Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Cheers to being ALIVE. Im greasing up and heading to Areguling now for some perfect, overhead righthanders. I hope that your day is as good as mine....
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Last night I played a gig at the local bar CAFE 7. Kuta Lombok is a super small town, and word travels quickly. People were stopping by all day to ask about the Bule (gringa, howli, etc.) that was scheduled to play later in the evening. EVERYONE from town came out, and the place was packed. Aside from some out of tune guitars it was a superb evening...that went on and on until well past 2 in the morning. The owner, Tanku, is so stoked on my music - and Im stoked on him. Tanku has asked me to frequent the stage so long as I am in Kuta Lombok, and I will happily oblige...
Three people on one bike with one destination...ASHTARI, the hilltop natural food restaurant in Kuta Lombok. Whenever you mention to anyone in Indonesia that you are headed to Kuta Lombok, they always reply, OH MY GOD, YOU MUST GO TO THE RESTAURANT ASHTARI ON THE HILL!! Haha. Standard response, for sure. So, Meesh and I hopped on Bastiens motorbike and we took the shitty road uphill for 15minutes before arriving at our destination. Why dont we rent our own motobike you ask?? Simple enough, we are too cheap. Now that Meesh is in charge of the surf school, she has a truck. The other day though was her final day off before starting full time, so we didnt have access. Anyways....Bastiens bike is a REAL bike, not some shitty little moto, and hes the only person in all of Indonesia, aside from Michele, that I trust to ride with. We ate some healthy food, sipped on some drinks, relaxed and enjoyed the view. Good times on the regular.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sometimes they are physical signs, like STOP or YIELD.
Sometimes they are from the Universe. Though they arent written out for you, but they are there - and when you hear them loud and clear, DO NOT ignore them. When you do, you end up with broken boards....
Sign #1: UP at 4:45am with a bad back from driving on the moto, shortboarding, and crunches (yes, crunches, kill me. ive added them to my afternoon yoga routine in an attempt to get rid of this goddamn belly). decide to do some yoga for an hour.
Sign #2: After yoga, Bali Belly kicks in. I spend the next hour back and forth from the bathroom.
Sign #3: Instant Cappuccino consumed, boards packed up, sunscreen on...we pull out for surf. We get down the street and Meesh realizes sthat she forgot her earplugs. The water is dirty in Indonesia, and she is prone to ear infections -- so they are ESSENTIAL. We turn around...
Sign #4: Meesh cant find her earplugs. Shes turned our room upside down and they are nowhere to be found. I finally come in to help with the search and we find them Okay, lets try this again....
Sign #5: We get a third of the way to Areguling and the bike begins to sputter. We are pretty sure that we have enough petrol, but we roll back down the hill to a house and buy one bottle. Give it another go, and sure enough, it wasnt petrol. Its the bike. We puttputtputt our way back to town and Meesh brings the bike back. I run to the bathroom....
Sign #6: We exchange the bike for a new and improved moto. Boards loaded, ready to go, but now the tide is shit. Fuck it -- lets have some breakfast. Enjoy a lovely breakfast and then we try for a third time.....
This time we make it 2/3 of the way there....some of the road isnt paved. Sure enough, we hit some mud -- too much front break, and we go down. It was more of a slide than a crash. We both made it away with no bruises, no gashes, and actually not even a speck of mud or dirt on our clothing. BUT, our boards took a hit. A decent wound in Meeshs brand new board, and a HUGE crunch into mine. Bloody hell. We deserved it really...we should have surrendered our efforts after the 3rd sign, but we are both so pigheaded we just pushed on. We both decided that surfing was a bad idea, this is how Mishka put it:
"At this rate, if we go surfing, I will probably fuck up my shoulder and not be able to swim or paddle. And then you will have one of your panic attacks which will lead to a heartattack and youll drown and I wont be able to save us. Then we get eaten by sharks."
We laughed. And laughed some more. What else can you do? And it could have been much worse. I agreed. Lets go home. We stop at a shop of a friend of Mish, and he listens to our story and assess the damage. A ding like the one I have on my board would cost atleast 75bucks to fix in the states. To fix both of our boards....60,000rupiah. Thats 6bucks. And Meesh says that they do great work. Even better...it will be ready later this afternoon so we could perhaps catch a sunset surf. Atleast by then the roads will be dry...... Until then, we pass the time without surf, suffering our punishment for not heading the signs sent to us.....
Me: "Oh really...?"
Michele: "Yes, I spend more fucking time under the water today then I do above."
Bahahahahaha. What a day. Woke up at 4:50am, had an instant creamy cappuccino, loaded up the bike and then we were off. Drove 30minutes in the dark to Areguling, the perfect right point break that we have been surfing. The roads in Lombok are shit, but the final 2 mile stretch to Areguling is tragic -- a mixture of mud and cow shit. Delightful. If you fall on the moto, you are fucked. Not only are you covered in shit, but it acts like quick sand and sucks you down. I trust Michele, so when I know that this stretch is coming up I try to be really centered in my core and I focus on balance and breath.It also helps to mentally prepare yourself for the occasion that you DO fall and you ARE covered in crap. Luckily it wasnt too wet and we made it through unscathed. We got to the break as the sun was rising. It was big. Very big. Much bigger than the day before. Ive actually surfed much bigger, but nothing quite so powerful as this. The tide was really low so we walked most of the way. We took our time, assessing the waves. We just kept looking at one another and giggling...a nervous, excited, anxious giggle. Because it was just the two of us, we made up a hand signal - just in case. If we held our right hand up in a fist it meant "Im spent, its too big, I have no energy, Im getting out". The waves are one thing, but the whitewater is another. Sometimes you simply dont have enough strength to make it back out or to make it over to the channel. As soon as the water got deep enough we hopped on our boards and paddled through the channel. There is a Left as well, but theres lots of current, its quite heavy, and very shallow. The waves were so big in fact that the left and right were nearly connecting through the channel. Lucky for us though, there was still a bit of calm waters to paddle out through. We sat in the channel and watched the first set roll through. The waves were like freight trains powering across the reef. Perfect, clean right point breaks - just firing. Again, nervous, excited, anxious giggles as we looked at one another wide-eyed. We had the break to ourselves for nearly an hour before 2 people joined us in the lineup. Apparently people were stopping at the beach to look at it, but were too scared to paddle out. I actually caught a wave right away, within the first 10minutes. Ive found that if I go more than 20minutes without a wave that my session ends up being shit. I sike myself out and get inside my head. My first wave was big, but more than its size was its power. I flew down the face like a bat outta hell. When I shot out the end of the wave I had a grin from ear to ear, and so did Meesh as she yelled "Yeeeeewww Cailin!!!!". Throughout the next two hours Meesh and I had some good waves, being very selective about the ones that we chose. To be caught inside on one of these sets would be a near death sentence....youd take a tough beating. The lineup began to fill up with a few people, only 8 of us total. I was thankful to have some others out there with us, just in case anything were to happen. It was funny, because the day before everyone at this spot was battling for the peak, trying to paddle deeper than the surfer next to him. But today, ALL of us were paddling AWAY from the peak, paddling OUT past the sets, and over towards the channel. It was a humbling, exciting day in Indonesia thats for sure!! I was really proud of Michele and I for charging such powerful surf. I couldnt have done it without her company and support, and Im pretty sure that she feels the same. We headed home with butterflies in our stomachs, smiles on our faces and sunburned cheeks.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Now that Ive been here, I know what to bring next time...
- RAIN GEAR. It rains, alot. Bright sunshine one minute, rain the next. Its no bother, so long as you have a good raincoat.
- SUNSCREEN. At nearly 20usd a bottle, I spend three days worth of money on one bottle.
- GOOD MUSIC and TRAVEL SPEAKERS. To pass the downtime.
1. The people from Switzerland are "SWISS". People who are SWEDISH are from SWEDEN.
2. The two main languages spoken in Switzerland are French and Swiss German. So this means that two people from the same country may not even be able to hold a conversation together! But thats not all, theres actually 4 languages in Switzerland...
- more than half speak swiss german
- about 25percent speak french
- a small fraction speak italian
- and a very very small amount speak romans
The Swiss are definitely proud of their breathtakingly beautiful country. I hope that I can make it there some day....for rock climbing, hiking, camping, and shit - maybe even some SKIING!!
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
The other day Meesh and I purchased an electric pot that boils water and also can be used as a steamer. I don't know how well it'll steam veggies but for less than $5, it's a steal!! We bought tea packets, instant coffee, oatmeal, and instant noodles-- totaling less than 2 bucks. Boom. Also, we buy BIG bottles of water....no messing around here. We are professional budgeters.
Alarm went off at 4:55am. Meesh wasn't feeling well so she stayed in bed. I grabbed my board and hopped on the back of Enrico's moto. We were off, headed to Serenga. It's a popular surf spot that gets good waves and big crowds. Most spots weren't working with this swell that came in, so everyone was headed to get some good ones here. We arrived at the beach a bit after 6am. There were less than a dozen people, and perfect overhead waves. Clean. Rights and lefts. Bahhhh! Amazing. Enrico and I were grinning from ear to ear, and super giddy that the crowds hadn't arrived yet. Paddling out I was a bit anxious about how I'd measure up in the lineup. I wanted good waves but I hated the idea of having to be aggressive in order to get them. Well, a minute in the water and I got a wave. A Great wave!!! Stoked. Okay. I felt good. That wave definitely earned me a spot in the lineup, and it filled me up with the confidence necessary to surf a spot like this. What followed was 2 hours of sitting on the main peak, having my choice of perfect waves. It was amazing. Definitely the best session I'd had yet in Bali. And then, it turned off. Just like that. There were waves, and then there were none! Like someone flicked a switch. Enrico and I got out and had some coffee at a warung on the beach before heading back home. The rest of the day was spent resting my weary body. I slept well and slept sound that night....dreaming about perfect waves in paradise....
Kuta Bali. Insanity. Touristy. A necessary evil, like Jaco was to my beautiful, quaint Esterillos oeste. Meesh and me headed into town for some errands and a bit of shopping. We stopped at a fabric store and picked up some goodies before heading to the tailor. I'm getting 2 bikinis made. The construction is $10each and the fabric is about $5 each-- so two sets of bikinis for $30. Yeeeew! Ate at one of Meesh's favorite warungs on the beach. It looked sketchy and dirty, not somewhere I would have found on my own-- but i trust Meesh- with my life, and certainly when it comes to food. Sure enough- for 10,000rupiah, I ate the BEST Indonesian food that I've had yet. I moaned throughout the entire meal. Ammmmmaaaazzzzinnng. Afterwards we went to Surfer Girl surf shop so that I could pick up a pair of SHORTS. Finally!! Shorts. I'm tired of wearing tights and Thai fishing pants. Well....
- if you have curves
- if you are having any issues with your weight or body
- if you don't weigh 100lbs
- if you aren't built like a young boy
...then DON'T go to a surfshop for clothes!! It's depressing and frustrating. I eventually found two pairs of half decent, overpriced shorts after spending hours in this living hell-- but I left in tears. Bah. Lesson learned. No more shopping in surf shops (Which means no more shopping in Bali- which is infested with them!). Rode home in the torrential downpour and then found refuge in my warm, dry bed. That night I dreamt of calorie-free pizza and stretchy stretchpant shorts....
Woke up at 5am with the alarm, mumbled something to Meesh along the lines of "it's raining, there's probably no waves anyways. Sleep.". Woke up later a little after 7. We had a lazy morning putzing around. I made Bahasa Indonesia flash cards and ate bananas. Meesh worked a bit on the computer. Later in the afternoon we ventured out for a surf. Geger. The paddle out to Geger is a million miles long. Ayeyaya. And once you arrive to the break, you're only half way there. Now you need to make it past the firing break. Lucky us it was only about head high so it wasn't impossible. But the wind was on it, the tide was far too low exposing a sharp, unfriendly reef and most waves were closeouts. It wasn't the best session but it felt good to get some exercise and every day I feel more and more comfortable on the shortboard. Afterwards we ate at my favorite Muslim warung before heading home.
Back at the house I posted up next to Jeff from California. He hasn't been home in over 3 years-- just working and traveling, and living off the land as much as possible (spearfishing, etc.) Somehow the day of the week came up. When he told me that it was Saturday, I was surprised. I thought that maybe it was Wednesday- but no big deal I guess....the day of the week doesn't matter so much here. But then when he told me it was April 2nd I almost fell outta my chair! Holy shit. April? Already? I only have 7 weeks left!!! Bah! Waves to be surfed! Food to be eaten! A love affair (that has yet) to happen!! I better get a move on!
**Kehujanan : April 3
In Bahasa Indonesia "hujan" means rain. And because it rains so often here, they even have a word that means 'to get caught in the rain'-- "Kehujanan".
Michele and I woke at 6, grabbed out boards and hopped on the moto for Geger. It was crap. Overcast, a bit chilly, quite small and closing out. We checked a few more spots before finally admitting defeat an calling it quits. When we were about 15 minutes from home....Kehujanan! Pouring by the bucketful. By the time we parked the bike and made it down the stairs we were absolutely drenched. Thank god for our new "tea kettle"!!! We boiled some water- had hot tea and a bit of breakfast. The rains in Bali usually end as quickly as they begin, but it looks like today is going to be a wet one. The sky is just a cloud of gray...rain is endless on the horizon. The plan is to sleep, study Bahasa Indonesia, sleep, sip some tea, and then a dinner party tonight with some people from home. Meet the family....
Marcus: sexy. Sexy. Sexy. Argentian that lives in france. He is probably about 40, and played professional soccer ("football") for years in Europe. He's a charmer. Currently he is building an Eco-resort here in Bali and hopes to live here full time- having no desire to ever return to Europe.
Tara: tall, stunning, young girl from Australia. Sweet but not so bright-- can't really figure out what her story is, can't really have a full conversation with her. But she's sweet. And beautiful.
Enrico: mini mick. He had a whole blog of his own....
Jeff: 30-something californian. A surfer by choice, carpenter by trade- traveling for as long as he can, to everywhere he can- and living off the land whenever possible.
Den & Johanna: love love LOVEEE this couple. Den is English, Johanna is German. They've been together for several years and have been traveling all the while. One year in new Zealand, 6 months in India, a bit in Australia, Sumatra, and beyond. They are just so lovely. Den is a Good Man, and let me tell you...good men are far and few between. Integrity, intelligence, compassion. Johanna is sweet as could be and just as beautiful. She is a petite little thing, but sharp- and doesn't take shit from anybody.
Eric: a mix of this and that, having lived here and there, before settling in Bali 6 years back. An eclectic interesting guy who has two rooms he rents out here and is currently looking into getting a 50year lease on a desolate island between here and Lombok.
There's a spattering of others as well, but I don't really even know their names. We are all putting our money together to make a big pasta dinner this evening! MmMm. I may even pick up a bottle of vino in town, afterall- what else is there to do with a rainy day...?
Dinner last night was really a pleasure. Marcus arranged the dinner- Tiffany, the French girl, cooked up a ton of pasta, and Nikita hosted it in his nice house next door. There was a dozen of us there, all stoked to trade in rice for some pasta!! There was a buzz in the air about the possibility of good swell the next morning- so none of us stayed up too late. Up early- Sebastian (Switzerland), Christian (Germany), Mish and me headed to Nusa Dua. We got lucky with overhead, beautiful consistent Rights. We got unlucky with an incredibly long paddle, with an insanely strong rip and unfortunately an early onset of stiff winds. Despite a strong current, we still managed to enjoy some waves. We paddled for well over two hours- just paddling. Paddling out, paddling to stay in place, paddling in. Ayeyaya!! We rewarded our efforts with lunch at my favorite Muslim warung. Every time the food is better than the day before!! Also, we had Jus Kelapa (coconut water), which to my delight was served over ice, with the flesh inside the cup and a spoon to fish it out. Such a satisfying meal and refreshing drink after a long surf session!!! Came home- hung out with the family- studied my Bahasa Indonesia flash cards and took a nap. Mengherankan!!! (that's "amazing" in Bahasa Indonesia).
Meet Enrico. 22 years old, from Italy. Hasn't been home in over 2 years, and has spent most of that time here in Bali. He went to Australia when he was 19- not knowing a WORD of english- but with the desire to learn the language and learn "surfing". WhEn he arrived to Australia nowhere would hire him because he couldn't speak any English. Eventually he got a job at a stripclub, clearing tables and picking up bottles. Needless to say- he loved the job, the ladies loved him, and he picked up English pretty quickly. He's definitely not the best surfer in the lineup, but I'm pretty sure that he's the most stoked surfer in the water. He and my Mick could be brothers. They look quite similar, have the exact same style-- and so much more. They talk the same, and somehow they even have the same accent. Have the same sense of humor. They both think and process things the same-- they ask me the same questions and even have the same quirks about the foods that they eat. Their mannerisms are identical and their sweet, genuine souls are the same. Their smiles are heartfelt and their innocence makes you feel good from your toes to your fingertips. The first day I met him here at our place (he's staying on Impossibles as well), I said " do you know MICK?". "yeah- I know Mick," he replied, "why? Do YOU know Mick?". For some reason I figured that these two human beings must have crossed paths- and doing the math I figured that they were both in Bali about the same time. Sure enough they knew eachother-- and during their time on Bali they were pretty close friends. I explained to him how I knew Mick and the past few weeks we'd had together. Small world. Small small small world. So now- I have no Mick- but I have Enrico. He is a pleasure, and his raw happiness is contagious. Blog readers: meet Enrico, aka "mini- Mick"! Refreshing, honest, genuine and infinitely stoked.