We saw our first monkeys today on the temple roof above Padang Padang, perhaps the most famous left hand barrel in indo. Small, nimble gray creatures, they move effortlessly from the temple ledges up into the trees and back.
Young monkeys played together, tumbling across the temple floor. Moms and young babies sat on the rooftop. One monkey climbed aboard a white umbrella sticking out of the temple roof, and began bouncing on it. Thrilled, we watched them play and move about. The monkeys began to take interest in us and came closer which at first we were excited by. Then a few moved in quickly. I turned to find a grandpa monkey standing on the tree trunk behind me, it snarled and revealed pointed fangs. As Dave puts it, “We took the clue and exited quickly.”
Later we warned to be cautious around the monkeys who are crafty and assertive. Apparently the monkeys around the temple of Uluwatu (a lovely, expansive temple on the cliff that we visited later in the day) have learned the art of bartering. Urban myth tells of a monkey who stole a woman’s sunglasses, the women in return tried to get the monkey to put down her sunglasses by giving it a banana. Good for the woman, but the monkeys have learned. Now they steal things and wait until you give them food to return your stuff. (You can buy food at the temple entrance, though I didn’t ask if it was meant for bartering back your valuables or not). The man who told me this tale said that the monkeys will decide if what you offer is worth it. He said that a lady gave a monkey a banana to try to get her camera back and the monkey refused. She gave him two bananas. It still refused. How about two bananas and a cracker? Now we have a deal!