I hired a driver (yes, you do that here) for $500,000 rupiah…$50 more or less…to take me the 3 hour drive from Sanur to Lovina in the north. We made 2 stops at the beginning of the trip. One was to the Taman Ayun Temple which has a $2,000 rupiah entrance fee but gullible me paid $15,000. I think the guy selling tickets spotted the folded $100,000 bills in my wallet. So basically I spent $1.50 Cdn instead of 20c.
After the temple we stopped at a tiny organic family run farm. Its amazing to me that the growers here grow a few trees of everything. There are not rows of coffee plants or cinnamon tress but one tree of this beside another tree of that. This little farm had coffee, cinnamon, saffron, cloves, jack fruit, star anise and the list goes on.
Okay I did buy a tiny bag of coffee beans, some saffron and star anise that I am hoping the Australian border will allow through. What I didn’t buy was the Lucak coffee…this is the kind that is derived when a mongoose eats the coffee beans, the beans ferment in his stomach, it comes out the other end and then the beans are collected, washed, roasted and sold at premium prices. There were 2 poor mongooses asleep in 2 small wire cages! The tour guide/owner told me they are happy in there and are very active at night. Sure..I believe you buddy. They are kept in the cages for 1 year! And later when I read the brochure it said the beans were picked up off the forest floor…….that’s marketing for you. In reality, the poop drops through the wire of the cage and is scrapped from wood planks just below. Its quite sad.