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June 19, 2013

Today after getting more stores on-board and bacon butties on deck for breakfast most of us set off in a fleet of taxis to explore the Island. Having negotiated the frantic traffic, millions of motor bikes

carrying adults, children, grannys, furniture, animals etc -sometimes singly, more often all together

- we were taken to see an amazing temple by the sea where some of us drank the sacred water from the rock, had rice pressed to our forehead and a frangipani flower put in our ear to cleanse us.

We were then taken on an amazing ride up into the cool of the hills to see the rice paddy fields and the lush, flowery hinterland. We had lunch overlooking the beautiful world heritage site where the farmers still work in the age old way.

On the way back we visited a small coffee farm where we sampled Bali Coffee. Wait for it. . ..the coffee beans are eaten off the plant by small animals like mongoose ( or mongeese) called Lucas, and their excrement is gathered, cleaned and the extruded beans “freshened up” and roasted,before being crushed into coffee grains. Yes, we tried it! Very strong and black but given the process not sure we will be looking for it in Tesco! Those who went straight to a beach after the first stop at the Temple were not that sorry to miss this bit! They went to a restaurant and had fish so spicy that James, who normally has a very healthy appetite, could not eat it! He was not alone. They ate just the rice instead.

Having struggled back through the vibrancy of the city and the traffic madness we arrived back at Nelly having had a fascinating insight into the real life of this lovely island.

The permanent Crew had stayed behind to take on a few more stores and to get ready for the Evening reception given on board for us by the Royal Bali Yacht Club. We were entertained by the beautiful little girls from a local orphanage who showed us their skilful Balinese Dancing in their exotic and colourful costumes. Many of the children living in the orphanage had been saved from living on the street by this organisation and the proceeds from the evening given by invited guests were divided between the Yacht Club and JST funds. So many thanks to the R.B.Y.C and thank you too for the delicious Bali food in a basket to which we were treated.

During the party Jane was presented with a Birthday cake, and wished a Happy Birthday by everyone present. Dave excelled himself with a Chocolate Biscuit cake this time!

Many of us bought little gifts made by the children of the orphanage and a collection was made amongst the Crew who donated all of the local currency they had left towards their funds.


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