The whole ride from Nusa Dua To Ubud the driver spoke of what Bali had to offer. The Governor, Politics, recent Bombings, the geographical features such as the volcanoes, the flooding in Jakarta, etc. He did seem to know a lot but I guess that came with what he did for a living.
I was very surprised to find that gas (petrol) was very expensive here. For 20 liters the driver paid 13,00,000 Rupiah (divided by 20 = 65,000 divided by 12,000 which comes to 5.41 dollars per liter so that multiply by 20 =108.3 dollars for 20 liters), so that in Ngultrum comes to Nu. 6,825.00 (Yep! Pretty expensive if I got my Math right)
The first stop we made was at a Batik workshop where we saw a few ladies showcasing to tourists like us their artistic skills and explaining how the process of batik, how they are printed, weaved and just like those Jim Thompson stores, they had a huge one inside.
|Woman weaving Batik Cloth|
|Batik Cloth being woven|
|Batik Design in process|
|A Silver Pendant in the process of making|
Still on the way to Ubuud, we stopped by a silver workshop since that area was famous and well known for gold and silver works. Apparently, most of the silver and gold are controlled by foreign investors but with Indonesian owners (clearly fronting and this is an inside scoup...haha)
Then we moved towards to a temple in ubud which lies below the presidential house which looked very green and modern architecture. They had bath places where people came to either purify, for their health and the last stone bath place was meant only for the Royals. Everything seemed rather different than normal to us but the stone carvings they had looked very similar to the wood carvings we have in Bhutan. Gede told us that here in Bali 90 percent of the religion is Hindu while the other islands of Indonesia are mostly inhabited with Muslim population and apparently they are constantly at war between the two religions.
|A Woman at one of the Silvershop|
|Second Bath Pool|
|Visiting the Temple in the most Local style|
|Presidential House on top of the Hill|
|Prayer and Posing|
|Feeding the Hungry fishes|
As we were driving up to see the volcano in Kitimani, we passed by many coffee plantations and orange orchards. It started to rain but it was very cool never the less in the car which was very comfortable and our driver Gede never failed to entertain us. I also learnt that Gede is a common name just like Karma or Sonam but here the name Gede belongsto the lowest farmer caste in the Hindu caste system.
We drove up to Kintamani village to See the volcano as luck had it on our side we saw the glimpse of the volcano mountain before it started to fog up. Apparently the village remains very foggy throughout the day day and seldom they see sunshine. As we were there it reminded me of the place in Kodai or even Ooty.
One interesting thing to note is that as we entered the village we had to pay 25,000 for the both of us as tax to the village tax collectors and I appreciated this effort because the money goes back to the village and for their prosperity.
One funny thing I learnt is that one day "Silent Day" in a year people do not come out of the house, stay indoors, not allowed lights, no airplane movement, no movement. It is suppose to be a silent dead day. Purpose: not too sure but I think it is darn good idea by the government to promote family time together as I am sure one or two family members are always working to earn for their livelihood. This only happens in Bali.
Driving back we stopped by a coffee plantation to taste and buy some luwak coffee which is the world's most expensive coffee. Expensive because they domesticate the civit * in a cage and feed them with coffee beans which they eat and poop it out. Before they poop it out, the coffee beans are eaten and due to their digestive enzyme it takes away the biter taste and does something miraculous inside their stomach. When they poop they collect the beans in the morning and wash them with hot water before it is dried. Then the bean is peeled and roasted. That's how luwak coffee is made :) the animal looks like a cat with long tail and hangs upside down and crawls etc but not friendly. The fur is not so thick but they were all kept in single cells and there was about 12 of them. As the taxi driver told us the other day "Luwak in jail" and he just couldn't stop laughing.
|Bali Pulina : Coffee Plantation|
|Different coffee types|
After this we had lunch at this cool resturant in Ubuud where Tshe Namgay had the most yummiest Pork Ribs and then drove back down to Nusa Dua to end the trip.
Price of the trip: 650,000 Rupiah...