19th July 2021
Hello everyone and thanks for dropping into the baliwaves in these very testy and hard times we are suffering at the moment. Since the 3rd of July the President has imposed a partial lockdown on Java and Bali and since then extended into other area’s of Indonesia. Closing non essiential busineses and also making domestic travel through out Indonesia a little more strict. In order to travel between islands, well Bali and Java anyway, the traveller must produce a “valid” Covid free PCR test and have proof of vaccination. But still here in Bali we are seeing record numbers of infected domestic and International travellers.
For International travellers, and that means anyone who of course is now fully vaccinated and can afford the “business / investor” visa that is openly on offer to all non Indonesians and is extendable on shore here in Bali / Indonesia. For these people there is also a short 8 day quarantimne on arrival in Jakarta or other ports of dissembarkation that are available in Java. Until the new PPKM laws were introduced the quaerantine period was only a token 5 days and I think there was more than 150K of those visa’s issued.
The aim of the PPKM (partial lock down is other words) is to try and reduce people mobility in public to reduce human contact and the spreading of a highly contageous variant of Covi-19 known as the “Delta” variant. I have to say from what I have seen out on the streets around where we live just on the Southern side of Kuta it is pretty quite, in fact a lot quiter than before the PPKM and partial lock down was imposed. But no where near as empty as 14-16 months ago.
How ever some beaches were closed as well, all were supposed to be nut only a few have been partially enforced. The Canggu / Berawa beaches were closed and the Police, Army and local Banjars were patroling them. As this area is notoriously known for foreigners flirting and flaunting with the protocols that have been put in place eg; social distancing and mask wearing. But the closed Berawa and Canggu beaches haven’t stopped these foreigners from jumping on motor bikes and into cars and travelling from one area to another looking for open beach access. Also the risk of potentially spreading the virus on their journey and exactly the opposite of what the Government is asking of the citizens. Yesterday here in sleepy Tuban there were so many surfers and guides arriving most of the day as this proof.
From the locals perspective it is catch 22, no work equals no food or paying the bills. And when the choice is either risk working with potentially infected tourists or letting your family go with out I think the choice would be obvious for all of us without a bank account full of available cash. For Indonesia’s and Bali’s leaders it must be a logistical nightmare as it’s not only tourists that are potential virus spreaders after over 1.5 years of this just about everyone here is a little “Covid fatigued”. Although if there was any time during this that the public needs to go the extra yards with it it’s in fact right now.
With Bali now regularly recording over 1000 new cases (reported only) and a record high of 22 deaths in one day. Nationally reaching record highs in new case numbers and fatality rates. Experts are predicting the Virus to continue spreading and death toll to rise through into August. It has been repeatedly said in the local news that vaccination is our only hope of saving lives and a way out of this global pandemic. The President of Indonesia has continually pushed for the vaccination program to speed up and last week they hit a record of over 2 million doses administered per day ! Still a long to go before we actually do hit “herd immunity” but hopefully on track.
Surf wise I have been out in the boat a couple of times to try and catch fish to feed my family and neighbours so I have seen first hand that all locations south of Kuta are being surfed and that there are / have been, plenty of good waves. For example Padang Padang even though locked up pretty tight had around 70+ surfers on it last week with the first real swell of this Dry Season. I just this minute telephoned my friend who works in one of the cliff shide warungs at Uluwatu for a surf report. But unfortunately my friend was at home feeling very un well with flu like symptoms.. He like many Indonesians has settled for “over the counter” medicines from a chemist.
I also had to take a run up to our mountain side family village a while back and the village life is so different, compared to what we deal with down in “the city” it was like a short refreshing holiday. The East Coast traffic was very light compared to pre PPKM although Sanur still had plenty of traffic on the main highway. But once out of the city it was a pleasure to drive and take in a little of the green scenery along the way.
I also spoke to a friend, long time ex pat up at Medewi who said they have locked down the main surfing area. I’m not so sure about Balian but with only one road in and out it wouldn’t be difficult if they really wanted to. Another friend drove South from Balian and was stopped by Police but still allowed to continue. I have heard mixed reports of Police road blocks, and or the lack of them. Part of the Bali edition PPKM is supposed to be no travel unless fully vaccinated and carrying proof of vaccination. Plus a valid reason to be on the road. Unfortunately going surfing is not one of those reasons.
weather wise it’s been your typical July weathern patterns, plenty of waves and fresh off shore wind. the wind has been very strong blowing hard out of the ESE this last week. Today it has in fact settled down. We did see quite a lot of rain over the last month and that also has eased off back into a more dry daily climate again.
Ok Bali people sorry about the long essay type report today I could have kept going as I didn’t even touch on the psycological effects, depression that is effecting so many people or the hospitals situation that most are rapidly running out of ICU beds but if anyone wants to read further into what Bali and the rest of Indonesia are currently facing please check out the “Bali Covid-19 Update group” for lots of daily information and external links to facts (not fiction). This group is strictly run and only real information is posted on Bali and Indonesia’s situation including travel to and from requirements.
Also if any of our friends could contact us and maybe help out with a dollar or two please contact us directly or via our PayPal link. Times are hard and we have been doing our best to help as many of our friends here in Bali as we can physically can.
Best Regards from Bali
Slim & Family
We hope to see you here surfing in Bali again, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email for any Bali surf info and we’ll do our best to help out.
Disclaimer; Baliwaves.com accepts no responsibility for absenteeism, day dreaming, depression, divorce, lethargy, alcoholism, jealousy, black magic, mid life crisis, Bali belly or loss of wages. Any reference or resemblance to real living people (or zombies) in these reports are purely co incident + all material appearing on baliwaves.com can under no circumstance be re printed or used in anyway without written permission (bahahaha) from baliwaves.com