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Rhona and backpack are Go!

So nearly a week has gone without me updating the world with my travels. Its been a bit of a crazy week. Although I feel that most of my weeks for the last seven have been a bit crazy.

After doing my diving we moved to Ubud. This was a good thing. sanur was very swanky and a definite beach resort. It was also rather dull. Ubud is beautiful, chilled out full of very pretty silver shops and gorgeous views of rice fields. We found a lovely room with a pool and spent quite a lot of time in the shops. On the first night we went out to a very nice dinner at the "soft opening" of a very swanky restaurant. We have been giggling a lot at some of the interesting menu translations:

Brown nice - brownies, Chocolate mouse, rice croakers.

Anyway, we had quite a few drinks (sorry mum, my cocktails consumption has increased massively since you left) and wound up in a late opening reggae bar talking to one of the bartenders. An incredibly small man with giant dredds called Wayan. He was also rather , ahem, tipsy. He invited us to come to his families house the next day and see a tooth filing ceremony and we drunkenly agreed.

The next day we had hangover, a spa appointment and a general sense of regret for agreeing to go somewhere strange with someone we didn't know for something we didn't fully understand. It all turned out very well though. His family (which was huge and extended) mainly bstared at us A LOT. Several of them wanted to improve their english so we all sat and talked on the black beach at the end of the garden. Later we watched a video of a cremation ceremony. Wayans father had died some time previously (either 2  months or two years it was tricky to understand) and the tooth filing was a continuation of the ceremonies for his death. The video we were shown was basically his fathers bones being dug up and cleaned by a crowd of about 40, then placed into a giant model of a bull which was carried around and then burnt. It was very sweet watching his mother stroking the skull of his father.... After an incident with a giant bug and an awareness we were going to sleep outside and on the floor we went and found a room nearby before getting up at 4am to head back to his house.

On arrival we were met by Wayans cousins roasting a pig and were given some beer. We were generally too tired and confused to turn it down. We went in and the tooth filing started after an hour. It was basically three girls and three boys in their teens and they have their upper teeth filed to a nice neet line to remove the fang appearance of the canines. This is done to improve good luck. They were all dressed in yellow and we had to wear sarongs and a ceremonial sash. After this, which we were assured did not hurt, we were given a massive meat heavy breakfast which we tried to eat with our right hands only.

We then sat around for a few hours and were taken to three other houses as the tooth filing people went to pray at relatives houses. In all of them were a great object of curiousity, especially Osyth who they found to be very beautiful. She had the best sarong as Beths and mine were deemed a bit "beach". We eventually left at 12.00 after a great many small plates of crisps and peanuts. It was all very odd and we were cronically sleep deprived which did not really help.

It had become apparent as the morning went on that Wayan was very "fond" of Osyth and when we got back to Ubud he came to our hotel for a swim and a spot of Osyth chasing. Beth did a sterling job as chaperone and he was generally quite respectfull, if persistent. After dinner I went back to sleep and Beth and Osyth managed to go out for more drinks before trying to extricate themselves from Wayan. The next day we went to the Monkey Forest and looked a t a couple of temples before being chased out by the scary monkeys. If you don't appear to be feeding them enough bananas they will grab at your clothes, or jump at you. So we ran away. In the evening we went to a fire and trance dance. It was nothing like the trance clubs I used to go to. About 70 men in sarongs sat in a circle chanting while some of them presented a story from the Ramayana whilst dancers acted out the action. After this one of the men went into a trance and kicked around burning coconut husks whilst wearing a horses heads. A great spectacle but I have no idea why. When we were walking home and trying to decide whether to stop off and see Wayan we managed to bump into him. I suspect he may have been looking for Osyth and was overjoyed to see her. We had a few drinks before I went to bed like the grumpy old tired thing I am and Beth and O)s managed to stay up till 5am. The next day we had to get up brght and early for the boat to the Gillis and they may not have been at their most chipper but struggled manfully.

The baot trip was fairly straightforward if a bit rolling for quite a while. Thankfully they had sea sickness pills on board so we managed to get through the five hour trip without embarrasment. The crew were great, really cheerfull and charming and we had a great time but were very happy to land just as the sun went down.

It is stunningly beautiful here. The sea is an amazing shade of turquoise, the sand is perfectly white, pretty little boats dance around and the sun is shining. It is also backpacker heaven. The beach is line with a variety of lovely bars where you can recline and drink and stare into the sea. There is even an amazing enterprise where you can rent a bed with a tv at the end facing out to sea and you can watch films. Tomorrow I am booked for two dives, one in the morning should be easy for my first trip out since the course and has lots of turtles and the one in the afternoon which sounds great and has baby white tipped reef sharks. Can't wait. Am off now to go for a spot of beach snorkelling with Beth and Osyth.

  


Monday August 27 2007


:::Rhona and backpack are Go!,,1
posted 27 August 2007

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