Phnom Penh, A Day in the Life

Since arriving in Phnom Penh (PP) I've been able to develop a "normal" routine.. for the most part. Finding my new normal hasn't been as challenging as Bali. I chalk this us up to Bali being a vacation destination, island, chillax atmosphere, new program, new people and so much to do and see it's overwhelming. Phnom Penh is anything but a resort town and I already have my footing in the program so I'm not spending extra time "figuring it out" like I did in Bali. I'm quite lucky the time zones didn't differ all that much so my work schedule has remained the same. Our housing accommodations also allow for a bit of normalcy as we have kitchens, a washer, and a desk in our bedrooms. 

Disclaimer: You may get sick watching this video. It's a bit shaky and everything is in fast mode. I have a stabilizer coming so all videos here on out should be smooothhh. :-) 

In PP, the Tonle Sap River runs through the city, separating a chunk of land. It's the less crazy side of PP. Not as much traffic and wonderful views of the skyline and sunsets. This is where I live, work and some play. There is so much traffic it takes a 30 minute Tuk Tuk ride to cross the bridge to be in the heart of the city... all for the bargain price of $3-5 (depending on my negotiation skills that day.) 

Our group lives in two different apartment buildings but within walking distance to one another and the coworking space. Most of us live in AbuAbu, a combination of one and two bedroom apartments. I live with Megan, who you've heard me references many times before :-). She's been a dream to live with.. she cooks, I clean. Our apartment is two bedrooms, two baths with a living and kitchen area. Our kitchen has a small fridge, and an intense hot plate with minimal cooking supplies. We get by with a pot, skillet, rice cooker, kettle, spatula, and butchers knife. We don't dare buy anything requiring a can opener or oven :-/. We've gotten used to our limited amount of supplies, making me wonder why I need 100 kitchen gadgets back at home. What a waste. 

Before arriving in Cambodia, I set my expectations really low as I wasn't at all sure what I would be living in for 37 days, given it's a developing country. I wouldn't say it's the nicest place but she does the trick. I have a safe place to sleep, running water, working toilet <-- people, I can't even tell you how important this is in Cambodia... and the owners of the building are such a delight. So much so, they invited our entire group to their daughter's wedding, which so happened to take place right outside our apartment door...We would have been apart of it whether they invited us or not sine we had to walk right through it to leave. Ha. 

I've had to learn the hard way, Southeast Asia is not a fan or doesn't know about the trend of light, fluffy, pillow-like beds... OR PILLOWS. My god, it's like sleeping on a cinder block. I'm pretty sure Brandon thought I was being nothing but dramatic until he had the opportunity to sleep on it himself. He was such a doll and brought my pillow and blanket from home last week. I can finally wake up without having to take Aleve. Geezz. 

Megan and I rarely use the living space. Our TV offers 1-2 English speaking stations and our sectional was built for a midget. It also doesn't have anything holding the sections together unless you squeeze them together with your butt cheeks. It's very interesting. We both like to answer emails and work from the kitchen while sipping on our instant coffee we bought from the local market. 

Our first day in Cambodia we were taken to a grocery store nearby. A so-so experience. Everything was extremely expensive and marked in American dollars (everything in Cambodia is marked in American as well as Cambodian Riel) Our idea of a fancy treat was literally cheese and crackers. We later found a western store downtown PP in a shopping mall, that offers all the fine goods you can find at Kroger. Most of the prices are either cheaper or just as you would buy in the states with the exception of Ben and Jerry's. Those suckers go for $14 a pint!!! Yes, you read that right. Highway robbery. I was super excited when I saw brownie mix, almost tossed it in the cart until I realized I no longer have an oven. Have you noticed I have a sweet tooth yet? Our meals at home consist of Kellogg's cereal, spaghetti, toast, tuna with cheese and crackers, coffee and roman noodles. All classy stuff. 

Outpost, our coworking space is a 5-minute walk down the street from our apartment. The space is majestic, calm, comforting and gives the Roamers and I the ability to focus on work. It's located in a building called the Green Penthouse. Six floors with green vines trailing from top to bottom along  the outside of the building. Our coworking space takes up the 5th and 6th floor. The fifth floor is more of an office vibe and the sixth offering bean bags, hammocks, giant couches and more. We also have a cafe located within the office. They come up with a different menu every week, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday-Friday. They take requests and I have yet to have a bad meal. A breakfast dish of pork fried rice runs $3.50. This is much cheaper than anything I could buy in the grocery store. We've learned early on it's cheaper for us to eat out than to cook at home. The chefs at Outpost have been a lifesaver. My first week I had a meal or two there every day and it has yet to get old. 

At Outpost we have full access to the rooftop. One of the miraculous things about Cambodia is the consistent sunsets. From our rooftop view, we have a clear picture of the PP skyline along with the orange and pink sky as the sun sets behind the cities newly built skyscrapers. From our view you can see 15-20 cranes (probably more) being put to good use. This city is growing and it will be fascinating to come here someday and see how it's changed. 

Sunset View from Outpost Coworking

The We Roam staff also hooked us up with access to the Sokha Hotel another 10-minute walk from Outpost. The gym and pool is available to us 24/7 and we get discounts on all spa treatments and food. I've only used the gym perk once but tend to add it to part of my daily schedule. The pool is technically considered a lake, it's so big. I've never seen anything like it. I'll be able to swim laps thanks to BG who brought my competitive suit and goggles. If you ever find yourself coming to Phnom Penh, you'll be one of 5 individuals staying at Sokha. It's a constant ghost town. I'm not at all sure how they stay in business. Apparently, other Roamers have found 20+ Karaoke rooms in the basement. Score! We will all be checking that out later this week. 

The weather here is constantly spicy. This week we're looking at an average of 95 degrees every day. There is little to no cloud coverage and the humidity is ... there. It's really not as bad as Bali but I have started to experience lip sweat and back of the knee sweat for the first time in my life. Come on, it's just gross. To beat the heat we usually end up at the Sokha pool or a hotel pool across the river. Megan, JD and I found Aquarius Hotel our first few days in PP and fell in love. This is where the picture below was taken. 

Aquarius Hotel Infinity Pool

I'm unsure of the population size of PP but due to the millions of scooters, tuk tuks and cars on the road at any given time the pollution is really bad. We also think this is due to the amount of trash they burn. This has caused me, and others to not feel all that great on a consistent basis. Around 2pm my body is dragging every day. Most days I feel lethargic. Little to no energy and in desperate need of a nap. When Brandon and I left Phnom Penh a week ago to visit the coast I never experienced the exhaustion. I now understand why so many Cambodians where face masks while walking around and I may just start sporting this fashion trend. 

The video above gives you a small glimpse into my day and what our accommodations and office space look like. 

I know a lot of you are curious to know how my program works and what I'm up to. If you have suggestions for content or pictures please don't hesitate to ask! Comment below :-)

 

 

 

 

B&C Take Cambodia

January 2, 2018, a day I will never forget. I was in an Airbnb near Boca Raton, Florida and having to stay goodbye to my man. Tears streamed down my face for hours and I could hardly get a grip. Flashback to March 2017, I was accepted into We Roam.  One of the employees who had interviewed me gave me a piece of advice I took to heart. “Don’t get into a relationship,” he said, “it will be painfully hard unless he’s extremely supportive and open-minded.” I had every intention of sticking to that plan, actually, I was more than adamant.  Not only did I find myself in a relationship, but with a man who has been nothing short of supportive and has encouraged me to persue the world tour. Here I am almost a year later, sitting on the beach writing this post while he's yards away, getting a massage.

When I left the US for Bali I had only completed half of the trip before receiving a text from Brandon with a flight itinerary... to Cambodia.  My first thought, “He decided to come to Cambodia?? Of all places?!?!?!” Reality quickly set in and I was more than elated. To fly halfway around the world for a week is a big commitment and what homesickness I was feeling at the time started to fade as I knew it would only be a matter of weeks before I was able to see him again.

The week before his arrival was PAINFULLY LONG. I'm sure I annoyed all of you to death with my Instagram stories. I was trying to adjust to a new country, plan the next week and anxiously await his arrival.

I wanted him to see all Cambodia has to offer in a short amount of time so I did some extensive research and planned the week.  He arrived last Saturday after a 32-hour flight from Indy --> LAX --> Hong Kong --> Phnom Penh. I was nervous he'd be tired and worn down the entire week but he handled the jet lag like a champ, didn’t even seem phased. Anxious to hear how exhausted he is when he gets home :-)

Our first night we stayed at The Pavilion, a boutique hotel in Phnom Penh. They picked us up from the airport in an old school Jag, put a bottle of chilled champagne in our room and covered the bed in fresh flowers.  We spent the day relaxing by the pool, had a couples massage and went to the Aquarius Hotel for dinner and sunset. Perfection doesn't begin to describe February 3rd. The following day happened to be Brandon's birthday so we had a fancy breakfast in bed before packing up to hit the Cambodian coast.

A little over 4 hours away from Phnom Penh is a coastal town, Sihanoukville. Home to a few resorts, casinos, bright blue skies and consistent 85-degree weather. We stayed at Sokha Beach Resort for two days, doing nothing but enjoying each others company and relaxing by the pool and beach. We did, however, decide to skip the sun one of our precious mornings and visit the local market. Cambodia itself is sensory overload but the market is on another level. You can easily get lost, and the smell… I can’t even describe it. If you’ve ever let meat sit in the trash too long you know what the smell is like.... x10 because there is every kind of animal possible in that market.. chicken, fish, cow, pig.... frog … Makes me a little nauseous thinking about it. I was hoping to find unique items to add to my traveling wardrobe and some gifts to send back home but no dice. Brandon, however, scored a $10 watered down bottle of cologne. Apparently, it's $100 back at home so he thinks he's winning. 

Tuesday morning we left for Koh Rong Sanloem, an island off the coast of Cambodia. What was supposed to be a 45-minute boat ride ended up being a 2-hour excursion.. It just so happened to be an extremely windy day so the seas were a little rough… It was like Gili Islands all over again. I was bound and determined to find a helicopter to fly us back opposed to getting back on that dern boat.  Ain’t doin it... but I did and th ride back was lovely. 

Brandon and I walked the beach, lined with the cutest little bungalows and found us a place to stay. He decided to splurge a little bit on a beachfront resort … It was out of a dream. I had thought about canceling the rest of our plans so we could stay there the rest of our time together. The sand is like powdered sugar and they keep the beaches squeaky clean (compared to what we had in Bali). Hammocks and swings in the ocean are a dime a dozen. Nothing is owned by corporations so every place of business is local and picturesque.

We fell in love with our little resort and each of the employees including a little guy who we met very early on in our stay, a son to a young girl who works in the kitchen. He thought the portable speaker was highly entertaining and took on quite the liking to Oreos (can you blame him?!?!)

I had read Lazy Beach is the place to be for some RnR and epic sunsets. Our resort had given us snorkel masks and directions to get to the other side of the island. We had to walk 30 minutes through the rainforest to get there.  I enjoyed watching Brandon's nervous face as he was expecting a snake or giant animal of some kind to come at as full speed ahead. We did find a giant pile of poo in the middle of the trail. What could possibly take a dump that big is beyond me.. it had me a tad bit freaked out. Here's to hoping it belongs to gentle, wandering cow.

Lazy Beach is unlike any other beach I had ever been to. There were maybe 25 people on the beach at any given time, the water is crystal clear, even when you're 8 feet out. Nothing on the bottom of the ocean other than sand and you can see it ripple from the current. The waves were next to nothing, hearing them hit the shore reminded me of being on the lake back at home. Brandon and I put our snorkel masks on and headed out. We ended up swimming along the rocks to get views of coral and colorful fish. I believe Brandon could have snorkeled for days. I was extremely impressed  ... this man is not a fan of going in the ocean, especially when he can't see what's coming atcha. HA. Cracks me up. 

We enjoyed Lazy Beach so much we got up early the next day to watch the sunrise and head right back. We wanted to snorkel the other side of the cove and I'm so glad we did. More coral, more fish, and several naked old men lined the beach (YES, they were FULLY nude. In the FLESH.) It was paradise. Please note the sarcasm. 

I would have loved to stay on the island a few more days. Several of my fellow Roamers are spending the weekend there and I'm just a smidge jealous. However, I will admit, at this exact moment I'm a little over the sun. Yes, I said it. Don't any of you back home in the negative temps school me about this either. I'll feel differently next week.

Brandon and I went back to Sokha hotel for two more nights before heading back to Phnom Pehn. We decided to do some stand-up paddle boarding our last day. The ocean somehow ate my sunglasses, well... they weren't mine. They were Brandon's but he gave them to me and I'm still feeling super guilty for getting in the ocean with them in the first place. 

We took a taxi back to the city Friday morning. I wanted him to experience more of Phnom Penh before departing. I was able to give him the grand tour of our coworking space, Outpost, and he was able to spend a few hours with the few Roamers who stayed back for the weekend. On our way home from dinner, we just about died in a Tuk Tuk (I'm being dramatic). The driver had a giant Glock on the back of his t-shirt if that tells you anything. He was blowing through red lights like it was nothing. My anxiety was through the roof and I think Brandon was enjoying every minute of it. 

Today (probably tomorrow by the time you read this) I had to say goodbye to Brandon. Having him here, felt like home. He brought me all my comforts.. my pillow, blanket and himself. The only thing missing was my dear fur baby. I'm back to all the feels. Excited for all my upcoming adventures and sad a the same time. In 29 days we will be together again in Melbourne, Austrailia! Something for us both to look forward to.

Brandon has promised to guest blog about his experience here in Cambodia. Something for you all to look forward to :-) <--- Babe, does this hold you accountable? 

 

Cambodia, The Beginning

It took all of 2 hours being in Phnom Penh, Cambodia before experiencing the same feelings after arriving in Haiti for the first time years ago. “What am I doing here? Can I survive 37 days? I want to go home. I can’t eat this food. I want my own bed.”

I went from island life, lush greenery, own transportation, beach, good food, English everywhere, to city life, brown everything, feeling like a minority, relying on other people, a lot of poverty, and language barriers. It was a big adjustment but then I experienced the sunsets, Outpost Co-working, the cutest little girl around my apartment building who is thrilled to see me everyday, people who are genuinely excited we’re here, invitation to a traditional wedding, and a country who should hold a grudge against Americans but certainly do not (from what I can tell.) Cambodia is growing on me.

Neighbor girl&nbsp;

Neighbor girl 

It’s already been an entirely new experience and I’ve realized after some reflecting, I can’t at all compare this to Bali. Cambodia is a developing country, rich in history, with a past that brings tears to my eyes every time I learn something new. I’ve been here over a week and I can’t help thinking every day, "how lucky am I?" Not that I’m on this trip, or having these experiences (this isn’t luck, it’s a lifestyle choice <--- Pet Peeve of mine)… But how lucky are you and I to have been born in a place with the opportunities and luxuries we choose to take for granite every day? We have NO control whatsoever of the race we’re born into, class, country, gender, sexual orientation, or the religion our parents choose to bring us up in.  If you were given a questionnaire before you were born would you choose your current situation? Would you choose to be a white US citizen, middle class, raised in a Christian household? Or would you choose to be born in a developing country, sleeping on cinder blocks, picking up cans on the side of the street to feed yourself, struggling for a quality education, Buddhist, etc…I’m not sure I even know the answer to my own question but it’s something I’m digging into.

I continue to remind myself, this is exactly what I wanted to experience. I’ve been begging to be pushed outside my comfort zone and Cambodia is delivering in a big way. Is it these very experiences that make us better human beings? How many times a day do you choose to step outside your little box of comfort or do something out of the ordinary? This could be as simple as going to dinner by yourself, turning off social media for a month, striking up a conversation with a stranger, visiting a church outside of your religion or trying broccoli for the first time. Whatever it is, I challenge my dear readers to write down 5 things that make you uncomfortable and go out and try to experience it. You may find what once felt awkward is your new norm.

I've decided during my 37 days in Cambodia I’m going to soak up as much history as I can, learn more about the locals, understand what makes the Cambodian people so joyous even though they don’t have the same luxuries and conveniences as we do in America and I’m going to eat the food that has me doing this … 🤔😬🤢 I’m going to attempt to show you through my eyes why Cambodia and other like countries are not “shit holes” but so grand.

I’m ready to make what felt so awkward a week ago, my norm.  Thank you, Cambodia for the push.

Up-and-coming blogs: Day in the life, Phnom Penh, Week with Brandon, Traditional Cambodian Wedding, Top 10 Favorite Canguu Restaurants, Bali Recap Video and much more!!! Stay tuned. :-)

 

 

Bali Staycation at Jannata Resort and Spa

Early on in the trip, Megan and I decided a staycation in every country is an absolute must. Her reasoning  may be a bit different than mine and I admit my reasons are a bit "high maintenance." BUT, sometimes you just want a soft cloud like bed with fluffy pillows, HOT water, full on water pressure, picturesque views, infinity pools and an American breakfast... all within a 24 hour period. I don't need this all the time. Once a month will suffice. Just like you all need a weekend getaway from your norm, so do I. 

I use booking.com for all my travel needs. Seriously, never will I ever use Priceline, Expedia or Travelocity again after dealing with their so-called "customer service." Booking.com is where it's at. They'll do everything they can to help you change your reservations, avoid cancellation fees, etc.  Because of this, I trust everything they tell me. Which is how I found Jannatta Resort and Spa on their recommended list of Ubud resorts. Let me tell ya, they didn't disappoint.  

When we walked onto the property we were greeted with a welcome drink. I'm not even sure what it was but it was green, tasted like cucumber and incredibly refreshing. We must have had that Bali glow because they also gave us two cold hand towels to wipe the grime from our face (and pits... stop judging.) 

All I did was throw them a smile and they upgraded us to the next best room, which happened to be a King size bed but whatever... I don't mind sharing with Megan. They took us to our room and I was instantly in heaven. A BATHTUB!!! That's all I cared about. My plan was to soak in that thing until my whole body looked like a giant prune. 

We still had a few hours left in the day so we changed into our swimsuits quickly and sat by the pool... and ordered food. Jannata, has really great poolside service. You ring a bell and someone quickly comes down eager to wait on you...but.... This infinity pool was a dream.  The views. I don't even know how to describe it. Layers of palm trees and rice fields, everything was emerald green. The pool water almost looked teal against the green landscape. Other than another couple we were the only ones there!! 

Jannata Resort Infinity Pool

We both had to work in the evening so the fun didn't last long but the hotel room itself offered a comfy place that allowed us to focus. Megan had calls much later than I so I made some time to soak in the tub. It was grand. 

Sticking to my normal routine, I woke up around 6 am and put in some work before going upstairs for breakfast. Megan continued to sleep but my stomach couldn't wait for her. I had a direct view of the pool while they served me every American breakfast dish under the sun. I'm feeling very sorry for anyone around me who may have watched me eat. I'm sure it looked like I was literally shoveling all the food into my mouth. So much for those charm classes, Mom. The breakfast started with fresh pineapple juice and a whole tray of coffee goods, a giant fruit plate, pastry breakfast with toast, croissants, and cinnamon rolls, a bowl of Kellogs cereal, and a plate of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. I had a little bit of everything. I'd go back to Jannata just for the breakfast. AND, it was included in our the price of our room which happened to be a whopping $120/night. Say what?!?! Should have stayed two nights. 

Partial breakfast. I must have been too excited to take a picture once the rest arrived :-)

Partial breakfast. I must have been too excited to take a picture once the rest arrived :-)

Megan arose from the dead just as I was finishing breakfast. We realized we should have spent more time in Ubud because the sun actually shines there. Who knew? The rest of our morning was spent by the pool before checking out at 1:00 pm. We had one more touristry stop before leaving Ubud and heading back to Canguu. 

If you ever take a 29-hour flight to Bali, please, for the love, stay at the Jannata Resort and Spa for a night. You won't regret it.

On our way back to Canguu, we stopped at Bali Swings. It's an Instagramers dream. Our expectation was to hop on the swing, enjoy the view, snap some pics and get out of there. Turns out, it's a full on business, offering several swings and will cost you $35 to get in (American dollars.) There may have been some groans but we thought... when in Roam. 

The place is set up with 5 different swings, some a bit calmer or less "dangerous" than others. It ended up being much more than a Kodak moment for me. While I was swinging I couldn't help but think about how lucky and blessed I am to be there in that moment, looking at that particular view, with an awesome new girlfriend, enjoying the perks of a flexible work schedule ... it was very much a pinch-me moment and one I won't ever forget.. that's due to the "moment" and not the 523 photos I have on my camera roll at the moment :-/. 

For those interested, the $35 comes with unlimited swing time, pictures in an awkward birds nest and a free lunch. Enjoy! 

Oh, Ubud

An hour and a half north of Canguu, Bali is a small town known as Ubud. You may recognize this name from the famous book/movie, Eat. Pray. Love. This is where Elizabeth Gilbert finds her zen and learns how to meditate and pray the Bali way. Hundreds of yogis from around the world go to Ubud for teacher training or yoga retreats. The vibe is very calm and every store smells like you’re walking into a yoga studio, sweaty with a hint of essential oils.

Every month, We Roam organizes a small excursion for the entire team and this month was a day trip to the Ubud Rice Terraces and Monkey Sanctuary. I was especially interested in the terraces because I’ve been watching the farmers beside our guesthouse and was curious about the process.  Also, growing up on a farm I always find it interesting to see the way of life for other farmers.

I made the mistake of dressing in a polyester romper this day, thinking I’d try to look cute for pictures. News flash… The sun actually shines in Ubud and it’s spicy. I was sweating bullets before we even started trekking.  The first view was breathtaking. Lush green palm trees and layers upon layers of terraces go deeper and higher than I could have imagined. We trekked all the way down and all the way back up.

The farmers had just harvested all of the rice and started prepping for a new round. Each plant is hand placed and in perfect straight rows.  I offered to help the farmers beside our guesthouse but my dad must have sent them a picture of my tilling skills – they kindly declined.

At all hours of the day I’ll see a farmer till the ground with a contraption that requires a lot of manual work, pushing this awkward machine through a foot of water. They make this look so easy AND it’s 85+ degrees with 100% humidity. No machinery, no GPS, no animals. Crazy.  I’ve seen up to 4 individuals hand planting a field, they’ll start in the late afternoon and by morning acres will be planted. They each wear rice hats that are big enough to shade their shoulders.  I admire their work ethic and perseverance. I have a hard time walking the streets to shop when it’s that hot, let alone plant an entire terrace. When I think of Bali, I’ll think of these rice terraces. They line every road and they seem to be the way of life and a main source of income for most families.

2018-01-23 11.08.20 1.jpg

Bona Kubu Rice Terrace

This rice terrace is located right beside the guest house I stayed in the month of January. I tried to help them but no dice. 

Our next stop on the We Roam excursion happened to be the Monkey Sanctuary. Before going I really hadn’t given it much thought and assumed it would be fun.. but certain individuals scared the crap out of me before going in. The rules 1: Hold your bag tight, or they’ll unzip it and steal your stuff. 2. Don’t look them in the eye, they’ll bite you 3. Don’t scream if they jump on you…. Uhh yea, ok. The first monkey I laid eyes on ended up jumping on some random guy, taking his water bottle and pouncing on a tree looking for his next victim. Like I said in my last post, they’re not cute. I think they look like rodents and some of them have FANGS!! I power walked through this sanctuary holding my back pack tight and right out the exit. I wasn’t about to let some monkey touch me and wanted my “free time” to start early so I could explore the market. Several other Roamers spent a great deal of time there. Why? Who knows. I was so thankful to be out of there and planned to never return.. or so I thought.

This is clearly a girl but her face screams old man.&nbsp;

This is clearly a girl but her face screams old man. 

Megan, new Roamer friend, had several friends come into town and Ubud was at the top of their list, specifically a visit to the… you guessed it, Monkey Sanctuary. We had already planned an overnight stay in Ubud so we changed up our schedule to kill two birds with one stone.

On our way to Ubud we stopped at the famous Tegenungan waterfall. Unfortunately, Bali had received two horrible rain storms which caused a lot of flooding. We didn’t so much see crystal clear water but a waterfall that looked like chocolate milk. We weren’t allowed to swim as the current was so bad and we would have been swept away.  I’m not sure it was worth the stop so maybe if you ever decide to visit Ubud, go during their dryer season.

We took her friends back to the Rice Terraces. It was just as breathtaking the second time around. It was a joy to see how much the terraces had changed since visiting two weeks prior.  For anyone considering a trip to the Rice Terrace expect to pay 15,000 RP to get in and give a donation at two different stops throughout the terrace.

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On our way back from Gili T the day before, we were all talking about the famous “Cat Poo Coffee” so we made a group decision to try it out while in Ubud. We were under the impression a cat ate some coffee beans, did the deed and then some brewing took place. A deliquesce to the Balinese. We couldn’t leave Bali without trying “Cat Poo Coffee,” so we were on the hunt. Our driver took us to Merta Herum Lewak Coffee where we received a tour of the plantation and learned the proper ways Lewak Coffee is made. Let me give you a brief description of the process.

  1. A coffee plant produces what looks like small cherries and the coffee bean is inside, similar to the pit of an avocado.
  2. They feed these cherries to a Civit (Not a CAT!)
  3. The Civit … you know.. #2
  4. The coffee beans are washed, roasted and ground

I did try the coffee and I wouldn’t say it was any better than what I get at Starbucks or McDonald's. Yes, I said it and I’m not sorry. Now that I’ve had to reflect back I think this form of coffee creation is just cruel. The Civits are living in a cage and forced to eat the coffee beans (I’ve learned they also feed them bananas and other fruits.) I’m not a fan of any animal being kept in a cage, let alone for some freaking coffee that really isn’t that great. However, the plantation itself was gorgeous. They gave us a taste of all the different types of coffees and teas they produce from the plantation. It was quiet the experience.  I probably won’t drink Lewak coffee again but at least I can say I tried. I believe others in the crew really enjoyed it. 

After caffeinating our souls, the crew was hell bent on seeing the dern monkeys so I willingly went back. Megan’s friend, Nate, wanted to get a picture with a monkey so, he was teasing one with an empty banana peal. When the monkey realized there was nothing inside, he bit Nate. We were all cracking up. Nate was so concerned he had rabies the rest of the day. I’m pretty sure at one point he said “I feel faint… Do you think it’s rabies?” Can I say “Told you so?”

IMG_20180124_145205.jpg

At this point, the day had been long and it was time to relax. The guys had to fly out so they left and Megan and I went to Jannata Resort and Spa. Next blog post.