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Bali Day 1

Woke up early before breakfast time and walked around the hotel. It’s a very nice hotel on the beach. Took pictures of the sunrise. Went to the breakfast buffet. They charged 20 dollars, I think. It was a big buffet with lots of food. So now the bad news I was feeling last night. The hotel is away from everything. They do not allow food deliveries from outside. It is basically a do everything there at the complex. Don’t get me wrong. It has all the frills but more for richer lazy people that want to sit on the beach all day. It has swimming pools, kids zone, fitness center, spa, etc. I asked to checkout, but they said no refund. So, I decided to eat it and fight that battle later. I found another hotel in Ubud where there is a lot to walk around and see if I wanted. Called Komang to pick me up and bring me to the Sumhita Hotel. Couldn’t check-in until 2pm, but they let me leave my suitcases there. I asked Komang to take me a couple places to kill some time. First stop, he took me to a Silver Factory, where they make all the silver jewelry and objects from start to finish. They do everything from melting the silver, processing the jewels they use, to the finished products. It was quite interesting to see. They sell a lot there and I am sure they sell to other shops and export to different places. It was set up like a sweat shop with at least 30 or 40 individual work areas but there were only a few people working cause of a religious ceremony going on in the village. I picked up a pendant and matching earrings for Melissa. The price was relatively inexpensive compared to the USA. Left there and headed to a Coffee Plantation. This place has all the different plants they grow for all the type of coffee they make. Guided me around, pointing out all the different plants. There is one coffee they make from animal poop. Kopi luwak is made from coffee beans plucked from civets' feces. It's the world's most expensive coffee, and it's made from poop. Or rather, it's made from coffee beans that are partially digested and then pooped out by the civet, a catlike creature. Yuck! At the end of the tour, the girl brought out a tray with samplers of all the coffees and teas to try. I think there was around 12 or 15 of them. I tried them all, which was definitely different, never having drank coffee or tea. Left the plantation and headed to the Monkey Forest. It is a huge place that you walk around in and Monkeys roam around freely. One Monkey got mad at me because I got too close with my camera. I also looked at it straight in the eyes which they warn you not to do. He was sitting on a wall and starting “growling” at me and headed towards me showing his teeth. He just about jumped off the wall towards me, Yikes. In another section, it looked like a small arena where you can sit and watch the Monkeys in the grass area. I set my telephoto lens on one of the benches to take pictures of a Monkey. It walked towards the lens and started hugging it, trying to lift it up. It fell over and scared it and got upset at me and started aggressively coming towards me. He grabbed my camera strap that was hanging and I had to pull it from it. As I was leaving the forest, there was a mama and her little tiny baby. So cute. There were so many Monkeys everywhere and of course, they were not afraid of all the people. Leaving there, I had Komang drop me off at the hotel. I decided to go for a walk down the street for a way. The streets are lined with lots of shops and little restaurants, people selling stuff wherever there is a blank spot on the street. You have to watch where you walk, as people drive really crazy here on the opposite side of the road. There are tons of mopeds and motorbikes on the road that drive even crazier, weaving in and out of the traffic. As I was walking, I ran into a huge religious celebration (like a parade). Hundreds and hundreds of people from the local village. They were playing musical instruments and bringing holy water to the village temple. Got back to the hotel and called it a night.

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