Kev About the dogs...in Balinese culture dogs are considered evil. No one addresses them for fear of the evil spirit coming into the person, so they are left to their own devices, hence you recognizing them as being unloved.
Seminyak to Lovina
3 days in Seminyak, not really on purpose, but we hit a few road blocks, including Elisa’s day at the hospital (turned out to just be a sprained wrist).
I also was able to hook up with a couple of people living at the Tropical MBA house in Seminyak. This is Dan Andrews’ house where interns and employees of his company come to Bali and live there for a period of time to work with him. Anyway, one of them is American and the other from Austria. It was fun hearing their stories, and their thoughts on Bali after being here several months to a year. Their power was out that day so we met up at a coffee shop to get some wifi, then swung by the house. It’s nice but they have to deal with some 3rd world problems, like brown outs, slow internet, and motorbikes (which, it seems that almost everyone has a story about having an accident!).
The next day was the laziest day yet. Around mid-day we booked a 2-day tour for the following day, which headed up north to the rice fields, a hike on the volcano at Mt Batur, and overnight in Lovina in the north.
The first stop was at a place to get Luwak coffee. A Luwak is an animal that looks like a cross between a cat and a possum, and it eats these seeds that get passed through and pooped out and supposedly then have this special property that people make this really good coffee out of! So, we stopped to get some cat poop coffee, which I didn’t want but she was dying to try. They gave us samples of regular coffee, flavored coffee, and specialized teas that were all pretty tasty. The Luwak was just really strong. Elisa made it through about 1/2 a cup and I took a sip. Nobody died!
A couple of side tidbits. Many of the Balinese are really hard to understand. Most know a little English but that’s about it, and there’s a lot of conversations that sort of end with nobody sure if the message got through. Also, the taxi driver/hawkers are hilarious (but not on purpose). Here’s how it usually goes when you walk by a taxi driver who’s trying to sell his services:
“Yes? Taxi? Yes? Transport? Maybe? Tomorrow?”
Not many of them know when to back off.
The other thing is the cats and dogs here. The dogs mope around looking really sad and hopeless. There’s no life to them! They’re completely different from dogs back home. They seem unloved or something. The cats are super scrawny and walk around with angry scowls on their faces, and have these really scratchy, annoying meows.
Anyway, after the cat poo coffee, we went on a hike up to Mt Batur, overlooking Batur lake. It rained like crazy almost the whole time, we got soaked, my little windbreaker didn’t do anything, and my camera got wet and looks like it’s broken! Anyway, the volcano was pretty cool once we got to the top, (pics comment), and the story there was a big gust of wind at one point when our guide came and grabbed my arm and pulled me to “safety”! I let him bask in the glory of thinking he saved my life. The way down was even more wet, but my Keen sandals literally saved me from going down about 7 times. The difficulty level of the hike was moderate, took about 3.5 hours total.
Got to Lovina last night. The weather here is really nice. It’s a sleepy town with a little bit of tourism. I’m not sure what’s exciting about this place other than there is a beach with a statue of a dolphin. There’s also muslims here (last night you could here that weird chanting coming from a local mosque, kind of interesting). Other than that, the beaches are black sand and covered with trash, the water is rough but not really any waves.
Kind of looking forward to getting out of here today. Supposed to go visit some waterfalls and a few other things before heading back to Seminyak.