Justin has been talking about his love for Bali since the minute he returned from his abroad experience in Australia. Obviously very enthusiastic to return, he did his best to describe this Surf Mecca, but, of course, being Justin, he didn’t want to build it up too much in fear that if for some reason it had changed it would lead us to be disappointed. However, within the first hour of our plane landing, he realized nothing had changed and we were going to be in for quite possibly the best two weeks of our lives.
On our way to the Padang Padang Surf Camp we were unsure what to expect in terms of accommodation. Considered we were being driven around with a local surf guide, eating all our meals, and sleeping for just under $50 a day we didn’t expect much. As we walked into the camp all we could do was laugh, this place was awesome, a walled in compound consisting of two large villas, some thatched roofed lounge areas complete with plenty of hammocks, and of course an infinity pool. However the only thing that was missing were the people, the place was deserted, besides for a couple of staff members whom did not speak much English. We sat around for about 10 minutes until our surf guide, whom quickly became our best friend, Putu showed up. He explained to us that everyone was out surfing and asked if we wanted to go. And that’s how it began, within that first hour, we had not only arrived at an amazing hotel but were on our way to the world famous surf break, Uluwatu.
As we pulled up to the cliffs at Uluwatu, Putu was unimpressed saying that the surf was not good. We disagreed, the water was crystal clear, aqua blue, and head-high barreling waves were rolling in. We quickly zigzagged our way down the cliff, weaving through the numerous warungs (small restaurants) and surf shops built into the cliffside. Then, we had to climb down a sketchy cement staircase, through a cave and paddle over a razor sharp reef in only a foot of water. The surf was amazing, it simply blew me away how perfect these waves were. They were unlike anything I had ever surfed before, and this was suppose to be a “not good” day. Despite a minor run-in I had with a Brazilian surfer whom I was convinced was going to kill me (I am not going into details in fear he is still looking for me, if you really want to know I’ll tell you in person), we had a great surf session. As we surfed until the sun went down I looked at Justin and he had a smile ear to ear, all he could say was, “Fictional, this place is fictional.”
When we returned to the camp we met the Welsh owner, Andrew, his wife Ina, and the rest of the guests. From our first impressions everyone seemed pretty cool which would make the stay only that much better. Ina explained to us how the place worked, which was pretty simple, you wake up when they tell you to (which was according to the tide), surf, eat your vegetables (yes I actually ate like a normal human for 2 weeks), surf again, eat dinner (and more vegetables), and then go to sleep. The rules were simple, eat your veggies don’t slam any doors, and surf a minimum of 2 hours each day and of course you had to surf a minimum of 2 hours each day. Tough life. After we got the run down, the whole camp was off to dinner like one big family to an appropriately name restaurant, Swell. The restaurant had a huge projector screen that only showed surf movies, enough said.
This set the tone for the next two weeks and is most of the reason we are so far behind in these blogs. They say Bali has a secret creed that only those who visit truly understand, it is never spoken about or told to you, figuring it out is up to you, but trust me once you’ve been there you will understand. Surf, Eat, Sleep. Learn it, do it, live it!