We decided to get away from the retail madness of Ubud in search of something a bit more remote. After 3 days of denying the taxi industry by walking, we hired a guy to drive us around the countryside, up over the mountain pass over looking the Agung Volcano, and weaving through the hills and terraced rice fields to a place called Sideman. Our first stop in the morning, appropriately, was to visit a coffee plantation. Bali has this famous coffee called Kopi Luwak. This coffee is special because it has a long and strange journey before it’s brewed and enjoyed. Coffee is actually berries, which are a tasty snack for a little ferret looking mammal called the Asian Palm Civet. The the berry is consumed by this furry little thing and the coffee bean travels through the animal like Dennis Quaid in Innerspace. During this time the digestive acids chemically react resulting in a bean with less acidity. The bean finally makes it through the animal and ahem, well, makes it back to the jungle floor. They must break out the Petsmart “pooper scooper” to gather the beans. The beans are then washed, sun dried and then finally roasted. This coffee is crazy expensive, but why wouldn’t it be? I have to say, it is a tasty cup of joe. Now hopped up on caffeine from byproducts, we continued our drive through the narrow roads and up towards the Agung Volcano. As soon as we started to crest over the pass, the skies opened up with pounding rain. Despite the rain, it was still possible to see views of the towering volcano and green valley below it. A couple hours from the mountain pass, we arrived Sideman, exactly the kind of place we were looking for. Sideman is a tiny town tucked into the mountains, surrounded by terraced rice fields. We found a little guest house to stay at with a spectacular view of Agung, called Lihat Sawah. There is nothing to do in Sideman and it is in one of the most beautiful setting we’ve seen. So, nothing to do and pretty, sounds like a good opportunity to sit on our porch and watch the sun go down. We spent the next few days reading, walking along the windy country roads through little villages and eating local Balinese food. Hands down, this is our favorite place in Bali, it takes relaxation to a whole new level. There’s handful of guesthouses in the area, but when you’re here you really feel that you have it all to yourself. Sideman is a gem, one of those places where you want to tell everyone about or maybe no one at all, tough call!
- In 2008 we (Meggan and Beau) set out to see the world and start a business. Since then we have visited 48 countries and we’re just getting started. Travel and design go hand in hand. Whether we’re on the other side of the planet, or down the street we always find things to inspire us.