not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Burrito, and More Big Waves.

Burrito and I have been having a hell of a time. At first neither of us were digging the vibe of the town. Then B's sneakers got stolen and he got into an argument with a local who was trying to rip us off with the price of our motorbike. Add onto that my being sick for a few days and our hot hot room (we are too cheap to pay for AC, plus it makes me congested, so we have a rinky dink little fan) and its worn us down a bit. BUT, we wake up every morning in surfers paradise, 5 steps from the worldclass wave Lakey Peak, and breakfast is included with our stay. Banana pancake with honey and lime, kopi susu sidakit gula (coffee with milk, little sugar) and boom, my day begins. For 7,000 rupiah B and I each buy a nasi campur packet from the Nasi Campur Lady around 630am, and thats our lunch. Not many choices for places to eat here, only 3 restaurants with tourist menus and tourist prices, but we have been eating our dinner every night at the same place: Lakey Peak Inn. Sahrul is the boss man, and he is one of the nicest locals that Ive ever met. He always greets me with a huge smile on his face, saying " CC!! CC MY FRIEND!! APA KABAR?!? ". I enjoy fresh fish every night here for dinner: either fried, sauteed or sashimi. Its heavenly. Because there are only 3 restaurants in town, its pretty much the watering hole for all of the surfers in the lineup. B and I try to arrive early to get a seat (yes, it gets that crowded), we share a big Bintang and play some ShitHead. Hes more competitive than me, so our rounds of shithead get pretty heated, and though Ive been steady beating him he still gives me a run for my money. Finally easing into the "surfer bro bro" vibe and crowd here, and have become friends with the local Australians and Irish (yes, there is a huge group of amazing surfing Irishmen) that spend half their year here. I wish that I could really charge and show them some of my LB skills, but instead Im floating around on this damn potato chip. Oh well. Still becoming accustomed to sitting in a lineup full of world class surfers, surfing the heaviest, most powerful waves Ive ever seen. Yesterday we surfed Nungas, a huge left just a few minutes walk down thebeach. My first few minutes out there I paddled for a bomb and got wrecked, over the falls. The next 2 hours I sat on the shoulder and watched amazing surfers have some of the most epic waves and epic wipeouts that Ive ever seen. The take off was a bit mushy, but then after one hit the wave fired across the reef, opening up a huge, fast, hollow, heart-thumping barrel. THe look on the surfers faces as they approached this heaving green room was priceless. The sections were fast and most people just ate shit, getting drilled into the reef below. But some just owned the shit outta the wave and the barrel....having such epic rides that MY heart was pumping and I was only watching from the channel. B had a thousand waves and was surfing better than most in the lineup. When he said it was time to go I figured that I HAD to have a wave...afterall, Ive never paddled in, and I dont plan to start now. Even if I was going to get wrecked, I had to atleast be pushed towards the shore by some whitewater. A bomb set came through, and instead of scratching for the horizon and channel I just turned on it, sure that I was going to die. To my absolute surprise I nailed the take off and had a perfect wave. Goddamnit, if I wasnt being such a pussy the past 2 hours I could have had a TON of waves like this. Lesson learned. Dont be a pussy. This morning B and I headed out to Periscopes for round 2 of deathbombs. Again, B was killing it. Again, I was a puss and had a small wave count. Oh well. It wasnt as AllTime as it was earlier in the week, but the sets were still heavy, fast and well overhead. I got a half dozen zippy waves, and had 2 that were actually really fantastic. Happy with our session, we got out, headed home, had nasi and now we are at the internet booking our next adventure. On Tuesday or Wednesday we are grabbing a flight from Bumi to Jakarta, and then taxi to West JAVA. My next surf mission is to find a RIGHT that isnt life or death on the takeoff, but is just FUN. Something that Ive learned from my time in Indonesia is that I am not a big wave death barrel charger. I LOVE LOVE LOVE surfing, more than anything Ive ever done. I even enjoy shortboarding!! I like big waves and barrels are okay on occasion...but combined, they simply arent my thing. So next time Im going to leave the big waves to the pros and the chargers, and Im going to be straight cruisin' on my LB, nose walking and trash talking my way to happiness :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sumbawa Surfing.

week 2 of ear infection.
day 6 of chest cold: congested sinus's, wicked cough, headache.
day 7 of big waves in sumbawa.
1.5hours of internet in the past 168 hours.
missing my parents 26th wedding anniversary party.

add all these up and you get a mild case of homesickness.

the ear infection wont seem to go away. the proper treatment would be to stay out of the waves for a few days, but thats the only thing thats helping me to retain my sanity.

chest being tamed by nightly doses of Benadryl, so atleast im getting a good night sleep. the small price to pay for being knocked out cold is a mild Benadryl hangover the next day.

big waves are exciting. they make you anxious and nervous and completely stoked. BUT you also cant relax in them, your wave count goes down, and you dont get the mellow fun surf that youre accustomed to (ie Cali, Jersey, Costa, etc.). plus the lineup is chock full of gnarly aggressive egotistical Australians and locals.

thankful to not be so connected to the internet anymore, but i DO miss my daily blogging. its such a form of meditation for me...i think i might go oldschool and start journaling. feeling super grateful to have B as a traveling partner - he has been super supportive in the surf and has dealt with my funky mood like a champ. hes an amazing surfer and he coaches me into these big sumbawa bombs...and always keeps an eye out just incase i get worked by a heavy wave. and lately my "happy to be wherever it is that i am" mood has been nowhere to be found. missing my family, unable to find my groove, being sick, and not getting loads of water time has worn my spirit down a bit...but B always knows how to bring a smile to my face and make me laugh. life always seems to deliever to me whatever i need, and Sumbawa without B would be pretty crappy.

well....swell is BUILDING ... BIG BIG BIG, so wish me luck tomorrow. we are going to try for another perfect day at Periscopes, and hopefully for me its a little teeny tiny bit smaller...hahahaha.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my parents, who have had a hellacious year and have come out stronger and happier than ever :) love you guys. <3

Sunday, April 24, 2011

World Class.

East Sumbawa. Middle of NOWHERE. Surfers paradise. World Class Waves, smothered with World Class Surfers. There is no girly beach here. Theres no "easy" wave. Theres Lakey Pipe (because its similar to Pipe), Lakey Peak (a crowded, punchy A frame) and Periscopes (which only breaks when its big...and its like a freight train firing across the reef). You MUST be on your A-Game every surf session, or you will drown, get drilled into the reef, or get torn a new one by one of the aggressive Aussie surfers in the lineup. The vibe here is different, lots of "Bro Bro's" around...I have seen countless arguments and aggressive confrontations in the water and I have cautiously kept towards the shoulder while in the lineup. The waves here are super challenging...filling me with anxiety and fear....but the adrenaline rush when you get one is the pay off. Im so glad to be traveling with Barret (aka B or Burrito) as well as Nicole + Patrick, because they are all good surfers and with their encouragement I have taken off on some of the biggest most powerful waves of my life. The swell filling in this week is going to be 10 feet Australian, which means 20 feet. I think for the first time in my life I might just stay on the beach. If the channel was available then Id maybe just float there, but its going to be so big that the channel will be closing out. Better safe than sorry. After this swell passes we are headed to even MORE remote spot than Sumbawa, but less crowded with perfect waves. Life just keeps getting better. Sorry its been so long since my last post, but the one expensive internet cafe is only open while Im in the water. Wish me luck in the upcoming monster swell headed our way. Cheers!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Eureka! EKAS!! What a fucking day. At 6:30am Im sitting outside our room on Skype, talking to my parents. Barret comes walking up and asks if Im up for a little surf adventure. Goddamn right I am. Finish up my call, grab my board, and hop on the bike with Barret headed to Grupuk. Barret is from southern California....from a little town called ENCINITAS. Hahaha. Yep, small world. He knows most of my friends and vice versa. Anyways....we rent a big boat for 700,000rupiah (70bucks) split 4, barret, Oscar (sweden) and John (hawaii). It is a bit of an hour of a boat ride through the most outstanding "kodak moments" of scenery. outstttttaaaanding. And of course, I forgot my damn camera. Shit shit shit. Oh well, the beauty is forever burnt into my mind. We arrive to EKAS and similar to Grupuk, there is an Inside and Outside. Inside is about 500meters to the left, and its a Right and Lefthander. We surf Outside because the tide is is basically a huge left that fires. Christ. I was shitting my pants. Well overhead, steep take off, and BACKSIDE...Im still not feeling overly confident going left on the shortboard. I decide when Im on the boat greasing up with sunscreen that I am NOT going to be a pussy. I paddle out into the water, take a huge set wave, drive 3/4 of the way down the face and then .... I eat shit. Hard. Silly Im inside, right in the impact zone, and I took the rest of the 8 wave set on the head, getting pushed and pulled and washed all over the place. hahahaha. What a way to start a session. I finally make it back out into the lineup and all the boys give me props for dropping in on the massive wave. As Barret put it, "Christ, these drops are heart throbbing." Yes, heart throbbing pretty much nails it on the head. After that I decided to be a bit chubby board is a dog to duck dive, so when Im in the impact zone Im pretty much just floundering around underwater. John and Barret are really great surfers, so they got a ton of awesome rides. Oscar has only been surfing 150 days, but he charges it and has no fear. He would take off late and deep on every set, and got drilled on the takeoff 75% of the time. And then he just paddled back out and did it again!! I finally looked at him and said, "Dude, are you crazy??" And he replied, "No worries, its Just Water". Just water eh?? That shit seems pretty powerful to me. Ha. All in all an amazing day. We were on and off the boat...napping, reapplying sunscreen, eating, hydrating. Once the tide dropped we headed to inside and enjoyed some smaller rights. We left as the sun was setting, and damn...I wish we had left a bit earlier. Our boat "captain" is some random Indonesian who probably doesnt know two shits about driving a big boat. The swell was filling in and the bay was BIG. By the way, the sun set QUICKLY and all the sudden is was dark too. Thank God there was a full moon or else I think we may have died. In all honesty, the boat ride home was the closest that Ive ever come to dying. The boatmen here know nothing about boats, so they hug the "coast" aka huge, sheer rock cliffs. Well, the swell was charging in, bouncing off the rocks, and nearly knocking over our boat. The capitan was driving us into the swell sideways at one point in the ride my hair nearly dipped into the water when the boat swayed completely onto its side. My arms, exhausted from surfing, were clinging to anything tied down...holding on for dear life. Everyone was shitting their pants. Finally we talked the captain to driving OUT into the bay and AROUND. This was a bit helpful. The hour ride home was the longest hour of my life. As when Im nervous, I couldnt suppress my hysterical laughter. The guys gave me props for not FREAKING out through all of this mayhem...but little did they know that hysterical laughter IS me LOSING it. I about cried when we finally pulled back into Grupuk. No time to dilly dally though...I was scheduled to play again at Cafe7. No shower...I zipped to the Cafe and had a cocktail, a STRONG cocktail. - my hands were still shaking. Finally calmed down after retelling the story to Meesh (with lots of hand motions, cursing and more hand motions!!). Had one more drink and then was on stage. I played music into the night and then posted up with my surf buddies for a beer. Its been a few days Barret, Oscar and I are going to head to Sumbawa together. Sumbawa is even quieter and more primitive than Lombok -- but even less crowded and even better waves. The island is a taxi drive, ferry ride, then another taxi drive away. I really reallyyyyy wanted to go, so Im glad to have some cool travel partners now. And even better...Im meeting up with my good friend Nicole (from Encinitas) who is in Sumbawa with her boyfriend. Small world, filled with awesome people...and fun waves.

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

Cafe 7 Showtime.

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...

Ashtari Adventure

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

Family Dinner, Indo-Style.

For the past few days we have been surfing Gerupuk. Its about a 15 minute scenic drive away, to a small fishing village. Here you grab a boat, for 30,000/person and you have the choice of 4 breaks. Insides, Outsides (left), Outsides (right), DoonDoon. We have been surfing Insides, which is a left and a right, but mostly a right. Ive been loving it. We have been surfing with Flurin, a Swiss that we met back in Bali at Impossibles. He is one of the small percentage that speaks Romanch...but brought up in a Bilingual house, he also speaks French and German. Oh yeah, and perfect English. Super gentlemen, super amazing human being. He has been staying in Gerupuk with a family, and he invited us last night to join them for dinner and some local music. It was such a treat. The family cooked up a beautiful spread...grilled fish, tempeh, tofu, fried chicken, spicy pineapple, etc. etc....of course, all served with rice. We topped off the evening by listening to some local music which was pretty fantastic. Its magical little moments like this that make for great memories. Big thanks to Flurin for sharing this with us :)

Flurin, Me, and his indonesian "brothers"...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lombok Love and Lymes.

Monday late morning we drop our boards off to be repaired. We head back to the house- Michele has to work, and I have a ton of I post up on our porch and do an hour and a half of intense, vigorous yoga. Drenched in sweat, rinse off in cold shower, lay down for nap. When Im asleep, Basiten arrives from Bali. Meesh helps him find a cheap place to stay while I nap. Our place is amazing by the way. Michele is working as a guide now for a Swiss Surf Company. Part of her payment is getting the use of a truck, free accomodation and free breakfast. Since we share everything, she shares this with me too :) The accomodation is really fancy compared to our basic (but still amazing) stays. It is a big room, double bed, huge bathroom and big porch in a gated place. The cost is about 200,000rupiah a night (more than 20usd) for a basic room. We really lucked out. Wake up from a long nap, pick up our boards (which look BRAND NEW), grab dinner with everyone and then head to Cafe 7 for some live music. Oh yeah, the memo that I missed...IM the live music...and EVERYONE from town is there to hear me. Mishka forgot to tell me.... Anyways, I play some music and it is well received. I get free drinks all night, which I share with my large group and continuously growing group of friends. The owner of the bar asks if I will play on Friday night, he would like to get flyers made up. Sure thing. Sign me up. Wake up a few hours after falling asleep and we head to the end of town, to catch a very small boat in a very beautiful place, to a very fun wave called INSIDES. Yeewww. Couple hours of surfing, big breakfast of Gado Gado with rice (this is vegetables, tempeh and tofu topped with a spicy peanut sauce), and then take a FOUR hour nap while Michele works. My Lymes Disease is definitely flaring up. I was worried at first that I had dengue, but thats definitely been ruled out. My body aches, my bones feel like they are decades older than they actually are. The fatigue is pretty intense, and I have no control over the amount of time that I sleep. I will feel tired, and then 3 hours later I will wake up -- tangled up in my ipod, or asleep on my book. If this hadnt happened to me several times in the past then I would be a bit worried right now, but Im 99percent sure that this is Lymes flaring up. Oh well. Luckily I have the freedom to sleep some extra hours if I need to. Headed to bed now, a bit after 9pm, cause we are up at the crack of dawn for a surf session. If Ive already said it, well, Im saying it again...I love Indonesia.

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 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.....


Michele: "Cailin, I feel like a mermaid".

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.


I was allowing myself one HOORAH for my two months in Bali. I havent been drinking, and I dont plan to. Ive cut out my afternoon beer, and any late night beverages. Well, since we were leaving for Lombok, I decided that my night out would be Thursday. We packed up all our goods onto the bike and cruised into Kuta early afternoon. We ran a million and one errands, checked into our place, booked our ferry tickets and ate at our favorite warung in the city. Around 10pm Christian, Den and Joana met us at our place and we headed out to meet up with Tiffany, Sebastian, and Enrico who were at a bar called the Green Box, known for cheap cheap drinks. We had a few sweet, disgusting shots before leaving the cramped, hot bar with bad music - heading to Apache, the best reggae bar in town. There was live music, a huge dance floor and great energy. I danced and danced and DANCED for about 3 hours. My clothes were completely saturated with sweat, and my legs ached. Joana was on the dance floor with me nearly the whole time, and everybody else aside from Den was shaking it all night as well. I LOVE to dance, and I love hanging out with people that share that passion. What a fabulous night!!! We had a few more drinks and danced to the DJ well after the live band was done. When that bar closed at half past 3, we headed to BOUNTY, a bar full of debauchery, but also full of good music and lots of dancing. We closed THAT bar as well and finally walked home through the POURING rain. I laid my head down to sleep a little before 530am. My body was exhausted from dancing, and I was soaking wet - luckily the sweat was washed clean by the monsoon rains. Woke up at 8am for our free breakfast at the guesthouse and then we were off at 9am for our ferry to Lombok. The sky was completely gray, filled with rain that seemed it would go on for all of eternity. I felt hungover: from a random mix of cheap shots, from too little sleep, and from too much fun. I drifted in and out of sleep for the hour and a half taxi ride to the dock. I was still alive, but barely, so we used our hour long wait at the dock to refuel. Coco Cola, coffee and chicken soup with noodles. MmMmMmMm. It brought some color back to my cheeks and some pep back into my step. Extra large bottle of water and we were good to go. As soon as we boarded the boat, I laid down my bag, kicked off my flipflopsand fell asleep before my head even hit the seat. Three hours later and I wake up to a flurry of activity and very loud Indonesian music. Turns out that there was a live band on the ferry!! At first I thought that I was tripping, or dreaming...perhaps dying from lack of sleep -- but really, a huge, live band. On the boat. Headed to Lombok. I opened the door to the room they were playing in, and everyone was dancing around like lunatics. looked like Apache did at 3am the night before!! Ayeyaya!! Off the boat, and then a one hour ride to Kuta Lombok, our new home. I love Indonesia.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bring To Bali:

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.


Meesh`s drawing of Switzerland. Broken up into the languages spoken, and the lines indicate the Alps.

Michele is from Switzerland. Shes half Thai though, her mother being from Thailand. Though she hands down will say that Switzerland is the most beautiful country in the world, and that the air is the purest and most fresh air in the universe - she swears never to return to her homeland. We are currently in Lombok because yes, it is beautiful, uncrowded surf, pure prisitine beaches and few tourists - but mostly because Meesh is working. In a week she starts her job as a Surf Guide for a Swiss Surf School. Apparently, as Meesh has informed me, the wealthy Swiss only want to hang around other Swiss. Ha. Anyways, there are some common misconceptions about this beautiful country that my friend is from, so I figured Id let you all know a bit about Switzerland...

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
Though all print is in German, and they write in German, they speak a different dialect...Swiss German. Therefore- they can converse a bit and fully understand people from Germany, but Germans cannot understand them. Aside from a few exceptions, about a quarter of the population speaks French. Sebastian, our friend, also from Switzerland, speaks only French and English. So though him and Meesh both are from the same place, they can only speak to one another in English!! In the south(east), straight Italian is spoken. And then a bit to the west of the Italian speaking Swiss there is a language spoken called ROMANS. We have actually met someone from that area of the mountains and Meesh explained to me how rare it was to meet someone that still spoke this ancient language. She says that it will be completely dead within the next few years. Its no matter to my dear friend Mish though...she speaks nearly every damn language there is. Swiss German, German, French, Spanish, English, Bahasa Indonesian, well as a touch of Italian. Christ almighty.

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!!

rumi repost

I love love love RUMI, I have even been traveling the past few months with a mini travel rumi book. I just checked Michelles yoga blog, and she had this up. I wanted to repost it.....

Guest House

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.

- Rumi

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bye Bye Bali.

Meesh and Jo. Motobiking in KUTA bali.

No surfing the past two days because of heavy winds, wierd tides and tons of rain. Instead we had a girls day yesterday in Kuta, and then today we moved back to Kuta in preparation for leaving tomorrow for Lombok. Girls day consisted of getting bikinis made at the tailors, shopping, eating, and a bit more shopping. Today I pick up my custom made bags: boardbag and travel guitar case. The cost for 2 custom made travel bags...35usd. Insane. Tonight we are going OUT in crazy Kuta with the whole crew from Impossibles, where we have been staying. Im a bit bummed to leave, but everyone will be here when I get back in a few weeks. Ciao Ciao bali, see you in a few weeks....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Boom. Budget.

Boom Budget!
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 messing around here. We are professional budgeters.

Bali Beach Days

Bali Recap:

**March 31st
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....

**April 1st

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....

**April 2nd
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...?

**April 4th

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).


Michele. Meesh. Mish. Moosh. Mishka. Whatever you want to call her-- she's really making my stay in Bali enjoyable, easy and informed. But most of all-- fun.

Mini Mick

Mini Mick

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.