Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Honeymoon in Bali pt. 2

After a week in Nusa Dua, we departed for Ubud.  My wife and I were expecting a quiet, quaint little mountainous town surrounded by rice paddies, with Balinese folks going to and fro, living their rural agricultural lives.

Blame it on lack of research, but we were mistaken!

Ubud is, as the kids say, jumping.


This place is a shopping mecca.  We spent three days in downtown Ubud, shopping nonstop.  Was Ubud what we were expecting?  No.  But we adjusted, and we loved it all the same!  We did do some day trips, too.


We went to a coffee plantation and sampled a kind of coffee that you may or may not have heard of.  It's called Kopi Luwak.  If you're familiar with the coffee, you're already smiling to yourself.  If you aren't familiar with it, well, get ready to make some memories.


Kopi Luwak coffee is entirely dependent on one of these little guys.  They're known as civets.  They find the very finest of coffee cherries (only the best for civets), and they eat them.  Then, their digestive system works some kind of magic on these cherries.  After which, they defecate the cherries out.

You can see where this is going.

These post-civet coffee cherries are then cleaned (this part is *very* important), and shelled to reveal the delicious coffee beans within.  These beans are then prepared like regular coffee, at which point, I for one drank it.  And guess what?  It was delicious.  I can't describe the flavor, except to say it's more earthy than other coffee.  It makes me wonder what other foods can be improved upon by processing through a civet's mystical, magical digestive system.  My mother's food is wonderful, but what if she fed it to a civet first??  I don't think Teddy would approve of us getting a civet, however.  


We also visited several Balinese temples.  In Bali, Hindu is the biggest religion, and what a beautiful religion it is.  These temples are everywhere.



In order to gain access, one has to wear a sarong, as seen here.  And there's another rule by which everyone must abide...


Luckily, no one checks.  


We also visited rice paddies!  Rice is maybe my single favorite food.  I'd eat it three times a day every day if I could.  Visiting one of the places where wonderful, mysterious rice comes from was a bit like my own personal Mecca.

My wife took a picture of this little kid, and his pithy hat!


I did not ask for this event to play out like this.  My wife was going to take this man's picture, but he implored me to 'join in', so to speak.  Look at me with all that rice.  That's my happy face


Here is a photo of the guide who took us to all of these places and more.  He also taught us a great deal about Balinese culture, as well as the Hindu religion.  His name is Komang.  If you are ever in Bali, hit him up.  


Komang also took us to Mt. Batur, one of Bali's two volcanoes.  Fortunately for us, it was inactive during our entire stay. 



We also visited Lake Batur.  Here is a fisherman.


A shot of Mt. Batur from the lake.


A shot of the lake from the base of Mt. Batur.


Stay calm, mighty volcano.


We could have tried to hike up Mt. Batur, but our feets were sore, and we would've had to start the trek at five AM.  It's our honeymoon!  Far too early in the morning.  Maybe next time

My favorite part of this whole trip, though, was yet to come.  I would like to share with you all some photos from Ubud's Sacred Monkey Forest.


The Sacred Monkey Forest is basically a large park that consists of three temples, and countless Macaque monkeys.  They're the same kind that inhabit the Uluwatu temple, featured in my previous post.  The Sacred Monkey Forest has a heck of a lot more monkeys, though, and far fewer tourists.  We made sure our belongings were all secure, and we ventured in!


Everyone's familiar with the whole 'monkeys love bananas' thing.  I can now say that this is 100% true.  



The Monkey Forest is huge.  You might not see any monkeys in this picture, but trust me, they're there.


I even had a close monkey encounter of my own!  Within the Forest, people sell bananas that draw monkeys in droves.  I was nervous to do this at first because they are wild animals who might bite, but after seeing several others have a monkey experience and walk away unharmed, I decided to go for it.

Here's how it played out.

They tell you to stand still and hold a banana up in the air.  You can see the apprehension in my face.


About three seconds later, I found a buyer.


Here he comes.


Almost there.


The monkey-banana union has been achieved!


It's all good!  The monkey used me as a perch while eating the banana, and then took off.  

I also want to share this with you.  It's a picture of Babi Guling, aka suckling pig.  We went to this little warung very early in the day (before they run out of pig!), and my god was it delicious.  In this photo you can see pork, blood sausage, pork skin, pork rinds, and some kind of other pork thing that I don't know the word for.  I had two of these little platters.  I would've had a third, but my wife was there, and I didn't want her to think less of me.



This was such a wonderful trip.  I loved spending so much time with my wife without the distraction of work, and we made oh so many memories that will be with us forever.  Bali is a place that radiates love, and I truly believe that our love has deepened as a result.  And attained a unique, earthy flavor.  Like our love was a coffee berry and Bali was a civet.  You see where I'm going with this.


Best wishes from Bali!



10 comments:

The JR said...

Don't think I want a monkey perching on me :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Beautiful scenery, monkeys, civet poop coffee, a honeymoon! Who could ask for anything more? What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing your photos and stories with us, Blog Tech.

thecottagebythecranelakethree said...

That is one trip I would love to take one day!

Have a great day!

Christer.

StrictlyMystic said...

Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Guillaume said...

Cool, a monkey!

Mystica said...

Thanks for sharing. Come to Sri Lanka we can give you plenty of wild life! elephants and all.

TARYTERRE said...

A wonderful honeymoon indeed. Your love has been solidified by the journey, i'm sure. I'm not a coffee drinker myself, I stick to tea but my husband said he'd try the civets berries. Impressed you did the monkey thing too.

WendyFromNY said...

What a great trip! Loved your commentary, you missed your calling as a writer! (Unless you are...?)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I loved every moment of reading Brendan post. Without them I would never have seen Bali. I had to laugh at that last bit. Yep, knew where he was going with that. LOL Since I love coffee..I would have tried it too. They DO make the cutest couple!

chickpea678 said...

Very lovely to hear about your honeymoon! You are a talented witty writer :). I esp loved the pic of you and the man who implored you to join in and the analogy between your honeymoon, bali, the coffee bean and civet lol.