Day 39–Fri., Nov. 4, 2011–Tanah Ampo, Bali, IN

     Bali is an Indonesian island located at the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands.  The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia’s small Hindu minority.  Now it is the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting , leather, metalworking and music.  Much of the carved wood, stone or metal works are made for religious purposes, especially to decorate temples and public buildings.

    IMG_0004 At 6 am it was 77ºF.  This is a tender port and there were dancers and music to greet us.  We had a Cruise Critic tour arranged by Louise today with Ray (Joray) as our ‘leader’.  There were 8 in our group and everyone was supposed to have a window seat, but it didn’t work out that way.  The van had 4 rows of 3 seats each, but the driver and guide sat if the front.  Ray and I took the back row, which had wheel wells on each side and you had to climb over the third row fold-over seat.IMG_0009  We went to a Batik factory first and I was so busy looking at everything that I for got to take pictures.  I bought a set of tools for the wax to try it myself.

IMG_0017  We then went to a local home of an average family.  The grandparents had a bedroom with walls and their children and grandchildren had separate sleeping platforms with curtains around the beds.  The flowers were absolutely beautiful. 
IMG_0018 IMG_0022 IMG_0029 IMG_0041 

The also had a family temple.  One of the strange things they had was an animal in a cage.  It was a native mammal called a paradoxurus or a luwak as the natives call it.   Paradoxuros or LuwakKopi Luwak Coffee comes from Bali.  The luwak lives in trees and one of their favorite foods is the red, ripe coffee cherry.  They eat the cherries, bean and all.  While the bean is in the little guy’s stomach, it undergoes chemical treatment and fermentations.  The bean finishes its journey through the digestive system and exits.  The still intact beans are collected from the forest floor, and are cleaned, then roasted and ground like any other coffee.  The resulting coffee is said to be like no other.  It has a rich, heavy flavor with hints of caramel or chocolate.  Other terms used to describe it are earthy, musky and exotic.  The body is almost syrupy and it’s very smooth.  Coffee anyone?

     Our route took us on many back roads and we saw two accidents.  Each home has its own temple and they only go to the village temple for special occasions, like a full moon.  Our last stop took us to a wood carving store. Wood Carvers   There were some workers sitting outside showing us the various steps.  The carvings were beautiful.  No cameras were allowed inside.  

     There was a brand new terminal at the end of the new dock, but there were no vendors inside.  There were a few outside the gate.  Tonight’s entertainment was The Bryan G. Show.  Bryan G has traveled the world on a comical multi-genre musical journey.  He was very good.  He played the guitar with hi right and left hand, the fiddle, piano and harmonica.

“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about.”  ~  Joseph Campbell

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