Well I like the "cool off in nearby river" bit !

Trip Start Aug 02, 2012
Trip End Aug 20, 2012

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tour Blog...

Take a morning walk around Sidemen, visiting local songket weaving cottage industries and sampling a traditional 'bungkus' lunch. The walk takes around 3-4 hours and is a chance to take in great views. You can also cool off in the nearby river.

Continuing our journey higher into the mountains, drive along the crater rim road to a fishing village on the edge of Lake Batur (approx 2 hrs).

Volcanic Mt Batur (1717 m) sits inside a stark and spectacular caldera, and with Lake Batur below it's a stunning sight. The lake supports the local fishing industry, while many of the villagers work as guides for the volcano climb.

My Blog

Wow what a morning, after having a light breakfast of all different types of egg, no orange juice !! (story behind that) we then set off for a three hour walk around sideman seeing into all the local houses and workplaces. Its like pre industrial revolution here with weaving etc on human powered looms ! Increadible. All the local school children in their uniforms keep marching up and down the roads, as they are practicing for independance day in over a weeks time, hopefully we shall see this day in lombok !

The walk then decended down the paddy fields squelching our way on the muddy dikes before walking through an ex 5 star hotel... It was built in 1995 pre Bali Bomb and then went bankrupt. So strange seeing all the rooms half there, with still beatuiful landscaped gardens and the swimming pool still completely intact with clear water in !

Finally we ended up at the valley bottom, where swimming in the river under a "river kwai" type bridge with holes in that you cant understand why the traffic does not fall through, or the bridge collapses. (well Kieran swam we just all watched and thought how brave he was in the cold water ) Dinner constisted of a picnic ! A palm leaf and inside a mixture of sticky rice, noodles, spices and other unexplained food items ! (don't forget the obligatory boiled egg) ....Bliss.

We have now just come back to sideman hotel for a quick change before we depart higher into the mountains for a mountain hut stay before walking to the crater of the volcano at 2am tomorrow morning..

Just stopped off on journey to the base of the mountain whilst passing small villages which seem to specialise in cloves. There are cloves drying everywhere !!! The smell is amazing wafting in the air. A short stop at a coffee producing shop and a guided tour around their grounds with every imaginable spice and coffee etc growing including lemon grass cintronella, pineapple, cloves, coco, snake fruit (tastes like pineapple) and afterwards the locals gave us a tray with different teas and coffees !

Here we were introduced to Luwak coffee, coffee beans are fed to a small local cat like creature and after they pass through it's digestion system they are ground ( washed first I hope) and then fed as a "special" coffee to unsuspecting tourists after been charged a fortune for this privilege. No doubt the locals drink Nescafe !

Arrived at lake batu, a lake around 2 miles long that is set in a natural ring of mountains that once was mount batu the highest mountain in Bali until it erupted various times over the last couple of decades, it is at this lake shore that our next hotel is situated. Now after the amazing hotels we have been in this is a dump !!! Off the bottom of the star rating with a bathroom without hot and cold water in the shower if you would like to stand in it ! Mmmm well at least we do not sleep here for long tonight. After a quick walk around the non existent village and a quick evening meal we were in bed (possibly with friends who like a nibble !) .... continued next day !!!!

Before I finish let's go back to breakfast this morning. In Bali everything runs by the book, people have their own jobs and menus are there to be stuck to. Breakfasts have been a bit basic, a single egg (different types) with possibly toast and a cup of tea or coffee, certainly nothing else to drink !

This morning the menu was divided into two sections European and Indonesian. The European had orange juice, and egg on toast. Helen however fancied the pancake and honey from the Indonesian menu but that came with no juice. No matter how hard we tried they were not having it. No juice, can't possibly have juice... What do you mean you don't drink coffee... Why did you choose pancake then ?

Jobsworth !!! Aaarrrggghh !
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