On our recent trip to Bali we decided to venture north, to The Menjangan. This beautiful, tranquil resort is set in national park on the north coast of Bali. Roofless people movers bump up and down over the dirt tracks, quietly transporting guests from lodge, to reception, to restaurant, to beachfront. We are surrounded by forest, monkeys and birds. Trees arch over the dirt tracks as if reaching out for us, as we putt and bump along on the roof seating.
At the beachfront, couples laze back in canopied beach huts, sipping on cocktails at happy hour. Monitor lizards rustle in the mangroves. Staff hush quietly behind the bar and in the activities hut.
We are in the restaurant the morning after we arrive. Monkeys play in the trees just over the railing. We are sitting on a deck high up in the treetops, overlooking a valley of greenery. Again, the staff silently look after us. All we can hear are birds, and the monkeys swinging about. Sometimes they break out into a sqwauk, probably when one takes the branch of another. They are cheeky.
Suddenly, another squeal echoes through the forest. Followed by another. Then a thump. Ashton has had enough of his sister harrassing him. He doesn't want to have breakfast here, he would prefer to be at the beach. He wants to play somewhere else. He wants his breakfast. He wants to go to the pool. He doesn't like Belle. He wants to go back to the room. He wants to sit where Belle is sitting. He wants to sit on mummy.
Serenity and silence has gone - far away. What do we do? Guests are surely going to start staring at us with raised eyebrows. Staff are definitely going to ask us to leave. Ashton goes on. Oh my. I can feel my face going red (or even more red in this heat). There is nothing we can do to calm him down.
And then, as suddenly as he started, he stops. Ashton finds the sling shot to scare the monkeys away from the deck, and he's all quiet again. Hmm. Random. The joys and surprises of travelling with a three year old.
We depart quickly after breakfast, and hibernate the morning away in our room, and the pool just outside. We wait for a knock at the door, but it never comes. We also go to dinner early - trying to avoid as many people as we can. And before Ashton cracks it again. We survive. No one tells us to leave, no one raises eyebrows at us - or at least, not while we are looking.
I'm sorry for any guests there that had to bear witness to this. I hope you understand, or one day will.