Second day out in Bali

After the long day we had before, we decided that we wanted to sleep in and take it easy the next morning. Well, not quite. We still wanted to catch the sunrise at Tanjung Benoa. So, we got up at about 6 am and went over to the beach. I was fully equipped with my camera gear and all prepared to shoot some sunshine.

As we were walking to the beach, I noticed that it was already pretty bright. "Perhaps we are too late," I thought to myself. I brushed the notion away and tried to convince myself that it starts to get bright even before the sun emerges from the horizon. After all, if you were to switch on a torchlight and place it behind a wall and close to its edge, you are bound to see some luminance come through the sides. We kept walking towards the beach and it just kept getting brighter. I was starting to doubt my theory a little but I never showed it. I was hoping that my little display of faith would help alter reality.

So I walked along the beach, set up my tripod whenever I found a good spot and started snapping away. By now, the sky was pretty bright but we hadn't seen the sunrise. After another five minutes or so, we said to ourselves, "Maybe we missed the sunrise". *sigh* Ye of little faith! As a consolation, we told ourselves that we wouldn't have been able to catch the sunrise anyway because it was too cloudy. That was actually a valid, though weak consolation. It was extremely cloudy. Even if I had woken up 15 minutes earlier, we wouldn't have been able to see the sunrise. Really!

Anyway, after that, we went to have breakfast. We still wanted to do something that day. We agreed that we would spent the first half of the day lazing around in the hotel premises and take a tour of some sort in the afternoon. Once again, we went through the many brochures we had and studied every package in detail. At first, we decided to take a boat ride and do some snorkeling. However, we called the agency and found out that such tours always start pretty early in the morning. In other words, we were too late - tough luck! Jessi was adamant about being in the water and so we agreed that we would visit Dreamland resort. We also wanted to see the Uluwatu Temple, which is another important landmark in Bali. So, we hired a car with a driver for six hours and paid a mere USD 30. The driver would take us to all the places we wanted to visit within that six hours.

First stop was Dreamland resort. The resort is apparently owned by Tommy Suharto, son of a very controversial ex-President of Indonesia. But politics aside, the resort is beautiful. The beach is apparently man made and because of that, there are some areas that are pretty rocky and less than ideal for swimming. We found ourselves a couple of beach chairs and were soon greeted by "bouncer" who kindly requested USD 10 for the privilege to use them. We didn't grumble about that since they have a similar system in Phuket. He handed us a couple of surf boards to use. This was our first experience surfing. Well, surfing may be an exaggeration - we lied down on the surf boards and let the waves beat us! In any case, it was fun. I insisted that Jessi spent as much time as she wanted in the water to avoid future "I want water" attacks.

After a couple of hours, we left the beach, washed up and went over to our car. Our driver was waiting for us. Our next stop was Uluwatu Temple. As we were approaching Uluwatu, our driver began warning us about the monkeys there. He advised us to keep all our accessories (glasses, phones, jewelry, etc.) in the car or in our bags to avoid having them snatched by the monkeys. He kept emphasizing that they were not bad but just playful and naughty. I don't know what he was actually describing because the creatures that awaited us were not naughty - they were bad to the bone! We witnessed them snatch several items from the tourists there including a pair of glasses, a bracelet and a piece of decoration attached to a backpack. They would only return the snatched items in exchange for food. These monkeys were really wild and on the brink of being labeled violent. You should not bring in any food to feed the monkeys although the people outside happily sell nuts and such to tourists. The monkeys may attack people carrying food.

The unpredictable behavior of the monkeys prevented me from setting up my tripod and taking good photos. Every time I took out my camera and started shooting, a monkey would inconspicuously pop up near me hoping to snatch something away.

However, monkeys aside, the Uluwatu Temple and the scenery around it is fabulous. The sight of the temple hanging on the cliff, the clear, blue sea and the powerful white waves pounding on the rocks is indeed something to behold. However, after a while, we decided to get away from the monkeys and to go for dinner. For the record, I didn't know that there would be (lots of) wild monkeys there and if I did, I wouldn't have wanted to go there.

We decided to go to Jimbaran again. At first, we wanted to try a different restaurant but on second thought we decided to stick to familiarity. So, we went to DEWATA again. We didn't order the same things though (we're not that predictable!). We had fish and prawns like before but different preparations. As expected, the food was splendid and the atmosphere, pleasant.

We were done with dinner at about 8 pm and decided to return to the hotel. On the way back our driver showed us his place and he offered to take us to the airport the next day. We accepted his offer.


Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

J.J.S. said...

Yes, you may quote and link my post. My Twitter account is: joeljsolomon