Wayan Outing Part 2
On Wednesday, we set out at 9am and headed straight for an organic coffee plantation. Here they process coffee passed through the famous Civet cat. We saw one of the cats half-sleeping next to a plate of coffee beans. Apparently they are quite discerning, and will only eat the best beans. For the uninitiated, Civet cat coffee is of the most expensive coffee in the world. I believe it costs $20 a cup in Vancouver. The beans are consumed by the cat, then 'rescued' from it's droppings, then washed, roasted and ground. We were given a variety of samples of teas and coffees to try (from ginseng or Ginger or chocolate coffee to lemon or ginger tea). The Civit cat coffee was $5 to sample. When in Rome! It was definitely stronger and more flavorful...and that was even before we hit the thick sludge on the bottom. (I say "we"...Mike drank most of it and then talked animatedly for half an hour afterwards.) We also discovered that most of the coffee you get in restaurants is watered down with corn and rice water ...which would explain why we are still sleepy in the mornings! From the coffee plantation, we headed up to a restaurant with a stunning view of Mount Batur. By now, we've crossed more than 3/4 of the island. While we lunch away in tourist trappyness, Wayan outside is being warned by other drivers of the police blocks along the roads. Since we have already been stopped twice for "license checks" (bribes), it's not surprising to hear. But this time, drivers going to one particular temple were hit with $100 fines. Totally exorbitant by local standards. These blocks are a regular occurrence - tho most can be dealt with for a quick $2- $5. After gas and bribes, the take-home for most drivers ends up being quite small. Wayan escaped the worst today.
After the mountain, we made our slow way down and across to the Green School. The entrance to which was very small and unassuming...a nice contrast to the popularity it has received. We had an hour an half tour around a few of the buildings with a chatty Ben (admissions director/parent) it was truly dazzling. The architecture was breathtaking, the mandate, approach & execution extremely admirable. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about...check out:
www.greenschool.org or look for Green School on TED.
Some details: They have a specially designed mudwrestling pit! And a healing circle around a giant crystal half buried in the ground. The older students were working on calculating the carbon footprint of the school. They even had separate pee and poo toilets with special instructions! The school is actually still struggling to support itself, despite all the media attention. We donated a small sum, which will apparently result in Abbey's name being carved into one of the bamboo supports.
Again, Abbey conked right out on the ride home.