My first day in Bali started off with a painfully early hair and make-up trial in the morning but ended with an amazing few hours of sea water splashing, hut food dining, fresh coconut drinking, sunbed sleeping and far too many ‘Am I tanned yet?’ body checks for only a few hours of hot Balinese sun at the beach. I thought to myself, the second day has to be more productive than this!
So, the next day, we hired a car and a private driver for a fun-filled day of driving around in the hills, checking out some animals and taking as many photos as possible!
First stop, Elephant Safari Park!
The Park is set in a beautiful tropical park surrounded by national forests. As an official member of the World Zoo Association, it meets the international standards for animal care – a highly important factor!
You can feed, ride, interact, play and take photos with the Park’s 30 Sumatran elephants. These beautiful animals are sadly one of the most rare and endangered species of elephants left in the world today!
Look at this adorable little girl – isn’t she just a cutie?!I got up close and personal with this hairy fella…
Slowly, his trunk started to curl around me and the elephant guide told me that he was giving me a ‘huggy’!It was pure love!When I heard that we could go and see a bubba and its mummy, I rushed to the Elephant Nursery!
Oh just look at the bubba Nelly…
I honestly could spend hours in that place! Sadly, we had to say our goodbyes to the beautiful Nellyphants as it was time for us to move on to our next destination.
After walking through lush gardens and pathways adorned with statues and tropical plants, we reached the entrance of our second stop, Tirtha Empul Temple.
After stepping through the traditional Balinese split gate, a large open pavilion in the main courtyard welcomed us.
Inside the main courtyard, we approached a rectangular purification bath where worshipers prayed in two divided pools as water gushed out of a row of elaborately sculpted stone spouts. Worshipers will first make an offering at the temple then proceed to the spring to bathe and pray.
With hands pressed together, they bathe themselves starting from the first fountain and then proceed to the end – with the exception of one fountain which is kept for the deceased.Many collect the holy water in bottles to take home.
The Temple is of a traditional style and includes shrines to Shiva (Great God), Vishnu (The Protector), Brahma (The Creator), as well as one for Indra (God of Weather and War) and Mount Batur.
I truly enjoyed every second of being at the Temple. I’ve been to Bali before but this was the first time I had a chance to really experience and learn about their religion, culture, beliefs and traditions. I couldn’t be more grateful to have such an informative, humble and lovely driver/guide to take us around and teach us all about his culture.
I am in complete awe of how the Balinese see the world and how they live their lives.
The holy men wore all white…
After a morning of playing with gorgeous elephants and soaking up some Balinese culture, I was one hungry girl when it got to lunch time!
I asked the driver to take us to a restaurant that serves extra yummy food (not that this is a difficult thing to find in Bali) and that has an awesome view.
Boy, did he deliver…
We were greeted by a friendly waitress and followed her along a winding rocky path to a large open sided timber hut…After drinking in the fantastic scenery, we set down and reviewed the menu.
Bring on the food…
The dessert was a bowl of fresh sliced fruit (all fruit and veggies served are all grown in their garden!) served with palm sugar syrup and ice cubes – oh so sweet, oh so delish and oh so refreshing!D’Alas Warung gave us a seriously lovely lunch experience! They nailed every aspect you’d hope to find in a traditional and authentic restaurant – the setting, the service, the food, the homegrown and healthy ingredients, and not forgetting the jaw-dropping views!
With our satisfied and smiling bellies, we were ready to tackle our last touristy stop of the day.
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary!
A beautiful sanctuary for wild monkeys to roam around and play freely.
Some monkeys were busy eating…
This one was particularly thirsty…This one was keeping a watchful eye on a stack of bananas brought in by a group of tourists…This is one is having a casual yoga class whilst being allogroomed (or de-liced) by their chum..
This little bubba is having too much fun with cotton…
This one is all cushty and tucked in with mummy…
And this ol’ grandad is fast asleep after over-indulging during lunch – so tired, he left a wee bit of crumb on his beard…
After one long amazing day, it was time to end our day trip and so we begrudgingly left the sanctuary.
Following grandad’s footsteps ^, we hoped back into our car and slept through the entire journey back to Seminyak.
All my ♥,