Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bali Poo, Bikes and Art Day 8-9.9

The island's cultural center is Ubud. So that’s where we’re headed next, but not before the hotel called in a doctor for Greg’s burn. They bandaged him up and we were on our way.

Transporting kite by bike
Kites for sale
It’s kite season and kites are everywhere. There’s even a Bali Kite Festival with competing teams of ten or more.

So I can poop on you!
We stop at a house of coffee and experience ‘Luwak’ coffee, called the most expensive coffee in the world. The coffee is made by having a little cat/weasel like animal, the palm civet eat the coffee berry and (seriously) defecate it. Then it’s collected, cleaned, roasted and brewed. By sending the bean thru the animals digestive track it adds enzymes and amino acids and has medicinal properties. They call it ‘the good shit.’
Greg's not buying this 'shit.'
There are also other amazing coffees and teas they make. Coconut coffee, Bali coffee, ginger coffee, ginseng coffee, mangosteen tea, tumeric tea, saffron tea… We get to taste test them all. Yes, I loved the coconut coffee, the ginger coffee was delicious but the ginger tea was better.  The expensive ‘Luwak” coffee?
Honestly, to me it taste like shit.

Art is everywhere in Ubud. Galleries, Batik factories, wood carvers. It’s a visual feast! (If this was video, a musical montage of art would happen now.)

Wood carvers

making batik

The next morning I go on a bike tour. Greg is now shedding/peeling and doesn’t want to risk it so he takes a different tour. The tour guide, Wayon, picks me up at the hotel in a van with my other bikers. Most are from Australia or New Zealand. One woman and her family are living in Timor, another from Uruguay. All are very nice and friendly. Our first stop is breakfast in the mountains near Mount Batur Volcano. Wonderful breakfast, including coconut black rice pudding. Taste like heaven.

No this wasnt the bike I used.
This is the bike I get 
Wayon our bike guide
After breakfast we drive to pick up our bikes. These bikes are not the newest but at least I have 3 (questionable) speeds.  Wayon takes us on a tour of Bali culture. We visit traditional Bali homes. In Bali babies can’t touch the ground for their first 3 months and the mother can’t do any work for those 3 months. I like this. Teens’ canine teeth are filed down. Oh, now I understand why everyone has perfectly straight & even front teeth.
Kids driving scooters
As we ride, motor bikes driven by little kids, pass us by. Wayon tells us you only have to be 10 to drive on in the smaller areas but 16 in the city.  I swear I saw six year old kids zooming past us.
We did 25km in 36c heat (15mi & 98F) mostly down hill. There was an optional 9km (5.5mi) uphill and I tried, but started getting terribly dehydrated. Coconut water please.

After the bike tour we head back to Seminyak and meet up with Ema for a last drink at Coup D’Etat another fabulous club on the ocean. Then we end with a meal at the Carribean restaurant ‘The Island.”

Good bye Bali, you were everything and more…
with Gooday