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Siapa Yang Kentut

Well it happened… Taylor got sick. Thank god it was just a bad cold, but he was out for the count for our adventure to Ubud. I ended up going to Ubud with our friend from the UK, Jamie. He has been staying at our hotel for around a month, sorting out visa stuff in Australia. We started our trip off to Ubud with a 1 hour moped ride North. We were able to follow road signs to Ubud, as it is a popular place to visit. After weaving through rice fields and small villages we made it to our first stop, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. We were some of the first tourists to arrive at this forest, and were blown away by the amount of monkeys in this place. Hundreds of monkeys were scattered throughout the forest. They ranged from 1 lb to 15-20 lbs. In the sanctuary we were given the option to buy bananas and feed them to the monkeys, of course we jumped on that opportunity. After we bought the bananas chaos ensued. Being the morning the monkeys were hungry. At the single sight of a banana these monkeys would climb all over you and get the bananas by any means necessary. One monkey jumped about 10 feet off a fence on the Jamie’s back to grab  his bananas. This became a game for Jamie and I, taking turns letting the monkeys jump all over us and eat the bananas. One of the monkeys tried to take my water bottle and was not happy when I wouldn’t give it to him. So he did what any 5 year old child would do when they don’t get their way, he bit me.

After an hour or two in the monkey forest, Jamie and I began to explore Ubud in search of Kopi Luwak coffee. This is known as one of the rarest drinks in the world and a cup of it in the states can run you $50. The reason for the rarity of the coffee has to do with the method used for collecting the beans. The beans are first picked by a small rodent called the Asian Palm Civet. This animal eats the beans and its stomach enzymes are what help give the beans its flavor. The Civet is also knows for picking only the best and ripest beans. The Civet then shits the beans out, as its stomach only digests the outer coating of the bean. The poop is then sifted through by workers and they collect and roast the beans.

While taking cover from the rain in the parking garage at the monkey forest, we luckily ran into a a guy who worked for a Kopi Luwak plantation. He offered to take us to the plantation where they make the coffee. We tried a variety of local teas and coffees. The Kopi Luwak coffee cost 50,000 rp ($4) for a cup. The coffee was delicious. It had the slight sour taste of espresso but is made just by mixing hot water with the fine coffee grounds. No filter is used to make the coffee, which makes the last sip of the coffee a bit crunchy.

After the plantation our new friend, that worked for the plantation, offered to take us to a waterfall in Ubud. We assumed he was going to charge us for it, but he told us that he’s just doing it for good karma. The shocking thing about this is that he was actually serious about it. He genuinely wanted to help us and show us his city. This was just more proof that the Indonesian people are some of the kindest people I have ever met. We went to the waterfall, swam around, and got pounded by the power of the falls. Our guide showed us how to get back to Kuta, and after thanking him profusely, we threw him a few bucks for his trouble.

The next day Taylor was feeling better and we began our adventure to Kawah Ijen, a 9000 ft sulfur volcano. We were accompanied by our Dutch friend we met at the hotel in Bali. I had read about this volcano online and it is known as the blue flame volcano. I honestly have no idea how we made it to the volcano. The volcano is located on the far east side of Java (the island directly west of Bali), and the closest town to the volcano (Banyuwangi) is a 6 hour bus ride from our hotel in Bali. We began the trip at 5 PM, and were picked up in a small bus at our hotel. The bus fit 9 passengers. Without transport booked to Ijen we arrived in Banyuwangi at midnight. Our bus dropped us at a random hotel. No one spoke very much English at the hotel but we some how managed to book a tour at midnight. We slept in the hotel lobby for an hour and were picked up from the hotel at 1 AM to begin our trip to Ijen. Jsut to be clear we weren’t staying at the hotel we just decided to make it our base. The volcano was an hour drive out of the city, and the blue flame was about a 2 hour hike up the mountain. We hiked to about 7400 feet and began our hike down the crater. Here, we were exposed to our first miners. The miners on Ijen carry around 150 lbs of sulfur out of the half mile deep crater. They are paid around $.03 for each lb they carry up the mountain. This equates to $4.5-$5 for each trip out of the mountain. Somehow, these severely underpaid workers were still smiling and joking with tourists on their half mile climb out of the mountain.
After hiking down to the crater we got a great view of the blue flame. It was incredible, there were 2 huge jet of blue fire was rocketing out of the mountain. You could feel the heat from a few hundred yards away. We walked down and saw the sulfur pouring out of these tubes the workers had shoved in the mountain. With a few wacks of a metal pole the miners were able to break off the sulfur, put it in their baskets and carry it out of the crater. The smell of the sulfur inspired the name of this blog post. Translated “siapa yang kentut” means who fucking farted, my favorite Indonesian phrase. We stayed on the mountain for sunrise and began our trek down the mountain and back to Bali.
The trip back was a little more hectic than our trip there. We took public transportation the whole way. We took the city bus to the main bus terminal in Banyuwangi. By city bus I mean 3 steps below a van and the bus terminal was a bench on the side of the road. We met a guys at the bus station who spoke a bit of english and bought us our tickets at the local price. We hoped on the main bus to Bali and without air conditioning and Indonesian music blasting on the bus, the trip home began. Insane doesn’t even explain this bus ride. We were passing 3 dump trucks at a time on blind corners for each pass. But hey there are no complaints, our driver got us to Bali alive and in record time. We are leaving Bali today and flying to the island just east of Bali, Lombok. Our plan there is to surf and hang out of the beach… gonna be a rough next few days.

 

AJ

AJ

Software developer, kiteboarding instructor, and world traveler. Always having the best day ever and on the constant pursuit of the endless summer.

2 Comments

  • Bob Odegard

    Amazing blog Guys. I love all the photos. Keep blogging. It makes my day.
    Siapa yang kentut. hahaha

    February 27, 2016 at 6:08 pm
  • Chris Akerman

    I’m sharing some of your stuff with your old team–I’m sure they’ll be jealous of you and/or scared for your life. Hell, I’m a little of both. But I love seeing the updates, keep em coming! Sounds like you’re having the time of your life!

    March 1, 2016 at 9:38 pm

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