Category Archives: animalia

lovina, bedugal, monkey hijinks…

So, I will be leaving Bali in a couple days, just enough time to post a couple more collections of thoughts and pictures. I have been meaning for a while to post pictures from a trip to Bedugal, Singaraja, and Lovina.

Now that I am free of work I have been able to see some other parts of Bali. Despite the proliferation of tourists this time of year, there are in fact wonders to behold. First, I drove through Bedugal (the previously discussed Farming region). Bedugal has breathtaking views of mountains and lakes shrouded in cloud cover, and great farm stands. I bought some delicious tropical strawberries and some pretty horrid Durian fruit. I thought I would give Durian another shot to be fair, but it still smells like rotten putrescence and it made me gag to try and eat it. No worries, it just makes more for the cult of people who love it. To those who haven’t had it, it is a giant spiked fruit that smells like a mixture of cantaloupe, garlic, and vomit. I love going to Bedugal because it is so pleasantly cold there, and it reminds me of home. Onwards along the road I took a wrong turn and wound up on a zig zag of a mountain edge road. I felt like my bike was tipping over the whole way. It actually just looks like a joke of a squiggle in the road atlas. On this road was an amazing waterfall that I stopped at. I made a donation to the village (standard at these kind of tourist attractions, it is all about the wealth of the community), and went to go rest by the waterfall and eat some strange vegetarian shiitake mushroom pot pie I bought in Bedugal. The walk to the waterfall is perilous with slippery moss the whole way, and I almost fell in three times. I was wondering about the elderly couple who were entering as I was leaving…..

After that little detour, I went to Lovina where I booked a room for about $10. Lovina is an infinitely more laid back, cheap, and somewhat dirty resort area on the north coast. I also booked snorkeling and dolphin watching for the next morning, beginning at 5:30 am. I don’t know how they talked me into that, but I am glad they did. Chasing dolphins around doesn’t particularly do it for me, but watching the sun come up over the mountains while on a traditional Balinese boat is pretty wonderful. And the snorkeling was truly amazing. Giant purple starfish, 5 foot long striped tropical eels, puffer fish, anemones, coral of all shapes and colors. It was almost too much to process. The food in Lovina is not worth mentioning. Actually it is worth saying that it is terrible and has a high likely hood of making you sick in a lot of places! I did love having beers and watching the sunset at the Warung Rasta. They play nothing but reggae and the owner is a tiny Balinese man with dreadlocks to the backs of his knees. Ha.

On the way back through Bedugal I stopped to hang out with the monkeys that line the road. They are Balinese macaques, and they have no shortage of hijinks. I don’t usually like monkeys and their sinister ways, but these monkeys were pretty relaxed and fun to be around. I also finally visited the monkey forest in Ubud. It is a series of temples that have always been inhabited by monkeys. It is a gorgeous little forest, but these monkeys are significantly less well behaved than the Bedugal monkeys. It is no secret why this is when you see the children tormenting them, and the idiot tourists trying to get pictures of the monkeys on their heads! You’d have to be bonkers to willingly put a monkey on your back after hanging out with them for more than 2 seconds. They also love to steal loose clothing, bags, and anything shiny. Bad monkeys. It was an illuminating moment also to see a little British kid remark in his charming accent: “look mum, they’re just like us!”

I also spent some time in the mountains checking out farms of cacao, coffee, and spices. That was really wonderful as well, unfortunately I got no pictures. Tomorrow I might post some last impressions if I have time between packing, and then it is back to my beloved Brooklyn. Enjoy. N

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Filed under animalia, Ingredients of Note, Life in Bali, travelling around

…more photos…

This was meant to be continued yesterday, but the internet was down again, a nearly daily occurrence at this point. Anyway, to begin with a shot of my favorite chicken family digging in the trash near work..

…and this cat, quite notably, is still in possession of a tale. A true rarity among cats on Bali…

And a small snapshot of the many bugs of Bali….

Some great ingredients-in order: fresh cacao/chocolate pod-before drying and roasting to become chocolate the cacao seeds have a sweet tropical fruit around the outside, super yummy. torch ginger (the very aromatic flower of ginger used for sambal and salads) and baby ball eggplants. young jackfruit, which is cooked like a potato, and edible wild ferns called paku locally. All yum..

And finally the skeleton of the beasts they are building for one of Bali’s biggest bi-yearly ceremonies. Now they are all covered in black and gold with wings and sinister faces. Amazing. But this was taken at the beginning of construction. That’s all for today. Enjoy. More tomorrow if the internet is working, I have a lot of pictures to unload! N

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Filed under animalia, Ingredient, Ingredients of Note, Life in Bali