I could hear birds chirping in the distance. It was now morning which meant day 3 had arrived. The sun tried its best to pierce through the windowsill but to no avail. The windows were locked so tightly, the wolf from The Three Little Pigs wouldn’t be able to blow it open. Talk about strength. Like Day 1 and Day 2, I waltzed over to the garden. No other guest wanted to do a shared tour, so once again I would be paying 45 USD for transportation all day. This did not include entrance to my next destination. It was at that juncture I said ‘f— this budget.’
DAY 3 – MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DON’T TOUCH ME
After riding the elephants on Day 2, and having only been to two locations, I NEEDED to visit the monkey forest. It didn’t matter what I did, the monkey forest just had to be part of the day’s activities. My driver for the day was Budi because Wayan felt poorly. Budi was so confident in himself and I was happy to have him along for the ride. He was definitely more knowledgeable about international music which was a huge plus. Since I had already researched all there is to do within budget, and by research I mean rewatched the Bali episodes from The Real Housewives of Orange County, the forest I wanted to visit, was in Ubud. Another quick search on the internet and the usual suggestions from Rudy’s staff, led me to a bigger monkey forest, Sangeh. I was bothered by this. “What geotag would show up on snapchat?” I thought. But when they said it was cheaper than Ubud, my eyes glistened and ears perked up.
The forest was beautiful. Another first for me. No monkeys were in sight which was a good thing. Let me tell you why. [About 4 years ago I visited my aunt and uncles in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. I love visiting my relatives. Anyways, My aunt and I went to the Swap Shop to purchase a very cheap duffle bag (I see where my frugality comes from). While there, we saw a man with a pet monkey parading around, doing tricks. I was intrigued cuz I’ve never seen a small primate before, only the big orangutans and other species at Zoo Miami (dang that place is hot). I wanted to take a picture with it but realized we had to pay. Like a good negotiator, my aunt got a discount from the 10 USD fee to 7 USD (a bargain is a bargain LOL). To make the story shorter, I panicked the whole time the monkey was on my shoulders. I wanted it off so badly. I decided then I was terrified of monkeys and wouldn’t put myself through that again. Let’s see how that worked out.
I paid the entrance fee of 2.65 USD and Budi parked the car. One of the many guides walked over to us and the tour began. I was the only tourist on the compound at the time, so if I did anything embarrassing (like run and scream like a petrified little kid) no one would see me. Except for my camera which Budi had to capture and film every moment. I cautiously strolled through the towering entrance and there I saw the little creatures running around. Like clockwork, my heart began to palpitate. Fear washed over me like the moment the walls of parted Red Sea crashed into each other drowning the Egyptians. I looked over at Budi and he was just as scared as I was. Home boy literally took a few steps back saying he’ll zoom in to get my shots. Before I could get myself together, not one, not two, not three but FOUR, four freaking monkeys attached me at once. Paralyzed. I knew how Vicki Gunvalson from The Real Housewives of Orange County felt when the monkeys jumped on her. (She may or may not have been putting on a front for the cameras but fake or not, those monkeys weren’t playing around.) I should note that they weren’t scratching me not was I in any danger. The little buggers were after my Oreo cookies which was in the side of my bag. I won’t do that again.
After I calmed down, I took some beautiful shots of the forest and its residents. Group by group, more tourists trickled in. I think they caught a little bit of my mini meltdown. I didn’t mind as much because I could see the nerves on their faces and the shrieks from those further in the forest. I wasn’t being extra after all. Though I panicked for most of the tour, I ‘overcame’ my fear. Haha! I definitely recommend.
Enough monkeying around, let’s get going. (Always wanted to say this LOL.)
ONCE AROUND TAMAN AYUN
Bali, well Indonesia at large is very spiritual. Their main religion is Hinduism. So after Sangeh it was time to visit another temple. You’d think I would be bored of seeing temples by now, but every temple had its own unique quality. This was a rather old and undisturbed temple. Usually, Balinese people would be gathered to or have already given an offering on the temple grounds. But Taman Ayun had no sign of worship. The temple was surrounded by water both on the inside and outside of its grounds. The grass was so green and well manicured. Mother Nature tried it again but the higher power spoke and a light shun down on the temple so bright, I immediately felt blessed.
I realized soon after that light was from feeling fatigued due to hunger. It was time to have lunch. I’ve been pretty strict with my cheap meal plans, so Budi decided to stop at this restaurant after leaving the temple. When we got there the prices were so high but the food looked to good to pass up. I ended up staying, took in the view and ordered the cheapest of the most expensive meals for…10 USD. Haha! Yes I was in Bali, but I had to do the conversion to determine how much money I was spending.
FROM SUNRISE TO TENAH LOT
The last stop for the day was one of the most talked about spots in Bali, Tenah Lot Temple. Everyone kept saying it’s so beautiful because it stretches out into the sea and looks amazing at sunset. When we arrived and paid 6 USD entrance fee (gotta put that in their), it was about 2 hours till sunset. Could we wait that long? Budi looked at me and I looked at him. Almost simultaneously we both said nah! The day was getting hotter and I could tell Budi was tired. I suggested he take a rest and have something to eat. I didn’t want him over extending himself all for me, especially when I was fully capable of taking care of myself. Tenah Lot’s beauty was unlike anything I’ve see. The view was like a painting from Gustave Courbet. People from all over flocked this temple. Two Chinese women asked me to take photos with them as well some school girls who seemed to be on a field trip. Did I mention it was hot?
Budi rejoined me and we walked over to the shore where we would have to take our shoes off, rolls our pants up and walked into the ocean to get to one of the temples. I was so psyched about the idea, then I realized we had to make another contribution before we could pass. I rolled my eyes all the way back. I wasn’t interested anymore. I did the next best thing and took my shirt off so my body could feel the cool air blowing from the sea, without the hindrance of a tank top. I didn’t even think if my actions would count as public nudity but hey, technically we were at the beach. The sun took forever to set and like we had initially agreed, we wouldn’t stay much longer to see it because it would take us about 2 hours to get back to the resort.
On our way back, I felt the need for fast food so we went to Jaya Fried Chicken (JFC for short). Like, why would I go to KFC in Bali when I knew how it tasted. I was served two pieces of chicken, a rice ball and a drink for 3 USD. I wasn’t blown away but at least the need was satisfied. I would turn Twenty 7 the next day so I was eager to get to bed. Stay tuned for the epic conclusion of my birthday trip in part 4.
Till next time.