Ubud

9th December 2012

‘I am tripping on mushrooms!’

Group of people I met in Monkey Forest

Group of people I met in Monkey Forest

That was my first introduction to a crazy 21 year old couch surfer from Germany. His host is this lovely Balinese guy that lives in Kuta. I bumped into them at the Monkey Forest, in Ubud. The German lad offered me some mushrooms but somehow hallucinating in a forest full of attacking monkeys didn’t seem like my idea of fun, so I kindly refused. Earlier that morning, I got attacked by one of the monkeys, who literally climbed me like I was some tree, pulling down my strapless dress so I could do nothing else but drop the bananas in my hands that I bought two seconds ago and grab onto the top of my dress, in order to save me some serious embarrassment.

My newfound friends said to join them to see the rice fields and coffee plantation, and

please stop pulling down my dress!!

please stop pulling down my dress!!

since I had nothing else to do all I had to say was yes. We drove our scooters, on the way got ripped off by a 5 year old girl selling post cards (fair play to her!), and when we arrived at the coffee plantation I felt so happy I agreed to coming with them. This place was like paradise, so beautiful. Civet Coffee, the most expensive coffee in the world is made at this plantation. You pay about $50 for a tiny pack of coffee beans. What makes the coffee so special is that the beans of the coffee berries are excreted after they have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet. How lovely! After passing through the civet’s intestines they are still in their original shape and collected by the farmers. Apparently the flavour of the coffee is intensified (no wonder!) and it is a real delicacy. I always wonder when it comes to strange food habits: how does someone come to this conclusion?! Apparently it’s the Dutch’s fault! During colonisation, they prohibited the native farmers from picking coffee fruits for own use. Desperate for a cup of coffee, the native farmers found some whole coffee beans in the faeces of the Civets and then discovered its added flavour. Brilliant…

cought in a tropical storm

cought in a tropical storm

After a coffee tasting session we were ready to go back to Ubud, when rain started to fall. And didn’t stop for about 2 hours. When I say rain, I mean buckets and buckets per second per square meter. After about an hour, we realised it was not going to stop so decided to make a move on our scooters anyway. Walking through the rain in what felt like a river, I looked up and saw that the lightning had taken down some trees. One branch was laying on the electrical wires running to the plantation. It was one of those moments where you look down at your feet, look up, look down again and realise that there is a chance you might die of electrocution. Since the river went on for another 200 meters, there’s just not much you can do but hope the wires are strong enough to not snap and kill us all! OK maybe a tad dramatic but I was happy when I was on my rubber wheeled scooter, I can tell you that. J Riding back to Ubud all I could think was: that was an awesome adventure! Nothing to make you feel more alive than a tropical storm like that…

12th December 2012

Ubud is a magical place… I can see how days can become weeks, weeks can become months and months can become years! So many Westerners have come here and never left. There’s so much to do, yet it’s such a chilled out place. Lovely bars, cafe’s, spas, … it’s like Brighton but a 10th of the price, so you’re actually able to do all the amazing things this place has to offer. It will be hard to leave tomorrow…

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