Saturday, December 22, 2012

Destination of the Week - Bali!!!

Okay this is going to be blast from the past...a trip down memory lane.  If you think you are getting a look at modern day Bali think again.  I was there back in mid February of 1977 before it became the huge tourist destination it is today.   It was my first trip to a third world country and to say I was in shock was an understatement.  I was on a six week "Circle Pacific" tour and this was the first stop on the "Orient" (yes, that's what it was called then) portion of the trip.  I was a very naive 24 year old who had never seen such poverty before. 

I found the diary from that trip and it was interesting to read the portion on Bali.  While I didn't keep detailed notes I did not have much that was positive to say about Bali. It shows how far I have come in my acceptance of what the world is really like.  However now I can appreciate the fact that I saw it before all the discos, bars and Ozzie invasion.

What do I remember the most?  A trip to the Sacred Monkey Forest.  Yikes.  Monkeys, monkeys and more monkeys.

It was my first experience with monkeys in the wild....and I learned what little varmints they could be.  We had to guard our purses (no backpacks for me back then...I was a real little lady) as the monkeys would take every opportunity to steal them or anything in them.  However the 'highlight" for me was when a monkey started walking towards me with a determined look on it's face - I quickly closed the case on my camera (which was hanging around my neck) which was a good thing as it climbed up my front, turned around and sat on my shoulders with it's paws on each side of my head above my ears.  I was in hysterics screaming at my group to get it off of me and the rest of the group was in hysterics laughing.  No one thought to take a picture. (now I'd be screaming "take a picture for my facebook profile picture"!!)  I walked with his HEAVY monkey on me and was screaming to get it off me (no one helped me - they were still laughing)  and laughing - quite the experience. I still can't believe no one took a photo!  It was probably only three or four minutes but felt much longer.  I was worried it was going to shit down the back of my pretty green pantsuit. (I said I was a little lady when I traveled back then...what went wrong?) I didn't even worry about it biting me or scratching me - just ruining my nice pantsuit!  It eventually jumped off and I walked around for the rest of the afternoon with a very dirty top as the monkeys feet were very wet. Some of the older women on my trip were terrified I had gotten fleas - it hadn't even occured to me but all was well.  It's a story I love to tell and something I will never forget.  That's what I think of when someone mentions Bali!!!

Temple in Monkey Forest
Balinese children - this is one of my all time favourite photos - I just wish she hadn't put her hand in front of her mouth!!!



We saw Balinese dancers - the gingham sarongs were on many statues around Bali.

Typical view of the rice paddies

Women carrying bags of ????? 
 I have mixed feelings about going back...while my memories of Bali are fading I would kind of like to remember it as it was....before the massive tourism boom.  However the other part of me would love to go back and see it with a much more open mind. 




No comments:

Staying cool on the prairies and some future plans

My little burst of travel is over and it's back to reality.  Ah well, it was fun while it lasted.  And reality at home really isn't...