Surfing in Bali

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Flying into Bali was exciting for I only saw the sea getting closer and closer and suddenly we were down on the landing stripe. When I got my luggage I met a Swiss girl from Zuckerriet who had been teaching in Singapore for the last three years:) So, it’s possible.
There were many taxi drivers to choose from but they all said it would be $50 and I knew I shouldn’t be paying more than $15. Of course they said that the gas prices went up 6 weeks ago. In the end, we settled for $20.
It was about a 40min drive to get to the camp. I was a little confused when he stopped on a hill, far away from the sea, because I somehow expected the surf camp to be right at the beach. But there it said “Kamafari Surfcamp” and I knew this should be the right place.

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The camp itself was very picturesque and exactly as pretty as on the pictures I saw on the internet. All the houses were made out of wood with straw roofs, in a green garden. There’s a hammock, other sun loungers, a tv with loads of new movies and a nintendo with Mario Kart, a billiard table and all that with sea view:) A good place to stay for a week! Especially because of the nice bathrooms that all look like fancy caves and the shower is half roofless so that I have some jungle feeling again:) But the only real jungle I had when a frog sat on the shower head cable the whole time I showered.

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The only way to get around on the island are car or scooter. Luckily, I had a short scooter lesson with Jack and that had to be enough for me to drive here. To get to Padang Padang beach it takes about 5 min by scooter and the roads around here are no problem because there aren’t many cars and only two way streets.
I love the beaches and the cliffs, I thought Bali was a lot more flat!
I wished I could stay here longer to surf more and get better. It’s so awesome to watch and a lot of fun to do it myself too.

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The first day was EXHAUSTING though! We had big boards which were padded with foam so that we couldn’t hurt ourselves and had more buoyant force. Paddling against the waves to get out far enough to surf back in takes so much energy. Luckily, once you’re out behind the waves you can just sit on the board and bathe in the sun 🙂 Our guide, Made, pushed us into the waves, so that we didn’t have to do all the paddling ourselves. I already stood the second time and after that I surfed most waves 🙂 So much fun! But like I said, so exhausting to get back out. So much water rushed through my nose and ears that even later in the evening, water would suddenly start dripping out of my nose, like having a nose bleed. The second day I managed to get around the waves and didn’t swallow so much water. The third day, I received a big hard board. That was a lot more wobbly but since I stood the first one I was encouraged to go on after the ups and downs after the first wave. The fourth day was a disaster, nothing worked. The fifth day (already my last L) was much better again. We went to a different beach (Balangan), where the waves were a little crazier but the location is beautiful. I finally managed to stand up again and even take a few waves alone, without getting a push from Made 🙂

I bet these surfers have already practiced a few hours more than I (Dreamland beach) :

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I hope that I’ll find a perfect surf-learning spot again soon!

When I wasn’t surfing, I was either resting below a palm tree or in my cute bungalow, on excursions with my friends from the surf camp or in massages 🙂 The camp owner recommended Tara massage to me, it’s right on the road down to Padang Padang. 75000 IDR for the best 60min massage I’ve ever had!

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Cave at Uluwatu beach

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One day, I drove my scooter to the Bali surf outlets (on the way to Kuta). I didn’t find anything to buy because by the time I arrived there, all the cars had made me so nervous that I just wanted to get away from that big road. Back on the two way road I found a salon to get a haircut. I asked in several salons because in the first few they didn’t have a hair dresser, although it said so on the sign and another one said it would be 165000 Rupiah. It was in a nice spa but still, that’s a lot more than the usual 40 to 50 thousand. Finally, I found Island Spa. I’m happy with my haircut for 50’000 Rupiah but the cream bath I had first (one hour of putting beauty products in my poor dry beach hair and then a wonderful head massage) for 40’000 Rupiah. I’d go to a spa here at least once a week if I stayed here longer!!!

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Cliff at Uluwatu temple

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Sunset at Uluwatu

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We also went to visit the temple in Uluwatu. The temple itself is nothing special (we weren’t even allowed to go inside the real temple) but the view up there is amazing!!! Steep cliffs with the ocean below, really reminded me of Ireland. So, I guess we paid the 20’000 entrance fee for the view and not the temple. There’d also be a fire-dance show we could have watched during the sun set. I was glad we were too late to buy the tickets for 60’000. There were so many people that I doubt that they all saw it really well and they missed the cliffs being painted in orange and red while the sun was descending.

Our gang

Our gang

All the restaurants I’ve tried (mostly for lunch, since we had dinner at the camp) were delicious! In Jiva Juice I even found a gazpacho (my savior in these hot days!) that lived up to the standards of my mum’s 🙂 And most importantly, they had self-made brownies. Exactly the daily dose of chocolate I needed. With all the surfing, I needed a lot more sugar anyways. Luckily, if you order sugar in your tea or coffee on Bali, it’s rather sugar with tea than the other way around 🙂 So sweet…

Sunset at Uluwatu

Sunset at Uluwatu

We had to wear a purple sarong to cover our legs...

I can’t believe how fast these weeks passed by. At first, time went quite slowly and I always thought I had so many things ahead of me. And then, suddenly I had to pack my backpack for my return flight and now I am already sitting at Changi airport in Singapore after a 3 hour flight from Bali. Where did my weeks go??? I need more time… I can not say what the highlight of my trip was because I basically hopped from one highlight to the other. What an amazing trip! I’d recommend South East Asia to anyone (single or several people, experienced in traveling or not). Come here and you’re up for an amazing adventure chipped in with a few relaxing beach days :)!

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Loads of monkeys at Uluwatu. Don't wear any sunglasses or other things. They steal them right off your head

Loads of monkeys at Uluwatu. Don’t wear any sunglasses or other things. They steal them right off your head

Dreamland beach

Dreamland beach

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