For my daughter’s 10th birthday she requested that we go see the Equine Expo in Toowoomba, Australia. At the end of the first day’s show they had a showing of some of the finest Arabian horses found in Australia. Arabians are a very unique looking horse and I can see why people value them so. Here is a photo of one of the Arabians.
If you have ever seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love then you will remember Julia Roberts’ character riding a bicycle along quiet streets in the Balinese city of Ubud and living in a house overlooking beautiful rice fields. While quiet streets in Ubud are far from reality, and you probably can’t ride a bike through the sacred monkey forest, the house used in the movie is very real and I can tell you where to find it.
During our recent stay on the outskirts of Ubud we rented a typical open Balinese house overlooking rice fields. It was so open that in the evening we had to duck as bats flew through the non-existent wall and into our living room. It was a beautiful setting and it reminded us of the open Balinese house from the movie Eat, Pray, Love. And as it turns out, the actual house used in the movie was behind ours. And our house was also shown in the movie during the scene where actor Javier Bardem gives Julia Roberts a ride home in the Jeep. Behind them is a rice field with a house. That house was the one we rented. As Julia Roberts starts walking down a path you can see another house in the distance with the trees. This was the house used in the movie and is the Eat, Pray, Love house.
We first found out about the Eat, Pray, Love house from an expat who lived in the area. He pointed out the house to us and mentioned that nobody was living in it and we should go check it out.
Finding the house can be a little tricky so I thought I would put together a guide to show you how to find it. The house is privately owned, so I would advise to not trespass without the owner’s permission. You can see the house nicely from the rice terraces behind the house and you won’t be trespassing.
How To Find The Eat Pray Love House
From the Ubud Palace follow Jl. Suweta north for 3.8 kilometers. You will see a sign on the left for “Restu Bumi” and this was the house we stayed in.
Just past this is a rice field with the path leading down to the Eat Pray Love house.
Follow the path down and turn left at the bottom
If you would like a better view of the house, turn around and you will find a path that goes into the rice terraces. From the rice terraces you can see the house clearly.
This would be a great house to rent, and if anyone knows how to rent it, we would love to know.
Monkeys! Cute little monkeys. Adorable and completely innocent little creatures. We once thought that, until we visited SE Asia. During our 6 months in SE Asia we came to realize that we were wrong. Long-tailed macaque monkeys are not so innocent. Cute, yes, but far from innocent. Monkeys are actually vile, thieving, diseased creatures whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc and destruction. To steal whatever they can and run off into the jungle. To bite and scratch, allowing the victim to experience rabies vaccinations. Oh yes, monkeys are the true embodiment of evil.
While on the Indonesian island of Bali we saw another side of monkeys. The cute and innocent side. Near the city of Ubud is the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal. In Hinduism, monkeys are seen as both a positive and negative force. The duality of both good and evil. The Sacred Monkey Forest consists of many Hindu temples and the monkeys are thought to protect the site from evil spirits. The monkeys, 4 separate troops consisting of over 600 long-tailed macaques, are well treated and 15,000 tourists visit each month to see them. While we did see monkeys steal food from people and saw others cleaning wounds from bites and scratches, we saw plenty of monkeys just being monkeys; foraging for food, caring for their young, and grooming each other. We still had our guards up, but it was nice seeing a less aggressive monkey compared to what we had experienced in other parts of Asia.
Below is a series of photos showing the monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal. I hope you enjoy them.
Click images to enlarge and for slideshow
Balinese Long-Tailed Macaques
Driving just 90 minutes east of Melbourne, Australia we found the Ballarat Wildlife Park. One of the things we wanted to do most in Australia is to see the strange native critters. Not only do you get to see the animals at the park, but you actually get to pet them, including this cute little koala.
We recently tried to count up all of the countries that we have visited and became stumped when we got to the United Kingdom. We were not sure if England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland should be counted as individual countries, or if they should be grouped under one country, United Kingdom.
To help us find a solution to our quandary, we sought out our trusted friend, Professor Google. This is where things got weird. Many of the definitions we could find called England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland “countries” and the definition for United Kingdom mentioned that it consists of 4 countries, England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Some of the other definitions we found did not call them countries, but called them “divisions.”
Not having the time to fly back to the UK to personally ask the Queen while staying in a hotel in Paddington, we sought out the United Nations list of member states. The UN only lists the United Kingdom as a member, and not England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. So now the question is, should we only go by the UN list of countries like many people do? But here’s the problem. The UN does not list Western Sahara and Palestine (and a few others) as member countries, but they are included on Countries in the International Organization for Standardization list. But this list does not include England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland; just United Kingdom. However, according to our good friend, Professor Wikipedia, it states that the ISO list of the subdivisions of the UK is supplied by British Standards and the Office for National Statistics and so uses “country” to describe England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland, in contrast, is described as a “province” in the same lists.
And to confuse us even more, here is a great video to explain the United Kingdom:
Daunted by the lack of a clear definition, we posted this question on our Facebook page to see what others had to say. The results were interesting and the majority of people were in favor of calling them separate countries. This question also sparked some good debates. Here are the results of our very unscientific, yet entertaining, poll:
What are your thoughts?