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Cocoa, Coffee and Clean Rooms

Community Highlights Asia Cocoa, Coffee and Clean Rooms

Wednesday, July 10th

Since Ramadan started yesterday and there were five mosques in our area, the chanting and calls to prayer seemed to go on all night. While sometimes this can be have a calming effect, last night’s did not and neither of us got much sleep. Saying that, the resort is lovely and the beds were really comfortable. I was actually sound asleep a couple of hours before Shirley got back to the room.

This morning we had to pack up early and be out the door for 8am. We had some big flying foxes near our rooms who posed for photos before we left (big bats). Shirley actually got up close and personal with the bats which is a big move for her, as anyone who knows Shirley can attest.

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Today was another long day of travel as we had to drive to the ferry, cross to Bali and drive to Tanah Lot. Before leaving Kilabaru we had a tour of a nearby Plantation. The plantation manufactures coffee, cocoa (chocolate), rubber, vanilla, pepper and a variety of other fresh produce. It was really interesting and shockingly manual. This place makes Vietnam seem very progressive.

We saw coffee beans growing and saw the cat poop coffee while it was still in the turd form. This very expensive coffee is collected after the civit cat has eaten the coffee beans from the trees and then the workers going around collect the poop in the morning to further process the beans. I didn’t have any here but I had it in Vietnam and it was delicious.

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We watched women manually pick through the cocoa beans, putting them in 4 piles. The top quality beans are exported to Europe. I imagine the cast offs are probably used to make those awful allan chocolate bunnies we ate as kids. I actually found the taste of the unprocessed roasted bean to be like rich dark chocolate. You can see in the picture how they leave the white cocoa beans to ferment. I wonder if any of this might turn me from chocolate. Probably not. It is just hard to believe this is all done by hand.

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The same is true for all the processing at this plantation. The rubber trees are cut with a small knife every day by the woman in the families at 3 am so the milky like sap drains into a coconut attached to the tree. Each family looks after 100 trees daily. Most of the rubber is exported to Japan.

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Our tour ended with fresh coffee, fried bananas and fried cassava. Yummy. Oh, and we saw a blue scorpion! First time ever I saw one in the wild. As much as they terrify me, they are cool.

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From there it was about an hour and a half to the ferry station. The boats leaves every 15 minutes so there was virtually no wait at all. The only strange part was that about mid way we stopped for about 20 minutes but I think that was to make way for the ferry departing from Bali. In any case we arrived safe and sound which is a good thing given that you hear so many stories of over crowded Indonesia ferries sinking. Ours had a small crowd.

You can sense immediately that Bali is different mostly in the architecture and reduction in garbage. Also, there seems to be a lot of temples on all the front lawns. Bali is a Hindu island so no more 4 am wake up calls!

We arrived at the hotel after 4 hours driving in heavy rain. Everyone seems so shocked that it is raining in dry season. Apparently this never happens. All I can say is it better stop before tomorrow. So we are here in Tanah Lot for 2 nights with very little on our schedule except to have a spa day. After discovering that our room is modern and clean, Shirley says she finally feels like she is “back in civilization”.

This featured blog entry was written by curlygirl from the blog One mom, one son, one world.
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By curlygirl

Posted Wed, Jul 10, 2013 | Indonesia | Comments