Posted by: Larzizou | October 1, 2008

Bali III – Ubud, Indonesia

If you are planning a trip to Bali, don’t look any further : Ubud is the place to go. Although Kuta and Semyniak beaches can understandably attract vacationers despaired to burn under the Indonesian sun or oddly in search of cheap prostitutes, there is nothing really appealing there. Spend a few relaxing days and move on.

Buddhist tradition, in front of any indoor space.

Can you believe Dolce & Gabbana and Versace stores in such an environment ? At least, you are not paying for the high rent…

Apparently, we arrived just after a major festival. I don’t know why these workers are carving wood.

Big stage ! I come back at night to check out… but nothing is left.

One of the many tourist agencies trying to separate you from your wallet. Prices vary from 1 to 5 for the same service, depending on your looks. So I make sure I wear a dirty t-shirt, old torn jeans and don’t shower for 7 days before I enter one of them.

Three friends.

All sort of wooden objects. Aimed at tourists or locals ?

“One adult, one child” is what I tell the cashier of the Sacred Monkey Forrest Sanctuary. Dutifully, he gives me one ticket of each, in spite of Remouz appearance. I was just trying to make him smile !

Memorable, yeah… Really hard to stay calm and move slowly anywhere around these sneaky monkeys. Terror inspiring.

The picture does not show, but this tree was quite remarkable.

Monkey gang.

Monkey of all forms, in the sanctuary.

I have always been fascinated by trees grown on rocks.

Playing hide and seek.

Outrageously quick and violent, they scared the hell out of me.

Monkey business, don’t ask.

Not my hand…

Mozaic, the best restaurant in Bali… and stylish !

The French chef used to work for Michel Bras in France and ended up opening a restaurant dedicated to French and Indonesian food. Or rather, French food, and Frenco/Indonesian fusion food.

While Remouz order the French tasting menu, I opt for the Indonesian one. Before us, the spices used for the meal. Ginger, papaya, durian…

Some sort of tuna with sesame seed I assume.

Oysters like you have never tasted them before.

Seafood, Indonesian style.

Foie gras !

… a bunch of other dishes artfully presented… Comes dessert. Everything has been delicious so far. Cheese tastes quite good too.

And chocolate/durians pastries. I have never tried durians before and have heard so much about its peculiar taste that it’s a thrill for me. Well…

Oh ! I HAVE NEVER TASTED SOMETHING SO TERRIBLE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Somehow, I manage to maintain a serious face (this picture was taken after) and offer Remouz to take some. He takes a small amount and ask him to take more as the taste is too faint, which he does.

Seconds after it’s in his mouth, he spit it out on the plants, next to our table. Could not keep it in. although I am his older brother, I cannot blame him.

For an accurate description of the taste/smell, Wikipedia does a good job.

“Its taste can only be described as…indescribable, something you will either love or despise. …Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”

“… its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.”

“Other comparisons have been made with the civet, sewage, stale vomit, skunk spray and used surgical swabs.”

We sleep about two hours and wake up to watch the sunrise from Mount Batur. Two hours to climb the mount, it’d better be good.

One of our guides.

Breakfast atop the mount, before catching sunrise.

No sunrise, too many clouds. You have no idea how angry I am. Moving on, we go to the nearby volcano – the heat is such that it cooks eggs.

Still cloudy, as you can see.

Lots of waking for persons who have only slept 1h30. Climbing from 4 am to 6 am (to catch an inexistant sunrise), and walking from 6 am to 11h30 am. We were told our walk would be over by 8h30 am.

Sulfure. The volcano is not extinct. Two german, who found it wise to walk around the crater, died in 1994. Since then, there has been an eruption in 2000 and in 2004. For more info, check Wikipedia.

Excellent fruit which name I forgot. Anyone ?

And rice paddies on the way back…

 

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