Just a quick little post on the awesomeness that is Pandawa Bach. We stumbled upon this spot while exploring the Bukit and loved that it was mostly a Balinese tourist destination- very few foreign travelers which is rare in Bali! The giant stone carvings are of important Hindu gods + goddesses and we enjoyed scooting around this old limestone quarry and swimming in the amazingly blue waters. Selfies in front of the statues were a must for many of the visitors and of course there were hundreds of tourists on motorbikes!
On the cliffs of Uluwatu sits this incredible temple. At sunset you can tour the grounds, feed the monkeys peanuts that cost you more cash than you spend on dinner and you can enter this incredible Indonesian dance called the Kecak. This is a dance developed in the 1930s where a circle of men in checkered cloth chant "cak" in a percussive manner. Vanara is the man in the monkey outfit who helps prince Rama fight the evil king Ravana. It was pretty wild to see this live as the dance has roots in the trance inducing exorcism dance sanghyang.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu is the epically famous Uluwatu Temple in the south of Bali on the Bukit Peninsula where there are some pretty insane waves, tourists with zinc all over their faces, and tons of mopeds you can rent that may or may not work. This is one of the 9 directional temples designed to protect Bali from some mean spirits...the kind you really don't want hanging around. At sunset we pull up on our not so trusty moped which at this point doesn't go uphill too well, and almost get swiped by one of the dozens of tourist busses. Dori hops off the moped, and runs up to the main entrance to pay for admission...immediately getting hustled by these dudes selling us bags of peanuts to keep all the temple monkeys off our gear...the monkeys are notorious for being crafty little thieves. The guys decide we need 4 bags of peanuts, which is really 3 bags too many and tell us to just go ahead and throw the entire bag of peanuts, plastic and all to the monkeys when they try to steal your sunglasses....an eco-tour basically. We get the bags, but completely refuse to toss an entire plastic bag of peanuts at the monkeys.
So we enter this beautiful place, and this one man is totally focused on us getting to the Kecak dance (which starts in two hours...we tell him we're on it, and wait for another group to pass by so he can hustle them). We walk around a bit, totally lost, and start to follow the herd. We find ourselves on this insane staircase over a cliff, where every single person on the cliff staircase is taking a selfie. So we take a selfie. After the staircase of selfies we wander to another cliff corridor that is a total chaotic and insane monkey feeding frenzy. Literally hundreds of people hucking their bags of peanuts at the monkeys...I am totally weirded out by this so I start taking photos of the people's monkey interactions, and then find myself taking a few images of the monkeys...I mean they're pretty irresistible, and I have never taken a photo of a monkey before, especially of one sitting two feet from me eating on a bag of peanuts. I immediately hate myself for it...but then I forgive myself. After we leave the hallway of monkeys, we enter the amphitheater where hundreds of us tourists wait to watch the Kecak dance. We watch it, are mystified by it, love it, and take way too many photos of it. We'll show you a few in the next post.
This is one of a few series of Moto Bike observations. It's been pretty wild riding these around the island...sometimes it feels like being part of an agitated wasp nest during traffic hour.
We landed in a jetlagged haze and made our way to Legian to crash and rest up for the journey down to the Bukit Peninsula to check out Ulu Watu. Three Brothers Bungalow in Legian is a little oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Kuta/Legian FYI. We swam, got our first sun burn and hit the road to the Bukit peninsula after some amazing banana pancakes (turns out Bali has amazing pancakes- who knew?). We landed on the cliffs of Impossibles after crashing our moped twice but had a fun little surf at Padang- Padang before discovering the amazingness that is Bingin Beach. Go. To. Bingin. So, so good that we had a really hard time leaving this amazing place! After 5 nights it was time to move on. So we find ourselves back in Legian and ready to hit the road North to the National Park for some water + hot spring adventures.
Somewhere along the pacific we drove for a 27 hours with three of us in a old Toyota Pickup. When we got to our destination, our truck had been searched several times, my ass was numb, and both my feet had fallen asleep at least 5 times. We lived off of Avos and Tecate, surfed till my arms refused to work and drove home in a dusty, sunburned, blissed out haze. Here's just a small glimpse into what we experienced...