Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ubud delights

First plan today in Ubud on Bali Island (Indonesia) was to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (www.monkeyforustubud.com). Here the monkeys (macaques) are fed but run free with no cages.They mostly stay within the forest but occasionally wander into the village and nearby rice fields where they can become pests.

Okay, 2 things about this Sanctuary.

No. 1: You feel like you are in a tropical forest jungle albeit there are concrete stairways to take you to lower levels and to the temples that are very remarkable and ancient looking. These are carved with exquisitely intricate detail. There are also a lot of old picturesque statues situated throughout the Sanctuary.

Dee in front of temple (courtesy of Aaron)

No. 2: The monkeys are absolutely adorable but also very mischievous. At the entryway, you can buy bunches of bananas for the monkeys. And believe me, they know when you have them!!! The monkeys are immediately reaching for them, and jumping on you to get at them. You give a monkey an unpeeled banana, which it quickly peels, and then the banana is gobbled down as he grabs for another one! They can be very determined in their quest, looking quite mean in their persistence, but Jordan simply swatted this 1 away with no harm done.

I want more!! (courtesy of Aaron)

But they can also be very gentle. Occasionally you can fool them with just a banana peel. They will approach you, reach for it, and gently take it from you. Their paw pads are SO soft, like baby skin.

For me?

A sneaky monkey grabbed a piece of paper from a woman which she was unable to retrieve. Each time she tried, the monkey just kept retreating ... "Heh, heh, it's mine now" he must have been thinking. And many moms and pops scurried or sauntered along with a baby lazily hanging on.

Religious shrines on the Monkey Sanctuary grounds have the typical offerings placed in them - bits of food, flowers, burning incense, etc. These are frequented by the monkeys as they steal the edibles from the offerings!

Easy offerings

An older monkey was spotted with unusual eyes...1 brown and 1 blue...the blue being a glass eye indicating the good medical treatment these monkeys must receive.

Unusual eyes (courtesy of Dee)

This young monkey made himself right at home sitting on Jordan's shoulder eating his banana with his other hand resting on Jordan's hat!

Monkey pal (courtesy of Dee)

Hangin' out...

Aaron snapping photo of teeny tiny baby (courtesy of Dee)...

Check out my Mohawk! (courtesy of Aaron)...

Family pose (courtesy of Aaron)...

Motherly love (courtesy of Dee)...

At 13:30, shortly after leaving the Sanctuary, we were treated to a torrential downpour! Along with several storekeepers standing in their doorways, we all watched as the streets flooded and the water tried to run downhill. The immense amount created deep flowing rivers in curb crevices which tried to rip my thongs off my feet as I walked through it crossing the street.

Jordan walking down a passageway

A quick lunch as we dried off and then - Balinese massage!

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