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Part 2. Click on the images below to expand. Disclaimer: The photos herein and all other albums associated with Bali Sojourn are by no means a documentary. They're all touristy snapshots.

 

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Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

We then made a quick stopover at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace that was made famous by Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

The (paddy) hills are alive.... with the sound of... gamelan. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Further up the hill, we reached the viewing platform overlooking Mount Batur of Kintamani Volcano, which is still active and last farted badly in 1968, spewing lava all the way down to what now forms the black sands of Tanah Lot. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

I was told it shook and puffed a little in early 2001 or so but wasn't as bad as the one in 1968. On the right in the foreground you can see the black ashes of the lava, while at the right background lies the Danau Batur lake, which is the largest crater lake on the island of Bali and is a good source of fish for the locals. There's a buffet restaurant here but for 100,000rp you'll have a wide spread of food to choose from accompanied by hoards of flies. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

I learned from this tour route alone to NEVER buy anything along the streets plied by many tour guides and tourists. I bought this sarong before knowing that the hard way. Haggling and bargaining is a way of life in Bali somewhat. You won't see price tags on anything unless you're in a mall. Prices offered can be so high you'll need to bargain from 50% the initial price offered to you and then work your ways until both of you can come to a mutual conclusive price. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Anyways, the sarong earlier offered to me at 120,000rp (USD$12). I bargained down to 70,000rp. Turned out in another shop which I'll show you in Day 7's album it's only 40,000rp. Remember those sodding USD$20 elephants. Ugh. More shops selling almost similar stuffs. You may wonder how one shop sell anything that's similar from one to another. Simple: Customer service. The better they are at making you feel comfortable with them, the better for them closing a sale. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Along the way down, more hagglers taking a break trying to earn a dollar or a dime. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Those who can't afford to rent a shop lot, walk. With their goods practically balanced on their head through years of practice. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Next stop, Luwak Coffee Plantation Farm. Here's another must-try: The absolutely horrendous crap coffee. Like, literally. Kopi Luwak as it's locally known, is actually taken from civet cats' shit. Tasted earthly and somewhat bold, it'll give you one heluva buzz for an hour even as a seasoned coffee drinker. Amateurs may not be able to sleep for a week. Tastes like shit too. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Touted as the world's most expensive coffee, Kopi luwak, or civet coffee refers to the beans of coffee berries once they have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

The civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In the digestive tract, the civet's proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then pooped out while retaining their shape. The locals then grind and brew it and drink it. An espresso cup would be filled up to 3/4 with its powder, and after letting it settle for a few minutes, you drink it down for a good 50,000rp a cup. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Here's a pile of freshly pooped out beans! A friend wondered how her coffee would taste like if she eats the beans then poops it out too. I have very interesting friends. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

The various stages of drying the shitty coffee. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Roasting coffee over open fire. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Jack Frost nipping at your nose. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Besides coffee and an assortment of other types of beverages you can try like a platter - from ginseng to ginger and up to 10 types of coffee and tea to try from - there's also various local fruits you could indulge yourself with. If you're not from Asia, check out the rambutans which looked like hairy balls. The more famous of the lot is the readily available mangosteen. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

As we were near the foot of the Kintamani volcano, the soil is very fertile for local agriculture not just for paddy fields but also the various other Asian spices. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Next stop, Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave. Of course, along the way as always now that I've learned, a great host of shops selling souvenirs with so many things to offer, you can just miss out the little face peeking from behind the assortments on the bottom right. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

My guide said the site was built in the 6th century. Wiki said 9th. Another site said 11th. Either way, the site is now protected by UNESCO and was once a place of hermitage for the Buddhist until an earthquake struck the site, then leaving only the major remnants of the Hindus around. Go figure who has bragging rights after that. As it is a holy site, only snacks and beverages are allowed to be sold within the temple grounds. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

M'am can you please not do that jerking motion to me especially in a temple? © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

An extensive bathing place on the site was not excavated until the 1950s. These appear to have been built to ward off evil spirits, and today the water that flows are thought to be holy. I took some, hoping to regain what little hair that's left from my receding hairline. You'll notice also that I've to wear a sarong, a requirement whenever you enter a holy site. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Apparently, Goa Gajah was built at a crevasse edge from the federation of 2 rills that is called Pangkung River, where the irrigation is mixed with the flow from the Petanu River. The federation area of two rivers is called Campuhan/Mixture. To the Buddhist back then, the site where two rivers meet can be quite magical in some sense... so the site was built. TL;DR: Goa Gajah is locally known as the Elephant Cave because of its close proximity to the Elephant River. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Now that the site is converted into a holy Hindu place of worship after the earthquake centuries ago, the Elephant Cave itself continues today as a prayer ground for the local Balinese. And the cave is entered through the carved mouth of a demon. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Inside the cave are relics of ....stuffs. Paying 15,000rp can be a little underwhelming. The menacing entrance to Goa Gajah looks like a demonic mouth, suggesting that people are entering an underworld as they venture inside through the darkness. Some claim that the entrance represents the Hindu earth god Bhoma while others say the mouth belongs to the child-eating witch Rangda from the earlier dance. This is a statue of Ganesh, a Hindu deity reminiscent of an elephant. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

...And the right passage holds a small worship area with several stone lingam and yoni in honor of Shiva. To some, it means, Male + Female = Sex. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Smart visitors climb the long flight of stairs down into the shady valley where a small waterfall awaits, as the trip to Goa Gajah can be very very short if it's just to visit the cave. The remains of a crumbled Buddhist temple rest nearby; ancient stones with carved reliefs lie strewn with boulders in the river as rushing water erases history. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

We ended our trip to an arts center. I was drained from the whole-day of activities I forgot to check where this was. Kids here learning how to mix colors. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

The site was HUUUGE with paintings from traditional to modern contemporary lining up the walls of the place. At various sections of the site you'll see painters at work. I thought he was mixing bat shit on his hand over some orchids. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

Photography was not allowed in this building after fears of copies of the paintings being made as prints were found circulating in the city and abroad. But managed to sneak some. © Evan Hwong Photographs

Bali Sojourn - Day 2
Bali Sojourn - Day 2

The entrance of the arts center. We took a long and tiring drive back to the hotel where I decided to crash after a quick dinner to prep for another early morning outing the next day. © Evan Hwong Photographs

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