Hanging With the Natives on Bali

One day we hired a guide to show us some interesting highlights of central Bali. The first stop was the Taro Elephant Safari Park. This was a hit with the kids, especially Sydney, who has wanted to ride an elephant for months.

We were able to get up close and personal with the pachyderms.

The kids loved to feed this guy. However, he was quite picky and would refuse all but the freshest pieces of bamboo.

Of course the highlight was actually riding on an elephant. Sydney and I sat high atop “Boris.” Andy and Aidan rode the spunkier “Ramona” who stopped a few times for greenery along the trail.

After our safari it was time to see some temples. We stopped at a small lovely place near Taro.

Religion permeates every aspect of Bali life. Offerings are given frequently and everywhere I found myself taking care everywhere not to accidentaly step on them.

Sarongs are worn to honor the religion even by foreigners. Sydney looks very peaceful at this moment in hers.

Aidan who as a child technically did not have to wear the clothing kept asking Andy why he was wearing a “skirt.” We reminded him it was a “sarong,” but I am not sure he appreciated the difference.

Aidan was hungry and short of patience for temple sights so we headed to our next stop the famous suckling pig restaurant of Ubud.

Pigs have been roasting daily here for years. You must get there early or the best cracklin’ is gone.

The food is delivered in a traditional way.

A short walk down the streets of Ubud led us to the aptly named Monkey Forest.

The monkeys were rascally and would steal objects so you had to hold tight to your belongings.

Visitors were not to feed the monkey unless directed by the staff. We were given some bread and taught the proper technique – hold your hand with bread above your head with a startled child by your side.

We enjoyed our outing so much. Unfortunately, we were so relaxed in Bali it has been hard to break our lazy habits. Poor Andy who works the hardest is still trying to get this monkey off his back :).