Sunday, August 30, 2009

Farewell to Bali

A few last things that we wanted to share from Bali before we return to posting in Korea. The first of these is our trip to the coffee plantation. They raise cocoa, coffee, coconuts, pineapple, spices, and many other tropical treats.

These are cocoa beans.

Coffee Beans.The animal which makes the special coffee: Poop coffee

"The Luwak is a picky eater." As a web source so eloquently puts it: "It is the indigenous animal who plays an "active" role in the harvesting of the raw coffee cherries. The Luwak feasts on ripe, red coffee cherries seeking out the sweet taste of the cherry itself, wanting little to do with the parchment of the coffee. Once the Luwak eats the cherry, the parchment covered coffee beans are passed out of the Luwak, with the parchment cover still protecting the green coffee beans. The local natives gather up the limited amount of the Luwak processed parchment coffee, remove the parchment shell, wash and clean, roast and grind." -The Coffee Critic

The coffee is not cheap either. It can go for as much as $300 per pound.

Baskets of roasted and unraosted coffee and cocoa. In the foreground are vanilla beans which we bought a heap of. They are much more affordable there than they are at home.We definitely felt like tourists as we took seats and tried out the coffee, hot cocoa, and the teas. They did not offer us any of the "special" coffee.

There were a plethora of spices for sale. Chelsie really enjoyed looking at all of the choices.

The next stop was a dot on the map which we were told would have a market with just about everything. Sukawati was the name of the town. We hired a driver.

I wish I could hype this part of the story up, but it was a tourist market. It was wild though. I don't think that I have ever seen so many t-shirts in one place before. It blew every surf shop that I had visited in Florida out of the water in the t-shirt quantity contest. There was also lots of jewelery, paintings, and sarongs for sale.

Isles and isles. It was pretty overwhelming. It seemed that the supply was far greater than the demand.
We stayed at a cozy location that was recommended by the Lonely Planet Guidebook. It was called Flashbacks and simply had 6 bungalows behind the restaurant. Once again the breakfasts were a treat and the service excellent. We love the open air feeling that is common to many of the houses, restaurants, and shops here.

We took our driver out that day for a great Balinese meal.

There were some very nice beaches in Sanur. Although they were not ideal for swimming in the waves, we thoroughly enjoyed the sand and the sun.
In the evening we found a great restaurant at one of the resorts which we ended up frequenting the 3 evenings that we were there. We loved the food and the service, but the scenery and the setting was the seller. It was a tent on the beach. Each evening the moon rose over the ocean as we ate. Fantastic.

The breeze blew in and really set the mood.
The live musicians made their way around the tables and when they made it to us, Mike requested, "The Lady in Red". We enjoyed them much better than the original 1986 version by Chris de Burgh. It was more mariachi and less 80's.
On our return trip home we went through Taiwan again. This is where bubble tea originated from. We have both enjoyed drinking the tea in the past with the large tapioca pearls at the bottom. We definitely look like we are in route in this picture.
The airport in Taiwan had a unique section in it dedicated to sharing the culture. We stamped our lunar calendar animals and painted our names while learning the calligraphic technique. We were also given tokens for the electronic massage chairs which were awesome.

A safe trip without any calamity. God blessed us with excellent sun, fun, and friends all along the way.


Jeff said...

I love seeing details of the architecture, and all of you, of course, since you're all beautiful people, but that airport shot at the end was my favorite. It is suitably gray, but the image is somehow as appealing and fascinating as it is hauntingly indifferent and isolating (despite the fact that the plane takes you home). And that's all I have to say about that. Dinnertime.

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