Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hash Running

The Ring of Fire, August 9th 2013; Day Six of Thirty-Two

Today was a great day of exploring. There is definitely no shortage of monkeys on the island. Toby and I went to a lesser known but better monkey forest. You can never see to many monkeys and there was a few other sites to see on the day. Also, there were many less people in this forest, the Sangeh Monkey Forest. If you get the chance, visit this one as well; it is worth your time.

While they are roaming freely around they never are really threatening. However, we were both charged by the same one at some point and it’s not something I would recommend but he did give up quickly. Small little bugger probably just wanted some food. Occasionally they would lift a hat or glasses off a tourist and go running. A guy even had his shoe stolen, I don’t know how the monkey managed that one but they are known as pickpockets.

Balinese people are very religious and live by Hinduism teachings. They lay out offerings daily, sometimes multiple times a day, and build these massive temples everywhere. Of course Toby and I went to one, the Pura Taman Ayun temple to be exact. It is highly regarded and known to be one of the most beautiful in Bali. The temple is surrounded by a moat so it gives it an isolated feeling as well. They are very intricate and have these tall towers as traditional religious buildings that you’ll see below. I felt as if I could climb to the top easily, like a ladder.

It is breathtaking to say the least and an unreal experience. The ingenuity and architectural skills that the local people display is worth making the trip alone. Although these buildings and architecture dates back hundreds of years, the thatched roof and the buildings spiraling towards the sky is like nothing I have seen in the states.

Afterwards we saw these things called ogoh-ogoh, which are giant paper mache characters that the use in ceremonies by carrying them around and shaking them to dance. Some of these things would give many kids nightmares; heads coming out of stomachs, people getting stabbed, and others with six gruesome heads.

In the past they made characters from the movie Avatar. Really cool to look at. They are primarily used as an offering to the Gods. On the day after its a day of silence. Lights are off, no one goes out, the airport even shuts down. The purpose of the celebration and then silence is to drive out the bad spirits and then when they come back the next day they will think that everyone left and move on. Very religious people; they have a reason for everything.

On the way back I was able to drive the motorbike and since there are no street signs or speed limits and cops don’t give a crap here you can pretty much do whatever you want when driving. However, I wasn’t going to go crazy my first time on the other side on the road, let alone on a speedy scooter.

That afternoon when went to a hash run. Something I have never heard of before but will definitely look for back in the states. And no it’s not running drugs. What you do is meet up at a location and go on a short or long run (4 k vs 6 k today) and run the circuit. The places and people you see is amazing. Running up and down through lush forest, through villages, and over sketchy bridges is all part of the run.

When you’re done they give you soda or beer and sometimes snacks. Oh yeah, and it’s pretty much all you can drink and the run for 5 bucks, not bad. The also hold a ceremony for the visitors and virgins (first time runners). They are sung to and have to chug the beers. If they are to slow at drinking they get heckled with a song, all in good spirit, and the virgins are blessed with a showering of beer.

Read the full trip chronicles, here.

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