For part of my stay in Bali, I joined a small group and took a tour of the island. I’m not big on taking organized tours when I travel normally. I have found that I can see more and for less money by renting a scooter and driving myself, but I had limited time this trip, so I signed up.
Our first stop was the Kopi Luwak coffee plantation for a short tour and tasting. This is the part that actually sold me on the tour. I love coffee, and Bali has some of the best to offer.
We spent a little over an hour there trying about 7 coffees and 3 teas. All fresh and all quite tasty! My personal favorites were the cocoa/coffee and coconut/coffee blends. The ginger and lemongrass tea was nice as well.
I didn’t know it before but apparently the civet makes some great coffee. The little weasel like animal cannot pass up the delicious coffee beans. Once the beans have passed through, they are collected and the roasting process begins.
I couldn’t help but laugh when our guide, Mr. Happy (yes this is what we called him), kept calling the coffee Poo Coffee.
Next we went north to the Ulun Danu Barakat temple for lunch and a quick look around. The temple is pretty spectacular, and it’s location on the lake makes it even more beautiful.
The one downside is that we were there during a religious holiday, so tons of school groups were visiting. The place was packed, and the kids kept asking for pictures with us.
I thought they were just trying to get money from us, but Mr. Happy informed us they were not used to seeing white skinned people. They wanted to be able to return to their island and show off their pics with all the westerners.
Our next stop was the Sabungan (I hope I’m spelling that right) waterfall.
I’m a sucker for water slides, and the rocks in this particular waterfall were so smooth that you could slide down it.
I’m not going to lie…..I was a little scared. I had heard stories of people something similar in other places and getting severely hurt, but when in Rome right?
I built up my courage and took the plunge. It was fun!
Then we moved down to the second part of the falls where you can jump 10 meters into the pool below. I try to say that I’m so tough and not scared, but that was freaking scary! It’s the highest jump I’ve ever done.
The other girl in the group, Chloe, and I had to jump together because we were both too scared to go alone. My backside is still bruised. I was dumb and didn’t straighten my legs all the way before impact. Oh well….live and learn.
After everyone jumped a couple times, we walked down further to the last jump…..15 meters!
I was still shaking from the 10 meter jump, so I opted out. Maybe some day in the future I will get the courage to do it, but not this time.
We drove up to Lovina beach to watch the sunset before heading to our hostel for the night.
Since the holiday was going on, the family that ran the hostel wanted to perform a special show for us that night. Who knows, maybe they do this for everyone, but it was the highlight of the tour.
The band played traditional music and 2 little girls came out and did a lovely dance for us.
They were so cute. The girls were cousins and couldn’t help but giggle at each other during the dance.
After the performance, we were invited to join in.
By this point, we had all drank a good amount of beer and Arak (special Balinese liquor), so we were feeling pretty good.
I tried to dance like the girls, but failed miserably!
Most of the guys in our group were from Germany. Have you seen German men dance? I’m not going to say they all dance this way, but the guys in our group were hilarious. All of them looked liked Gumbie trying to dance.
We needed a break from dancing after a little while, so the band invited us to join them and learn to play some music. Again I like to think that I was playing just as good, but after watching the videos from that night, I now know otherwise.
We danced. We played music. We drank and laughed with the family.
By the end of the night, we were all hugging each other as if we were long lost best friends who had just reunited.
I had such a good time and will always have a wonderful memory of that night. I am so glad I took that tour. Had I tried it alone, I would have missed out on a wonderful evening with the Balinese family.
Have you had a similar experience while you were traveling? Please share you story in the comments below.