Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Xmas in Bali

It is tough to be away from family and loved ones during the holidays. I've done it before because of work and I was doing it now because of the only routing I was able to get. I spent the 24th shopping for gifts, getting a massage, attending an expat xmas eve dinner/ cocktail party and just soaking in the peacefulness that permeates Ubud. And peaceful it is. Between the many practicing Hindus placing daily offerings of fresh flowers on sidewalks, the ever-present lingering incense and the travelers trying to attain their best selves via yoga mats, this is somewhere that just feels special. There is no way for me to describe it without sounding trite or hokey but spending time, even just a couple of days there is bound to change you, for the better.

It was in this state of mind that I spent Xmas day. It was my last day in Bali and I just wanted to take it all in. After another lovingly home cooked breakfast, I decided to return to one of my favorite places on the island. It should come as zero surprise to anyone who has been following the last couple of posts that this involved monkeys. Lots of monkeys.
That's right, I returned to the Ubud Sacred Monkey Sanctuary. While there. I plopped myself down on a bench and watched monkeys young and old frolicking around me. The longer I sat, the more comfortable they got around me.  Soon, there we were sitting side by side, like old pals.

Our relationship advanced quickly and soon their curious little fingers were exploring my purse and eventually the drawstring on my pants.

From there, it was only a short hop- literally- to the next step. Head sitting.  Anyone can have a monkey of their back.  I, or more accurately they, took it up a notch.

My favorite photo ever!

I stopped for a while to watch a monkey who had a small rock in his hand.  He wrapped a leaf completely around it and vigorously rubbed this package against the sidewalk over and over.  I later learned he was sharpening the rock into a tool with which to open coconuts and snails.  They are crazy smart like that.

Is it me or is there a bit of a resemblance between this guy and that baby?

From the sub-species Ballus Maximus
The moment I learned it is possible for monkeys to have twins.  The park has two sets.

For the next couple of hours, I strolled around the park, chatting with caretakers, buying last minute gifts from the souvenir stalls and of course, observing these adorable relatives of ours.   It was an xmas like no other and the best way imaginable to spend the last day in my 100th country on the unforgettable island of Bali.

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