Monday, January 11, 2010


Wow, i don't even know where to begin!!! We have done SO MUCH since our last internet stop! We now realize that we got totally ripped off on our taxi from Kuta to Ubud. Oh well, we learn with time. After only 2 days we are already getting a lot more saavy. Here are some of my favorite things we've done.

1. Orange cream juice. It's officially better than Simply Orange, if you can believe that!

2. Mokey Forest. Oh my gosh. I hope Scott is blogging about this because it was DEFINITELY a highlight! You just walk in and you see about 50+ monkeys at a time. They are not afraid to jump on you and eat out of your hand. We got off the beaten trail at the monkey forest and I saw a river snake/alligator thing. It was about 5 feet long and it looked deadly. Luckily Scott saw it too or nobody would believe me!

3. The ceremony for the dead. We learned all about how the dead are buried for a while until the family has money for the ceremony. There were about 200 people there to watch the tribal leaders transfer the carcus and then burn it in a HUGE fur covered bull. The entire experience was about 3 hours, it was HOT HOT HOT! We met some really nice Aussie honeymooners who gave us some great tips for the following day.

4. That night we went to the Kenack ritual dance/story. There were 100 guys doing chants while dancers told their stories. I love how Scott asks me the moral of the story or applications to my life that I have learned from these dances and cultural events. He keeps me on my toes! Oh, but before the show, we ran out of time for dinner, so we just grabbed a bit of grilled chicken on the road. Wow. Um, that village boy was LYING when he said it wasn't spicy, and lets just say we had to work to find any meat off of that thing!

5. The next morning, we had FANTASTIC "Banana pancakes" (crepes) at Sania's House (our homestay. We LOVE Sania's house- a nice pool with fountains running into it, a good bed, a fan, cold water, and TOWELS!!! I am so happy :)

6. WE got a "coach tour" which basically means prepaid air-con "taksi" which was our best idea yet! The taxi took us all around to the various temples and sites for a set price. It was so nice not to haggle and be wondering what our next step is. The driver Boody just took care of us. He spoke zero english though, that was a bummer.

7. It was a torrential downpour in the morning. We thought we would never see the sun again. The villagers were all well-prepared and to them, it was no big thing. We hiked at least a million stairs throughout the day. Temples are always built above, on high ground, or down low, hidden in caves. It is cool to learn about the meanings of all their rituals and practices. Many of the offerings (set out 5x per day) are to keep the demons out. The gated entrances to palaces are for that purpose also. Demons cannot go straight, so we always turn some corner to enter a holy place. Kites are a big deal in Indonesia because it is thought that you are soaring with the Gods. WE saw some men bathing in a sewer in the middle of town early this morning, and read in our book that since the body is so wholesome and good, the men think nobody can see their nakedness. We are learning lots in the culture and history part of the tour book!

8. Im sure scott wrote about this, so I won't take the time, but giving our offerings and praying at the highest point of the holiest temple in Indo was probably the best part of our trip. Scott and I both LOVE getting in with the people and doing the things they do.

9. I got a bite on my arm I am fairly concerned about... hmm... and, we learned that someone dies every 10 min. in Indo by auto accidents. SO< we decided not to rent a car after all. Another tourist told us the Balinese accident logic: If you (the American) weren't there, we wouldn't have had a crash. It is ALWAYS the tourist's fault :)

10. We had a huge buffet lunch at one of the most beautiful spots in the world- but it was just a huge cloud from all the rain. Good thing the food was fantastic! We went over budget yesterday (with the buffet lunch, all day taxi, and we each got a sarong for the temples) so we are going easy today. But don't worry dad, I am buying and drinking water often!

11. So far the food has been really good. Neither of us have gotten sick, regardless of the lack of sanitation. All our food is very fresh! I've fallen in love with many new fruits! WE went to the morning market at about 6:15 today and had a great time! The meat section was gross, the fruit cool, the live chicken section was crazy! Big live ones go for about 2 dollars! When I asked the price, the chicken salesman laughed at me and looked at me like I was crazy! :)

This morning we had more banana pancakes before our hike through the elephant grass and rice terraces. It was so beautiful! The walking path (found in our lonely planet guide book) led us through vistas and then little villages. My chacos started to chaff (sp?) me... Anyway, now we are here using internet before we get REFLEXOLOGY massages and get ready to head out to Sanur, a costal town where we'll catch a boat to the island. The island has no cars, atm's, and definitely no internet. So until Singapore, goodbye!

Things I want to buy:
mosaic platters- SO COOL!
A coconut hair clip. I can't go a second with my hair down
Cool Indo purse. Looks like a Jeru bag...
and... some coasters and salad tongs maybe. I havent gotten anything but a poncho so far.

love to you all!
xoxo, Stef


NatalieD said...

You two are FEARLESS!!! I'm glad you're having such a cultural experience, but I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. I'm a wimp.

Phil said...

That was awesome! I am sure you guys are having soo much fun. I wish Noelle and I were there. The temples sound amazing. It is awesome how our religion and their religion have some similarities all originating from possibly one initial religion. Anyway, we think of you two often. Keep up the good work! Phil

Noelle said...

Lovin the "taksi". A poncho was probably necessary. So what things are you glad you brought and what could you have left behind? What do you WISH you'd brought? Oh I already know....your SETH towel, right? Which fruits are your favorites? Have you tried rambutan and mengostein?

Julie T said...

Whoa- what a unique experience and so different than anything we have ever done! I love how you are chatting these strangers up, tourists and locals alike, which you'd rather die than do a few short years ago! HOW in the world are you planning to get all these purchases home? Pretty soon you'll be down to just a sarong to wear on the plane. :)

Heather said...

Fantastic descriptions. Hope the bit isn't too serious. Did you get your yellow fever shot? We pray for you guys every night now along with Uncle Mack on his mission.