We spent our last day in Bali in the jungle town of Ubud. (It’s probably best known as the artsy town that Julia Roberts visited in the movie Eat, Pray, Love.)
First stop, the rice terraces. Rice terraces date back to ancient times and served as a way to cultivate sloped and hilly land. They are still fairly common throughout rural Asia, and can be sowed and harvested without the use of heavy machinery.
Apparently, the luwak has some sort of digestive enzyme that breaks the coffee bean down, making for easier roasting. The following are the various stages of the bean process. So, yes, someone has the job of collecting the luwak poop. I’ll pass.
We sat down at a lovely outdoor table, and they brought out a sampler of coffee and teas made at the plantation. We actually didn’t even try the luwak coffee because it is very expensive, but it supposedly has a much stronger and robust coffee flavor than regular coffee.
If you hold the banana over your head the monkey will climb right up you to get it. We saw one poor lady absolutely hounded for her banana bunch, the monkey was relentless and crawled all over her head and shoulders until he got the entire bunch of bananas. The lady looked quite rattled after that.
I’m actually pretty scared of the monkeys, they can be very mean and aggressive, so we decided beforehand that we would not feed them or get too close. Monkey bites are a very common occurrence at the park and can be quite serious.
But, Ella, my thrill seeker, found a banana on the ground and was desperate to have the monkeys climb on her because she thought it looked fun. We were not okay with that, so she sat on a bench and got as close as possible. That’s Ella.
Now for our close call. We were walking through the park, minding our own business, when Matt unknowingly stepped on a small part of a monkeys tail. The monkey assumed an attack stance and was making this awful screeching sound at Matt, then one of his friends also joined in. I thought for sure that Matt was going to be attacked. Matt turned to look at the monkey, not knowing what was going on, and broke the Monkey Forest number one rule, “never look a monkey in the eye”, because that is a sign of aggression. So there was Matt and the monkey, staring each other down. Good thing Matt out-sized him! We quickly got out of there and the crisis was averted, but it sure raised our blood pressure!
We’d had our fill of monkeys by that point, so we called it a day. Much more excitement than we were after!
Back at the hotel that evening, there was another pool side Balinese dance performance.