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Honeymoon: Part 4 of 6

When we were in Bali, we saw that there was a Hard Rock Café in the touristy area of Kuta Beach. I puzzled to Stephanie why a person would to want to go to a Hard Rock Café while they were here in such an exotic slice of paradise. However, when we were deciding on where to spend New Year’s Eve, we agreed that it would probably be a safe place to be and a real party as well.

And a party it was. At the door, they were giving out gift bags with a few trinkets inside to everyone who entered. One of the trinkets was a plastic whistle like a traffic cop would use (another item was a free pack of Camels). I don’t know if the management thought it through very well, but don’t you know that everyone was blowing those whistles all night long?                       

We had dinner and stayed to listen to the band and it was a party! It was wall to wall people. Most of the places we had been on this trip we were the only tourists around, but here at the Hard Rock it was full of nothing but Australian tourists. What a circus!

When we did finally leave, we found a bigger party out on the street than there was inside. There were easily several thousand people spilling down the steps of the Hard Rack Café, into the street, and on to the beach. All of them had a noise maker of some sort, and the noise level was unbelievable. We had a good time mixing and mingling with all of the locals that had gathered on the street. We ate, drank, and were merry!

On New Year’s day, Stephanie and I had a much quieter and more private experience. We wanted to go snorkeling, and we heard that the best place on Bali was on Menjangan Island, a small uninhabited island about a thirty minute boat ride off the northwest coast of Bali.

After an hour long taxi ride and a half hour boat ride, we got to the island and our guide pretty much said, “You see that point out there? Anywhere between here and there is safe.” We asked him how long we had to swim, and he only said “When you are done, come back.” Stephanie and I have both been snorkeling and diving at different times in the Caribbean, but we both agreed that this was so much better.

Due to the relatively few numbers of divers, the coral is not trampled but wildly lush and exotic. We were swimming in water about 6 feet deep until we came across a ridge or underwater cliff where the coral rolled down in to inky blue- blackness. There were multitudes of brightly colored, tropical fish. Much more so than we had seen in the Caribbean. We took a banana into the water with us, and the fish would come right up and eat the banana right out of our hands! And for the two hours we were there, we were the only ones in the water. We didn’t see another person until we got back to the boat. It was not bad for the first day of the new year.

While on Bali, we visited a place called Mengwi where there is a temple built in the monkey forest. There we were able to walk right up to and feed the monkeys that were all around. Before we left, one monkey jumped from his perch and on to my back, pulling on my buttons and looking for food. What we didn’t expect to see were the bats! There were hundreds and hundreds of bats flying through the tree tops. They filled the trees and made a crazy screeching chattering sound as if they were all bickering with each other.

In Texas, I have seen hundreds of bats fly into the sky at twilight, but those bats are about the size of your hand, and look like a fluttering dot in the sky. However, these bats looked like something out of the Wizard of Oz. Their wingspan is several feet across, and each wing beat is slow and deliberate. It was like watching some kind of evil wraith or demonic dinosaur fly though the sky.

Several other times during the trip we saw that people had caught bats and had them as pets. We learned that if you hang a bat that size from a low perch, it cannot fly away. In the wild, a bat flies off by simply letting go, and as they fall they open their wings and fly away. However, on a low perch, the bat knows that it doesn’t have time to drop before hitting the ground, so it never tries.     

Posted on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 10:06PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | CommentsPost a Comment

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