>Travel Pictures



Ubud - Monkeys

Ubud is famous for its "Monkey Forest" temple, and we spent plenty of time there with the local denizens...
We bought "official" bananas at the stands just outside the forest grounds, and went in. We were met by monkeys who were very used to tourists feeding them and giving them all sorts of goodies, and were not shy at all about introducing themselves to us.
Sometimes they would climb on us - they even picked through Dave's hair - but Susan met up with an especially aggressive monkey who wasn't going to take "no" for an answer. She used her best first-grade tone of voice and avoided any bloodshed, but that picture gives a pretty good idea of how mean some of these monkeys could get. Keep that in mind as you go through the rest of the story!

And of course there were plenty of monkey carvings scattered throughout the woods and temple areas. Some were cute and humorous...

There was constant reconstruction and rebuilding happening, so we saw how these sculptures started off.

Others - like the one above and below, showing monkey monsters eating babies and ripping apart bodies - were much more disturbing and gruesome.

But, for every gross baby-eating figure there was another fat and fun place for mom and dad to goof around!

Nestled in the deep jungle, the temples were quiet corners of solitude.

To go in, we had to don traditional sarongs (at least the adults did), but at least the Stutz sense of humor remained intact.

And while we never saw a live Komodo dragon, we saw (and sat on) some ginormous statues of them. Notice the official Monkey Forest bananas in Susan's hand? Notice how the monkey in the next picture has stolen some kid's ice cream? Nice.

Breck and Dave went back a few days later, while Alea and Susan had a morning class in jewelry making. The monkeys were just as persistent as before in looking for food!

And oooooh, aren't they just so sweet? This mom and baby were two of a large number of such families that we saw. As we were feeding them, however, one of the big mamas got a bit upset that she couldn't see her baby, and things went from bad to worse in a hurry.

That's right, these things can be mean and dangerous. Before Breck and Dave knew what had happened, the mother had jumped down grabbed her baby, and sliced a gash in Dave's finger. What had been a lazy morning all of a sudden turned into a Wild Kingdom medical event.

Luckily, there was a medical office right outside the forest - I guess this sort of thing must happen quite often. We got in, got the finger anesthetized and cleaned up, and then a doctor stitched it back together. 

The biggest disappointment was that he had to keep the finger out of the water for the next 7 days, which pretty much put an end to the water sports portion of the Bali vacation. To compensate, and to ensure that healing continued and infection was kept at bay, Dave made sure to apply even more locally-brewed anesthesia whenever possible. Certainly an exciting story to share with the girls after their creative morning...

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