Our third stop on the cruise was Bali. I had arranged a tour guide ahead of time to meet us at the harbor. It was amazingly cheaper than the cruise tours and would just be our family in the car. Much better!
This was our reception getting off the tender boats
One thing I wasn't expecting was the hordes of people after the reception area either trying to be your driver for the day or selling stuff. The selling of stuff was in your face. They would give the kids a package of pencils and tell us "for the baby." Luckily the girls would give it back when I told them to. Finally people left us alone when we said no and just stood there waiting for our tour guide to get the car.
Since the harbor is a little ways from most stuff in Bali we had to drive about 90 minutes to get to Ubud Village which is a big tourist spot. Our first stop was a silver making store. We were shown how they take any kind of silver, beat it, flatten it, make it into long threads, or tiny balls (all by hand) and make anything and everything with it. The products in the store were amazing. We didn't spend long there since are time was counting down (we knew we had another 90 minute drive back later that day) so we found a neat silver letter opener for Eric's parents and went on our way.
Next we went to a Sacred Monkey Forest which was so cool! Eric took a picture of this money hanging out on a motorcycle seat. I didn't know this, but after Eric took the picture the monkey started clawing at the seat and ended up ripping it. Hate to be the owner of that scooter!
Lets just say you can get up close and personal with the monkeys here. We decided not to purchase bananas and were glad we didn't. Monkeys would climb on you or jump and try grabbing the food out of your hands. The girls would have gone crazy if that would have happened. We enjoyed see the monkeys from several feet away.
We were then taken to an open market and we were looking forward to all the cheap souvenirs but after about 5 minutes the girls were both whining about eating lunch. So, we abandoned shopping for food.
When we were at the Narita airport in Tokyo we met an American man who lived in Bali for several years. He told us we had to go to the Dirty Duck to eat fried duck. So, we had told Pollos that that was where we wanted to eat. He dropped us off at the restaurant and we got a number for our driver for when we were finished. Let me just save all the typing and say lunch was horrible. Service was horrible and food was mediocre at best. I gave our driver number to the parking attendant and we never got our driver! After 20 minutes of waiting and several attempts to find out where our tour guide was parked, Eric went walking around looking for the parking. We spent two miserable hours at the Dirty Duck and ended up costing us so much of our little time in Bali. Uggg, I would never go there again and never recommend it to another. So, that brought our stay in Bali to a low.
We wanted to pick up a painting before heading back to the cruise boat so Pollos took us to this commune of painters. It has a master painter and then tons of painters under him. They had kids as young as eight there learning to paint. Etta was so upset that we wouldn't let her pick up a brush and paint along side the younger ones. It was really neat to see the place. We looked at paintings in two big rooms and then found out that there were tons of other rooms filled with paintings. It was crazy trying to pick out one from them all. I think we took at least an hour and narrowed it down to a handful. As soon as we get it up on the wall, we'll take a picture of it. It's completely different than everything else we have. We really enjoy picking up artwork from each country we visit, they are all so unique.
We made the long drive back to the harbor and I was thankful that Chloe had fallen asleep in the car. That made for a quiet return. Once Pollos had parked the car and we opened the doors the vultures (aka local sellers) descended on us. "Buy these pencils." "How about a sarong?" And on and on it went. I bought a package of carved and painted pencils for $1. Then a lady from that morning wanted me to buy several things from her so I bought another package of pencils plus post cards. Then Eric said this one lady was actually being nice and not harassing us so we bought another package of pencils. We were doing this as we walked to the pier getting further and further from the craziness. "Designer perfume only $10," "please give me your cruise boat beach towel for my baby," designer sun glasses." Get me out of Bali! It was a crazy last couple of minutes but only spent $5 from the car to the boat. Not bad. What an interesting day. If I could do it over again, I would have just stayed at the beach!