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Tacoma, New South Wales, Australia
October 20, 2005
From journal Bali: Even Better the Second Time Around
Bayside, New York
February 20, 2002
Uluwatu was not heavily visited that day, as it is in a remote area in southern Bali, but it offers the most spectacular view I have ever seen. After scaling your way up past winding dirt roads and makeshift rails to protect you from falling 250 feet, we finally got to the top. Souvenir tables with jade and marble religious figurines await you. When we looked down, we were speechless; the Indian Ocean kept licking the flanks of the rocks below, and then you look up and you think you've reached the end of the world.
We both sat in the grass as if trying to absorb the beauty through osmosis.
This temple and promontory is particularly sacred to fishermen, who come here to pray to the sea goddess Dewi Laut. The full name of the temple translates to "The Temple Above the Stone," which is exactly what it is. There were some younger German tourists who were tempting fate by going very close to the edge of the rock and I found them disturbing. When we were ready to make our way back, Mr. Guideman was trailing behind us. As we walked by the rails, suddenly, a young monkey darted from nowhere and removed the eyeglasses of a man who was totally stunned by the move. Everyone stopped in their tracks to see this to the end; one of the young local boys tried to bribe the monkey with pineapple pieces;.finally, he climbed over the railing into the rocky area and retrieved the glasses: applause! A few feet farther down, we saw another baby monkey sucking a milk bottle, undoubtedly stolen from an infant! They are adorable and very playful, but you need to be careful. Take off anything that they can get their paws on, including earrings, chains, glasses, etc.
Monkeys are sacred in Bali and as such are considered the guards of the Temple, so expect them to be around when you get here. If a guide latches on to you, be firm. He cannot show you anything that is not already there for you to see. When we reached the end of our tour, he asked Chuck for a $10 tip. I cannot report on the answer the guide received. Do come here though if you want out of this world emotions; you'll get them.
From journal Bali by Bus