Since my last article happend a lot. Well, not really happen but I visited a bunch of new sights and other interesting stuff. On Friday I went to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, which is the most popular attraction in Ubud. I already saw many monkeys in Bali but they’re always funny so I was looking forward to visiting it. It’s not far and I walked down the road to the sanctuary. It’s located in a big forest just beside the road. The monkeys are great fun, always screaming around and hunting each other. It seems like they can never stand still. Only when they feel tired what seems to be quite often. So I was walking around and suddenly a monkey thought he had to climb up on my shoulder. Ähm.. yeah what now? I decided to leave him there and try to take some pictures. But unfortunately the camera was hanging around my neck so the pictures where pretty random and low distanced. It was definitly the best monkey! I think I call him Freddy. The rest of the day I walked around in Ubud and spend some time in the coffees here. I like this life.
In the evening then I went to the Ubud Palace to enjoy one of the famous dances there. In the beginning I was remembered of Simea’s ballet performances but actually it was very different. The sound of it was traditional and difficult to explain. It was nice and certainly something new but my ears were glad to relax after one and a half hour of it. The dance itself was quite entertaining and sometimes also very funny in the end. I read the story before on my ticket. Else I had understood nothing but that was not a surprise. It was nice to see it once but I wouldn’t participate it more often.
Saturday then, I joined a organized travel tour to some sights around Ubud. We were a small group with a woman from the Philippines, a guy and a girl from the UK and me. The UK guys have already been to South America and keep on travelling until September. So Bali is only a small station for them. First we went to Goa Gajah, the so-called Elephant Cove Temple. It was nice, although there was a busy atmosphere with lots of tourists. The next station was the famous Gunung Kawi. It reminded me strongly of Indiana Jones. The temple was situated in between beautiful rice terraces and a rock cliff. It was definitely nicer than our first stop. There were almost no other people and the temple looked great and worth the long stairs down and later back up. After that we went to Temen to a Balinese coffee and spice center. We had a little tour through their garden and finally could even try some of the tea or coffee they produce. The next stop was the village Penelokan. From there we had a nice view over Lake Batur and the erupted volcano Mount Batur. The light was not so good anymore and the sky was very cloudy but it was quite impressing anyway. I bought some lychees there, which tasted delicious. Our last stop was Pujung with its beautiful rice terraces. Then the travel tour was over and we drove back to Ubud.
Yesterday then was a lazy day. I started reading The pillars of the earth written by Ken Follett. Now I’m quite hooked and didn’t do much than reading or talking with the guys, who work at the Raka House, in front of my bungalow. Easy living. They always ask me what I’m going to do the day and I never know. Fortunately the usually have some good advice. Yesterday it was not to go to the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) today but yesterday. The reason was because the Bali Spirit Festival was at its last day and the location of it was the ARMA. So I changed my plans slightly and went there, even though the sky was not that sunny. After some time walking I arrived in front of a parking place and I could see the stage for the bands behind some food stands. I wondered where the ARMA was but found it coincidentally after a few minutes. The area of it is huge and I spend the first quarter hour only walking around and enjoying all the different statues and rivers and sculptures. Eventually I was looking for the entrance of the museum and found it occasionally. It is a big building with lots of paintings by local artists. They’re quite impressing. After a few pictures inside I found a sign, which said that this is forbidden. So I only have the paintings in my memory. I was puzzled of the darkness of most of the colors. Balinese style seems to be colorful with much gold and other bright colors. Not in the pictures. Some of them are almost black. There were others, which were very bright and with much color, for sure. But anyway I was surprised. The paintings don’t look bad but I definitely prefer the bright ones of them. All in all it was another impression of cultural Bali and it was worth the time.
You see, many things in Ubud going on. Yet my favorite part of it all is another one. The food. I love to just sit in a restaurant in the evening and choose from a wide exotic range of dishes and be surprised every time, how good it looks and even tastes. And honestly it costs nothing. I never payed more than 150’000 rupiah for a complete dinner. 10’000 rupiah are about one Swiss franc. I hope not to get fat here. I think I’ll save the money back then in Australia. There the situation with the prices looks a bit different. I like Bali.