Bali Trip: The Grand Finale

The last day of our Bali tour was a free day, and also happened to be my birthday.  A few of us decided to go see some more sights with the guide who took my mom and I around on our first day in Bali.  What a perfect way to spend a birthday - exploring a new country with my mother and a great group of new friends.  We started the day off at Elephant Cave Temple, where we walked around and explored the grounds.

Elephant at the entrance to Elephant Cave Temple
Entrance to the cave
Such beautiful painting
This used to be a giant Buddha statue
Our guide Nata
Fun group of crazies! 
 Next we stopped at a coffee plantation where the famous Luwak coffee is made.  A guide showed us the many plants they grow there and then walked us through the Luwak coffee-making process.  The animals eat the coffee beans, then once they poop them out they are washed, roasted, and made into coffee.  It was a bit strange to think that people drink poop coffee but to each their own I guess.  I'm not a coffee drinker, but I found the process and the other plants they had really interesting.  My favourite was the cinnamon tree - I had no idea before that day that it was a tree.  Mind blown!
The group at the coffee plantation
Amazing giant butterfly at the coffee plantation
 We then went up to a restaurant on a hill with a great view of Mt Batur, Lake Batur, and the Kintamani Volcano.  Kintamani is an active volcano that has had several eruptions in the past couple of decades.  We could see the dark fields of hardened lava flow across the valley contrasting with the lush green plants.
The volcano and Lake Batur
Lots of selfies going on here

On the way back down the mountain we stopped at a spice shop where a lady walked us around the gardens and explained the plants and their uses.  Then we stopped at some beautiful rice terraces for  some quintessential Bali pictures.
Enjoying the rice terraces
I thought this summed up the trip well - quilts and rice fields

Cheese 
Another year wiser?

We got back from our day out with just enough time for me to treat myself to a birthday massage.  Then the whole group met up at a nearby restaurant for our farewell dinner.  As tired as we all were of egg rolls by this point, I have to say that they were the best I'd had yet.  We also got the fabrics that we had stamped earlier on the trip along with some Bali pops from the Hoffman factory.

All in all, it was a great trip made even better by the people that we befriended on the tour bus.  It was an eye-opening experience to share with my mom, and I'm really glad we were able to make the trip together.  I'm also thankful I didn't go to Bali with my husband because I don't think we would have it enjoyed it as much.  So now I just have to use all of the fabric I bought!
The whole tour group

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