Surfs Up in Bali

With roughly 10 days to play around with, Erik and I decided to part ways and I made my way down to Bali. All in all it cost me $160 to get from Bangkok, to Bali and then Bali on to Singapore where I was scheduled to catch a flight to Perth on the 23rd to continue my RTW ticket. It was up in the air between Bali and the Philippines, but the weather forecast for Boracay didn’t look so hot with 20-30+ mph winds. Albeit the weather forecast for Indonesia wasn’t great either, as it looked like rain every day. I was told however that it was short bursts of rain for an hour or so. Opting for the cheaper, easier transportation option to Singapore, I went with Bali.

Upon a recommendation from a friend I met during my travels I stayed in a hotel called the Island Hotel, in Legian. The hotel/hostel itself was fantastic, probably the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in on the whole trip, and all for $20 a night. From everyone I spoke to about Bali they advised me to stay away from Kuta. In terms of geography is concerned, from south to north it goes Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak. The further north you go the classier the establishments get.

The morning after I arrived I had my sights set on the Rip Curl School of Surf. 3 Lessons for $150, and unlimited use of boards during the time that you’re taking lessons, along with use of lockers, suntan lotion and a rash guard and swimsuit if needed. The school was situated ~10 minutes walking from my hostel, so it was a no-brainer for me. I showed up at 11 AM and they said lessons started in 10 minutes, so I joined on the spot. The instruction was solid, however there was one thing I really couldn’t get over, and that was the amount of trash on the beach and in the water. Double Six Beach is where the lessons were held and I was absolutely disgusted by the quality of the beach, I have no idea why anyone would go there, other than to surf. It has good waves for beginners, and I was stuck with $150 in lessons to burn. It may have been exaggerated by the rainy season, but this location of the beach was at the mouth of the river and seemed to take all of Indonesia’s trash out with it every day. I usually get the heebie jeebies if something brushes up against my leg, but by day 2 you knew it could only be one thing. Trash.

Trash at Double Six Beach
Trash at Double Six Beach

After my second lesson I decided to take a break in between my third lesson and get some practice in, and then hopefully I’d get the hang of it, and they would take me out for lesson three to Sanur Beach, where I could do some reef surfing. Reef surfing? I couldn’t even get up and ride two waves in consistently, no chance I was gonna try my hand at reef surfing. Therein lied my one gripe with the teachers at Rip Curl. They really didn’t understand my aptitude for surfing. The guy wanted to me to get out there and practice turning into the waves on a reef when I had trouble riding 2 waves in a row.

I decided to give myself a break from surfing, which also coincided with me getting food poisoning, aptly called Bali Belly. This was the 2nd instance of food poisoning thus far in my travels. My guess it was this undercooked chicken curry I had in the afternoon from this woman begging for business, and not the prosciutto mozzarella panini I had for dinner. I was debilitated for the next 24 hours, and boy am I happy to have packed charcoal pills on this trip.

Roughly 24 hours later, Bali belly was gone, and I decided to try and get up out of bed and see the sunset at Tanah Lot. It’s roughly a 45 min ride so I jumped in a taxi and took a stroll around the grounds waiting for sunset. It was quite nice to see, as there is a temple that sits in the middle of the ocean and is accessible during low to mid tides. I got some nice sunset shots on the ocean and called it a day, Ubud was next on the docket and I was hoping to make it an early departure, as I was getting sick of Kuta/Legian…

Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot

Stay tuned for Part two where I delve into the second half of my Bali trip.

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