the owner's home with an amazing meal cooked by his wife.
For the last day of 2011 we decided to look for an exciting (and hopefully memorable) Bali activity - a high ropes course about an hour and a half drive from our villa. With about 15 minutes left in the drive we became aware that the sky overhead was darkening somewhat, but it was only really "misting" when we got to the park. The course looked very exciting (and very high up, not necessarily what those of us with height issues would be good at) and being hardy Vancouverites we figured we could handle some moisture. Unfortunately, as we walked closer to the gate the weather gods decided to let loose and remind us again that this is the rainy season
|Huddled under the mini-overhang trying to stay dry|
It was drizzling a bit when we got there but that wasn't going to stop us. We entered the temple grounds and almost immediately said hello to more monkeys than we had ever seen. All of them just strolling around, taking food and eliciting shocked cries from older female visitors who hadn't read the warnings that the monkeys actually will climb on you. Which once you see how big some of them are (and how big their teeth look) can actually be a bit scary.
Our next adventure, Gili Air!