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Beautiful Bali - Islands of the Gods

Lovina - Denpasar

sunny 21 °C

So finally here....it seems like an eternity since we first left Calgary, but we've seen Sumatra and Java, now for the island of Bali. We hopped on a ferry in Ketapang and crossed to the harbor town of Gilimanuk, it only took 30 min including docking and de-boarding. There really isn't much to see here other then the port....w-o-w!
Anyways we caught the local mini-bus which is called 'Bemo' it runs 24 hours a day every 30 min at night and 20 min during the day (Excellent!) along the northern coast. Which has some of the most amazing beaches I've ever seen. Some are black sand, I have never seen black beaches before, they look like sparkly coal covered ground, it's great, but not so soft, intiriguing either way, I believe it is due to the large amounts of volcanic rock and ash.

blackbali.jpg

There are many places to relax and suntan here, I must say mine is coming along nicely. The bus ride was short, 2 hours to get to Lovina. With a quick splash in the sea, I thought we'd try some surfing, not as easy as it looks, but for the less experienced or daring there is also great snorkeling here seeing as how Bali is surrounded with coral reef. Tomorrow is a new day so we'll crash for the evening here.

Got up this morning and went for a swim, turns out early morning is when to catch a view of these friendly dolphins we keep hearing about. It's rather early but that's okay, we have a lot in store today...I am excitted, today we get to see animals up close and personal. The road we are on has many stops and attractions along the way, two of which are I think gonna be the favorites of my vacation - The Elephant Safari Park and the Monkey forest!!!! We are also going to check out some of the temples and religious sites Bali is know for, there seem to be thousands - everywhere we go almost, there seems to be one or...17 within the area.
Well here we are in the Safari park, here we got to feed the Elephants and pet them and ride them. The really are the gentle giants. They are really lucky (elephants) to have this place, it is set on 2 hectares of exotic botanical rainforests. It is internationally known as the World's best Elephant Park and is a must see for any visitor to Bali. It also houses the only Mammoth skeleton in south east Asia. Look at how adorable they are.

bali_elephant.jpgbaby_elephant.jpg

Look at that baby elephant, he had the biggest attitude!! And the hair on his head was so funny...I want one, I don't care the cost, I want one! The Monkey park was cool, but for some reason they make me nervous. I just feel like at any moment they are going to jump all over me and pick at my hair or something. Check out this site for a glimpse of the excitement!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zzSjH53g40&feature=related

The Temples here on Bali are some of the most famous attractions that you'll want to see. There are two temples here, one standing in the middle of the nutmeg forest (1) and the other at the edge of the park. The monkeys here are held sacred by the Balinese alo
Along our road trip, final destination Denpasar, we stopped at some temples, one of the most noted temples are Pura Taman Ayun; this is the oldest temple in Bali(1). Located in the town of Mengwi, dating back to 1634. The temple is...is....phenomenal, it is surrounded by a moat, tons of roofed shrines and the carvings are crazy. I'm speechless which does not happen often. One thing thought, no shoes inside and it is custom for women to not bare their shoulders or wear shorts, but the majority of the temples provide a sarong or sashes to tie around waist.

Pura Taman Ayun
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It really is amazing how they built and created these shirnes, all the detail that has gone into every part of each temple, shocks me. Maybe we're just lazy now a days or busy watching too much reality t.v. - gosh I miss it! Look at what can be accomplished though!

Bali is known as the island of a thousand temples, which I feel like we have seen!! They are all amazing with wild animals running around like crazy, all the monkeys and exotic birds...I guess to us they are like the squirrels and gophers. I really think though that this place should actually be called monkey island - cuz they are everywhere!! And mischievous, I was told to hold on to my purse and remove any shinny objects, for they will try to take them...seriously.

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Look at this cute thing, I wonder what he is thinking?

Pura Luhur
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The other most noted temple is Pura Luhur (2), The last temple of the day.
We knew that there were rules regarding entry into the temples but they even have it posted...this really made me laugh!

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If you can read it, you too will laugh, but its their customs and beliefs and apparently women need the most restrictions?!?!?!

Anyways, it was built around the 11th century and thought to have been a holy site and the shrines were dedicated to the ancestral gods. It is known as the "Garden Temple and it's amazing cliff top view and let me tell you it is amazing and the grounds were beautiful - I could get married here, it's gorgeous! There is a Rp5000 donation requested and rules of admission must be followed. Just be careful not to get temples confused, this country has many temples that sound very similar and are even spelled the same...somewhat. I thought the tour guide was ripping us off taking us the the same one, but this one is atop a cliff and the other Pura Luhur was inland - the view was sweet!! Check it out.

cliff_view.jpg
Again there were more monkeys, they were cute until.....
monkey_het.jpg Yeah, that's right....the little bugger stole my hat!! I guess he was hungry...for fashion!
We were also fortunate enough to catch one of their ceremonial, ritual dances before we left. It had been a long day and we are starving. Just outside is a little market place with fresh fruits and veggies, lovin' the natural food here!
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P.S. Check that view and sunset....wow-za!
Tonight we make our way the the town of Ubud where we will find a cheap but comfortable place to sleep. All this walking and fresh air is killing me. :) I need some liquid relaxation!!

Posted by Jakarta007 01:12 Archived in Indonesia Tagged ecotourism

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The sign is hilarious. That's a keeper!

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