Saturday was our first real day of sightseeing. We hired a driver for 500000 rupees ($35 ish) to take us around for 10 hours. This is important: DO NOT DRIVE IN BALI.
There are a lot of cars, even more motorbikes and it seems, very few rules. At one point our driver took us down what I swear was a sidewalk but he assured us it was a street.
They also use their horns a lot. They say "hello", "I'm here too" "please move" "move. Now." "Learn to drive" "hi mom". I would seriously not know what was happening if someone honked at me.
We stopped first at Starbucks to fuel up for the day. Here they have an Asian Dolce Latte that is so tasty. No idea what it is but so good! Japan Starbucks has a very limited menu so it was fun to see something different!
And we were off to our first stop which was Tamar Festival Bali, an abandoned amusement park!!
To get in, to the abandoned park, we paid a super authentic looking security guard. I'm sure he wasn't just some dude off the street making some money off tourists. Totally legit.
It was beautiful, and creepy. Nathaniel went inside a dark room and proclaimed there were bats! That was the last dark room Rosie and I entered. The park was never fully completed and there are many conflicting stories about what caused the park to close. One legend says that the crocodiles that were featured there were just left behind. We did hear something in the bushes and Nathaniel said it had a tail so I'm glad we didn't read that tale until later in the day!
At the end of the park is a beautiful temple right on the ocean. We put on our sarongs and visited its beauty.
Across from us we saw a number of people bathing in the water.
They seemed so happy!
On our way towards the park we had seen a kite festival, so we walked back along the ocean to see the kite flying teams!
Our next stop was lunch. We asked our driver, Kooz to take us someplace that had chicken. He took us to a place that was right on some water, had traditional Balinese food and some western food, and Balinese wine!
I could seriously eat Indonesian food all day, every day. Thank you Ron for introducing me.
Our next stop was a coffee farm. Here's the thing about the coffee farms here. They make Lawak coffee which is made from coffee beans, fed to mongooses and then pooped out. A lot of these animals are not treated well. And while on principal, I don't want to promote the mistreatment of animals, this is where our driver took us. They did say that each mongoose only spends a week near the tourists and then a lot of time on the farm where they have more room. I hope this is true.
We saw how they grow a lot of different trees for the flavors in their coffees and teas as well as essential oils.
Then we enjoyed a coffee and tea sampler.
And of course, #poopcoffee
The coffee was good for something shat out of a rodent. Best poop I've consumed.
Our next stop was a temple known as the "bat cave temple" because it has a cave filled with bats. And pythons who eat the bats. It was beautiful to see. We paid for a tour guide (again, super official) and it was so nice to have the explanations of what we were seeing.
You can hear the bats in this video.
Our Shuten (Japanese for last stop) was the Bali Safari park where we stayed for Saturday night. We went on a magical night safari whee we pet and fed zebras, tigers and elephants! Because they don't want to upset the animals, you cannot use your flash so we don't have a lot of pictures but it was really amazing!
Here is their female giraffe, Sophie!
An elephant spotted on me. It was amazing. And then I saw lady lions looking into the bathroom window in the restaurant! So that was Saturday! The hotel was super swanky and absolutely breathtaking! On Sunday we spent all day with animals, so you'll hear or read all about it next time on Home is Where the Coffee is. (Imagine me saying that in the TCM guys voice).