Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bali 2007: From Kuta to Uluwatu

Landed in Jakarta well past midnight and spent the rest of the night at the house of Aya's tita (we slept girls in one room, boys in the other). Breakfast was thin slices of proscuito and heaping spoonfuls of nasi goreng. Then... off to Bali!

Arrived in the Island of the Gods after lunch and spent the first day getting settled in. Moro, JP and I were booked at Taman Ayu Bungalos -- really cheap place with clean rooms, comfortable beds, and a super friendly staff. I found out about Taman Ayu through Denver, who stayed there last year and made friends with one of the staff... this super nice local named Juli. Juli is the best.

Aya, Phil and Terence stayed down the street at Masa Inn. We heard about this place naman through Paolo and Cat (later backed up by Vince and Andrew). Value for money. Really great digs for a price you wont find in the Pinas.

Across Masa Inn is a restaurant called Nusa Indah. Yummy food at really low prices. Most of our meals were eaten here. Most of our Bintangs downed right after those meals. We made friends with one of the waiters pa. Komang (I know, whattaname!) became our command central... "Hey Komang, did you see Phil and Aya?" and he'd go "Yes, they just ate and went back to Masa Inn". Really convenient.

Oh... I took everyone to Legian Street the first night and introduced them to the Surfer Girl and Quiksilver store there. Third floor = sales floor. Little did any of us know that this was going to be a very small portion of what our shopping was going to be like. Hehe.

Surfing happened the second day. COLD water. So cold that after a while our fingers were going numb and our toes felt like they were going to fall off. But, since the swell had dropped off, we at least managed to have a fun session. I got long rides and got to practice my turning. Timing lang cos a lot of the waves were closing out and the sections that were consistently working were filled with locals we didnt wanna hassle.

Ano pa ba? Ah, Moro scored a board! He sold his 6'3 before we left for Bali so we were on a mission to find a a good deal on another board while we were there. The Kuta area is awash with surf shops so it took us a while to make a decision and to wrangle a good price. But on the third day of our stay, we made a choice - a 6'0 pintail Barreira board.

After we found our bearings, we decided to stick around the Kuta beach area for a few days, braving the cold water and the often close out waves. I made friends with some local instructors and they picked waves for me to take. Nothing great but deffo long fun rides. By this time, we'd all developed a taste for Teh Botol, a locally bottled tea drink. And we were starting to make friends with the vendors on the beach... getting discounts on our Teh Botols and Bintangs... and earning a safe place for us to leave our bags while we all surfed. (Most of the hangin' and surfin' Kuta pics are with Terence).

Moro and I took an afternoon off to head up to Uluwatu. We rented a motorbike (Rp80,000 with insurance for two days), asked Juli to draw us a map and took off. Ulu was small that day - small for typical Indo standards. As it was, waves were head high, peeling and perfect. We watched the line up at Ulu and this cool guy taking off on double overhead waves with his paddleboard at Temples. Then up to the temple itself to catch the sunset... and lose sunnies to a cunning macaque.

Terence joined us in the motorbike brigade the next day and we went off in search of... sales! Hahahaha. Really chill day lang using the bike, surfing a bit and then checking out Joe's Place for the first time. Think Big Sky but chiller pa.

Next up! Ubud and the Monkey Wars!

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