Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes ~ Clare Ansberry Bogor pleasantly surprised me. I thought that the only thing worth doing there was just paragliding but it has more to offer. Located 3 hours from the […]
It was with much anticipation that I finally took a sip of the most expensive coffee in the world, kopi luwak, while in Bali and I was disappointed to say the least. It was not exceptional. As a matter of fact, it was bland. How could something so expensive taste so simple?
I am not a coffee connoisseur, as a matter of fact I don’t drink coffee that much, thanks to my sensitive stomach and constant bouts of hyperacidity. But I do love the smell of coffee, it is a treat which I look forward to every morning so I thank all the coffee-drinkers of the world for the wonderful aroma of coffee.
Before we partook of the kopi luwak, we went through a garden of coffee beans while the tour guide of the small plantation showed us the many variety of teas and coffee beans, as well as the luwak sleeping in their cages (it was daytime and luwaks are nocturnal creatures). The luwak is a palm chivet or small cat-like creature which eats the coffee beans and poops it. This process makes the coffee beans more flavorful or so they say, although I tend to disagree with this.
“Cak cak cak”. On and on goes the chant from half-naked men sitting in a circle around a fire. They are in a trance, “cak cak cak”. Inebriated perhaps? No. Got a little hash-hish in their system? Wrong again. This is the most stunning of all Balinese dances. Brace yourselves as you are about to witness the dramatic and mesmerising Kecak and Fire Dance.
Kecak Dance is always performed before sunset and with the Uluwatu overlooking the Indian Ocean, the gods themselves could not have chosen a more apropos venue. There is no other source of light aside from the lone fire in the middle of the circle. It casts shadows on the faces of the men as they chant.
It was a little overcast when our plane finally landed at Adisucipto International Airport but at least it was no longer raining. After a quick check through immigration ( my friend and I did not need a visa as we are Filipinos), we exited the airport and looked for transportation to the hotel. You will find many taxis and private cars in Yogyakarta and you can hire most of them for as little as $40 a day.
It was a great thing to finally be in Yogyakarta; however, luck was not with me during my recent trip. A nearby volcano, Mt. Kelud, had just recently erupted and most of the place was covered in ash. I was disheartened to hear over breakfast on our second day that only up to level 2 of the temple would be accessible to tourists as they were still cleaning. I was disappointed but I was already in Yogyakarta and I was not going to pass up the chance to finally see Borobudur. Bring on the ash!