Breakfast was included with our stay at Dewangga. I chose the Traditional Indonesian porridge, which was essentially cream of rice in homemade vegetarian ramen broth with a fried egg on top. Beyond delicious, highly recommend. We decided to rent scooters for the day and, as luck would have it, Dewangga had those two. For a mere $4, we were able to toodle around the madness of Ubud on our own. First stop was the monkey forest. We could have walked there, but chose instead to get lost in Ubud’s plethora of one-way streets and cobble-stoned alleyways for about thirty minutes. Finally, hot and sticky, we entered the sacred forest and Tiffanie’s dearest dreams were realized.
Within about two minutes, we had several monkeys crawling all over us. The key, my friends, is the location of the bananas. Do not show the monkeys that you have a bunch of bananas. Instead, keep one in your hand and the rest in your bag. Avoid the big guys with fangs–they will show you their fangs if you do not give them the banana in your hand. Feed the little ones first if you can, they’re adorable and a little shy. The minute you try, though, the teenagers will swoop in from all directions and boy are they cunning. Seeing the one banana, but smelling more, they will jump from trees onto your bag and attempt to unzip your bag with their wee, soft monkey fingers. Besides bananas, they also enjoy opening unattended water bottles with their teeth, pulling long hair, grabbing purses and swiping sunglasses. We almost had more fun watching people trying to keep their items away from the monkeys than giving bananas to the monkeys. Almost.
Next up was a ride out of town in search of rice paddys. They were unimpressive compared to the terraces I’ve seen in pictures of China, but got the job done. After our quick jaunt, we went to Soma for lunch and had an array of hippy fare including delicious, home-brewed kombucha and veggies galore.
Bali has a soft, slow intoxicating pace. In the afternoon, shops were explored, naps were taken and dips in the pool were had. We took an impressively tiny path–the size of a narrow sidewalk with two-way scooter traffic—around the monkey forest to Bali —-. At 7:30, we went to a traditional Balinese dance at one of the temples nearby. Created sometime in the 1930s as a shmorgasborg of multiple different dances, this particular production was an exquisite celebration of the feminine. If you’re ever in Bali, I highly recommend squeezing one of these events in sometime between lounging poolside and stuffing your face with delicious food.
Speaking of delicious food, we had more and then went to bed.