Our China trip became our Bali trip shortly after some friends gave rave reviews of their trip into Indonesia. The flight was uneventful, but our luggage was strapped with security tape in Jakarta and we went through security so many times, I ran out of fingers.
It wasn't necessary to go out for food, oh no. Our butler gave our personal chef instructions of what and when we would eat. Then our driver took us where we wanted to go. The driver was a necessity. You do NOT want to drive in Indonesia. There is no speed limit, and there are 10 motorcycles for every car, and there are three lanes of cars on a two lane road (one row drives on the center line).
This rice paddy was on the road to Tulamben, where we dove the U.S.S. Liberty. The Japanese torpedoed the ship in 1943, and when the crew couldn't pump the water out fast enough to save it, they ran it up on shore. It shifted during a volcano eruption in the 70s, and now is 40 meters offshore. We dove a wall also and went down to 30 meters, but didn't see the bottom.
On the ride back, we stopped so that Welmoad and Michel, a very interesting couple from The Netherlands could buy a small sculpture made from black stone mined at volcanoes. Good souvenir. Allan is helping them pick it out.
We just had that one day in Ubud, but if you go to Bali, it's worth a little more time.
There's a lake at the far side of the volcano's center. We didn't get to ride over, or take the boat across. Katut, our driver said the road was worse than average and the boat was not running.
What better way to follow lunch than with some gourmet coffee? We did that at a coffee plantation.
Ah, now the end of the story... Jack finds out the process used for making his coffee. A small animal called a luwac ingests the bean. It is marinated in the animal's digestive system and then released covered in luwac poop.
The beans are collected, cleaned and roasted in the traditional way, shown here.
After a short tour, we were given a flight of coffees (hot chocolate for me). Allan tasted several varieties other than luwac, which we purchased as gifts. And yes, he paid $35 for 100 grams (about 4 ozs.) of luwac to try at the office.
We stopped here at my insistence. I had to have a picture of the furniture at this shop. I'm sure this is where I lost my glasses.
Most wooden items in Bali were carved deities, animals - mythical and otherwise, and oddly I thought, the male copulatory and urinary organ in a variety of sizes.
Another stop put us at the beach, where locals had shops selling souvenir shirts, hats, more shoes and the usual tourist stuff.
This was dinner out. I like the cuisine in Indonesia, the spices and flavorings. But I got really tired of fileting my own fish. I carefully separated the bones, but most bites I ended up with at least one in my mouth. But the drinks were good!
This is Taneh Lot, a temple built on rock about 100 meters off shore. During high tide, it's surrounded by water. We visited in the afternoon, during low tide, like all the tourists.
To reach the temple, you pass dozens of... you guessed it, souvenir shops. We reached the Holy Spring, but people weren't touching the water, which surprised me a little. (Don't you need to touch it for affect?)
We couldn't walk up these steps, but we walked pretty much around the structure. Then up some steps nearby for some rest and relaxation, and some people watching.
We stayed right here until sundown to get a nice shop of the temple with the sun setting behind it. And the beer (Bientang - the local brew) wasn't bad either.
These two were interesting - monk photographers. One spent a little time doing glamour shots for a western woman in jeans and a pink shirt. Allan and I had fun speculating about that threesome.
Though we had most of our meals by the pool at the villa, we always have one dinner at a nice restaurant, so we ate outside at one called the Living Room.
The last full day we did some horseback riding. Indonesian horses are a smaller breed than we're used to, but they didn't have any trouble carrying the two big Americans along the beach on the Java Sea.
I had another massage the morning we left, this time with a body scrub and a bubble bath. It's a pretty great way to end a week in Bali. I could go back. Wanna come?