As some of you have noticed, this blog has been dormant for a while. Rather a long while. I have had emails enquiring as to whether I am still alive, and if I am, whether I have decided to opt for a life of leisure. The answer to both questions is yes, but the latter was, sadly, over all too quickly ; )
If you are wondering why this post comes accompanied with a photo of a baby monkey, it's because I recently returned from three weeks in blissful Bali (and a day either side in skyscrapered Singapore). Sometimes a holiday's gotta be a holiday, so I left my laptop behind and re-charged my chi with 21 days of complete R&R. And let me tell you, after a particularly mad, manic and multi-tasking start to 2008, I slept for England.
But enough about England.
Bali: I fell in love with this Indonesion island the first time I visited it, in the year 2000. This latest visit was my third and, wonderful as it was from start to finish, I was in agreement with my five-year old son about the absolute highlight: feeding bananas to the impossibly cute wild macaques (a Balinese breed of monkey) in the Monkey Forest Sanctuary. If there ever was a real-life enchanted forest, this is it, as nestling among the trees and creepers is a lost city of ancient temple ruins.
Bali... I celebrated my birthday at a beachside restaurant that was all candles, crashing waves and chilled music. No, it doesn't get much better than that.
But is Bali a good place to go if you want a 'raw holiday'? Well, fresh juice is fairly widely available in restaurants and cafes (much more so than in the UK), within two minutes of where I was staying was a juice and smoothie bar (mostly raw), and across the road from it were two markets selling durian. Young coconuts (you drink the refreshing, nutrient-rich water and then scoop out the flesh) are widely available in swanky hotel bars and humble beach shacks alike.
Our location turned out to be about as ideal as it gets for the raw food fan, but as this is an island where neither juice nor durian nor ripe tropical fruit nor young coconuts are hard to come by, it is hard to go wrong. On the gourmet food front I was expecting slim pickings as I knew from past experience that it's hard to get a decent vegetarian, let alone vegan, meal in most restaurants on the island, whether western or traditional. On the whole, that hasn't changed.