After a wonderful sleep, we woke up to the sun shining and a gorgeous view of the farm from bed through a wall-sized window. Just gorgeous. We got dressed and headed to the kitchen for breakfast; by the way, if you stay at Village Above the Clouds, I highly recommend that you get to breakfast before the other folks staying there– if you do, you get to sit at the sole table that is outdoors and has a wonderful view over the farm! Breakfast was filled with coffee, fruit, and coconut crepes for Andrew and Mie Goreng with an egg for me. After breakfast, we spoke to one of the employees and in about 10 minutes, we had hopped onto our scooters and we were ready to go. It was about a 25 minute ride back into the town of Bedugul– up and down mountains and around turns and although the scooters seem really easy- it took us a bit to get the swing of things. Luckily, it seemed up in the mountains of this area, traffic wasn’t as bad as in other places [thankfully, since I ended up on the wrong side of the road several times]. After the day of scootering around, we decided that next time we come to Bali, we’re going to ride scooters everywhere- they are awesome! Anyway ,back to the day…
We first road up to the land of the monkeys- up the mountain on the other side of the valley- there they were. Just hanging out and wanting snacks from people. There was one really really fat monkey [I dubbed him fatboy] that would tug on people’s pants to try and get a snack. Most of the monkeys were pretty mild, but some of them had personality to say the least. If you go after the monkeys, just a warning- don’t get too close and don’t try to tick them off :).
After checking out the monkeys, we headed back down the mountain into the valley with at least three purposes still for the day: 1] eat something with strawberries because this region is known for their strawberry growing, 2] check out the Ulu Danu Water Temple [one of the more famous temples], and 3] check out the open air market on the way back to our cottage. On our way back down the mountain however, I quickly became distracted by a tiny little stand next to the road that had two GIGANTIC bright orange iguanas sitting outside and sunning themselves. Naturally, I had to stop. We pulled over and it turned out to be some really weird touch zoo… at least that’s the best way I can describe it. The deal is you pay to have a picture with the animals. Before we could decide what to do– the guy working there took out a mongoose and promptly put him on Andrew’s shoulder. I’m not going to lie– I was kind of in love with that mongoose and he really seemed to like Andrew. Andrew’s picture day ended there and I jumped in. First, I got a picture with one of those orange iguanas I was talking about… then I got a picture with a giant bat hanging onto my belt loops. Next up was a boa constrictor– to be honest, I had no real desire to have the boa on me but I didn’t really have a choice- the guy just put him on me. My last animal was a little hedgehog… it was awesome. Naturally, it was bad that these poor animals are here and so tame when they could be in the wild and what not… but I still liked holding them :0) What can you do?
After we played with the animals for a while, we were hungry…. so we went off in search of a strawberry place. We ended up at a small hotel/restaurant called Strawberry Hill where we promptly ordered strawberry pancakes and a strawberry milkshake– both delicious and fresh and just yum. After our snack, we went off in search of Ulu Danu Water Temple. This is one of the more famous water temples in Bali so we knew it would be crowded…and it was. It’s located on Lake Bratan. We read about some sunrise trips you can take on the lake that give you great views of the temple- didn’t get to them this time, but perhaps next time :). Anyway, the temple was positively gorgeous and the detail and designs were so intricate. The views were amazing and even though it was crowded, the temple area is large enough that you don’t really feel all that crowded unless you are in the “big picture” areas. Even still, we got a number of photos and were very happy with our visit to the temple. Bonus– the painting that Andrew had been talked into purchasing in Lovina… it was of Ulu Danu Water Temple! So it all worked out in the end- we got a painting of place we had visited…that really could have turned out worse :).
After the temple, we made one more stop on our way back to Village Above the Clouds– the outdoor market. I have a real love of seeing different markets in different places in the world… [read about this historical market in Fremantle, Australia… I also need to post about an amazing Sunday Asian Market in London that we visited in 2012, as well as our hometown markets…]. Anyway, this was a small open market on the side of the road that was touristy but so cool. They sold all sorts of things from garden plants to masks to kites to spices to fresh fruits and vegetables to jewelry. While we ended up only purchasing some fruits [ok, a lot of fruit], we did also snap a few cool pictures of the various wares… afterwards, we bought a hot corn on the cob [they sell them a lot around here– it’s a bit on the tough side but still tasty] and then headed back to Village Above the Clouds for our dinner.