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Bali Hai

I have neglected my responsibility to show you some of the beauty and cool stuff about Bali. Sorry. We have been planning our next jaunt and it has consumed my time, imagination and dreams.  But I must finish posting about Bali before I move on, so here goes.

Bali Hai beer. A good way to start your vacation.

Bali has beautiful countryside to look at. These rice terraces are all over the hills. Bali also has long stretches of white sand beaches. I am trying to stay positive with this post, but behind me when I took this picture is a long line of traffic and hundreds of hawkers and junk stores. Plus the beaches are covered with sunburned Russians. Our tour guide described Russians as "loud, vodka drinking louts who do not tip."

Bali's highest point is this volcano called Gunung Batur. The drive up to it, while crowded with people like us (damn tourists), is quite beautiful.

Bali has always had crafts people. They have beautiful weavings. They carve wood for you to buy. But my favorite, and probably the most evocative art craft in Bali is Batik. They make all types of clothing, including unfortunately shirts. I bought more than I will ever need. Anyone want a 2X sized batik shirt? This photo os of a woman applying wax to the design already drawn on the silk. Then they dye it, and do it over again for every color. This is time consuming and labor intensive. Yet, at least in Bali, the shirts are not that expensive.

The food in Bali is really quite wonderful. The seafood in particular (duh, it IS an island). I loved the way they served this rice side dish with the banana leaf dunce cap.

The best place we visited in Bali was this producer of Kopi Luwak. If you ever go to Bali, go here.

This is why you should visit this place. This is Kopi Luwak, which crudely translates into coffee from the shit of the Luwak. The luwak is a cat like animal that feasts on ripe coffee beans. The digestive process of the cat leaves the beans intact, yet secretes any hint of acidity in the coffee. The locals find the cat shit, then they remove the beans and roast them like any other coffee bean. The result is the best coffee this reporter has ever drank, and I have had Costa Rican Terra Zu, Jamaican Blue Mountain, you name it. I love good coffee. This tradition came from colonial edicts that prohibited the locals from harvesting beans for their own use, so they started harvesting the cat shit. When the Dutch ruling class tasted what the locals were drinking, it became a craze. Now it sells for US$1000 a pound in New York. Restaurants charge US$90 a cup for it.

Keeping with weird tradition of showing you what the restroom signs look like...I am glad they used the words or I could not have figured it out.

Could you?

The very weirdest thing I found in Bali was in the men's room of the lobby in our hotel. Take a good look. Too weird anywhere, especially in the men's room.

Well folks, that is it for our trip to Bali. Overall we enjoyed it, but like I said in the previous post, it is not worth the effort or cost to get there. (It took us 26 hours to get home,from the hotel lobby to our living room and cost way too much money). Bali never considered sustainable tourism in their plans, and it is too late now.

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Next post…London!

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