Happy Friday all! With GlobeSlice still in its infancy, I want to mix things up a bit and allow for a break in normal chronological posting. Given the general craziness of travel and actually putting together regular content for you fine folks, I usually have a sizable backlog of posts in progress at any given time. This really just means that, by the time you read about a cool place or experience, I’m already onto some other adventure. This is kind of a bummer for me, because I’m always absolutely itching to share with everyone as soon as possible. So, rather than continue with the waiting game, I thought it might be fun to give a sneak peek of where I’m currently at in the world and what you can look forward to in the coming weeks on GlobeSlice. So here goes nothing… This week I’m coming from warm and absolutely bustling Bali! It’s towards the middle of the peak travel season for the area, so almost everywhere is absolutely packed! Even with that though, that hasn’t stopped me from finding a few savory moments of tranquility.

Starting things slow in Ubud…

That was my hope anyway. Kick off my grand Indonesian expedition in mellow Ubud, which would hopefully allow me to recharge after the long flight. What a great idea! Yeah, not so much. Ubud seems to be far from laid back mellow…Bali Ubud Street TrafficIn fact, after about 10am, the streets and sidewalks both end up being uncomfortably gridlocked. This, and Ubud in general, is requiring a bit of readjustment in terms of my expectations. It’s louder, moves faster, and is MUCH more commercial than what I had originally anticipated. But, even with all of that, it’s the small everyday details that shine through for me and add an undeniable charm. Everything from the color and taste of the food, the warm and welcoming locals, and that eye-catching Bali architectural flair keeps drawing me further into Ubud.Old Fiat Front TempleOne of my favorite small but significant touches that’s impossible to ignore is all of the offerings being left out by the locals. These little organic containers are everywhere and all contain different colorful and textural pops that vary by the individual placing them. Flower petals, fern bud shavings, fruit, rice, and lit incense are all examples of what you’re likely to see placed inside, but the combinations seem almost endless.Bali Ubud Incense OfferingThroughout the day these offerings will get blown about, or nibbled at by wild animals, or just trampled by the crowds. But every couple of hours new ones would take their place, continuing a cycle that goes on through the entire day.

Connecting with Bali’s spiritual side…

Something I had heard about before traveling out this way was how in tune the people of Bali are with their spirituality. Because of this, it was important for me to get up close and see some of their most important temples. I ended up doing a full day tour, which allowed me to see 5 in all. Each has its own unique characteristics, but my favorite had to be Tirta Empul temple, known for its purifying spring water. Just past the entrance are 2 long rectangular pools, each with a row of spigots lengthwise. Visitors are welcome to change out of their ceremonial sarongs, which are mandatory for entry, and wait in line to be blessed by dunking their heads underwater. It was a surreal experience to watch people going through this ritual, and you could sense just how important this is to each participant.Bali Spring Temple BathingFor those less inclined to strip down and get soaking wet, there was also plenty of space opposite the fountains for some plain vanilla praying as well.Bali Spring Temple Praying

Savoring one of the world’s most expensive coffees…

Last but not least, I got a chance to sample some of Bali’s own Kopi Luwak, or civet cat coffee. Who in their right mind would drink coffee made from a cat? Well, technically civet cat isn’t in the coffee. More accurately, it’s the coffee beans that have been inside a civet cat… Which is to say, the coffee is made from beans that have been digested and then pooped out. Who in their right mind would drink coffee from beans that have been pooped out? Apparently me, and a whole lot of other people around the world that are willing to pay up to $300 (!) per pound.Drinking Civet Cat CoffeeSo how was it you ask? Strong and slightly… earthy.

That’s all for now!  Next week I’ll be coming in from Lombok, assuming that I survive my trek up Mt. Rinjani

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