Bali, Indonesia – Ubud and the Rice Paddies

9/17 – We took a walk beyond the main tourist street to the place where the Indonesian wood carvings were made.  There were huge wood and stone carvings, most of which were too big to consider bringing home.  We came to a factory where the wares were stenciled “Costa Rica” and “Aloha from Hawaii” – now we know where the rest of the world gets its souvenirs!image image

Is it my imagination, or does this guardian spirit bear a striking resemblance to Homer Simpson??image

For our last walking day, we hired a guide to drive us to parts of Ubud we couldn’t get to on foot. Rai turned out to be a biologist, conservationist and lawyer, who takes tourists around in his spare time. We spent the morning walking through some of Ubud’s many rice paddies.
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A farmer clears the weeds from the irrigation ditch, wearing a traditional sarong.image

Ducks also help keep the paddies properly cleaned: 

 Scarecrows and rattling cans keep the birds from eating all the rice before it can be harvested.

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Rai showing us the rice flower:image

Rai was a wealth of knowledge about natural remedies. The fluid in these star flowers can be used as soothing eye drops.

 

You can eat this fist-sized spider to relieve your kidney stones:  

We stopped to pick delicious passion fruit from a nearby tree: 

  

After our rice paddy tour, we drove to a coffee plantation to see the famous Kopi Luwak.  This is coffee made from beans that have been eaten and excreted by civets.  The coffee sells for $600 a pound.  

Here are the civets.  They are nocturnal animals, and didn’t look happy being on display:

 
Here is the coffee-bean laden civet poop that collects under the cages:  

 The poop is dried and beans are cleaned:

 
The beans are roasted:


The beans are then pulverized into fine coffee powder:

   

We got to sample a variety of coffee flavors and visit the gift shop: 

 
Our afternoon ended with a trip to a waterfall. 

    
 

  
A lovely ending to our day!  

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