Monday, May 26, 2008

Beauty Overload!

I have never seen more beautiful people in one place in my life. Uluwatu, or as the locals refer to it "Ulu" is basically a paradise for surfers and spectators alike. The world-class surf break boasts gorgeous bods, and even more gorgeous waves. There are multiple breaks (most of them are lefts for those of you who understand the surf-lingo) which make for an absolutely dream-like surf spot. Darnnit I wish I was a real surfer. It was basically like sitting in the lodge of one of the best ski resorts in the world on a 3 foot powder day sipping hot chocolate. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the show. Mick got out and surfed twice a day and I sat on the coral sand beaches and watched surfer after surfer get "barreled" time and time again. I made friends with some of the local ladies selling handicrafts and massages on the beach. Funny story, when I was sick of getting hassled by the same old Balinese lady (she must have begged me at least 5 times before I got annoyed) I turned over on my stomach and pretended to be sleeping. I thought I was doing a good job, until the volume of her voice got louder and louder shouting "ecccuuuuse me! ECCCuse MEEE!" and then BAM! She squeezed, and I mean really squeezed my left and right but cheeks with both hands! So much for personal space! I guess I'm pretty used to it by now after having traveled in Asia for a few months!
So Ulu was amazing. You can see 4 or 5 volcanoes if you get up at sunset, which I did one day, and boy was it worth it. The restaurants sit right on the cliff overlooking the surf. You can choose whichever bamboo hut you like to dine on a $2 to $3 breakfast or lunch, and just feast your eyes on the hot bods walking to and fro. Photographers make a killing there catching surfers in their prime and selling them photos of themselves for $10 a pop. Make those poor little old ladies offering 1hr massages for $2 look kinda like cheap prostitutes! But, that's how it goes...

Ulu also has a bit of culture. The appropriately nick-named "Monkey Temple" sits high atop a cliff also overlooking the surf (of course). Monkeys (some rather aggressive I might add) anxiously await fruit-bearing tourists to feed them their favorite snacks. Sometimes, tourists end up feeding the monkeys more than they bargained for. I saw this one Korean lady loose her reading glasses. The monkey swept them right off her face, and took them to the scenic ledge to have a chomp or two. The woman bribed the monkey with numerous treats hoping to distract him long enough to snatch the glasses back. After 3 or 4 minutes, she was successful...however, I don't think her glasses were in such good shape! Oh, those cheeky monkeys! I got a few good photos as well.

After a few days of surf and sun, we have headed north into the mountain (or maybe I should say Volcano) town of Ubud, which is absolutely spectacular. It is really a cultural oasis here. There is so much to do and see, and everything is so damn cheap! We rented a motorbike (yes, I got back on a bike with Mick again. We went very, very slow!) and headed up to a Volcano today, and sat overlooking the beautiful center cone and valley that surrounds it. A few shopping stops and scenic rice-paddy terraces, and it was time for a rest.

Ubud, even though I've only been here for about 24 hours, may be my favorite Asian community so far. Traditional Balinese Kecak Fire Dance is on the agenda for tonight. Oh, and I think tomorrow is a spa day! $32 for head to toe treatment, hair and all! Jealous yet???