Friday, August 24, 2007

Teh Botol = Bali

Snapped this one afternoon while waiting for the rest of the crew to come up from a surf session at Kuta. Now let me explain why this bottle of sweetend jasmine tea encapsulates our Bali experience:

- A brand new taste of something familiar
- Refreshing
- Surprisingly affordable
- Addicting
- Something to tell your friends back home about

Teh Botol = Bali.

The End

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Sakit vs Surfing: LU Weekend Sessions

Finally made it back to La Union!

Saturday morning surf check showed blown out beach break with strong current. You'd start paddling in front of surf camp and end up in front of Surf Maid if you werent careful. So... no. Breakfast na lang muna while the big boys paddle out.

After lunch we checked out Carille. Unfortunately it was working. Dammit. I dont like Carille cos the water tends to be hella dirty. Especially after a big rain has just washed debris downriver. Syempre, ulan ng ulan di ba? So ang dumi nga nung tubig. To top it all of I was on the second day of surfing the crimson wave. Hello open cervix!

But no... ang ganda nung alon!!! Long rides, uncrowded line-up, clean walls. Aaaargh. Double Dammit. It took me an hour to convince myself that one session was not going to be worth the hassle of having to buy meds. So yan... chinika ko na lang lahat ng tao doon while watching enviously as people took off on waves that were not scary. Hay.

Sunday morning we loaded up and decided to do a swell check. Kung saan saan kami umabot. Hanggang Poro Point naghahanap kami ng alon ("mas mura daw babae pag umaga") but no. So we ended up heading to my favorite La Union beach break... also known to forum posters as "Aldrix's backyard."

Sobrang panalo!!! Steady, mellow waves with occassional overhead sets. Clean walls. Easy drops. The tiniest hint of a current. Uncrowded line-up. Lefts AND Rights. CHAMPION.

Even Lor was stoked and temporarily forgot the loss of her bag. Jong was back in the line-up, test driving his shoulder (welcome back Jong, well done). Attorney Ely was cruising on the smaller sets plugged into his tunes. Plus Olracs and I had many Guarana moments (as well as nice long right handers).

It more than made up for my non-session Saturday. No photos cos... well, no photos.

This was the kind of session I had been looking to have for almost a month na. The search for fun waves... yun na yun. Saya man.

Aldrix - Sa uulitin!

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Bali: Padang Padang for the Rip Curl Cup

We were lucky enough to catch the trials for a major event on our second week in Bali. The Rip Curl Cup is entitled "It's On When It's On" because Padang Padang is such a fickle break that the smallest changes in weather can cause the biggest changes in swell size. There is a month long wait period for the comp - one of the longest known in the circuits.

The same break whose inside section we had surfed only two days before was now throwing massive double overhead sets that broke in front of the cliff and wrapped around the cove towards the beach. DAMN!

And of course, my first order of business was to check the heat schedule and find out who was around. On the menu for the surf aids? Friend Mostafa Jeksen, Tipi Jabrik, and Betet Merta. Rizal Tanjung, Made Widiarta, John John Florence, Kahea Hart, Nathan Hedge, and Koby Abberton! Woot, woot!

We found a spot safe from incoming tide and tried to get comfortable while watching the heats. Unfortunately, my lens couldnt quite cover the distance but I think you'll get a good enough idea of what Padang was like that day.

More Padang pics coming soon. Photos by me, Moro, Phil and Aya.

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Bali: Ubud and The Bukit

We rented a van for half a day and checked out Ubud, Bali's art central. We didn't get to eat any babi guling (boo!) or see Antonio Blanco's gallery (boo!) but we did score a nice print for my mom (yay!), some carvings for JP's mom (yay!) and take a walk through the Monkey Forest where we found ourselves in the middle of a monkey tribe war. National Geographic moment!!!

In the afternoon, Phil and Moro surfed while the rest of us chilled on the beach with Teh Botols and, later, cold Bintang. :)

On the next day, we finally left Kuta beach to check out the Bukit Peninsula. On the agenda were Dreamland, Padang Padang and Uluwatu.

Dreamland is BEAUTIFUL. Terence plans to retire there. Hehe. Phil, Moro and Ter went out while Aya and I waited for the conditions to get a little better. Eh, wala. Hahahaha. So only the boys scored Dreamland... land of shoulder high shorebreaks. To be fair, the waves from outside were breaking naman but there were monster sets coming in that were hella scary. A lot of the guys out had to suffer close out barrels if they couldnt manage to bail in time.

Our new friends Sam and Paddy came up to us and said they were going to move to Padang Padang. They promised it would be smaller and cleaner. So, despite the rep Padang has, we went to check it out.

The break, which is usually hella gnarly, was nice and clean. So we did the pre-sunset session there. My fingers were so frozen that I couldnt feel my board anymore. On one of the bigger sets, I lost my grip and nearly dinged Moro on the head with my nose. Eeep! That kinda rattled me so I crept away from the peak and sat on the inside (again) with this cute Thai grommet. Got a few good rides but ultimately, nearly spearing Moro through the head had shaken me too much... so I left everyone and paddled in... (this is the good part)

While waiting for everyone to come in (Aya caught one of the best right handers that afternoon by the way... super yeah, yeah wave for Aya!!!), I noticed this girl about ten feet away from us... I thought I recognized her from somewhere but I wasnt sure... so I checked out her gear and her board... all Billabong... and I stared at her some more before I became convinced ... I WAS TEN FEET AWAY FROM SANOE LAKE!!! Sobrang kinikilig kami ni Aya.

I'll post our whole convo about it later cos it merits its own space. Suffice it na lang to say that we cam-whored with Sanoe, who is super nice and very friendly... and then went to Uluwatu to see the sunset.

We ditched the prices of Jimbaran Bay and ended up having dinner at this awesome place near Kuta Night Market. Go to the place owned by Romano. You cant miss him. He looks like he is on his nth round of roids, is cross-eyed and has this charming personality. Total character man. But one of the good guys. His food is cheap and tasty. Para siyang Gerry Shan of Bali. :)

All in all, a good day... even if the Dreamland waves did try to kill us.

For photos click this link

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