Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bali, Indonesia

Following on last weekend's success, I headed to Bali with a group of classmates this weekend. There were a few dozen of us, but I joined a splinter group that headed inland to Ubud for some more 'culture', while the rest remained in Seminyak for beaches and night life. Our adventure began at the immigration counter at Denpasar. Something like 3 million people pass through here each year, though you wouldn't guess it by the novice efficiency with which incomers are processed. What was supposed to be around 4 hours in transit turned in to 8 (there was alo a flight delay). By the time that we reached our hotel, all of the nearby restaurants were closed, so we resorted to 24 hour delivery MacDonald's.

Wasting no time the next morning, our first stop was a sacred monkey forest. My first experience seeing monkey's in the wiled, and probably my last deliberate attempt to do so. Although I survived the adventure unscathed, others were not so lucky. Monkeys are cool, but they are smart and can be aggressive - two qualities that I'm not seeking in uncaged wildlife.

Rice terraces, temples and cultural shows filled out the remainder of our formal itinerary. Clinics, emergency rooms and a night time driving tour were last minute additions for a few of my colleagues, after Mahmoud injured his ankle at the pool. He'd been searching all day for a good souvenir. I'm not sure that a cast and crutches were what he had in mind. As for me, all I took home with me were pictures.


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