TO VISIT A BALI TEMPLE

As mentioned, Bali is filled with temples. It is a Hindu province in a predominantly Muslim Indonesia. The notion of the Balinese temple is very different than the traditional Christian North American or European geography, where there is a church in a small village. In Bali, temples are every few meters.

There are large temples, small temples, village temples, temples near bridges, temples in the middle of the jungle, temples in homes. They are everywhere. We had selected Gunung Kawi as the temple we would visit.

It was getting later in the day and as we approached it started to rain. Hope was high that it would pass. Our driver explained what to do; you must acquire a sarong which can be rented at the temple for a dollar or buy one. We made our way to the entrance and were accosted by some very motivated sellers. $15 later we had 4 very nice sarongs. There are very strict on this cultural tradition. Configuration: Canon 5D Mark III and 28-70mm f/2.8.

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Alas, the weather was not cooperating. It rained harder.

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We made our way down to the temple (275 steps) … and then after a wait, headed back. It was not lifting. We were at the end of the day and began our trek home. After 30 minutes the rain lifted and we stopped as a “temple” was on the to-do list. This time the bathing temple, 9th century Goa Gajah:

At the façade 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. The site is mentioned in the Javanese poem Desawarnana written in 1365. An extensive bathing place on the site was not excavated until the 1950s.[2] These appear to have been built to ward off evil spirits.

The weather cooperated.

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As a Canadian I always marvel at the age of things. This temple is very old.

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A step down to the water.

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The mouth to the elephant cave, a sanctuary.

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We did not linger. The storm had caught up …….

SACRED MONKEY FOREST PT II, BALI

The Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali is a truly amazing place, one of the most interesting that we have ever been at:

The Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal is owned by the village of Padangtegal. Village members serve on the Sacred Monkey Forest’s governing council (The Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation). The Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation has historically strived to develop and implement management objectives that will both maintain the sacred integrity of the monkey forest and promote the monkey forest as a sacred site that is open to visitors from around the world.

The Sacred Monkey Forest is a series of paths that cut through the jungle, encompassing 3 temples and hundreds of macaques with staff spread on the paths selling bananas. A tourist mecca. There are many different reviews of this place, but my TripAdvisor review will give it 5 stars and call it out as one of the most unique places I have ever been. Yes, the monkeys can be ill-mannered – as this is the wild, with no control.

I loved shooting here, interacting with the long tail macaques. This little fellow kept my attention, when we first arrived. Same configuration, Canon 5D Mark III, and luckily I had my 70-200mm f/2.8.

He was just looking around … enjoying a banana.

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And look at how white his teeth are. Really enjoying that banana.

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Those eyes ….

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I could have watched him all day. As you walk the path there are monkeys everywhere.

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This fellow made me smile. He found a remote place to enjoy his banana, away from the rabble … away from prying hands.

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If you looked closely, you would see mothers and their children.

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There was a group of mothers sitting above us, on a log.

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I wonder what this fellow was thinking?

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It is a beautiful place with temples scattered across the grounds.

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A special place.

SACRED MONKEY FOREST, BALI

We pretty much missed the cherry blossoms in Tokyo as they are early this year and we were out of the country.

But it is worth it. A few photos from the Monkey Forest in Bali. Glad I put the 70-200m f/2.8 on the Canon 5D Mark III for this walking adventure.

A few close-ups. I was very close.

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Just hanging out.

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Very close.

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They are cheeky little fellows.

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