Ok lets see... What did I do on day three?... my second full day on the island, and my first morning waking up on my own.
Well I had told my driver to pick me up around 9:00am like before. He probably thought I wanted extra sleep and time, but I knew that I would be up by 6:00 or so (more like 5:00am) and I was already planning to take a walk.
So I took my walk. There was a beautiful sunrise. There was a volcano in the distance. There were rice fields, and people starting to go to work.
The road the hotel was on and that I followed got narrower and more narrow till it became a winding gravel path almost. After following this for quite a while, taking in the surroundings, watching early morning stirrings, the path took a turn and came out between some buildings onto a main road. A road with shops all up and down it. Because of the time non of them were open and there were very few vehicles. Then, as I was wondering how much further I should go, I saw to my right a big sign that said "Sacred Monkey Forest", and a pathway beneath in leading into a forest. So I went in. There was a both to the right of the path that I would later learn (next time I came) was were you were supposed to pay to enter the forest, but there was no one there at this time so I just went right in.
It wasn't to long before I started to see a monkey or two. They weren't to big, and seemed friendly enough, but once I got to the temple area in the middle of the forest I started to feel a little weird being one person with a camera surrounded be a few hundred monkeys on all sides. I was definitely watchful! Though most of them just ignored me (even when passing a couple feet from me I usually just got a glance) there were a few that stopped and looked, and one that ventured to make a jump for the tag on my camera bag. I just batted him away with my hand and I got a "Well fine then! Be like that!" look from the monkey. By the way, monkeys have very very soft fur. At least these monkeys did. Softer than a baby kitten.
Well I continued my walk through the forest after spending some time with the monkeys (it was quite the site, monkeys sitting, running, playing, pulling each others hair, sleeping. Some of them acting just like old men in the morning and some acting like unrestrained two year olds). I came out of the forest into the village on the other side (the forest wasn't to big) and discovered that the monkeys had spread to there as well, monkeys on the roofs, in the yards and fields, along the road. The people did not seem to mind as long as the monkeys behaved themselves.
About this time I turned around and started to head back, through the monkey forest, through the rice fields and winding paths. This time there were more people out working, and I made a few detours to watch ...
... yet they could still smile at a stranger... a nosey stranger at that.
This man is bending big long metal rods that will be used to pour concrete for a foundation I think.
We along the way back to my hotel I got hungry. As I was passing a little place I saw people eating breakfast out at some tables. I asked if the food was good and they said "Yes!" So I went up and got me some. Had some more Bali coffee, a jaffle, ( I was thinking something like a waffle maybe? No, a pocket of toasted bread with egg in the middle) among other good breakfast.
Well my driver picked me up at 9:00am and we continued on the exploration of Bali. I had explained to him that I wanted to see a "Pasar", a traditional Bali market. He said that the biggest market around was in Klunkung, his home town. As we talked and made plans for how to make this work ("market time very early in the morning he said") I asked if I could see his house since we would be passing by. He was delighted at the idea and was very happy to show me his home and introduce his family. I met his father and two children. I met his wife the next day when he took me to the market and she road with us for the last two days. He showed me how a Hindu home in Bali was set up. With the kitchen building, the children's rooms and the parents rooms were all in separate buildings arranged in a circle around a center shelter that he said was only used when a member of the family died. Then the body was laid there until the ceremony. In the picture they are sitting on the steps of that center building. (by the way, my driver Komang is on the right, his father on the left, and his two children in the middle.) Besides being a driver/taxi Komang also has three cows (a picture will be in the slide show and picasa web gallery), a pig and raises fighting cocks to sell. He says cocks (rosters of course) sell for very good money in Bali.
At this temple it was not enough to wear the sarong (only they say "sa-roong" like moon) I had bought (and was required to wear into sacred places. Don't know if I mentioned that) I had to rent a sash to wear as well that I was required to give back once I exited. There were very many bats in the cave with the biggest being towards the back and smaller ones lining the edge like this little guy here. This bat was more isolated and seemed more calm (wasn't moving around a whole lot) so I took his picture.
Outside of Bat Cave Temple I found these young girls dancing. Actually the were practicing, but they were very good for their age. There was a building were Balinese music was coming from and some older girls were receiving instruction and training. These girls were out on their own in a field having their own training session. They let me take some video of them. ( I set up the camera on a tripod and walked away for awhile. There were several girls watching the back of the camera when I came back. You can here their voices in the video that I took. After taking a few pictures and showing them what they looked like they consented to taking a group photo, and then to a group photo with me! Good stuff.
Well that was pretty much the end of that day in Bali besides finding a hotel which once again I left it in the hands of my competent driver to find me a cheap hotel. Only $15 bucks this night and still perfectly delightful place to stay the night. It even had air-con.
I think it was this night that I met the first native non-Hindu on the island. He was Muslim. He was a small shop owner who look like he was in his late 20's but was actually 47 years old. Crazy. He was playing some chess and drinking some kind of beverage with a few other young men in his store. I stopped in because I saw the chess. I watched for awhile ( I had just be wandering around looking at the place. Most of the shops were done for the evening) then sat down as I fell into conversation with him. He had good English. I learned how he was Muslim, how he came to speak good English, how his friend used to sail around on a ship but was now a newpaper editor making very good money. And I talked about myself a little bit, about what I did for a living, how much I made and so on. He wants me to come back to Bali as soon as I can (as do all the Balinese. They know they make good money off us, but I think they really do enjoy other peoples. Kinda different from the norm in America). Anyway I didn't end up getting to play chess with him. He said he'd rather just talk.
It was a good chitchat, and I enjoyed it, but I think I need to give some thought on how to steer conversation towards more meaningful matters. (or do I even need to steer it?) Have any of you ever felt that way? I mean, if your only going to have that one conversation with someone you want to give them some truth, but at the same time I'm not really interested in getting caught up in debate which has happened to me before. How do you, can you? give gospel truth to someone in one short meeting? It makes me realize how much a baby in Christ I am still when I find myself at a loss... of courage? of knowledge? of wisdom? really I think it is a lack of faith. Can I really speak the truth of my faith in Christ freely without reservation? I think this is something I just have to be more conscious about. How can I watch a lost and person go by with out warning them? Do I really keep a kingdom minded perspective throughout my day? But what hope can I have that anything I say, a complete stranger, alien, other religion person, will do any good? I guess that gets me back to faith. If I'm trusting in my skill to make good happen I guess I don't need to expect anything.
|Morning sunrise in Ubud Bali Indonesia|
|So I started the day in Ubud, went up into the mountains, say a volcano, came back down, went through Klunkung|
(which I would be going back to the next morning) and then stayed the night in "Padang Bai" or there abouts.