We rent cars frequently when in Europe and elsewhere and have never needed an international driving permit. Just prior to our most recent roadtrip from Belgium, I came across information that really changes things. We’re in Antwerp house- and cat-sitting for a couple of months again and had some days away to do something with while the owners were home between their travels. I booked a rent car awhile back, but hadn’t settled on where we should go. We’d been thinking northern France and the Channel Islands, but were starting to lean more towards Switzerland since David had never been. A “why not” run to Lichtenstein had also piqued my interest so I began plotting out a drive south through France to Switzerland, factoring in a stop in Dinant, Belgium, that had been on my want-to-see list for some years.
A “luwak” or palm civet. A nocturnal animal, but maybe all that caffeine was keeping him awake.
As improbable as it seems, the coffee is actually delicious and has become a delicacy in coffee-loving circles. Apparently, it’s possible to pay $30 for a cup of Luwak coffee in California. Not worth it to me, but we were definitely willing to give it a try at Balinese prices. (50,000 idr or about $3.60/cup) And yes, it is delicious, mild and unusual with an almost sweet taste.
Many teas and coffees were offered to us at the plantation free, along with banana chips, in the hopes of selling us more to go. In addition to full-sized cups of luwak coffee, we sampled mangosteen, ginger, lemon, herbal, rosella and lemongrass teas and Bali, coconut, vanilla, ginger, ginseng, Bali cocoa, Bali mochacino and durian coffees. The locale is lovely and our traditionally-dressed guide (a friend of our driver) was friendly and in no way pushing any of it on us. The stop was definitely on the touristy side, but fun and interesting nonetheless. And, yes, we did buy some luwak coffee to take with us.
Our other bonus stop along the way to Lovina was Jatiluwih rice terrace. We really just gave it a quick look and stopped for lunch with a view since we wanted to get on to Lovina. It’s possible to spend lots more time there hiking among the paddies. There is a 40,000 idr entrance fee (less than $3pp).