Our day out in Bali (continued)

This is a continuation of our previous post.

We crashed. The car in front of us braked hard and our driver did the same, managing to actually stop in time. However, the car behind us, which was following too closely, slammed into our rear and forced our car into the car in front of us. We were pretty shocked. Jessi had a headache before and the impact made it worse. But other than that, we were physically fine. Our guide, Nyoman, was extremely concerned about Jessi but showed little compassion for me. That pissed me off a bit! After all, I could have been hurt too. But on second thought, he was probably afraid that the "white lady" would file a lawsuit against him, the driver and their company. The Malaysian guy couldn't do much harm. *sigh*

Back to the accident. So, I got out of the car like the other passengers and took some shots both for evidence and for my faithful blog readers. Believe it or not, all the cars were chauffeuring tourists! Who else would have time to visit Kintamani on a weekday? Fortunately, none of the other passengers were hurt either and after about 15 minutes we drove our separate ways (which were all in the same direction and probably towards the same destination).

It was during this time that Nyoman decided to enlighten me about the secret of Balinese coffee. I thought to myself, "Now I have a nice, mystical story to bring back with me from Bali!" If I only knew better. This is Nyoman's story: Bali is famous for its tasty, strong coffee and there is a secret behind it. The coffee plantations here are filled with foxes. The foxes love coffee beans - they eat them. These generous beasts leave their droppings in the fields only to be happily picked up by the farmers when harvesting their crops. The farmers do not try to separate the feces from the beans but have them processed together because it apparently adds flavor. After a (hopefully very) long process, you magically get Balinese coffee powder. Think about this "mystical" story the next time you decide to order a pot of Balinese coffee in Starbucks.

Soon, we arrived in a Chinese restaurant for lunch. It was pleasantly cooling when we got out of the car. We were probably about 1000 m or so above sea level. I would guess that the temperature there was about 20 degrees. The restaurant had a spectacular view of Mount Batur, which is more than I can say for their food. It was pretty crowded but we were still able to find some good seats. After lunch, I took some photos from the restaurant, including the panorama above.

At about 3 pm, we met Nyoman outside the restaurant, got into our car and went on our way. Our next stop was the rice terraces. Before we got out of the car, Nyoman warned us not to buy anything from the people there. Apparently, they often entice tourists with extremely low prices (e.g. 1 USD) only to demand more once they have agreed to buy. I don't really understand how that "scam" would work in practice but I wasn't keen to find out. We took his advice. Rice is a staple food for Balinese and most of Asia. It was interesting to see their ingenuity at work in devising such terraces to grow paddy in the mountains. We didn't stay very long and soon hit the road again.

Our next and final destination for the day: Tanah Lot Temple (left). Tanah Lot is probably the most famous place of interest in Bali. Here are links to the Wikipedia entry and the official website for more information. We tried to catch the sunset at Tanah Lot - it's supposed to be spectacular. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see much when we were there. Nonetheless, it was a splendid experience and we took some pretty good photos, I think. An interesting thing about Tanah Lot is that you can only walk to the temple when it's low tide. The path to the temple is submerged in water during high tide. It was low tide when we were there and we got pretty close to the temple.

After a while, Nyoman took us to another cliff that had an excellent view of Tanah Lot as well as another temple (right), which was on the opposite side. I took as many shots as I could before it got too dark.

By then, we were exhausted and it was time to call it a day. The drive home took us about an hour. Overall, it was a great day out in Bali.



The Sudden Cook said...

I am sure the driver was ALSO concerned about you Jo! Haha- that part was really funny!

J.J.S. said...

Should have threatened him with a lawsuit ! :-)

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