Animals, Asia/Indonesia, Food and Drink, food diplomacy, Health and Wellness, Local Cuisine, Luwak, Meditation, Monkeys, Ubud, Bali

Monkeys & Luwaks: Two Joys of Ubud, Bali

There are so many things to see, do, marvel at and about, and ponder in Ubud, Bali that it is difficult to know where to begin to write about the experience.

A mentor used to advise me to “just begin, my friend, one word at a time!”


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Here is what we know , or think we know, about monkeys:

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Monkeys are revered in Bali. Making fun of them, even placing sunglasses on Monkey statues is a way to show honor and respect.

There are around 700 Balinese long tailed monkeys living in The Sacred Monkey Forest in downtown Ubud.

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They will steel your car keys, food, sunglasses…basically anything that is visible and unattached, if you are not paying attention.
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They are quirky, beautiful, animated, crazy active or not.
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Some will make you laugh out loud.
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Some are so beautiful they could make a living as Monkey Models.
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And some will touch your heart with love.
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While others will give you a look that will put the fear of God in you.
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And finally, some monkeys are so busy that they exhaust themselves and must yawn and take a nap in the middle of the road.

Ok, enough about monkeys.

Luwaks (Indonesian Palm Civet Cats)

We first heard about the Kopi Luwak coffee, allegedly the best and the most expensive coffee in the world from the movie Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Why someone would choose that this kind of coffee must be experienced before they die is beyond me.

How this coffee is harvested may be why it is so expensive. The coffee beans have been digested by the civet cat also called a luwak. The droppings (poop) of the luwak are then painstakingly collected, roasted, and sold as kopi luwak or casually called “cat poop coffee.” But, why it is considered “the best” is a big question once you learn how it is harvested it is a little challenging to even try. Suffice to say it turns our stomach. It seems like an elaborate joke started by the local farmers circumventing Dutch colonial laws from raising their own coffee beans back in the 1800’s. For more on the topic, enjoy the rabbit hole of cat poop history on the link.

At any rate, here we are in Ubud, walking along minding our own business when we look into a small cafe’ and observe these two odd looking animals. These “pets” are adorable, friendly and playful. That’s all Bev needed to know — she had a furry friend to play with. Turns out, they are both coffee fans.

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We had been in Bali for one whole day and Bev was already feeling some withdrawal from playing with the animals. During our last Pet Sit in St. Albans, Australia, we had 2 cats, 2 dogs, 2 horses and 3 Alpaca to occupy our time. The dogs needed walking several times a day and the horses wanted equal attention. The alpaca were completely indifferent about attention, in fact they were a bit suspicious of it. The cats, actually Harry the cat, only wanted attention on his terms and Higgins only gave us an occasional sighting. The fact was, Bev was ready to entertain and tease these two playful creatures.
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This little guy, Jack, was so tired from playing with his older sister and with Bev that he needed a nap. His little toy nearby and he were gone.
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Play time.
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Mauma and Jack, sister and brother, are adorable and great fun to hang out with over a cup of … regular coffee.

We came to Ubud for a rest and to focus on Meditation, Yoga, and Food (an Eat, Pray, Love theme). Right out of the shoot we are presented with animals, Monkeys and Luwaks, which smacked a smile to our faces and joy to our hearts. Ubud was going to be a very special place indeed.


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With Mitzi and Pepper in Latrobe, Tasmania

Caring for a couple of dogs and two horses in a small village in a foreign country can be daunting. But, not for us. We have done it before,

As International Trusted House Sitters we get to make new friends with all sorts of critters. The best part, however, is making new human friends with the home owners and neighbors.

About Bev & John

We got rid of most of our “stuff” and rented our home so we could explore the world, unencumbered.  Pet sitting makes our travels so much more fun and relaxing.

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