Also my new lack of time means I haven't been blogging much at all. Luckily I wrote a few in Bali and havent got round to posting them yet. Today in Queenstown it is raining with horrific winds and thunder and lightning so I started to read through some of my travel writing to brighten my day. The below blog I wrote after a particularly unexpected and scary animal encounter - as much as I loved Bali I don't miss this day at all...
After visiting a sacred (and spectacular) cliff top temple and witnessing a poor lady get her sandals stolen by monkeys - who viscously grabbed at her feet so that she jumped, whipped them off quicker than she could scream "get off", scrambled up her spine, perched on shoulder, bared their scary sharp teeth and started to unzip her bag, I have a new weariness for the speedy tree hopping mammals. Even more so when I found out they carry rabies!
After a particularly hard morning of sunbathing I decided to treat myself to a walk, after 10 minutes I remember I am supposed to be relaxing and this is a stupid idea so turn around to head back to the beach. That's when I see him. A deceptively cute looking beast no bigger than a foot tall. He's in the middle of the road staring at me. I stop dead in my tracks. Suddenly the world around me disappears. It's like a western cowboy shoot out at the saloon, I swear some tumbleweed passed by. Completely silent and still I tremble, unaware of who will make the first move but fully aware that this situation is serious.. Within seconds the beast is running towards me at an alarming speed - I panic so decide to face fear head on. I run at the monkey waving my arms in the air making myself seem as big as possible. I'm shitting myself but imitating a much later ape, I yell as I run in its direction "RRraaghhhh". Apparently nothing about a craze Welsh girl, screaming like a mad woman, running down the street, waving her arms manically in the air is scary at all because the monkey hurls himself at my feet. I am truly terrified. I do not want to lose my shoes or catch rabies! I start kicking and stomping, yelling and swearing like a mentalist, the monkey continues to hold on. No matter how hard I thrust my foot in the air I just cannot kick him off. As I look down I can see in his puny little eyes that he is not giving up without a fight so I do the most natural thing that comes to mind and swing my large heavy handbag back and wallop the thing so hard it literally flies across the road. Suddenly I am consumed with guilt. I feel awful, what kind of person am I? Poor monkey!!! I have shamed humanity – wait…. no I haven't - the little shit is speeding towards me again - he wants some more! I am consumed with fear. I swing my bag aimlessly, cursing loudly and absolutely consumed with terror. I start walking slowly backwards putting a good 10 feet between us. He stops and stares into my soul burning me with his evil gaze. I think my true craziness and fear is shown through my eyes as the monkey slows down his pace and keeps some distance between us. I turn but can see and feel this thing literally stalking me. The second my back I turned he is bouncing in my direction. I yell once again because I really don’t know what else to do and cannot see me being able to escape with my mind and body in tact. That’s when my savior arrives - a local Balinese man on a scooter. He whips the accelerator and charges full speed at the monkey chasing him away into the bushes. My heart sinks and I am shaking like an alcoholic on day one cold turkey. I thank the kind man who simply laughs and says "monkey trouble" whilst driving away with the largest toothiest grin I have ever seen. I run back to the hotel and stay in the grounds for the rest of the day – I can now add Monkeys to my list of irrational fears, along with oranges, flying and being alone in the dark.