Flip Flop Thieves. During our visit to the Uluwatu Temple, located at the south of Bali, we almost fell victim of these flip-flop thieves. We were visiting the temple on our last day in Indonesia, and wanted to find a quiet spot from which to view the sunset. Precautionary signs warn visitors of the monkeys grabbing attractive items such as sunglasses and cameras. Apparently, they can be calmer when approached with peanuts or bananas, lending an opportunity to retake stolen possessions. Monkeys are not slow though, and they move quietly, so you really have to watch your belongings when they are around. Coming from South Africa, this is not new to me, but it never gets old either. My heart always pounds as a group of monkeys approach. They silently encircle you and maintaining unbreakable eye contact. It is really intimidating!
At Uluwatu temple we came across a group of monkeys who were after the tourists flip-flops (among other things). While we were admiring the sunset, some of them ran over to a couple next to us and grabbed both their sets of flip-flops, which were lying on the ground next them. It seems far enough that they monkeys would take flip-flops lying around, but they then started jumping towards peoples feet to remove their flip-flops. Monkeys are pretty scary, especially when they are after something that you have on you.
Here we are, trying to take a family picture in front of the sunset, when a couple of moneys ran close to us. Justin and I quickly looked away from he camera as we heard some tourist shouting. After that I took off my flip-flops and hid them under my shirt, and tucked into my waist band.
TAKE TWO: We got our family picture, but we were all quiet nervous about the pesky monkeys prowling the area. Apparently the monkeys guard Uluwatu Temple from bad spirits, but ironically they were the ones disturbing the peace.
We eventually managed to ignore them – with all of our goods concealed – and enjoyed a spectacular sunset on our last day in Indonesia. I could write a book on all of the crazy monkeys stories that I have, however these monkeys were something else. After stealing the tourists flips-flops they would tear them into tiny pieces with their teeth!