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Monday, August 27, 2012

A Bit of Monkey Business!

August 28th is a holiday in Bali ---their traditional calendar consists of 210 days –and the 28th is their equivalent of Thanksgiving.

Businesses will be closed….everyone heads “Home” to where their birthplace is, or where their family is –and a big traditional Balinese meal of roast pig and other delights are served.

All through the week we have watched preparations gearing up ---much like our own tradition of setting up a Christmas tree or carving pumpkins for Halloween ---ornaments are made of bamboo and palm and every day there are more and more decorations present around the homes and up and down the streets.

School let out early today.

Family shrines are draped with new cloth –yellow and white. People are in a hurry now to get ready, the 28th is only hours away.

Another thing we noticed is that many businesses are closing early today ---including our last stop, the Monkey Forest. Our bus pulled up to an empty parking lot. Tourists had gone, workers were nearly done for the day, waiting to close down because of the holiday.

This was a BOON in our favor – for while there are normally crowds of tourists present, we had a personal tour and the Monkey Forest all to ourselves!

Something that is NOT monkey related. How many of you remember “The Thing” by Volkswagen? I have seen several of them here in Bali, still running like champs. When we pulled into the parking lot of the Monkey Forest….this is what I saw:

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Three “THINGS” in a row! Yellow, Blue and Red!

((In high school I thought I wanted one of these. WHAT was I thinking?!))

Back to the Monkey Forest:

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The sanctuary of towering trees is home to three troupes of long-tailed Balinese Macaques, totaling about 600 monkeys ((So we were told)) and whether you are fanatic about animals or not these monkeys will make you smile.

They are EVERYWHERE --- and no, they are not contained, they roam free. The Balinese believe that the monkeys are holy. Sacred. And should be protected.

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There is a statue of a creepy guy covered in monkeys. I’m not sure this is folklore, or if it is to warn us of escapades to come!

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As we walk toward the shrine, we can see tufts of grey eyeing us from the trees.

Our guide tells us to not be afraid. The monkeys may approach us --- just don’t pet them.

I was not expecting this:

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Oh. My!

Or this:

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Or even this:

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Let me tell you…his toes and fingers tickled, as well as the tail wrapped around my neck. And he left kisses in my hand! Don’t let the cuteness fool you though, when he found out I had no more treats…..he jumped down, bared his fangs at me and growled. Then he ran away to wherever monkeys run off to.

You don’t even have to invite them to jump on you. They just crawl right up your back and perch on your shoulder!

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This one’s got Greg!

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Emily’s not quite sure what to do with this guy either.

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Can’t he come down now, please?!

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This one is enchanted with Mary’s earrings! I’m not so sure her glasses are safe hanging from her shirt like that either!

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We walked through the forest of ancient towering trees and watched family groupings watching us in return. I don’t know if you can see it, but the center monkey is the mama, and she has a 1 week old baby near her right arm tucked under her chin. Papa monkey is giving her a grooming.

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The temple grounds are as beautiful as they are ancient. Speaking of ancient – these monkeys look like they carry the wisdom of the ages in their eyes.

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As we make our way to go, we are aware of many pairs of eyes watching us.

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Our time in the forest was short with the impending closing time – but with the personal tour and the even more personal attention from the monkeys, this will go down in the great halls of my memory as one of the greatest ever!

Tomorrow? ELEPHANTS!

I just hope one of those don’t try to jump up into my lap or up onto my shoulder….

Anyone got any peanuts?

13 comments:

Cindy, The Purple Quilter said...

So much fun all of you are having!!! And the things you are learning!!!

BTW, I just saw a Thing driving down the road yesterday and commented on it! Too funny!!

Kim said...

You are too brave.....I don't like animals or birds on me at any time. You never know what they are going to do!
Looks like you are having a ball and don't mind a bit.

I'm enjoying your great adventures :0) and can't wait to see
what happens with the Elephants......be careful!

Happy Sewing and safe travels

Valerie said...

Oh, wow! I would have been glad when the monkey left my back, too. Seems you've had good luck this whole trip with weather and timing. Wonderful!

Glady said...

I see your group had fun monkeying around today, pardon the pun. I am learning so much about this unique country and can't wait to see the next sunrise. It's a rainy day in Ohio, so I am imagining Bali. Happy travels!

Maree Rogers said...

Your posts are bringing back wonderful memories of our trip to Bali just over a year ago. We went to several of the places that you have been to including the monkey forest and the water palace. I loved all the rice paddies that you are waiting to see.

Pen Pen said...

Oh My! I love the monkey pic's and the expressions on everyone's face!! too cute!!

Quiltluver said...

Oh what great pictures you are getting on your trip.. I am still having dreams of your Batik scrap bags post!

Coloradolady said...

Oh....Bonnie...this is the day I am the most sad I was not there for!! All of those adorable monkeys....I fear I would have never wanted to leave!!! How amazing....and I can not thank you enough for the snippets of your trip each and every day...I look so forward to it every day! I am really wanting to make this trip and have added it to my bucket list.

Lori said...

I'm not so sure I would have liked that! lol

The sign: No one menstruating to enter.....uh...what do you say...??? Oops, I can't go in!? I wonder if the monkey's might go a little crazy.

Carolyn Sullivan said...

I want you to think about why that monkey is grooming another... they are not just getting twigs, and plant stuff out of thier fur, they are also looking for things like Lice and other bugs! EWE!!! no monkey climbers for me!

Diane said...

I like the sign : "STOP UNTIL HERE"...LOL

JaneB said...

I love the monkey pictures! Looks like you are all enjoying yourselves. I'd love to see the elephants too, maybe just not so up close and personal.

Shar said...

I love the pictures! It makes me want to visit! What a great way to learn about other cultures. It makes you respect the world so much more!