Monkeying Around the World

Lil Dave’s Adventures with Ivan and Jennifer

Monkey Jazz on a Bike

Monkey Jazz on a Bike

Ivan and Jennifer had the free breakfast at the Honeymoon guesthouse on July 3, 2009. I munched on a banana.

We packed everything up, as we had to move to a different guesthouse today.  Jennifer wanted to send off the souvenirs she had bought for her family.  She was thinking about sending different packages.  But, in order to save postage costs, she ended up sending it all to her mom and she could give the souvenirs to her sister and brother’s families.  The Post Office uses the weight and the dimension of the box to determine the cost.  So, it’s similar to UPS or Fedex prices.  It would have been $111 USD to send it by regular post.  She could send it by boat for $22 USD.  She decided to send it by boat – but it would take two months to get there.  Hopefully, the package will arrive in Las Vegas before she does.

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We checked out of the Honeymoon Guesthouse.

Ivan took his backpacks to the new guesthouse.  Jennifer waited at Honeymoon Guesthouse while he placed the backpacks at the new place and came back to fetch her.

We checked in to the Pradha Guesthouse. It was not as nice as Honeymoon – but still had a decent room with a swimming pool right outside the room and it was in a great location.

We drove to Nomad.  Ivan and Jennifer ordered the Balinese tapas – chicken satay, grilled fish pepes and chicken sisit.  I had the chicken and banana sandwich.

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Ivan got the vegetarian sandwich.  Jennifer the smoked marlin salad.  The food tasted awesome again.  Every dish we’ve had has been good!

We went to the Monkey Forest.  It’s a forest filled with hundreds of monkeys.  Ivan and Jennifer had to pay the entrance fee to get in.  I got mine waived since my friend Manny was there to greet us.  He was only allowed to waive the fee for monkeys not humans.  There was lots of monkeys around.

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Ivan read that the monkeys are really aggressive and try to grab bananas or water bottles from you.  The monkeys are actually quite tame.  If you tease them with a banana, then they do try to grab it.  It’s not nice to tease a monkey. I don’t like it, and neither do other monkeys.  It’s fine to bring children to the forest a well.  The monkeys aren’t mean to the children.

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Ivan took some pictures of the monkeys.  I was going to stay at the forest for awhile. I said goodbye to Ivan and Jennifer.

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Ivan and Jennifer decided it was time to visit another spa. They decided to try out the Botanatical spa as it had got decent reviews on Tripadvisor. Once there, Jennifer decided to get a leg massage, and also a hair cream bath. Ivan went for the massage/body scrub/bath package.

I had dinner at the monkey forest.  It was a feast filled with watermelon, bananas, strawberries, banana rice and banana rice wine.  It was great food!  We danced around to local Balinese music after dinner.

Ivan and Jennifer went to the Jazz Cafe for dinner.

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There was a funky jazz band on.  It was really loud in the restaurant, but luckily they got a table just off to the side, where they could still hear the music, but also have a conversation.  Ivan and Jen started off with fresh spring rolls.  They were quite plain.

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Jen got the Mediterranean pizza.  Ivan had the tuna steak.  The main courses tasted great, especially Ivan’s tuna which he said was incredibly tasty.

That evening, Jennifer used the internet in the room.  Ivan went to a bar to watch Wimbledon.

Ivan, Jennifer and I were picked up early on July 4, 2009.  We were taking a Happy Bike Tour.  The group consisted of 6 people and a monkey.  The owner who picked us up was sick.  He said goodbye to us – he said we’d see him at his house later for lunch.  Wayan was going to be our guide for the day instead.  We drove up to a restaurant for a buffet breakfast.  The view was beautiful.

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We saw an active volcano.  I grabbed a dozen banana fritters for breakfast.  Ivan and Jennifer had noodles, fruit and rice.

Next, our group drove to the plantation.  There were cocoa trees and coffee trees there.  The luwak cats are in a cage there – they look like big rats.  They are most active at night.  The Balinese people think that the lemak cats eat the best coffee beans.  The coffee beans are fermented inside their stomach.  The Balinese people take that poop with the beans and clean it.  The Luwak coffee is the most expensive in the world.  We walked downstairs to the table.  Ivan and Jennifer were offered tobacco that the plantation has made, but they declined since they don’t smoke.

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The plantation gave us free ginger tea, lemongrass tea, Bali Coffee, ginger coffee and hot cocoa.  Ivan and Jennifer don’t like the taste of regular coffee.  The luwak coffee was available for 30,000 IDR for one cup.  Jennifer drank the ginger coffee since the taste was alright and she was tired.

We went to the gift shop next.  They sold coffee, tea and soaps there.  Jennifer inquired about the price of the lemak coffee.  It was 600,000 IDR ($60) for a small box.  We couldn’t believe how expensive it was.

We drove to an area where the bikes were located.  We got on our bikes and took off to see the countryside.DSC08676

I rode with Ivan.  The views are amazing.

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The rice paddies look so cool out there.

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The great thing about our tour was that a car followed us and also the truck with extra bikes was nearby.  When somebody got a flat, it was easily replaced in a few minutes.

It was time for a banana break.  I offered to hand out the bananas.  Jennifer didn’t think that was a good idea.  She knows me too well!  I would have grabbed all the bananas for myself!

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We all munched on a banana while sitting down in the shade.  It was a little hot out.

We stopped at a weaving factory.

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The women were busy on their machines making fabric.  It takes them three days to make one big fabric piece.

We drove off on our bikes.  It was getting really hard to pedal.  Ivan and Jennifer were getting so tired.  It really was beautiful in the countryside.

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We rode around for 2 1/2 hours.  It was mostly downhill.  There were a few hills.  Jennifer didn’t make it on two of them.  She was really tried, and couldn’t make it.  We biked a distance of 24 km (15 miles).  It’s a good thing Ivan didn’t tell Jennifer the distance beforehand or she might not have come!  At the end of the trip, the van was waiting for us, along with some nice ice cold towels to cool us down. We then got taken to the owners house where a buffet lunch was ready for us.

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It was a big buffet lunch with noodles, steamed chicken, tempe, chicken satay, tofu and gado gado.  Ivan and Jennifer both had two plates of food.  I had chicken satay and added bananas to it.  The noodles tasted really good – especially with my bananas!  Wayan’s wife trained the staff to make the food for the buffet.  It was delicious food.

The boss’ house had a temple inside.  The surroundings were very nice.  All the family lives there with 14 people currently living there.  They gave us a tour of all the houses which holds the different families (his brothers and their family).

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The boss’ house in the back was quite nice.

We were dropped off at our guesthouse after lunch.  We were all tired so we rested for awhile.

We went to Indus for dinner.  It had a nice view and Ivan wanted to see the sunset.  Unfortunately, the sunset is on the other side of the restaurant, so we didn’t really get to see it.  Ivan and Jennifer used the free wi-fi at the restaurant.  Ivan noticed people were giving them dirty looks for using it in a nice restaurant.  I don’t see how it causes anybody harm using a laptop during dinner.  The restaurant shouldn’t offer free wi-fi then.  Ivan and Jennifer started off with the yummy mezze starter.  It was pita bread with different dips  I had a banana stuffed chicken with a creamy sauce.

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Ivan had the Thai fish dish while Jennifer got the Salmon Japanoise.  The dishes were average.

We went home shortly since everybody was really tired.

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