Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 1 // Kuta and Bingin

     The trip started in LAX showing up to the airport with 3 large board bags, 8 backpacks, and 2 camera cases, yaaaaa we gotta lot of shit. It just so happened that the lady working at the Cathay Pacific desk was Indonesian, so David my mate that studied in Bali started chatting with her. She loved it and that basically set us up to get hooked up with our luggage which everyone knows you get screwed for oversize/overweight usually. After 20 minutes or so we all had boarding passes and were outta there paying nothing for our bags which should have been at least 400 total! Off to a great start and on the plane we settled in for the 13 hour flight to Hong Kong where we had a 4 hour layover to grab a bite to eat before the final 5 hour flight to Bali!
travel surf live
Photo: Alex Arkeilpane
      Landing in Bali you have to wait in line to get your visa upon arrival, that took about 1.5 hours, then we picked up our bags and heading for customs check out. We got stopped, David and Travis bags got checked for how many boards and had to end up paying $1,000,000 RPH (just over $80 USD) for having more than 3 boards. After finding a transport driver in the sea of hundreds of people asking, we got all the boards on top and packed the 4 of us inside, quick 30 min drive to our hotel in Kuta where were staying for few nights. Hotel was traditional 2 beds and bathroom very simple, 50K RPH a night ($4.20 USD) per person. Once we settled in we sorted motorbikes out, which we got 4 for 30K RPH each per day ($2.50 USD), I love this country! Walking down the street we found a traditional Nasi Goreng plate (fried rice, veggies, chicken) we all ordered the same along with a Bintang, the local beer. There was a large shopping store nearby where we all headed to get some legit nice helmets since we'll be here for awhile and the helmets the rentals give you are shit.
      After few hours of laying around we got on the scooters for a ride up to Uluwatu, since the swell was small, Ulu's would be the only decent wave breaking. All of us had a couple decent ones, only out for an hour, munched down another nasi goreng for lunch and then cruised around looking for a place to move to the next day. After going to about 8 different homestays/villas we found a nice one that we could all split for a decent price then headed back to Kuta since our 5th friend Jay was supposed to arrive around 5 pm. We waited for him by sipping a Bintang while watching the crazy traffic down the back ally of Poppies St 2. When Jay arrived the vibe got a lot funner by hearing his story getting here, walking down the street finding another great spot to grub was a perfect ending to our second night on the island of Bali.
travel surf live
Photo: Alex Arkeilpane
      Day 3 was off to a slow start since a few people were hungover from the Bintangs the night before, but Alex, Jay, and I went for a walk down to the beach to check out what it was like. We encountered a baby monkey that we played with for a bit and got some really cool photos of! When we all got back to the hotel few guys went off to get a massage as I started packing up. After a few hours of getting all our gear together we were on the road following the van with our stuff and Jay in it while we were on our 4 scooters. I got separated from the group and doubled back a few times but still couldn't find em so I took off cruising up the windy roads of the bukit, I finally arrived at Bingin Sari our home stay we picked out. The family were staying with is awesome, the mom Made runs the place cooking, cleaning, and booking rooms. She has a few lil girls which I gave a nick name Kachang Kecil (Ka-chong Ca-chill, means little peanut), the rest of our time there they would smile and sing Kachang Kecil Kachang Kecil, it was super funny.
     We ended up staying at this home stay for 6 nights, the setup was beautiful, location was great, and breakfast was cheap and good! The homestay is up on the cliff and a lil back from the surf break at Bingin Beach, just up the point is another famous wave of Impossibles. We all got out to Dream land a wave down the beach that is a sand bottom wave with usually pretty crowded with beginners as it was this day. But Alex was filming and got a couple sick shots of just the lifestyle on the beach and a few of our waves even thought there wasn't much going on in the surf!
     The next few days we explored a few different spots I had surfed before but they weren't really turning on like they had when I surfed them before. But no the less we had some fun getting more footage romping around on the scooters and flying the drone! On Sunday we went out to Single Fin a bar at the top of the famous surf break Uluwatu, Sundays it goes off with live music and hundreds of people having a good time. We also went to a sick full moon party on the beach that had a reggae band and DJ until about 1 or 2 in the morning at Padang Padang. The bukit is beautiful place with pretty mellow roads to all the surf spots and hundreds of home stays and restaurants tucked into every corner and crevasse, it would take months to go to them all.
travel surf live
Photo: Alex Arkeilpane
     Towards the end of our stay on the bukit at Bingin Sari my mate Jeremy that I actually traveled to Indonesia with last year arrived on Wednesday. He linked up with us and we got a bed for him to crash on for a few nights before we headed out to a new area of the island called Sanur! We got our last surf in at Impossibles for a few hours before making the trek over to Sanur again with a van full of gear/surfboard bags while 4 scooters followed!

Once again thanks for following and stay tuned for the next post!
Check out www.sovrnrepublic.com and grab some gear for your next adventure, enter "Brian" at checkout for 30% off your whole order!
 

Monday, September 1, 2014

The packing starts again....

     Friends, family, and followers I am off on another adventure in a few days. Back to Indonesia with a couple friends to surf over a dozen islands and many spots we have been researching and searching for over the past few months. My one friend that has planned the trip that I'm jumping onto is David that has started an awesome new brand out of San Diego, Sovrn Republic. The companies motto is In search of distant shores, and their main product is travel backpack's made to hold the essentials of traveling in comfortable and accessible way. I am specifically excited for this trip because we are heading to many waves I have been dreaming of for years and bringing a full time photographer/filmer to get every moment/wave of the trip!
     That is the sum of the trip so far, everything changes once the plan hits the Indonesian tarmac. Basically all that is planned is our flights taking off September 3rd then flying home December 17, all the spots and waves on our list will be last minute missions if we know there will be waves to get them at there best.
     The packing has started, just getting everything laid out making sure nothing is left out. After my last few trips I have started to narrow down to to things, what I NEED and what I can GET. So what I usually need to bring is obviously clothes, but not to much because you can always buy more wherever you are. But it is hard to get rid of to many clothes you bring wherever you are. Other items I NEED that are harder to find where I'm going are obviously my surfboards, GoPro camera/accessories, and some medical supplies. The items I don't bring or worry about as much since I know I can buy them when I arrive are soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, etc. Dumb things that always cause problems at airports and can explode in your bag anyways.
     So here is a few pictures and a list of what I have for this trip, I thought it would be cool since I haven't done it before and if some traveler/surfers are wondering what to pack on a similar adventure.

The quiver for this trip is looking pretty good!
1. 6'3" x 18.5" x 2.2"
This is a board I bought specifically for this trip, when I was in Indo a few months ago the swell got huge a few days and I didn't have a board big enough to ride. Now I do this trip and it will help for a few waves were going to that you need to get into early!
2. 6'0" x 18.12" x 2.25"
One of my dad's older boards but a nice step up for waves that you need that lil extra foam to hold your line and get your rail to catch.
3. 5'8' x 19" x 2.5"
My baby, first board I've ever had a 5 five setup on and I love it, got her before my trip to Australia at the beginning of the year. Riding a quad is a love hate relationship for me sometimes I have so much fun on  them and other times I can't stand it.
4. 5'7' x 19" x 2.5"
The freshy from my mate Forrest Michinton had been getting into shaping last few years with his dad being legendary shaper Mike Michinton shaping for Robert August for decades! He has his own label Sistem Surfboards I am so stoked on this board because it's different from any board I have had before. Lil shorter than usual but with a 5 fin setup and lil more foam to float, paddle, and hold in bigger waves well!

1. Mint Condition Brand hats and apparel.
2. Polar Pro Filters for Go Pro camera, color correction lenses to get the best shot possible in any weather condition. There array of lenses for under water range from macro, magenta, and red for diving. And above water they offer polarized, neutral density, and macro. There newest product is the Pro Mic to get better sound out of your Go Pro video!
3. Leashes, 3 different ones for different conditions and size. I have been awfully lucky not breaking to many on my recent trips but its crucial to not lose your board especially over reef or rocks.
4. A bag full of all kinds of Go Pro accessories ranging from mounts, 4 extra batteries, extra housing, time lapse, window mount, wall charger, extra SD card, and more.
5. FCS car straps are a must on any surf trip, they come in handy at the worst times Ive learned. Especially when your traveling with a  few surfers where your board bags can't fit in the car, they must go on top!
6. Sovrn Republic backpack "The Drifter", the best gear I have come across my mate has started a great company made by surfers/travelers for travelers. The motto "In pursuit of distant shores" says it all, get out there and find the adventure that excites you!
7. Medical pack, I set this up a few trips ago my first time to Indo, it is essential. I have never had to dig to deep into it but I hvae the essentials in case sometimes crazy happens. Inside I have a lil of everything, gauze, tape, vitamin c, tums, bandages, stitches, anti infection pills, numbing shots, asprin, asthma inhalers, and a few more things.
8. Diving mask, it doesn't take up much room and I rarely use it but it is always nice to have if you wanna go out for a dive. Check out the reef when it's flat, get a work out, or check out some sea life and get some Go Pro shots!
9. The surfboard bag accessory pouch, In here I have all my fins two sets of quads and a pair of FCS for my 6'3". Also in here is some solar res/sand paper for quick ding repairs, Vaseline for rashes from surfing for hours, extra fins screws, like 5 fin keys because they always get lost and misplaced, and couple randoms zip ties because fuck you never know but they come in handy.
10. First time bringing this and I don't know how it will work but giving it a shot. It is a Dolphin hand pump for a 5 gallon water jug, in Indo there liter of water is roughly a dollar, a 5 gallon jug is roughly 1.75. It will hopefully save money, time, plastic bottles, and just be much more convenient!

1. Airplane pillow, so great for any traveling, literally anywhere. On a boat, in plane, sleeping in an airport, in the board bag for more padding.
2. Swiss army knife, pretty sure this explains itself, swiss know whats up!
3. IDP (International Driving Permit) a treaty between over 140 countries honor this as a driver license. Comes in handy because police can spot a tourist a mile away, you will get pulled over a lot anywhere. Basically helps to not spend money on pay off police when you don't need to. 
4. Headlamp
5. Converter and mini power strip, So much easier to have one converter and a strip instead of multiple converters.

So that is a sum up of what I am bringing and where our thoughts for surfing are when we arrive. Once again I am very excited to get out of America and explore another culture on the other side of the world. I don't leave America and my family in Southern California because we don't get a long or that I don't like where I live. But it is the complete opposite, I love my family and friends and leaving for a period of time just make them all that more special. Whenever I come home from a trip I am more grateful to have them in my life and appreciative of where I live even more! As of now in my life all I think about is the next adventure or next year where I want to go or how I want to see it. There are so many thoughts going through my head from road tripping in my truck from California to panama or sailing the Mediterranean or maybe cycle through Europe.
     Through the last 6 months I have seen a huge change in the age range I grew up in, some are just graduated from college and looking for there life long careers. Some are either on the road to getting married or already have tied the knot and are now just thinking money money money. Then there's the few friends who have babies and believe me I think that is wonderful, I can't wait to have a kid that is a mini me. But something 90% of the people I just listed will more then likely not do in there life is travel..... and I am not talking about going to Yosemite, New Orleans, Florida, or New York for a week. I am talking about going to somewhere unknown, a different continent, Australia, South Africa, Dubai, Vietnam, Portugal, Scotland, Turkey, literally anywhere in the whole fucking world.
     I feel like when people look at a map of the whole world they make it sound like somewhere other than America might as well be another planet. But realistically you can flight anywhere on this planet in a day and some driving. The planet is only becoming more and more accessible to travelers, and there are so many places to go for a budget. This map on the right shows the size of America to the rest of the world, America only takes up 2.5% of the land on this planet. There is so much to see and so many awesome people to meet, I can't stay in one place for to long until I feel like I have seen all I can!

Thank you to all my family, friends, and followers. Let the adventure start again.


Don't just be alive....Be living


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Week 1 | Lombok

This is how my trip started...
      Woke up at 4am on Wed, got to the airport and flew out of Brisbane by 6am. After a 2.5 hr flight I had a 7 hr layover in Adelaide south Australia which I spent skyping the family then grabbed a bus to the beach nearby for some lunch. I got back to the airport and boarded my 4pm flight, 5 hrs later I landed in Bali, Indonesia 7:30pm local time. After an hour of waiting in airport to get through customs and get my visa finally got outta there, grabbed my board bag and hired a taxi, heading
lombok indonesia
Traffic on the road
straight for the ferry terminal in Padang Bai. 2 hours later now 10:30pm I walked onto the ferry with about 150 Indonesians, during the passage a couple people came up to me just wanting to talk. One guy approached me and after a bit of chatting the best we could in English we went through a lil language book I have and we taught each other some words. A bit later another man sat next to me and asked about my bracelets after I told him where I got them from he left and returned with a bag of some he had made. He picked out two and tied one to my wrist, before I could give him a couple rupiahs he said "for you my friend I want no money..." Where this kindness came from idk but this is Indonesia, a beautiful country everywhere from the people that inhabit it, the land, and of course the waves. Arriving on the island of Lombok at 3:30am I met a very nice and pretty Argentinian girl traveling alone, we decided to split a taxi since where she was going was on the way to my destination. Arriving at a hotel in the middle of Indonesia at 4:30 in the morning, let's just say the reception guy sleeping was very surprised to be woken up and asked in what room are my friends staying. My friends Eric and Zac from back home in California have been here in Indonesia for over a month. They were even more surprised to get a knock on the door and see me standing there after I txted them a few days prior saying "see you soon". We all were so excited to see each other we stayed up and talked about each others travels until the sun rose and it was time to surf. Now this picture comes into the story, after 24 of traveling including 2 flights, a bus, 2 taxis, a ferry, and quite a bit of walking with a large surfboard bag I am about to paddle out to a surf a perfect 6-8 ft right hand point with 2 good friends on the complete other side of the world.

     I stayed on the island of Lombok for 5 days and we scored waves everyday, and it even got so big that almost every spot was maxed out! My last time to Indonesia last year I had wanted to explore other places than Bali, I got out to the island of Sumbawa which was a amazing with semi uncrowded waves. This time to back to Indo I wanted to go somewhere new and Lombok was definitely high on the list, I was stoked to find out my mates were there. Once your off Bali, you see a whole different side of the Indonesian culture, it's beautiful and something I highly recommend if your ever in Bali. 
lombok indonesia
Lombok, Indonesia
     
     During the 5 days on Lombok I stayed at an awesome hotel that I have recommend in my Travel Surf Live Surf Guide to Lombok. The village we were living in is mostly made for surfers, all you see is lil warungs, couple surf shops, small surf hotels, and advertisements for boat trips and transport to other islands. My friends Zac and Eric had been there for a week before I arrived so they already knew the surf spots and everything so that was nice. We surfed 4 different waves in the 5 days, all rights over reef/rock bottoms. The food was alright, I ate mostly local food which is fried rice or fried noodle, but we did try a few burger places and also a pizza place which was actually pretty good! It's awfully rare to head to these countries and not have an upset stomach, some how I have yet to have food poisoning in a foreign country. What I found from traveling in foreign country it is easy to change most comforts except food, if you aren't feeling comfortable with what your eating it makes your trip very hard. 
     Some friend's I had made in Byron, a few swedish girls Elin, Jasmine, and Amanda had happened to be in Indonesia the same time I was there. They were on the Gili Islands just a short boat and an hour taxi from where I was at the time, so they decided to come by for a couple days to hang out. It was awesome seeing them again, my friends and the girls all hung out for a few days. Lounging by the pool after a surf, going for lunch, riding the scooters around, and hanging at the beach. After a few days they headed to Bali where we would soon meet up again!
     The first couple days on Lombok we surfed an epic right hander that is a 15 minute scooter ride outside the village. The setup up is beautiful with cliffs all around you and a couple small islands off the coast. The paddle is about 10 minutes at least so definitely gets you warmed up for the epic surf session your about to have. The next few days we switched off between a big bay about 30 minutes away where you can grab a small boat to 4 different waves in the bay. Its always fun getting on and off a boat to go surf, its basically the epic surf session to jump of a boat into the lineup. And for only 5 bucks round trip out to the waves, you can't complain at all!
     Lombok was much better than I had imagined it, so many opportunities to get out in the water to semi uncrowded line ups. The scenery is lush, jagged, extreme, and just plain beautiful. There is so much to explore with little to no people around, I can't wait to venture further and further next time. But for now 6 days was a perfect intro to the potentional of this 1 of the 10,000 Indonesian islands, back to Bali.....

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finding work on the Gold Coast!

     After Bryce and I had been in Aus for over a month we started to look for work, we had a bit of luck as I have wrote about in previous updates. But not as much as we thought, it turns out you need to be qualified for almost every kind of work here, that's a decent pay at least. So as we both didn't have working visas anyways we couldn't apply for some things necessary to get qualified for proper work. But none the less we still searched for work in between going to the beach and adventures. Once I got back from the sailing/Melbourne road trip I stayed in Byron for one week and ended up finding a job. The job is working for a guy that has bought a few houses that he wants fixed up so he can rent them out. The houses are in Gold Coast about an hour north of Byron, so I decided to hit the road to find some work. Bryce wanted to chill in Byron for a bit longer because he had some plans later that week.
My ride to work for a day, thanks to my mate Dillon!
     I headed up to Gold Coast on a Friday evening to stay with some good friends I met a month earlier, and they had found jobs up here as well. My friend Dillon and I went for a surf at Burleigh Heads just a few km's down the road from there house. The waves were ok head high and a bit walled but fun to get in the water at a new spot none the less. After a lil surf sesh we headed up into Surfer's Paradise where his girlfriend Roxanne was working in the mall. We hit an Australian classic food spot called Nando's, basically really good bbq/smoked chicken, beef, ribs, etc accompanied by a handful of chips (french fries). Later that night I went up to Brisbane to go to a friends birthday party, it was nice meeting some new people, a majority of them being french! I always try to learn a bit of french so that when I get home I can speak some to my grandparents who speak it fluently.
D-Bah in Coolangatta!

     Sunday was a fun day I spent roaming the city of Brisbane with my friends Emilie, Roxanne, and Dillon. A pretty clean city with lots of good lil food joints, a beautiful botanical garden, and great beaches along the river the city is built on. On the other side of the river is an awesome lagoon style beach themed watering hole that hundred of kids and families gather around on the weekends. I've never seen anything like it, all man made but gives the feeling of being in paradise with a sky scrapper backdrop in the distance. Had a great time in the city but it was time to go back to the Gold Coast to have my first day of work in the morning.
     The house this guy had bought is beyond a fixer upper, termite damage everywhere, and nothing was put together right the first time. But it is work that I know how to do and all I can find at the moment so I'm giving it a shot. For the first few days me and another guy working Luke, just tore out existing kitchen/drywall and reinforced some of the rotten walls the best we could. Put up all new drywall, installed a kitchen he bought at a salvage yard, put in a new toilet, and did lots of painting! I worked for 8 days and saved enough money along with some money from another gig to go to Bali. Between working for a week and a half I got a couple fun sessions in at Burleigh Heads and D-Bah, both waves I have heard about and always wanted to surf. After finishing work on Tuesday I headed up to Brisbane and started packing my bags for my flight to Bali then next day!