She works in the most adorable little shop in Ubud selling spices, lotions, body scrubs and everything else you can imagine and many more you can't!
I saw this blind man stumbling around in the car park at Bator with his hand outstretched and crying out for alms. He looked big and strong but seemed so helpless. It must be terrible to live in the dark, at the mercy of everything and everyone around you.
There was one more stop before the volcano and this was one of the many temples you find around Bali. So with a sarong around my waist (for decorum) and an Arsenal shirt (I don't know why I still bother), I followed Wayan and the kids into the temple grounds. There were so many water features, baths and ponds, I lost track of which baths were for men, which were for women and which one you weren't supposed to bath in because the water is considered holy.
It got noticeably cooler as we approached the Bator volcano. We drove through a soft veil of mist and suddenly, there it was: a large, irregular green cone on the banks of a lake. We had lunch on a crowded terrace while waiting patiently for our turn to pose with the volcano. Noemi tried to get Nathan to taste a really foul dessert of brown rice pudding. But after 12 years of being on the wrong end of her pranks, he wasn't falling for it this time. Not even when she swore it was "yummy!" The rice pudding must be an acquired taste because the Chinese, fresh from splashing about on the river, absolutely adored it.
Next stop was a fabulously lush and winding rice terrace, carved into the hillside. It's amazing how green Bali is! I remember asking Wayan our guide if they ever suffered drought. For a moment he couldn't fathom what I was talking about. Apparently the only times the streams run dry is when "the government is repairing the dams". Lucky them.
As we were leaving, we were accosted by a good natured but extremely aggressive old woman selling batik quilts. When haggling in Bali (and in Accra), I've learned to divide the seller's starting price by three and start from there. She shrieked and swore I was intent on bankrupting her. I loved the way she said "bankrupt", with a flamboyant roll of the "r" and a tear in the corner of her eye. She was very good and I was so taken by her performance I took out one more banknote than I'd planned to. She immediately plucked it out of my hand and tucked it into her blouse, clucking furiously about "good luck" and "wholesale price". I didn't have the energy to ask for it back.
After embarrassing ourselves at yoga, our next excursion was to visit the volcano in Batur. First stop though was an organic farm where they grow coffee and cocoa alongside a host of other spices. It's a tumbling sort of farm, set on the side of a hill and overlooking rice fields far below. They brew all sorts of coffees and hot beverages including vanilla coffee, lemon, ginger and ginseng teas and a wonderfully decadent mix of hot chocolate and coffee. No, none of their beverages taste like anything you've ever bought in a supermarket. The best coffee however, and this is where my juvenile mind kicks in, is made by a civet cat. The poor thing is kept in a cage where it gorges itself all day on coffee fruit. It's unable to digest the beans however and poos them out whole. The coffee poo (I don't know what else to call it) is then collected, washed, dried, roasted and ground. The wonderful thing about this particular coffee is that once it's been through the civet's body, it comes out very low in caffeine. We bought a couple of jars and plan to serve it to our guests in Jo'burg but we're not telling them about the civet. Just kidding....
"If this is the dream God has placed in your heart, who are you to doubt?"