Monday, August 18, 2014 | By: BlackGargie

Bali Company Trip-Day 2

Due to the short naps I've been taking throughout the flight, I almost couldn't sleep a wink last night and it was only almost to the wee hours when I finally went into the Land of Nod. So trying to get up the next morning was an absolute chore, but the thought of having a nice hotel breakfast and a day trip ahead got me going.

We had our buffet breakfast at the patio floor of the hotel, and as usual, I couldn't resist taking some photos around, even taken some nice posing pics of us around the nice areas of the hotel.
















Patio pool and its surrounding areas

Pool at the ground floor

More shots across the street






Of course we posed for nice lovely shots, what're you talking about?


Us photographing each other


So this is how it looks like in broad daylight :)


Raka arrived just in time to pick us up, and our first destination was to go to an indoor stadium where they do daily dance shows called the traditional Barong dance. It's an interpretive dance play about the story of the Barong vs Rangda, an incarnation of the endless struggle and battle between good and evil. I've taken a few videos, but the dance is basically separated in one overture and 4 acts. It was quite an interesting dance, and the storyline (with the occasional improv comedy in between) looked pretty promising. If someone were to adapt it into a comic or a movie, I wouldn't mind watching it.


Entering the stadium to watch the dance


Stadium shots


The Barong/tiger

The Barong/tiger and his monkey companion

Ladies playing the role of Rangda's servants dancing

After the dance, we were brought to a handicraft store to shop for local souvenirs. We bought some shirts for our niece and nephews, and I got myself a nice dress while my hubs got a T-shirt. I also bought a souvenir for my buddy, which is Java Tea. They have an interesting way of paying, which is one counter to scan the items and one counter for the actual payment. I was impressed when I hear one of the employees there speaking fluent Japanese to one of the tourists in need, but if was pissed when one of them decided to jump queue and barged right in front of me when it was clearly my turn to pay for my bill. Hmph, you may be reserved and courteous in your own country but you sure as hell not when you're outside, that's for sure.






This is as far as I can take since photography is not allowed inside

After shopping for our souvenirs, we were brought to a district area that specializes in the business of crafting gold and silver jewelry. We didn't buy any, but we did take pretty awesome pictures along the way as well as the specific store itself.

Selfies~!




Shots along the way


That's creepy...





Statue shot on the sidewalk

Big statues of a deity I'm not sure I know

Oops!



Temple offerings








Outdoor shots of the store





Ladies hard at work





Jewelry samples

The sight that greets us when we enter


Overall shots

Deity statue

Silver and metal-forged bicycles. So cute, wish I could buy that

Sample of gold jewelry

Pimped-up skullhead

Chunks of gold

Chunks of silver


More shots

Outdoor relaxing spot shots


Not sure what these are, but they look interesting


Canteen




Kinda curious what building is this. Wanted to enter but not sure if we're allowed



More amazing temple shots


Durian growing in plain sight


Greetings and salutations





Extra shots before we have to leave


Then it was a one hour drive to our lunch destination which is up on the mountain. All of us decided to take a nap and relax on the way, so I took that opportunity to get that little shut eye that I needed after last night's bad night. I woke up when we were almost two-thirds of the trip and hit a snag where we ended up on the area of the mountain where the road was just one way. There were security people and tour guides trying to guide the traffic, but due to a miscommunication we ended up at a stalemate position where neither our bus nor the bus ahead of us was able to move. We saw that there was one orange tour van which was dangerously parked and leaning slightly towards the cliff and we totally worry about the tourist and how they were going to get on and off the van.

Shots while we wait




The traffic in stalemate


More shots

After some deliberation, we finally got moving when the bus ahead of us decided to reverse his vehicle and let us pass. The tourists inside his bus clapped at the success, so we also clapped at our success when we were finally on our way. LOL Although it did kinda reminded of that terrible news involving the tour bus and it's tourists that belonged to my ex-company when I was working as a tour guide back then.

30 minutes later, we finally reached our destination, which is at Mt. Batur, the iconic area where we are facing the great volcano mountain just across us from where we're eating. Food was great, but then again, we were already pretty hungry after that long stalemate bus fiasco and the even longer trip to get there. And of course, no lunch is complete without a few pics of the food and the scenery.


Shots of the volcano

More shots. Apparently the last time it erupted was 1995. Thankfully it didn't erupt while we're there


Just felt like taking a shot of this cute table design

Selfies again~!




More shots of me and my hubs

After our lunch, we were taken to one of their local plantation where they process coffee and herbal teas, and one is their most famous luwak coffee. Luwak coffee is famous in Indonesia for the way the coffee is made, which is basically feeding luwak, which are these cute possum cats that looks almost like little ferrets, the ripe coffee fruits, wait until they shit out the indigestible beans, collect and clean the beans, fry them, ground them and then sieve them into ready-to-brew coffee. Blergh~! Really, people?? You can't make coffee the normal way that you have to make it from beans that were shat out of cats??

Entering the plantation










Random shots of the plants that are grown and available there


Little caterpillars chowing on the leaves. Kinda rare to get bug shots like these





Display of herbs and spices planted



Luwak, or civet in English. They look so cute, like a little ferret/possum X3

The beans they shat out


Random fruit shots

The raw shit pellet version

Beans after harvest from the pellets

Frying the beans before grinding


Grounded beans that have become powder and ready to drink

Cute little LJ demonstrating her coffee grinding skills X3

Newly grown pineapple

Random plant shot


Their own home-grown cocoa pods

Still, the luwak are cute though.

We were then led to resting huts where we get to sample free coffee and tea that we can decide to buy later if we are satisfied with the taste. Only the luwak coffee was charged to drink, which is about Rp50,000 per cup. They brought in the tray of assorted coffee and tea for us to try, and since we were there, we ordered ourselves some luwak coffee to try. I'm not a fan of coffee, but it doesn't hurt to try something new. Turns out it does hurt my taste buds a little, but it was SUPER BITTER as fuck, or maybe it's because I'm not used to black coffee. But oh god, I just drank shit coffee, or the Balinese affectionately call it the "cat-poo-cinno". Blargh~! XP



Our drink break hut



Random shots of the scenery


Shots of the sugar and the finished luwak coffee




Shots of our coffee and tea

Bottom from left: Vanilla coffee, mochacinno coffee, coconut coffee and ginseng coffee; Middle from left: Pure coffee without sugar, mangosteen tea and saffron tea, hot cocoa; Top from left: herbal tea for blood circulation, ginger tea, red rice tea and lemon grass tea)


We bought us some souvenir coffee and tea, and I wanted to get me some cocoa to drink, but I decided not to because it's not always I brew things to drink anyways, so I bought myself a pure dark organic chocolate bar instead, while my hubs bought some tea for his dad.


Shots of the people hard at work to prepare the assorted tea and coffee

We finally got down the mountain and was taken to a branded clothes store where they sell authentic Ralph Lauren polo shirts. It's prolly a tourist gimmick so that they could earn commission for any tourists that buy stuff from this store, which I can related coz that's how I get commission too back when I was a tour guide, but really, this was not necessary. It was so expensive we cannot afford the price, the designs were mediocre that we could get something similar at a better bargain price, they only accept USD currency (if you don't have it, you have to pay by card), which was bloody ridiculous, and the salesgirls there watch and stalk you like a hawk, basically killing off your shopping mood. We left without buying anything, but I did take a picture of the place, just to not go empty handed.



Finally we were taken to our dinner spot called Hawaii Bali to have some authentic Balinese cuisine before doing our final souvenir shopping at a gift shop next door under the same company. We bought a couple of clothes for our princess and I went to get fridge magnets, which is a new hobby of mine when I go to new places, and I also got me a keychain where they will heat-carve your name to it. I couldn't resist, it looked cute, and I had cash to spare. We also stopped by at a convenient store to buy some snacks and booze before we returned to our hotel.



Our shopping area and dinner spot

Some of the ladies decided that they should forgo a few temples on the next day of our itinerary in favour of shopping because they won't have a chance to once we go for our island trip on Day 4. That and also because they thought it wouldn't be fair to the only Muslim member of our gang, prolly coz she's sensitive about entering temples that is not her religion. I was not happy about it because a) we are tourist in a foreign country and we should be doing touristy things, not shopping, or what would be the whole point of coming to a tour? And b) my buddy highly recommended one of the temples which is the Holy Monkey Forest, and I was not about to forgo that one just so we can do shopping that can be done back in Brunei.

I voiced my concerns about it and they clearly looked like they have not really read their itinerary through because they didn't even know Holy Monkey Forest was in the tour plan. I was quite adamant about visiting that, and thanks to Raka, we've finally decided to do our shopping in the morning and spend the rest of the day on the temple tours because our dinner spot for tomorrow is at the temple that was super famous and highly recommended as well. Sometimes this is what you get for touring with ladies that are pushing 40; they are absolute killjoys and shopping fanatics. Thank goodness I voiced my opinion or we would never get to have our money's worth of touring.

We spent the last hour enjoying a bit of R&R at the patio pool having a beer and chit-chat random stuff and generally being moderately drunk. I wanted to swim as well, but apparently pools are closed by 10pm, so I was a little disappointed since I already had my swimsuit on and all that. But no biggie, we have an entire island tour to enjoy my swimsuit, though I think maybe I should get myself a new one coz the size I bought was kinda biting through me, no thanks to my fat ass. -_-

Not sure whether it was really the ginseng coffee or it was just psychological, but my hubs and I got a bit of lovin' before bed, though the mood was kinda killed when it ended with me accidentally dropping and breaking the tissue case after we cleaned up. Let's just hope we don't have to actually pay for that. I'm sure there have been certain mishaps like that in the past for this hotel...right?

Stay tuned for Day 3!

0 comments: