Surfing in Bali

After the Perama boat trip (which was a major highlight of Indonesia as we saw so much, ate so well and met some cool people) we decided to dedicate our last week in Indo to our original reason for going there: surfing. We then did a lot of talking about where to go before deciding to head back to Bali, as its just so much easier to get around – it’s much more set up for tourism than most of the other Indonesian islands so everything is just less hassle. We landed on our feet as it turned out, because we got a pretty cushy number in a surfcamp on the Bukit peninsula, South Bali, near Padang Padang beach and the famous Uluwatu surf break.

Ulu Air

Its a very small world, as we discovered that Josh, the owner of the camp is a good friend of a friend of Eddie’s, and he sorted us out well.

The place (Rapture surfcamp) was really nice, relaxed and comfortable, we were tranported to the surf everyday and well looked after. The surfing itself, as usual, was a challenge, but sure it’s all practice! It was our first time surfing reef breaks (basically surfing with rocks and coral underneath, not just sand) so we got a few new cuts and bruises, but nothing major. The ‘rules of surf’ that the boys in Portugal so sternly drilled into us two years ago really stood to us! Also, while in Indonesia, reputedly one of the best places in the world to surf, I truly came to realise how good we have it at home surfing-wise, as the waves and beach breaks we go to around Sligo are perfect for the level we’re at; when they’re good that is. Indonesia is limited enough for beginner surfers (three years later we’re still beginners, what dedication!).

Rapture's Gardens Downtime in Rapture

The camp also provided an easy time for our last week in Indo as they provided most meals and when we went out we all went together like a big happy, slighty scarred (literally) family. We went bowling in Kuta one night and to a local lad’s 17th birthday party another night; nothing very wild as we were often up at 6am for the early morning surf (or spin in the washing machine for me mostly)! Most of the people staying there longer term had rented mopeds so on our last evening we borrowed one and took it to Uluwatu to see what all the fuss is about. Its a lovely spot, Eddie got some good snaps like the one at top (that’s me on the board of course…). There’s a competition on there around about now so surf champ Kelly Slater was on our beach (the main one we went to; Padang Padang) just a day before we arrived! Some of the others in the camp got photos taken with him.

Bridge at Padang Padang Yoman in her Kitchen

A funny thing happened in Padang Padang the first morning of the waiting period for one of the surfing competitions. On the 12th of July, an unmarked, abandoned ship was grounded on the main reef. There were rumours floating around a few days later that the captain had been killed by pirates but because they didn’t know how to sail the ship they grounded it into the reef. I’m not so sure about that, but I do know that the freezer of the fishing vessel was packed full of 50kg+ yellow-fin tuna. Once word of this got around, the locals were hard at it relieving the boat of its valuable cargo over the following days. The picture below was taken early on the morning of the 12th (a group of us were down on the beach at 6am to go surfing, around the same time as the boat was discovered). If only those men on the rocks knew what was lying a hundred metres away from them, they might have brought home a bigger catch that morning!

Missed Opportunity

Anyway, after chilling out in Rapture, getting beaten up by the waves and having the craic with the ladies on the beach (Eddie loves the middle-aged Balinese women who try to sell you stuff, and we all loved Yoman who runs a food shack on the beach and never stops smiling), it was time to move on from Indonesia as our 30 day visa was almost up. So on July 14th, we waved goodbye with a wistful smile and took a flight two hours north to Malyasian Borneo.

Eddie on the bike

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