Disclaimer: These are my views and do not reflect the views of the Peace Corps.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tiga, Dua, Satu!

3,2,1!  I recently got back from my trip from Bali, and am currently sitting in my apartment sweating (it's somewhere in the high 90s with way too much humidity).  So, in order to mentally escape from the heat, I'm going to remember my trip.  Also, I still have a bit of surfwax that I occasionally inhale to bring back the memories...

First, I flew into Kuala Lumpur and spent a few hours layover listening to "This American Life" podcasts on my phone.  I got to Bali in the evening and took a taxi to Sanur.  The driver taught me some survival Indonesian (although the level of English there is quite phenomenal, lots of tourism and well paid teachers to blame, it did come in handy, especially when I stepped off the beaten path to find local food).  I slept in a room with a fan and a bed and got up the next morning to go and meet Libby and Kellie in Nusa Lumbongan, an island next to Bali.  The boat ride was over before I got too seasick and I managed to find the bungalow I needed to find relatively easy.  I waited on the beach in a lounge chair read about dogs and physics (How to Teach Physics to Your Dog) and pulled out my camera for the first time.  Picture 1:

Not my finest picture.

I met up with Libby and Kellie and we went to get lunch/ice cream:

On the way back I figured I'd look into doing some surfing, being in Bali and all.  The water didn't look like anything was happening when I was on the beach earlier, so my expectations weren't too high.  On our way back, the tide had changed "The tide rises, the tide falls"  in this case it rose, and the break was working.  I left the girls and rented a board, paddled the 1/2 mile out to the break ( really far !)  and surfed Shipwreck i.e. the best right I surfed all trip.  We came back and had dinner together on the beach together watching the sunset:

The next day we traveled to a few picturesque beaches (white sand, turquoise water) and relaxed.  I brought my surfboard along and went surfing off the little island attached to Nusa by a tiny suspension bridge.  Libby took a few photos from the cliff:

The little head poking out of the wave is me.

After surfing, we went back and had another lovely dinner on the beach.  The next morning we were back on the ferry heading to the main island.  There, we found a Dunkin' Donuts and had a delicious breakfast.  That's also when we learned about the earthquake and tsunami warnings.  By that point all was well and we emailed our respective families that we were indeed fine.  Then thanks to a bummer of a taxi driver, we ended up somewhere we didn't want to be and paid too much to get there.  We made the best of it though, and the next day I said goodbye to the ladies and went off on my own personal little surf safari.

I stayed at a little surfer hostel for the next 4-5 days (lost track of time).  I'd wake up before sunrise, grab my surfboard, and surf Ulu Watu, Padang Padang, and Impossibles.  I found a nice local warung (restaurant) where I'd eat lunch, and the guy called me "Pee-doe," then walked around during the heat of the day, napped, and read. I met a few other surfers, Alban (de France) and Marcelo (from Argentina).  Alban was on his way out and hooked me up with some toiletries and bug repellents.  On the last day I went to see a Kecak fire dance at a Hindu temple, my one "cultural experience" of the trip. There, a chorus of men imitated the sounds of musical instruments, sang the sound effects, and told the story of a prince, a princess, a king, and a monkey general (Anoman).  It was quite the production.  Lots of tourists.  Quote from my notebook, "I will never be a guy who wears a beer advertisement wife beater."

At the temple, in case you were wondering...

I may have broken rule 2, but only because I was confused.  Rule three made me do a double take, stop, and then take a picture.  As did this guy, perched above the cliffs:

The cliffs:

The "fire" part of the fire dance.

From here, I traveled up to Canggu and stayed at "Villa Serenity" a quiet little place near the beach.  I surfed a couple of breaks within walking distance and watched the sunsets on the beach.  Then I got up at 4am and started my journey back to Cambodia.

Really pretty, really good trip all in all.  Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

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