Mt.Batur, an active volcano with a massive picturesque crater lake at its base. For the adventurous-minded, a sunrise hike to its 1,717-metre summit is well worth the effort. I wish I could describe the view from the top — but five years living in Montserrat, with its active and very destructive Soufrière Hills Volcano, taught me that such geological features are best viewed from afar. Preferably with a cold drink in hand, and your keys in the ignition. Luckily I found a nearby restaurant where I could do just that, plus enjoy an amazing traditional Indonesian lunch buffet.
never find out how much food is available at this place, I’m off to a nearby farm to try a cup of kopi luwak. This is Indonesia’s unique coffee brand, made famous by an appearance in the Jack Nicholson movie The Bucket List. Kopi luwak is produced by an unusual process, to say the least. Asian palm civets — small mammals also known as toddy cats — eat coffee berries which ferment in their stomachs, and then — er, let’s say resurface, intact in the civets’ feces. The beans are collected and harvested from the excrement (wouldn’t want that job), washed (very carefully, I hope), hand-roasted (hopefully killing any E. coli that might still be around), and sold as the most expensive coffee in the world, fetching up to US$3,000 per kilo. Thanks, Jack — this will be a very expensive item to get off my bucket list!
employment status. But as I eat my last nasi goreng at the airport, I reflect that during my vacation — er, I mean job-hunt — I’ve only scratched the surface of the island. Not to mention the rest of Indonesia. After all, this fourth most populous country in the world spans an archipelago of more than seventeen thousand islands. Imagine the historical sites, the natural wonders, the restaurants and food stalls along the way. I make a vow to return. Meanwhile, my kopi luwak travels with me.