Day 211 to 212 – (2nd Apr – 3rd Apr) Bali

15 04 2011

Not what we imagined….

The island of Bali invokes lovely images of a tropical paradise, stunning beaches and relaxation. In the touristy south, this image could not be further from the truth. Filthy crowded streets, polluted waters and dirty beaches made for an interesting reality check. To be fair, we were warned about the horrors of Bali and only spent one day taking a tour of the island with a driver. Too big to be seen in a day, we chose to visit Ubud, a lovely town perched on the gentle slopes of the central Balinese mountains and has a rich culture, numerous temples and a much more chilled out feel to it.

Gunung Batur volcano (1717m) and Lake Batur I’m sure would have been lovely had they not been completely shrouded in cloud. We were fortunate to visit the Spring Water Temple during a religious event, getting to see the local Balinese people cleansing themselves in the holy spring water, and all that… We also had time to see a classic Balinese play between good and evil. Short stops were made at rice paddy terraces and a coffee plantation where we tried this ‘special’ Kopi Luwak coffee. The red ripe coffee cherry (bean and) all is eaten by a small tree dwelling mammal called a Paradoxurus. While in the stomach it undergoes a chemical treatment and fermentation and then is ejected from the Paradoxurus body, in the normal fashion. The still intact coffee bean is collected from the forest floor, cleaned (I should bloody hope so), then roasted like any other coffee bean. The resulting coffee is said to be like no other – Mike your usual quintuple shot..?

I must be getting old or possibly even maturing. The insanity that plays out on the roads of Indonesia between cars and scooters jostling for space would have interested me, possibly even presented a challenge. Now the thought of being out there, amongst it all just horrifies me. Sat in the back of the car, I can’t look anymore.

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