Thursday, November 3, 2016

Beaching in Bali

The Ring of Fire, August 17th and 18th 2013; Days Fourteen and Fifteen of Thirty-Two

My first day in Kuta was another great day. I started out by heading down to the beach to check it out and talked with a local who offered to teach me how to surf, for a small fee. There is no better place or time to learn so I went for it. My instructor, Bam Bam, was a full time teacher and is on the beach teaching most days. Sounds like the life, but the pay isn’t all that great here (I paid $20 for a few hours although they let me stay all day, very nice people). 

It was just as you would expect but way more difficult than people make it look. They showed me on land and then in the water. Paddle, paddle, paddle in front of the wave, once you get caught in it, push up with your arms and jump up with the legs planted towards the back third of the board. The also taught me to flip over if i am coming up to a wave and cannot get over it. Within the hour I was riding the white water by myself and able to stand up fairly consistently on the big foam board (much better than my attempt in California).

After i grab a bite for lunch, I went back and got a slightly smaller and faster board to practice on. Occasionally I would catch a small wave and ride it. It’s a great feeling to be standing up on the surf board riding the wave in, hopefully I can work on it more when I get home. 

It was also fun hanging out with some of the locals on the beach and watching the waves and surfers come in. Heaven on earth. At one point I did paddle out since i thought I would give one of the bigger waves a try; however, they were much bigger once I was out there and actually paddled out past them to see if could work up the confidence to try one. It ended up quite differently than you would expect. As I tried to swim back to shore, the current was so strong beneath me that i was barely moving. Uh oh, i must be caught in a rip tide. Through maximum effort i managed to eventually swim my way through it, on the board, and make it into shore. I was exhausted.

They had invited me to go out that night but i declined as I was traveling by myself and completely forget where they said they were going. I am sure it would have been fine but it didn't seem the best choice at the time. I ended up walking around the lively places that night to soak it in and did check out a club but was way too early for anything to be going on.

The next day I did return to the beach but did not surf. All i wanted to do is relax before I caught a taxi to catch my flight to Australia. I was planning on spending four days there with a relative of my dads coworker. It is amazing the connections that you have if you look around a little.

Read the full trip chronicles, here.

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