Taking advantage of the perfect weather we rode up to Ubud on our scooter today. It took about and hour to get up there due to traffic on the outskirts of Denpasar but it was a beautiful journey as we were riding through rice fields and through small local villages. The part that amazed me the most was the amount of temples that lined the side of the road. They were absolutely everywhere, each of them slightly different from the last but all with beautiful ornate inscriptions and architecture. We only had to fill up with fuel once and it cost us 20 000Rupiah ($2AUD)
Our first stop in Ubud was the Sacred Monkey Forest (http://www.monkeyforestubud.com/) which is home to about 600 long-tailed Balinese Macaques. This was my favourite experience to date on this trip. The monkeys were absolutely gorgeous and none were cheeky or aggressive as people had warned us they might be. I sat down next to a family of them hoping to get a photo with them but I soon had all three of them sitting on top of me. We chose not to buy bananas to feed them as we had seen others doing this and getting bitten. My favourite part was seeing the families who had babies that were only about 2 weeks old. We were also allowed to walk into the ground of the actual temple but we had to wear traditional clothes, which could be borrowed from the staff for a small donation.
When we were finished at the monkey sanctuary we drove through the main street of Ubud up to Starbucks where we were told there was a beautiful lotus temple hidden away. The temple couldn’t be seen from the road but it was one of the largest I had seen, and surrounded by lotus ponds. Very beautiful and spiritual (http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g297701-d1048257-Reviews-Pura_Saraswati-Ubud_Bali.html)
The journey home to Seminyak was actually quicker (only about 40 minutes) and when we got home we quickly got ready to go out for a traditional Indonesian dinner in Kuta. The food was completely different to anything I have tried before (tofu cakes, peanut cakes, fermented fish) but it was delicious.
Day 6 (27th December 2013)
Today we did a day trip to the peninsula of Nusa Dua in the south of Bali. We were picked up by our driver at 8am from the hotel and taken down, the trip took about 1.5hours. When we arrived we had a brief and informal induction to the area before we were fitted with our snorkels and flippers. We had a boat to our self and we were taken out to snorkel. It was a pretty terrible experience as all the coral was dead and there were hardly any finish. We had fun swimming around in the ocean for a little while though. After we finished snorkelling we were taken out on a glass bottom boat where we didn’t see a single living creature. Finally we were taking to a turtle ‘conservation’ island which was easily the most disturbing and upsetting place I have ever been in my life. The beautiful sea turtles were basically being tortured by the handlers who were dragging them by their flippers out of the water for tourists to sit on. Seeing this place really destroyed by opinion of Bali and made me question the morals of the people associated with such as exploitative and horrific ‘tourist’ attraction.