I have no interest in animals at home. The main interaction people seem to have with them around here is hunting them for sport, or running them over. However when I'm away, particularly in more exotic climbers, they usually become quite a prominent part of the my trip, and this was very much the case in Indo. Some experiences of them were amazing, like swimming with a turtle off the beach in Gilli T, and some where less good, like the being kept up by the rodent inhabitants of the only hotel in Lembar. Here are some of my experiences of the creatures of Indo:
Bitten by a monkey-
In Ubud monkey forest the monkeys are worryingly tame, making them less like monkeys and more like a cross between domesticated animals and small devious people. The minute you are in possession of a food they want, they'll come grab it, especially if its bananas, which I thought monkeys love for was largely fictional and only existent in children's story books and cartoons, but they really are mad for 'em. They also however would steal water bottles and I even saw two have a fight over a deflated beach ball, so I guess it was really anything they could get their hands on. I was sitting on the wall watching some put on a show in the fountain when one crept over and tried to pull my hotel room key out of my pocket, I pulled away and whether it was in revenge for my defiance or he thought my beautiful muscular bronzed arm was a some sort of food, he grabbed it with both his little hands and took a bite out of it. I didn't have a rabis jab before I left as it was far to expensive and I thought that I could avoid the disease by staying away from anything (or anyone) frothing at the mouth, but after this I was a little nervous I may have contracted it and would soon become angry, delusional and have an uncontrollable maintained erection (one of the symptoms according to the NHS). However on arrival at what looked like a tiny doctors surgery in a building near the entrance, a man who resembled a doctor in dress and mannerisms welcomed me in, sat me down, cleaned my wound, told me the monkeys had be tested and I did not have rabies and sent me on my way. It later transpired this was the monkey forests own personal doctors, which did make me wonder when the occurrence of bites (or other monkey induced injuries) became so frequent it was decided an on-site doctors was required and also how extremely dull his job must be.
The winning monkey with his prize.
The only Hotel in Lembar-
Lembar is a pretty sorry place by Lombok's incredibly high standards, It didn't help that it was pissing with rain when we arrived and our previous destination had been Desert Point, one of my favorite places I've ever been in the world. We were getting the ferry back to Bali and we decided to stay a night in the port town of Lembar and get it in the morning. We found what seemed to be the only hotel in the town and after trying and failing to haggle down an extortionate price we were shown to our two tiered room. The ground floor seemed virtually pointless, with an L-shaped impersonation of a sofa, a piece of art on the wall and a clock. The upstairs was alright, although there did seem to be an architectural error, in that the top of the walls did not meet the ceiling, leaving a gap between the two. I awoke at about 2am to my girlfriend pointing out a pair of rats that were taking full advantage of this floor in the buildings construction for the purposes of playing/ mating/ fighting. David Attenborough adores all creatures, but he admites even he despises rats and I'm fully with him on it. My hate for them was also much intensified by their presence, at two o'clock in the morning, chasing each other and squeaking loudly (again as if in a cartoon) round the top of the room with their little nails scratching noisily on the wooden beams. After a while of trying to decide what to do, we made our way downstairs to the L-shaped mock sofas, that had previously appeared so obsolete. We heard the rats had made their way down the walls and were now in the room above so decided to get in the feotul position on the 3 foot 'sofas' with their wafer thin cushion and try and at least get a few hours sleep for our 7 odd quid.
Staying at The Gong in Uluwatu, which is one of the sickest hotels we stayed at all trip, a gecko found its way into our room. Was a pretty attractive little fella, but a little too jittery during the night to be an adequate roommate, so it was decided (by my girlfriend) that I should absent him with a broom provided by the non-shalont and slightly confused (at what our objection to the gecko was) hotel owner. It took about 40 minutes to move him out, as he repeatedly took refuge behind a cupboard, that and the fact we had to stop the excavation a few times to explain to hotel staff that although we knew he wasn't going to come and bite us in our sleep, we were sure we didn't want him. When we finally managed to coax him out an open window, we watched as he ran straight out and then straight into next doors room. I took the decision not to mention to them that we had played quite a big part in his re-habitation, so when offered to come and see the 'sick lizard' in their room, I went in feeling smug but a bit guilty. On entry I casually said that I thought we might have seen him in ours earlier, to which one of the yanks replied gleefully that he was theirs now, and they were going to keep him to eat all the mozzies, before jumping on his bed with his arm outstretched towards where the gecko was on the wall, shouting 'High five' as he slapped the area next to what I would imagine was now a somewhat traumatized reptile.