Tuesday, 24 January 2012



We had to do some urgent banking today and ironically it was easier to find a Commonwealth Bank here in Bali than at Sydney Airport where they obviously have done a deal with ANZ. Unfortunately the monetary matters took a little longer than we wanted it to, and our trip to Ubud was delayed by a good hour and a half. Our first stop was at a silversmith, where there was an amazing display of jewelry as well as workshop where you can watch the silversmiths at work. One does not go into a jewelry store without expecting a girl to make some purchase. So with Malcolm's wallet a little lighter, we headed for our lunch destination Bebek Bengil. Set with a view of the rice paddys, we devoured our lunch tasty lunch with gusto. Previously agreed upon attempts to moderate our intake were thrown out the window. Surely it must be a crime to waste crispy deep fried duck and seafood hot plate! It still amazes me at how all the variations of sauce based on chilli could all taste so good!

This is purely for those who are interested in my daily meals...mixed juice for breakfast today

Swiss muesli

And just for a change...eggs Florentine. I think I'll be going back to the Benedict next time

Lunch venue

The creature that the restaurtant was named after

Rice fields that the restaurant overlooks

The restaurant is made up of several pavillions, some have only 1 table on it, and others more like a traditional restaurant

Thirsty Duck

Fried squid balinese style

Almost forgot to take a photo...

Seafood hot plate

Chilli...oh glorious chilli!

Next up on the agenda is to tick off something on Malcolm's bucket list...to try Luwak coffee. We guided through by a very friendly and informative staff member who took us through the whole process of how the coffee was made. The theory is that the Luwak, a mongoose like animal, picks the best coffee beans to eat, thus is used as a quality control measure...The beans go through their stomach and then gets pooped out the other end. They poop about 25 beans per day. We were expecting to pay astronomical prices...to our surprise the coffee only set us back 50,000 rupiahs each (about $5). The verdict...although there was an obvious difference between Luwak coffee and the normal Balinese style coffee (the Luwak is much nicer), I think we still prefer our Italian style coffee. After deliberating about whether or not to buy some to bring home, we decided not chance Australian customs.

In we go!
The animal that eats the coffee beans, ferments it in its stomach then poops it out

The English name

The afore mentioned creature

The coffee plant

Coffee beans prepared on a tray ready to be given to the Luwak

Coffee bean poop ready to be collected

Beans are then washed and dried in the sun

Next step...roasting

Then...pounding it to a ground

The end result...ready to be boiled Balinese style

Getting a seat ready to taste test the final product

Free fried sweet potato as an accompaniment. Much nicer than peanuts!

The much anticipated cup of coffee

The other variety of tea and coffee that we got to taste test. Ginger, lemon, vanilla, chocolate, ginseng...

Seat with a great view

The view...wonderful way to enjoy our cups of caffeine

On the way home, Ipung took us to a batik factory. We bought a beautiful hand drawn silk batik, which we plan to hang up in the new home. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay long as we had to hurry back to our villa for our 2 hour spa session.

The spa session, to put it mildly, was interesting. We found out that through purchasing our "package" via the internet, the spa session was provided by the travel agent who put the deal up and not the villa themselves. We were picked up and to our horror the car turned into the most narrow driveway which was dark and went on for at least 500m. It stopped at a hut. This was not what I expected! There was mild panic as thoughts of kidnap went through my head. I was consoled by the fact the receptionist at the villa knew the travel agent and were aware of where we were going. I was also relieved that Malcolm and I were in the same room together. We got shuffled into a room which was fairly basic. We started off with a flower foot bath and massage, followed by an hour long massage. This was followed by a rather strange body rub which was frankly uncomfortable as whatever it was that they put on us was cold! They then expected us to have a bath in a tub that could barely fit Malcolm! We hurriedly got dressed and returned to the villa. They turned out to be friendly and honest with their only crime being not a "high end" place. My brain probably went into full paranoia mode but as an experience, it was still a little freaky! Did I enjoy the massage, yes. Would I do it again? NO!!!!

We returned to the safety of the villa and bought ourselves a very late dinner at the restaurant. Time to rest for another big day tomorrow.

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