Bali - Birthday Stomp Edition

Why hello.

Here we have another fine Bali day revolving mainly around this lovely lady and the fact it is her birthday:

And Bastille Day! Vive la France! Fancy that. 

With another excellent omelette-y breakfast from Dayu, the morning was spent bumming around in true holiday fashion, plus a slight detour of the applying-for-grad-jobs kind.

Edit: Gale now has uber job for next year in an uber law firm, hurrah! So, y'know. Don't mess with me, people. 

Back to that relaxing thing. Also pls note my obligatory Bali souvenir kaftan. 

Lounging about all through breakfast time means you work up a big appetite for lunch time.

Luckily for us, Dayu organised some shiny deliveries is there no limit to what this magical lady can do.

When in Asia - don't question, just eat. Deliciousness guaranteed.

As we were leaving, I was lucky to watch Dayu perform the ritual that surrounds presenting canang sari to the Gods. Involving incense, hand gestures and watermelon, it was rather lovely. 

On the bus for a two hour-long drive to see Gale's very favourite thing. 

Which means photos street-side - the place where real people, places and things happen.

Congrats Germany.

Classic Balinese traffic jam. 

You don't bike around with your fishing rod? What's wrong with you?

Temples were dotted very often along the main roads - I guess this was suburbia and they have their 'churches' spread along conveniently just like in the West.

Okay really??

A little more rural...

But there's no stopping the temples.

No matter how crappy the photo, I enjoy snapping locals simply doing their thing. Like their environment is so different but you just know about 90% of their day is essentially the same as yours.

Paddy fields forever.

BUT WAIT, I hear you ask, sick with apprehension. WHAT IS GALE'S FAVOURITE THING?!

Well, friend...

Hells yes. 

We are at an elephant sanctuary. And yes, elephants are Gale's favourite thing. Them and Mr Darcy.

Featuring lots of famous people! 

Also a bit of a museum.

Actual safari jungle sanctuary. 

Now, they are chained up which I did not like. But they do get a heap of room, a heap of exercise, a heap of food and a heap of love - they get cared for well, are retired from 'work' after a certain age (no that does not mean they die) and the talent show that comes later in the evening (which made me especially kinda hmmm) only went for barely 10 minutes, so pretty much fine by me. 

Tour guide.

Meet and greet!

Gale is excite.
Her name is Dora and she's 27 years old. 
I had never met one of these incredible creatures before, and there was something I did not expect. 

I knew they would be beautiful and somewhat awe-inspiring, but I didn't realise they were quite...intimidating.

If you think about it, elephants in our culture are represented as cute and loveable with almost human-like quirks and personalities.

I found that in person, they're quite unlike that - they're magnificent and wise - gentle, but with a solid, compelling kind of power that sure as hell does not scream, 'cute and loveable'. 

And they're big, so big. There was a big bucket of strips of bamboo to feed them and...they'd take them from your hands - gentle but assuredly - (they didn't take shit either: if you tried to give them one at a time they'd totally side eye you and hold out their trunks until you handed them all over). They'd put them in their mouths and this almighty kind of crunch reverberated throughout their whole body. Then they'd hum at each other - they're kind of like whales where certain sounds are below the human spectrum of hearing. 

I don't know, it's kind of hard to explain. It was amazing, but not in the way I expected.

Silly wreath things.

Oh...what I was saying before...

Totally does not apply to this bubba.

LOOK AT THE LIL GUY. So cute and loveable. Legit.

He had easy access to this gate where we could just reach through and say hi, but he was like nope! And shuffled around the corner where were all these rocks and proceeded to jostle himself on top of them then reach over the rest and through the fence to THEN reach us and the taro we had waiting.

His little feet...trying to get a comfy position...I can't even.

Displeased with my lack of taro.

There we go.

We then got some free time to wander (aka buy stuff in the shop ahahaha no I shan't fall for that!).

Shop was v pretty, but no.

Found these guys playing instead.

Strange, rough, hairy skin - really hard but just like anyone else's flesh when you apply a bit of pressure.

Herp derp.


Being splashed on so isn't cool.

For some reason they did the talent show when it got dark.


Last but most certainly not least - a ride!
A lovely elderly gent took us around, along with a guide whose long experience with Australian tourists seemed to have him both well-versed and well-invested in Rhonda and Ketut's epic love story. 

I felt bad for standing on his neck but he didn't seem to mind...

And I never break promises. 

Buffet dinnerrr.

But, back at the villa: CAKE!

GAY CAKE! Which was extraordinarily delicious. 

Happy birthday! May we find ourselves on elephant-backed adventures for many years to come.

Aaaaaand I'm out. 

P.S. Gale got a souvenir. It's pretty great.

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