I’d been back in Kuta for 10 odd days before the collective archive started to drag me down. Since getting back from Sumatra I had barely even looked at the ocean let alone my surfboards. It wasn’t because there weren’t waves it was more so that I was caught up living a hedonistic lifestyle which is so easy to do in this town. My liver and body were starting to feel the wrath of my exploits and my bank balance was hurting as well. It was time to get out!
I had heard about a little Island somewhere in the archipelago from a friend and seeing as it was fast approaching peak season I was keen to get off the beaten path and to somewhere more remote. My 5 minutes research on the computer told me I needed to fly to “X” and once at “X” organise a ferry to “Y” before going to “Z”, easy enough. Off I went to the airport and booked a flight for the next morning. Once I arrived in “X” I started talking to some other surfers and latched on to them as they had that book of knowledge called Lonely Planet and I didn’t exactly know how to deal with the in between parts of my journey. So I stayed overnight in “X” and in the morning went off to the ferry terminal and caught a boat to “Y”. Once at “Y” I jumped in a bemo with the other surfers and drove a few hours to “Z”. Found a cheap losmen on the beach, settled in and began the wait for swell. This village was one of the sleepiest I’d been to in all of Indonesia, in other words a good place for a relaxing holiday! It was more or less flat for about three or four days. I spent my time waiting for meals, sleeping, swimming and being paranoid about falling coconuts. One day I jumped on a push bike and explored for a day, got invited into a family home for lunch and then they took me on a scooter tour (the warmth of Indonesian people never ceases to surprise me).
Anyway finally some worthy swell arrived in the form of some overhead lines on the long left in front of the village. It’s a good thing I’d been toughening my feet up in Indo for 3months because the 1km walk along reef out to the break was a bitch. It’s pretty soft but still it’s a long way and littered with a mine field of traps in the form of seaweed farming setups. It’s a classy wave, surfed for a few hours until highish tide and paddled in. The trades at this time of year are really strong so while it’s perfect offshore it gets rather bumpy once the reef gets covered. The next day would have been 6-8ft or double to triple overhead for those who use that scale. It was nice to get some good sized waves but the swell was from a weird direction and wasn’t exactly perfect but hell still it was super fun! In the days following this swell would die off rather fast but we made the most of it clocking up a few surfs a day, it’s not like we had anything better to do anyway.
There were probably 3 days of flatness maybe 2ft when the sets came but most people just chose to rest up and wait for the next swell which was looking to be bigger and better than the last one. It started to show itself as predicted. The low tide was in the afternoon so we just went out after lunch and surfed till dark. It was probably 3-4ft maybe some freak sets might have been double over head. It was a much more lined up swell hitting the reef perfectly and reeling off down dishing out some super long fun rides. Towards dark it became clear that tomorrow would be the day, the swell was building and it was a good one. I couldn’t wait to get the gun out, after all the main purpose of my journey here was to ride it! I had heard that this reef could handle the biggest of swells; in fact it was supposed to get better as it got bigger.
The next morning was bigger and looking good for sure, it’s hard to tell from the beach because the wave is so far away. The crew at the losmen opted to just wait and hit up the afternoon session as we had done the previous day. After lunch I waxed up the gun and walked out. There were some good sized waves going down the reef and it looked like fun. It was consistently coming through at 8ft. Surfed till dark again; it was probably one of the best surfs I had had in Indo. The swell peaked out at about 10ft on the sets and there were more broken boards and leggies than you could shake a stick at. My gun handled it well and rode like a dream I was stoked and absolutely frothing! That night I prayed that the swell would hang round at that size. Too bad Hughie wasn’t listening. The next day was probably 6ft and whilst it was real fun it just didn’t compare to the previous day. So that night we made the plan to head down to a hollow right not to far away at the crack of dawn, hopefully before the wind got up.
Arriving at the right hander there was no wind and it was looking good. Probably 4ft on the sets i surfed for a bit then retreated to the boat. I had wasted my arm duck diving on the big day and my pain killers had worn off, so I shot a few photos.
Any way the next day it was time to get back to Bali and then back to the freezer known as home. It had been a great 4 months of travel through Indo and I had managed to spend a large portion of the season avoiding crowds. I’ll be back for more of the same before I know it anyway.