Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ubud Monkey Forest

One of the best thing to do in Ubud (IMO) is visit the monkey forest. It's a small forested area where three different groups of macau monkeys live and run rampant.  Besides being cute, they are also great thieves. Numerous people lose things as the monkeys are smart and quick to grab. While I was sitting and writing in my journal two different little guys came over and at first were sweet but then shortly after they tried to grab my iphone from one pocket and camera from another. Adorable but naughty monkeys.  

Everyone I saw was having a fun time watching and feeding the monkeys. You could buy bananas, extremely overpriced, from local sellers and then feed monkeys. There is something about watching and playing with monkeys that just brings the best out in everyone.

A few weeks later I had to drive nearby the forest on a small road that borders it.  The monkeys were all over the road and swinging above me, it was possibly the coolest ride I had ever driven.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My First Little Tour of Bali

As mentioned in the last post, on my first day here in Bali I went on a tour with 3 fun Korean girls whom I shared an aisle with on the plane in.  After the Elephant Temple we went to an agri-tourism spot to see local flora and it's fruits in action, including cacao and coffee. For coffee, Bali hypes their weasel coffee as some of the best in the world. The plot is that the weasel eats the best berries and then poops them out, taking out the bad enzymes and leaving the good ones and caffeine. At the end of the tour we got a little tea and coffee sampling.  After there we headed up to see Gunung Batur, a beautiful domed volcano on the northeast of the island. We had lunch overlooking the volcano and surrounding view. Because it's holiday time (like everyday seems to be a new one or just a party in the street) there were parades of people marching down with music being played and other who-knows-what things happening.  Some sounded amazing and it was pretty to see them all in front of the volcano.

Goa Gajah - Bali Elephant Temple

On my first day in Bali I went on a tour of some sites outside of Ubud with three nice Korean ladies I met on the plane.  The first stop was the Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave.  At the facade of the cave is a relief of various menacing creatures and demons carved right into the rock at the cave entrance. The primary figure was once thought to be an elephant, hence the nickname Elephant Cave.  A pretty little park that I later read was Unesco.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kecak - Monkey Dance

Years ago at Burning Man I had the opportunity to take part in what is known as "Monkey Dance." A fun call and response type of exercise/ trance "game" for groups to play.  If you've ever seen the movie "Baraka" you may have seen a bit of it when the indonesians are going back and forth with scatting like noises and leaning back on each other. It's an incredibly fun and challenging activity to take part in.  In Bali now, I thought I'd check the dance out.  Kecak is what they do on Bali and I learned (after) that what it is is a combination of traditional Balinese dancing and noises told to a classic Indian tale.  So it's not as trance like or as interactive, but it was a nice and different thing to see. It did go a little long for me, with the jet-lag especially but I'm glad I got to see it.  Now, if I can only find some real monkey dance troupes while I'm still here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bryce Canyon. Utah

I grew up hearing a lot about Bryce Canyon. At some point in my childhood my parents went out to Utah and visited Bryce. I remember hearing how lovely it was and my mom's screensaver was downloaded from Bryce's website. It was a big hit in the family and so something I wanted to see when I was out west.

Bryce Canyon National Park is spread over quite some distance and offers many different views of it's beautiful "hoodoo's." As one of America's most visited parks, the place is always full of other sightseers but offers enough space that you can find your own quiet peaceful spot to enjoy the views.

One note to future visitors. Bring sneakers or action sandals. Flip flops may not offer you enough support and traction to do some of the walks around.