Monday, April 29, 2013

Getting off the beaten path....

     We have now been on Bali for a week, Thursday we got an earlier start and wanted to check out another spot called Green Bowls, also on the other side of the bukit. We packed up the backpack with a few snacks and waters, and then got the surfboard on the scooter and took off. Once again I looked at the map before we left to get a mental image of what roads to take to get there, I love looking at a map and then just heading off and hoping I get it right. Well we ended up at the place I wanted to get to, but it ended up being a resort that wanted 250k rupiah ($25 USD) just to go down to the beach, some spots I look for are just a dot on a map and usually not in the right spot, so they always take a lil extra finding to get to. So once again we head back to Uluwatu, grab some food at our favorite warung, and chill for a bit before I went for a surf. I had a good hour and half surf with not to to many people out, I also tried surfing a new peak that is a lil more up the point that I got some fun backside snaps on. We headed back to the room to take our mid day relax session which usually consists of a dip in the pool, maybe a coca cola or ice cream, and watch some funny or surfing youtube videos. We went down out in front of our place to Bingin for an evening surf and smoothie, it was max low tide and i had to basically walk 150 feet on the reef step by step, pretty painful and annoying. But from the beach we both saw perfect left draining barrels, it is a hard wave to surf because the take off spot is so small, there's basically about 15 guys within 10 sq ft all trying to get a wave. Most of the time a local gets it and makes it all look to easy, I got one barrel but tried to stall to hard and didn't make it, got a few more smaller ones, then caught one did a snap and my board slide way more than it should have. I knew exactly what was wrong, flipped my board over and of course a fin had fallen out, so that was the end of the session for me, on my way in I got a few cuts on my hands and feet from the reef being so shallow. Jeremy and I enjoyed a smoothie before heading back up to grab dinner and passing out because we both were exhausted.
     Friday morning I ate a quick pbj and headed towards town to ship a few things I had bought for a friend and also for somebody who had donated via my blog here. The whole process at the post office took almost an hour, the language barrier just makes everything take a lil longer, plus there were a few other people there, and I had to package the gifts and write out the addresses. Finally I got out of there stopped by the market to get more Peanut butter, stopped for more gas, then made my way back to the room where Jeremy was kicking it. We basically layed low most of the day, looked into some other spots and airfare where we might want to travel to, I started getting board so I took the scooter on some adventuring. Most of my friend's and family that know me know I always like to explore, especially when dirt biking, I'm always looking at different trails while riding and more often then not get separated from the group because I explored a new trail a saw. I can't help myself it's just who I am, well this exploring really paid off because I found a road into a dirt trail that took us right to a spot next door called Dreamland, the way the map shows its 6.5 miles, the way I found is not even 1.5 miles. So now it's like my go to spot when Bingin is to low tide, after I went over the other side of the bukit and literally took any road I could off the main road and towards the beach. Lots of dead ends, people asking where are you going nothing back here, but finally found some roads to look outs on the cliff to see some surfable spots. I also stumbled across a beautiful temple with lots of chinese tourists eating and taking pictures with the view. I ended up meeting a surf that had just got out of the water named Peter from Aus, he had been coming to Bali for over 20 years and had some great knowledge. He explained how to get to a few surf spots I was looking for and what tide there good on, lots of good info to make surfing here in Bali a lil easier for us. When I got back me and Jeremy were both hungry, so we went to find a lil mexican place a friend had told me about, we had to explore for awhile until we finally found it down the road at Padang, it's called Sunset Grill, and it was decent mex, of course not as good as home but nice to mix it up!
     So Saturday I wanted to show Jeremy some of the spots I had explored and found the day before, after having some snacks for breakfast, we hit the road with my surfboard strapped on and a backpack. It took me a bit to find some of the spots since I went down so many different roads the day before, but we ended up getting to them and he was amazed how beautiful the scenery was and nobody around, we also brought the camera to take some pictures, as you can see below! Our goal was to find a spot I have been seeing on the map called Green Bowls, we looked for a it a few days before but weren't successful, since I had met the Australian Peter and he told me how to get there I thought we would give it another shot. I followed his directions and they were perfect everything he explained made since and we for sure would have gone down the wrong road without knowing it. As we got to the cliff to check the waves below, a lady came up to Jeremy asking if he wanted to buy a bracelet, he started looking at one ladies bracelet, then another lady came over to show him hers. I look over and say "here comes the heard", next thing you know Jeremy is surrounded by half dozen ladies trying to get him to buy their bracelet! I was just standing a bit away laughing and just saying no no, go ask him, pushing them all back to Jeremy, check the video below to get a lil idea, haha it was one of the funniest situations I've seen on this trip so far. After he haggled with all the ladies for about 15 minutes, he got a bracelet, and we headed down the 300 something steps to the beach. We got down there and the waves were probably 8ft faces and pretty mushy, but we came this far I said F it I'm going out, as I started to paddle out a few other guys came out as well so ended up being about 5 of us surfing for 45 minutes. It was okay to get some big drops and a few turns, and of course go right since every wave I have surfed here so far had been a left, and being regular you just want to go front side sometimes! We made our way back up the 300 steps, on the scooter, back to our place, to have a late lunch. I relaxed for awhile, then went over to Dreamland to catch a surf, it was super fun, the wave is like a shorter trestles/southside hb, can get a few rippable turns off hen pump to the inside to get another turn section. I got back and we sat down for dinner around 7, it was kinda busy here so took a lil longer for the food, but as always it's delicious and filling, another good day in Bali!
     Sunday was a mini holiday for Jeremy at least, since we were headed to the doctors to get his stitches out! We got to the doctors around 10am and got right into the room, the doctor to a few minutes to prep , then went to work on cut and removing the stitches, if you would like to watch and see my reactions, click here. They came out easily and pretty fast, after we asked the doctor if he could super glue over the cut and stitch marks, he gave us a blank stare as we handed him the super glue bottle. After a lil while of explaining and saying it's okay just go for it, he put a line of glue over the cut, I could tell it wasn't enough so I got the tube and went at it to fill the whole area and all the lil stitch holes! After paying the $15 it cost to remove the stitches we went next door for some groceries and I got Jeremy a lil ice cream, because he was such a lil trooper, haha. Once we were back to our place we had a snack and checked impossibles which looked pretty decent form the cliff, we both grabbed our step ups and headed out there. It ended up being super messy, sideways winds, pretty walled, just all around not that fun, we got out after about 40 minutes. We had lunch, chilled around the room and pool for awhile, and started checking some forecasts again, we decided to try to get out to Dreamland which I got pretty fun the day before. We headed to the beach quite awhile before low tide was going to start hitting to hopefully get some waves before the tide stated dropping more and gets to crowded. That basically exactly happened, got a few waves to ourselves and within 30 min there was 10 other guys out and waves were getting better, after about an hour there were 30 of us out and waves were even better. We were both pretty stoked though since we got our fair share of waves and they were all rights, Jeremy was having a blast being back in the water and it was nice to have somebody to sit with and chat to out there. Got back to the room showered up and hit an early dinner at the mex place we had tried a few days before but instead we ordered a large pizza and two large Bintang's, great end to the day I must say!
     Monday we were attempting dawn patrol and did our best by getting to Uluwatu by 7:30am, it was sprinkling a bit on our way, as we arrived and was checking the surf it just started absolutely pouring out of nowhere. It turned the already steep, sketchy, messed up path down to the beach into a river, we decided we probably couldn't scooter back in the rain so might as well surf. We basically floated downt o the water as if we were on a water slide and paddled out as it was still pouring rain, but after about 30 minutes it let up and turned the sky into the most vivid double rainbow I had ever seen. The rainbow only lasted 10 min or so and throughout the rain and rainbows we still managed to have a fun 2 hour sesh with a few less people out then normal. We did our usual walk up the stairs check some photos the guys got of us then sat down to enjoy a meal at our favorite spot Salen Warung and watched the waves. We had our normal relax sesh for a few hours during the middle of the day with a few pbj's to hold us over, and we both got to skype the family again, since the internet had been on and off the past few days. We decided to attempt to go back over to Green Bowls and try to get an uncrowded mid tide session, but the wind was onshore and just a mess, so we made our way back across the bukit to Balangan and also checked Dreamland, but nothing looked to decent enough to get us excited. We called it quits, I worked on this blog for awhile then we hit a new spot for dinner we had stopped by earlier for gas, there prices were a bit cheaper than where we had been eating and seemed like a fun environment. The food was great, cheap filling, we stayed around and chatted with the owner for awhile telling her we will come back tomorrow, unfortunately she was closing down for a few days to prep meals and gifts for huge ceremony her family was having in a few days. We poked into the surf shop called Flame Balls next door to check out a few boards that caught our eye, ended up also chatting with the owner. Super cool guy we assumed was from Germany with his accent, he gave us lots of info on our thoughts of trying to travel to other islands nearby. We ended the night sitting on out balcony, scoping the internet researching islands, surf spots, accommodations, and prices to travel nearby. We haven't put anything in ink yet but we are seriously considering trying to do a trip in a few weeks to the island of Sumbawa, home to Lakey Peak.

Jeremy trying to buy a bracelet and getting bombarded buy all the ladies trying to sell him one, watch the video by clicking the video tab above!
A look at the reef out front on a semi low tide, you can now imagine what the bottom looks like, but covered with urchins.

One of the cool cliff spots I found with a lil run down hangout.

The abandoned resort I came across and brought Jeremy back to, he was just as confused as I was.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Break in, hospital visit, and haggling

     After a long day of surfing Uluwatu the day before, we decided to check out a new spot on Sunday. We were trying to find Dreamland, but ended up at a spot we both have heard of called Balangan (Ba-lang-in). It was a dream like beach with 100ft cliffs straight into the water 30 ft from the take off spot, exactly what I picture a wave in Bali to look like. It looked fun, about chest high, ripable, and way less crowded than Uluwatu where we had been surfing last few days. We grabbed our boards off the scooter and walked down the hill, down the beach, got a quick stretch and then paddled out into the line up while watching chest high lefts reel off. Both Jeremy and I found our spot and traded off some fast waves we had to race down the line dodging sections to get a few quick check turns and either a barrel section or a big snap at the end. One thing that has been very weird to me about surfing here in Bali is what they call sea lice, there these little microscopic tadpole looking things that will bite you. It's nothing to crazy but some of them kinda hurt and it's just annoying haha, I didn't get any the first few days, but they were pretty bad at this spot. After surfing for over 2 hours and getting some of the longest waves I've had a in a long time (200ft+) we got out to get a bit to eat at the warung. Jeremy had his usual local style banana pancake, they basically through a bunch of mushed bananas into a waffle style press that fry's a pancake. It's pretty delicious, filling, but super fatty, who cares were surfing close to 5 hours a day and sweating more than enough to burn it off :) haha. I tryed a local dish I had been seeing recently, fried rice plate which was also good and filling. As we got back to the scooter and I opened the seat I realized that someone had broken in and stole my phone and a few bucks I had in there. We had my phone with us because we use it for the navigation since some of these roads are super confusing, and rarely haves street signs over there names. I was of course mad, devastated, and just a lil sad since I had so many photos, videos, and memories from my trip so far on there! We raced back to the room so I could try to locate it with some software I had on it, but it wasn't working they must have already turned it off and erased it. I called my mom to tell her what happened and to report it to verizon and started changing my passwords just in case even though I doubt they wanted my facebook haha. While I was talking to mom, Jeremy headed down to the beach out front to catch a few waves, I finished skyping and headed out to meet him. I got out there and he was nowhere to be found, I couldn't have missed him since there is only one path down tot he beach. A friend of ours staying at our place swam out and after it took a minute to understand what she said since she was out of breath and has a thick british accent, but I guess Jeremy hit his head and got a pretty good gash. I got into the beach and up to the warung to take a look at it, he was already wrapped up by a nurse that luckily was there visiting from California! He was a lil nervous having his first head injury in a foreign country, but we kept him calm and I got him back to the room to grab a few things then we went to the hospital. We ended up at a private clinic and he got 6 stitches, took about 30 minutes, cost us about $50 and we were good to go. Grabbed few things at the store on our way back and hit some traffic, we got back around 5pm, chilled for awhile then went out with some friends from the place were staying at. We went to a bar on the cliff at Ulu (uluwatu's) called Single Fin, super fun cool environment, we had some drinks after a long day, and got back and to bed by midnight.
     Monday we woke up around 8 and just cruised around the the property, hopped in the pool, then helped Jeremy buzz around his cut and clean it up to put a new bandage on. After I skyped the family, it was nice seeing them all since I hadn't skyped all of them together in a few weeks, they are all jealous of all the pictures I have been posting. We chatted about what they have been ding the past week, and how everything is around the house, my dad had just gone to the desert for the weekend so heard some funny stories form that. Then I showed them around our room and where were staying with the webcam, explained how the money works, and how busy the roads are! It was over an hour skype sesh but was really nice to have time to talk about so much and explain everything I could about my experience's so far. When we finished Jeremy relaxed and took it easy while I went over to Uluwatu's to grab a surf and pick up some photos they got of me a few days ago, there were some cool shots! The waves were really fun, about chest to head high, got quite a few fun ones, perfect lil quick evening session. On my way back I had to get some petrol (what they call gas here) for the scooter, and we needed some water since we have been going through it so fast, we had been drinking 2-3 waters ( over a gallon) between both of us per day. I found a small market that I went into and ended up haggling for a whole box of 12 bottles which comes out to almost 5 gallons, got it all for $4 :), literally 33 cents each. It works great for us since the waters at the warung's and where were staying are close to a buck each, now we can just grab a water before we leave and be good to go! We chilled for awhile, went and watched the sunset and had a smoothie, came back and Jeremy was out early, I was up for awhile munching, working on this blog and editing the surf pix, ended up passing out around 11:30pm.
     Tuesday we both slept in until about 8am, relaxed, cleaned Jeremy's cut, and changed the bandages. We took a dip in the pool then I got him setup to Skype his family on my computer, they hadn't talked to him much since we got to Bali, and hadn't seen him since he left for Hawaii almost two weeks ago! While he was doing that I hopped on the scooter and went to find a phone place since I explained earlier in the post mine got stolen, I had no luck but I adventured a bit too. I checked out a spot just a few miles down the beach called dreamland, to get there you enter this huge grand entrance like to a mansion or something. Its a trip like a whole new world in there, nice big paved road with no potholes, private villas, lil stores, and a few bigger hotels closer to the beach. I checked out the beach and the warung's, also grabbed a few things from a lady vendor, a few sarong's for some friends and was on my way back. I got back and Jeremy just finished Skyping the family, so we got on the scooter and headed to Uluwatu to get lunch and I wanted to get a surf in.  We ate at our local lil warung and watched the waves for 30 minutes, I paddled out for about an hour and had one of the worst sessions of my life. Just wasn't getting the right waves or in the right spot, it was very frustrating, I finally just gave up and figured it wasn't my day and headed in. When I get back Jeremy looked all nice and relaxed, apparently he had gotten a 30 min shoulder massage by lady that was walking around, he haggled her down from 60,000 to 30,000 (basically $3) and he said it was well worth it. I was so frustrated about my session I just wanted to leave, we got back to the room dropped everything off and packed up again to head to the clinic to get a check up on Jeremy's cut.  When we got there we asked about the price, and they said it was going to be another $25 to have them look at the wound and replace the bandage, we said no thanks, bought the ointment needed for $3 and went on our way, I have been taking care of the cut and it is healing great! We snagged more snacks at a market next door before heading back, we try to cut out one meal a day that we have to buy, so we get pbj's, crackers, wafers, pringles, and some other small things to snack on in between meals. We brought the GoPro with us on to take some video while scooting, we got some funny stuff that will be up in the Videos section a day or two after this is posted so check it out! I headed out to Bingin last night to get a quick evening sesh with the GoPro , I didn't get much footage but just practiced how to use it in the water, which if anybody has used a GoPro while surfing, it is very hard to get the right shot! We sat down for dinner around 8 and browsed through some local surf mags they had lying around, enjoyed dinner and crashed by 9pm, just another day traveling, surfing, and living the dream in a beautiful place!
     Wednesday we did our normal hang around till 9ish and then figured out what to do today, we decided to go check out a spot called Nusa Dua on the other side of the peninsula. We have both seen some sick pictures and videos of this reeling right hand point break, so I looked it up on the map and got a decent idea of where it was. We left around 11am towards the airport and followed the signs marked Nusa Dua, we arrived about 45 minutes later after a few wrong turns at the beach. It ended up not being the right day for the spot waves looked decent size and surfable but nobody out, guy we were talking to on the beach said tide and winds were wrong,it also looks like a hell of a paddle to get out there. Apparently when its firing you can hiring a boat to drop you of for about $3 bucks and at the end surf and catch white water back to the beach, just looking at the setup we could imagine how good it could get. After hanging at the beach for a bit, having a snack and some water while chatting we went on our way back up to Uluwatu. I went out for a surf but didn't have that great of a time, pretty crowded, and I was already tired from traveling a lot on the scooter earlier in the day. We cruised back to the room, went in the pool, had lunch, and watched some surf clips on youtube for awhile. I ended up going down to Bingin with my GoPro for a bit to get some clips but wasn't very successful, then ended the night with smoothies down on the beach at the usual warung while watching the waves and the sunset.
Jeremy's gash from surfing at Bingin, got 6 stitches
Always a lil scary when Jeremy pilots the scooter!

Our room here on the bukit, can see the ocean from the window, and that's the bathroom off to the right.

Surfing Bingin on Tuesday with the Go Pro didn't get to many surf shots but some cool sunset shots.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bali finally!

     So we left off before I hoped on my flight from Honolulu to Shanghai, I am going to some up our 2 days of traveling to get to Bali in this next paragraph. We arrived at the airport 2 hours before our flight, got our surfboard bags all situated and paid for, then went through security. After getting through security I made eye contact with a girl I had recognized, she was at the end getting everything together from the scanning machine, ended up being my friend Brooke that I met in a sailing class down in Dana Point harbor a few semesters ago! She had moved to Hawaii a month ago and was going home for a few days, I thought it was so funny and random to run into her but we all ended up sitting down and chatting for awhile before our flights. It was cool catching up and talking about her moving to Hawaii and what Jeremy and I are doing on our trip! And then we were off onto the plane for our 11.5 hours flight to Shanghai, the flight ended up not being as bad as we thought. We got two meals, and snacks every so often, plus snacks that we brought ourselves, I also had my laptop with two batteries so we could watch a few movies. They were playing movies but there all in Chinese, I am pretty sure out of maybe 120 people on the plane we were the only white people, everybody was a Chinese tourist visiting Hawaii. One thing we thought was funny was the whole flight it was sunny, we had basically followed the sun across the Pacific so during our travel we had seen the sun for about 18+ hours! We landed in Shanghai at 3:30pm local time and our next flight to Bali didn't depart until midnight, so we definitely had sometime to kill. We cruised around the airport and found the gate for our next flight, stretched our legs and got some food and relaxed for a few hours. We kicked it by the gate and charged our electronics and started looking up some places to stay in Bali for the next night. I called my family to let them know I landed safely in China and that I would try to contact again when we arrive in Bali. We boarded our flight and took a nice 3 hour nap that cut out half the flight, the next couple hours it was still dark outside. But about 45 minutes before landing the sun started coming up and it was one of the most beautiful flight experiences I've had, flying over island chains with the sun rising as we were passing through the clouds!
     We landed in Bali on Thursday at 6am local time, got our VISA's super fast, and board bags were ready to go at the baggage claim. We had booked at room for a night in Kuta to get our bearings and look up some places to stay on the bukit, where all the waves are. We got to the hotel via a taxi with our board bags strapped on the top, kinda sketchy, cost us about 20 bucks. We arrived to the hotel named Warung Coco, got everything in our room then went back to the front desk to rent a scooter and grab some food, since we hadn't eaten in awhile. We grabbed the scooter which we both hoped on and cruised around Kuta for a few hours, just to check out the beach and what was happening around everywhere. The streets are crazy, first off everything is the opposite, so you drive down the left side of the road, and making turns across traffic is nearly impossible. For every car there is probably 25 scooters, they get around the crowded and sometimes narrow streets so much better, and of course much cheaper on gas. The traffic reminds me of the fourth of July back home in Huntington/Newport Beach, bikes everywhere and people going every which way, but picture all the bikes being scooters and there are no rules of the road! It is complete madness, but with my experience riding dirtbikes since I was 4, it is so much fun, everywhere you go is like a technical motorcycle race. We tried all day to find a place to get international driving licenses, I needed a mosquito net, and also some wall converters for our electronics. We looked up a few places on the map and Jeremy navigated as I operated the scooter through the madness, we literally rode the scooter around some of the busiest streets in the world for about 3 hours trying to find everything. We ended up only getting the wall converters at a big mall we stumbled upon, but while we were there we went to the market to grab some stuff we wanted like shampoo, snacks, water, fruit, etc. We then made the 45 minute trek back to the hotel in crazy traffic now that it was around 4:30pm, I think Jeremy was lack of better term, shitting himself the whole time we weaved in and out of cars, scooters, construction, potholes, and jumping up onto the sidewalk once in awhile to get around a group of cars, but I was totally in control :). We got back all in one piece and relaxed at the hotel for a bit before we grabbed a few beers and literally fell asleep with computer on lap at 8pm, great first day!
     We awoke on Friday, our second day in Bali, keep in mind we are 15 hours ahead of home (California, by the way on the top right of my blog I have a clock and date of my local time), so sometimes we are a day ahead! Got a quick included breakfast at the Warung(means shop/store in Indonesian) and found a taxi van to drive us and our bags up to the Bukit (hill in indonesian). We dropped off the rented scooter and packed our bags into the taxi, and sat back for the ride, it took about an hour since the cars can't go as fast as the scooters that are zipping around everywhere. We had looked up a few places on the Bukit and I had been recommended a few also, we parked in the general area, and I jumped out to cruise around and ask some prices. There were a few super nice places for a lil more than we wanted to spend and also a few cheap places but without some amenities we wanted. I finally went to a place called Leggies that had been recommended to me from a friend that was just in Bali a few weeks ago, and I fell in love with it. It'a probably about and acre small resort/villa style looking place, with a pool, full service cafe/restaurant open 7am-10pm, laundry, scooter rental, and of course WiFi. On top of that there's so many cool people that come through here that are younger which makes it a fun atmosphere meeting somebody new everyday. The vibe and setup is all very laid back, lounge chairs by the pool, big open lounging area in the middle with pillows everywhere, and its a 2 min walk to the cliff that's over looking the surf spot, and beach called Bingin, you can also see Padang Padang down the beach. We made a deal with the nice people at Leggies, since we want to setup camp here for at least 2 weeks, we came to the agreement that were paying 240,000rp or roughly $24 a day for our big room with 2 beds, bathroom, shower and a scooter with surf racks to cruise around with. So we feel its a good price, basically $12 each a day for an awesome place and scooter rental, our other expenses include food, which comes out to $10 each a day since we have been eating a lot, also lil gas here and there which is basically $1 for 2 liters(half gallon). So we got settled in at our new home stay, met a cool chick here from Australia that we followed on the scooter over to Uluwatu to see it for the first time. It is such an awesome setup, with lil warung's and place to hang and eat all down the cliff to the bottom where you paddle through the infamous cavern. After a bite to eat we headed to the Uluwatu temple that I've always heard of and wanted to visit because of course they have monkey's! We got over there and put on a sarong and bought some monkey food for a few bucks, they are so funny and cute, there were mothers, dads, and of course lil babies. You hold some fruit out and they jump up and grab it from you or you can hold it higher and they will climb you to get it, one of them perched on my shoulder and just ate it right there! We cruise around the temple for a bit, then decided to head back, Jeremy and I really wanted to get a surf since the waves looked fun while we were eating at Uluwatu and we hadn't been in the water in almost 5 days, which sounds weird being on a surf trip. We scooted over to Uluwatu and got a quick 30 min sesh as the sun was going down which was absolutely beautiful, we headed back in the dark which was interesting to say the least. After a few wrong turns, we made it back to the hotel, we sat down for dinner at a table with a few girls that are staying here. We ended up chatting for awhile and talking about where each other is from and where we have been on our trips. I thought Hawaii had a lot of travelers but Bali has some many more and from so many different far out places!
     I awoke around 4:30am local time, my times are still very messed up, I was basically wide awake, so I messed around on the computer for an hour or so typing up some of this blog post and checking emails etc. Jeremy was up shortly after, we decided to check out in front where were staying which is Bingin beach, it is still relatively small out there since the swell hasn't wrapped all the way around the point, needs a bigger swell to get that far down the point, where were staying. We packed up the scooter and headed to Uluwatu because it gets the most swell, the waves were pumping at least to our standards. Over head, plenty of make able left drainy barrels, and some good spots to smash the lip, we were out there by 7:30am after a quick bit to eat at the warung. We surfed for about 3 hours and I caught about a dozen waves, keep in mind this is a very well known and easily accessible perfect left point, with only a half dozen take off spots, which means its pretty crowded! But none the less out of the dozen I caught I got 2 sick barrels and a few waves I got a some turns on, but one really good barrel, probably one of the better ones I have ever had. Uluwatu has a few takeoff spots and each of them shifts so you really have to be in the right spot at the right time to get that all time barrel, but it drains and becomes so hollow that if you get the right one your for sure getting a barrel, just gotta make it out! When you get out and walk up the sketchy steps up the cliff the first few shops you pass are photo booths that try to call you in to look at pictures there photographers on the cliffs get of you, and they got some really sick ones of me and my barrel, I haggled with them and got them talked down from $35 for 42 pictures down to $10 for 35 good pictures, 3 sequences. I am going to get the pix tomorrow, so they will be uploaded soon! We headed back home to eat and chill, we hoped in the pool for a bit to wash off and cleaned up and unpacked a bit in the room. But we were back at it shortly and got another hour and a half session in at Uluwatu, it was still sorta fun and a lil less crowded but wind picked up and brought it down quite a bit. We were now awful tired from being in the sun and water for close to 5 hours today we got back and lounged for awhile while chatting with some friends that we made here. For dinner we decided to try a place few miles down the road we have passed a few times, its a small Italian restaurant that had pizza, we were both stoked since we love pizza and haven't had it in awhile! It was a nice way to end the night, we ended up making friends with the owner who was a super nice guy that is from Indo and has been living in Bali for about 5 years. After a nice lil 15 minute drive back to the homestay we got a dessert banana pancake with ice cream on it and Jeremy passed out, I finished the night by typing up this blog.
     So that about sums up leaving Hawaii, flying, layovers, and the first few exciting and adventurous days in Bali! I can't wait to see what else this amazing island and country has to offer, and I want to see as much as I can since this has been my dream vacation. Since the first day of senior year at Edison high school, I was sitting in English class staring at a blank page for about a half hour after the teacher gave us our first assignment of writing a page about why we want to go to college. It was then and there that I realized I didn't want the normal straight to a 4 year university life after being in school for so long and really not knowing what I wanted to do as a career yet. Yes I am very good at many things and handy enough to fix or build just about anything, but I wanted more, and this adventure has fulfilled it everyday. There is no feeling like waking up in the morning and being able to explore and see something new that your eyes have never seen before. I strongly urge everyone and anyone if wanting to travel of course to get out there and experience something different, it will forever change your life and your perspective of living. Once again thank you to everybody that has made this life more enjoyable than ever, and continue to be in my life, I seriously can not wait to get home and be able to hang with all my family, animals, and friends again, Goodnight!
Coca Cola in Chinese
Sunrise flying into Denpasar

Monkey at the temples

A normal sight at a surf spot, pictured is at Uluwatu.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Brooke and Jeremy came to the island

     Thursday morning Brooke, Nicole, and I left early to drop Nicole off at work then Brooke and I sat down for some breakfast. Nice to catch up and hang for awhile with the sis and enjoy breakfast before we searched for some rental cars! We searched around to a few rental car places and finally found one with a good deal, we got a Chevy crossover SUV from Thursday morning to Monday morning. I really wanted to get a rental car so Brooke, Jeremy, and I could cruise around the east side and I can show them as much as I could while there here. We got the car and headed around the east side over to Kailua, then headed up the Pali hwy to Maunawili Falls. It's an awesome hike that I did last Sunday and I knew they would enjoy to get into the forest with some fresh air and jump off the falls. We hiked back down and got some burgers at Teddy's, if your in Kailua I highly recommend it! We finished up and kept heading around the east side, it was abut an hour drive from the hike back to the north shore. There is so many calm nice clear water beaches on the east side, totally different than what they saw in town. We got to the north shore around 4 and i took them all the way down to Haleiwa and back to where were staying. We met up with my cuz and we all hoped on a board and grabbed some diving masks, and paddled out to small Kami's to get some ankle slappers and dive. Brooke and Jeremy got there first Turtle experience, Brooke acted she had just won a thousand bux, they were swimming all around and under us! After we headed to where we were staying and unpacked, and enjoyed a great home made meal! Brooke and Jeremy crashed early since for them there 3 hours ahead, I watched tv for a bit longer then crashed also.
     Friday my cousin had off, so we cooked up a great lil egg sandwich and fruit breakfast then checked out the sandbar, it was perfect lil waist high waves. We all messed around for a few hours while it was perfectly sunny, super clear warm lil waves. I brought the Go Pro out and got some pictures and videos of everyone having fun and getting a few lil barrels. We finished up the sesh and stopped by Foodland to grab food, made a great huge pasta salad and we all filled up! We chilled out on the balcony and watched the waves for a few hours, some friends from town came over and had some drinks with us. We all headed down to Rockies while we surfed they hung out on the beach and swam around on the inside. After a fun hour and half session we got some food for dinner, and started cooking up some pork tacos. Jeremy, Brooke, Salah, Chris, Nicole, Caylie, and I all munched a delicious meal and joked around to end the night, great day on the North Shore.
     We got up earlier Saturday morning, made some breakfast and went to spot check again. We ended up at small Sunset, it was about head high to lil over head, fun rights coming through but a lil crowded. Jeremy was stoked to surf Sunset which is a really sick right even when it is small, I had yet to surf it this small either. We were out for a few hours, Brooke sat on the shoulder and got a few, but it was a little big for her. We got out cleaned up and headed down to Haleiwa to eat at my cousin Chris' cafe he works at, it was a great meal and I hadn't eaten there yet on my trip. We left and ended up sitting in traffic for an hour from Haleiwa to Waimea, there ended up being a crash, but since it's only a one way highway you can't go around. Once we finally got toward the house we went to check the waves but there wasn't much happening, so I took them down the road to Turtle Bay Resort. I showed them the horse stables and we got a few pics, then around the corner to the private beach. We stopped by rockies on the way home and it looked fun so we got out there asap. There was about 40 people out but the waves were getting a lil bigger form the swell filling in. We were out for about 45 minutes then we started to hear thunder, then we saw lightning hitting the water way out to sea. A lot of people in the water started freaking out and headed in so now there was Jeremy, myself and 6 other guys and the waves were still fun. It was so sick to be out with thunder and lightning cracking all around us at such a sick wave, the lightning stopped after about 15 minutes and we got our shortly after. That night Salah was having a big bbq with friends at the house, we got back cleaned up, took showers and got ready for the night. It was fun meeting new people, listen to some great music, and enjoying a great feast in an awesome environment! We all were tired from another long day and passed out around 10, but had a funny situation happen during the night. Brooke and I both wake up around 2 in the morning from something landing on us and making a loud noise. Apparently Jeremy saw the whole thing, I guess we locked the cat inside the room and it freaked out and tried to get out. It jumped up onto the bed and tried to go out the window but the screen was on, so it feel back onto my face then jumped across onto my sister and bolted for the door., pretty interesting night to say the least!
     Sunday morning we were up early checking the surf, we ended up at Kami's which looked fun with nobody out. We got out there and after about 20 minutes a squall came through and the weather turned real crappy fast, super windy and choppy. We got out and went to check V-Land, wasn't very good either and pretty crowded, me and my sister jumped in the water for about a half hour and dove around to see some reef and fish. The rest of the day was looking pretty overcast and rainy, so we packed up and said our goodbyes and started heading to town a little after noon. It rained the whole way to town, we grabbed some food upon arriving and took i to our friends to munch on, the rest of the evening we just relaxed with friends while it poured.
     Monday was my sisters last day, her flight was leaving at 2pm. We dropped off the rental car early in the morning and grabbed some breakfast with our friend Casey at a place near the house we have been staying at in town called Koa Pancakes. Awesome little pancake and breakfast place that's pretty cheap and great service. After we headed over to Walmart so Jeremy and I could get a few last medical things for our trip, and Brooke wanted to get a few souvenirs and we heard they had a big selection. We cruised around inside for about an hour getting everything we needed before I took Brooke to the airport. It had been an awesome weekend having her out her experiencing where I have been for the last month and a half, she could see how people just leave and move out here. It was also really nice to see some family before I headed out to the next part of my journey which is a pretty big adventure in itself. The rest of the day I hung out with Nicole, we got an acai bowl and did a few errands, then got some food to cook for dinner. Nicole, Jeremy, and I cooked up a nice home meal of chicken alfredo, and enjoyed it together for the last night in Hawaii.
     Well this is the last post here in Hawaii, it's now Tuesday morning and our flight leaves in exactly 3 hours. We have an 11.5 hour flight to Shanghai, a 8 hour layover in Shanghai, then we depart at midnight local time to Bali, we arrive in Bali at 6am. Were both not looking forward to the flight of course haha, but it's all part of the experience and adventure of getting to an awesome place. Thanks to everybody here in Hawaii that made my stay so fun and exciting to to visit, I will definitely be back again to hang out and catch some of the best waves of my life, Mahalo!
Relaxing on Friday on the balcony. Caylie, Jeremy, Nicole, Myself, Chris, Brooke
Brooke at the Sandbar on Friday morning, she had a blast.
Taking Jeremy and Brooke on a hike to Maunawili Falls.
Jeremy and I at the sandbar messing with the Go Pro.
More Pictures to come on the post!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sunset pics and hiking

     Friday morning I got up super early and watched Chris surf Pipe with his friend early around 7-8. After we got some breakfast at Ted's then check a few spots but they weren't working. Most of the time when it gets over 20ft faces, everywhere just closes out and is a mess except few spots like Pipe and Waimea. We helped a friend take some stuff down to Mokuleia and went out to the point where you can camp and do some off roading. Cool lil area with barely anybody around, it was cloudy but on a clear day you can look back and see the whole North Shore. We spent the rest of the day on the balcony eating and watching the waves go off, its so cool to see the lines of waves coming in from so far out there! Cooked an awesome meal that night and got to bed early.
     Saturday I watched pipe for awhile after I got some breakfast, then got a super fun session at Sunset. It was pretty big probably some 20ft+ faces coming in, only dozen people or so out. I took out my 6'6" and sat a lil inside can caught all the fun ones I wanted. I had mounted the Go Pro onto my board as seen in some other photo's in my new section. It's fun trying different settings and also seeing your self surf from a cool angle. After the session I met some friends down at Pipe to have a few beers and watch the waves go off. It was so perfect and not to big; 10-15ft faces. I want to surf it so bad but when its those conditions there's about 50 people out, minding you on one peak, only every few backdoors were working, so it's just a mess out there. Since I feel like I'm going to get pretty barreled in Indo, I haven't really wanted to go out in the havoc, hopefully next season though! We cruised over to Waimea after to get some bodysurfing in, the shorebreak was pretty heavy and similar to Balboa Pier back home. Went out for about 20 mins and got a few good sized ones and of course a few poundings, lost a fin and went in to get it but couldn't find it, called it a day. I went back into town with Casey and hung out with friend Nicole that night and saw the new movie OZ, then just crashed.
     Sunday Nicole and I had planned to go hiking to a cool spot she new about up the Pali hwy and almost to Kailua. It was an awesome lil hike about 2 miles back into the forest up a river, muddy but not to mad terrrain, fun to get messy! We arrived at the falls and there was a bunch of people since it was the weekend and a nice day. The waterfall had a jump spot about 10ft tall, all the kids were having a great time, I found a super sick spot that was about 40' tall into the small 25ft radius watering hole. We also went up the waterfall to a few other pools that were beautiful that you can swim in cool fresh water. We had a fun slippery hike back down to the car before we left to get some food in town. Just relaxed and watched a classic movie that night, Forrest Gump.
     Monday morning I woke up early and hoped on a bus back to the shore, got back around 9:30. I checked the surf and waited a bit, so I got a burger at Ted's and relaxed for a bit. I went out to just about maxed out Kami's, but I saw some fun in between sets coming in since the tide was changing. I got out there for about 30 min, got a few then got stuck on the inside when a set came through. I got out and rode down to v land, I surfed there for hour n half with only a few guys out and got some super fun wedgy rights. I got back to the house after close to 5 and then relaxed till I rode of to Salah's. On my way to the house I was riding my bike fast down the rock dirt road and as I stood up to try to pedal up there steep driveway, my pedal broke and my whole body just dropped and hit the bike then fell and skidded on the rock. I was all tangled up in the bike and road rash on both palms/wrists and on my elbow, I was so pissed that this just happened on something dumb. I washed up and put some bandages and ointment on the scraps, and had some dinner. I'm for sure going to have to be out of the water for a few days to let it scab up before the weekend so I can surf with sister and friend that are coming to town!
     Tuesday I woke up and chilled for a bit got my backpack packed up to go into town, I stopped by Ted's to grab a breakfast sandwich and hoped on the bus. Its only $2.50 to go just about anywhere on the island on the bus, pretty good deal but it takes almost 3 hours to get to town (roughly 50 miles). I arrived in town and hung out at friend's house for a few hours since it was pretty hot out. My friend Nicole and I went to taco Tuesday which I was looking really forward to, since I heard the tacos were great! I got 3 carne asada tacos with rice and beans and it was a perfect size and delicious, the place is called Serg's. So if your ever in Honolulu look it up, its near the University, and you can bring your own beer! When we were on our way home we started exploring and found a road that takes you up to the top of a mountain over looking all of Waikiki, snapped a few pictures then headed back down to the house. We were both craving ice cream so we got some Cold Stone which I haven't had in years! Once we got home and finished our ice cream we just passed out, since tomorrow is going to be a long day!
     Today is the day that my sister and friend Jeremy are coming to Hawaii, I have been talking to both quite a bit and they are super excited to visit!  There flight doesn't come in until 9 pm so I had all day to hang out and chill before they arrived. In the morning I got some breakfast with Casey and worked on this blog post a bit until Nicole got off work, since us 3 were going to go to the beach. We went towards the east side and and checked out Sandys, but ended up going down the road more to Makapuu. Its a really beautiful part of the island with big mountains coming down into the ocean, and pretty nice sand beaches. After bodysurfing and messing around for a few hours we left and got some Taco Bell on the way to a place called China Walls. Super fun spot to jump off the rocks and watch the water hit the rocks and blast into the air in all different types of cool forms. After that we were all pretty burnt and done form the day, so we went back home and napped a for a bit. I went with my friend Mike and stopped by a bar by the airport to get a drink and play some pool while waiting for the plane to land. We got to the airport in perfect timing as they had just got to the curb with there bags, had a quick hug and threw the luggage in the car to head back to the house. Of course Brooke and Jeremy were both wondering oh whats that or is that a mountain, it's always hard coming into a  new place at night not seeing your surroundings. When we got home we dropped off the luggage and talked for a bit, then went out to grab some beer, ice cream, and a few snacks to munch on for the rest of the night as we watched TV and all caught up on life. We all passed out around midnight, 3am for Brooke and Jeremy, we have a fun and exciting weekend ahead of us since I want to show them as much as I can while there here!

Top of the mountain overlooking Waikiki
Go Pro pic from Saturday morning at Sunset, just thought it was a cool lil foam wave!
Maunawili waterfalls
Waimea Bay
Bike crash, not surfing for few days, suckssss

Friday, April 5, 2013

Birthday and lots of surfing

     Hello everyone I am trying to get on here more often to inform everybody about my trip and post some cool photos! The last 4 days have been just a lot of surfing since the weather has been so nice!
     Monday I woke up in town so I hung out for a bit then went to get some food before hoping on the bus, I ate at this super cool little crepe spot. The crepe was delicious and they also gave me a complimentary dessert crepe, which was also amazing since I haven't had crepes in a long time! I caught the bus back to the shore and hung out for a bit until dinner since the waves weren't very good. My cousin got a bunch of meat from his work so for the past few nights we cook up a new one every night, everything from marlin to game hen. We have been eating really great home cooked dinners every night since I have been here!
     Tuesday was a super nice day out but pretty windy, which made the waves like 8-10ft and just choppy and all over the place. I still try to surf a few times a day just to get out and be in the water. I rode my bike down to a spot called the sandbar which is a little down the beach from Pipeline, its fun lil spot that breaks only on sand, so its not to dangerous. I met a cool new friend named Gabriel that got here a few weeks ago and is staying at the property I'm at. He is from Israel and is on a similar surf trip as well, from Israel he flew to New York for a few weeks, then to Santa Cruz/San Francisco area for a month and a half. After he made his way down to Mexico where he stayed near Puerto Escondido and some areas around there for 2 months, now he's at his last stop on the North Shore! Super cool guy, we've been hanging out the last few weeks surfing together, grabbing some lunch, and just talking story about where each other is from.
     I've always enjoyed talking to people that grew up somewhere else and have had a whole different and totally separate life than myself. Ever since me and my mother did our cycling tour across the US ( link to our blog ) I have had the traveling bug and love to get out and see something new even if its a lil weekend adventure! Since the trip we have hosted dozens of traveling cyclists through the website and now have friends around the world! Whenever we have a new guest staying for a night or two at our house we enjoy dinner and chat for the whole evening. I call it "traveling without traveling" because your able to learn about an area or a culture that you have never been to without really going there, to me it is very interesting and exciting!
     Haha well back to my trip, so Wednesday was my birthday and for once didn't have much planned, I turned 22. I had some breakfast then Gabriel and I rode our bikes down to the sandbar, there were some fun lil chest high waves and a few barrels coming through. After we went over to Ted's, which is this awesome little bakery like a half mile down the the road, they have a little of everything and it's all delicious! I relaxed for a bit after and then hoped into the water for a quick surf at Kami's right out front with nobody out. I bought a beach cruiser last week and took it apart to paint it, so I got some paint and went over to my friend's to throw a paint job on it. It ended up turning out pretty cool and definitely my color and style now. I got out in the water again at Kami's before it got dark, was pretty crowded but definitely a few fun ones coming in! I headed back to our friend's to cook some dinner, we had a great mix of rice, veggies, and grilled marlin. Along with the dinner they baked me a little pie with a side shot of tequila, haha. Nice to celebrate my birthday with my cousin Chris, we hadn't hung out much when we were teenagers because we were always doing something different then he came out to Hawaii and never came back from paradise! After dinner a friend came form town to pick me up and we went out to Dave and Busters, played some games and had quite a few drinks to end a fun day!
     Thursday morning I made my friend's some pancakes as we relaxed on the couch and figured out the day. My friend Caylie that lives in town and her roomate Nicole wanted to come out to the North Shore for the day to beach it. We cruised back out here and went to a few beaches and I surfed while they tanned and relaxed at Sunset Beach. After I took them to a cool spot down on the east side that is nice chilled out beach that you can hope in the water with no waves and swim around. They really enjoyed getting into the water with out all the waves, rocks, and reef on the bottom to worry about! We ended the day stopping at a grill on the side of the road on our way back and mowed down some food since we were all hungry from a long day in the sun! Tomorrow the waves are supposed to be pretty big, 15' - 20' the charts are reading, so wish me luck :) !
Crepe at Aloha crepes in Honolulu.

Birthday dinner with Chris, Pie and a shot of tequila, haha.
I like to make lil beachwood camps


Monday, April 1, 2013

Maui for the weekend!

     Friday I awoke on Maui in a place I've never been, my friend Nate that I was staying with had work till noon so I decided to go explore a bit. I walked down to the beach about a 5 min walk from the house, and just started walking. I walked for a few hours, lil over 4 miles to the downtown food and shopping area of Kihei. I cruised around for a bit and found Maui tacos, a lil Mex place to eat at, since I haven't had nearly any Mex food on my trip since I started over a month ago I try to eat it whenever I can find it! I caught the bus back to the house and Nate was home from work, he took me to Makena Beach down the road to do some snorkeling/diving. It was an awesome spot even though it was a tad windy, there were many turtles, fish and we even came across some white tip reef sharks in a little cave, got some awesome Go Pro pictures and videos! After we stopped by a resort on the way home to hop in there spa and warm up before we hit the store to grab food to make for dinner. 
     Saturday we saw there was some swell in the water so we headed over to the north side of the island about 30 minutes away to try and grab a surf. We went to a sweet pretty well known spot called Hookipa Beach, there were quite a few guys out but there were plenty of eaves coming in everywhere. We both paddled out for an hour and half or so, when we came in a few pro surfers paddled out. Nate wanted to shoot them with his new water housing, so I went back out to surf while he got some shots for another few hours. It was pretty sick surfing with some pro guys you see in the mags all the time, it was Matt Meola, Kai Barger, and Albee Layer, all huge up and comers from Maui. After being in the water for almost 4 hours we went into town and ate at Nate's favorite spot Paia fish market, great food and awesome spot! When we got back to the house we were both so tired from being in the water all day that we just chilled watched some movies and passed out early!
     Sunday being the last day I was on Maui and Easter, Nate went to church for a bit and I grabbed food at a local cafe. After he got back we went to a spot called Big Beach, which is pretty well known on Maui because its semi near the resorts and is just a huge stretch of beach with some awesome snorkeling out in front. Saw some more turtles, sea life, and found a cool underwater through the reef to swim through.  We got back home to hang for a bit and exchange some photos and videos before I had to head to the airport. It was an awesome weekend get away to see a new island and some new spots on the trip, thanks to Nate for putting me up for a few nights and showing me around. Getting back to Honolulu I caught the bus over to Kahala to bonfire on the beach and have a few beers with some friends, great way to end a fun weekend in Hawaii! 

Please check out Nate's blog that he updates daily with spectacular photography both in and out of the water!

Still on the calendar to come, my sister Brooke and good friend Jeremy are heading over here next week! Can't wait to see family and friends from back home and show them the island and where I've been playing the last month.

Diving into a cave at Big Beach, Photo: Nate Harrington

Little collage of the weekend, white tip reef sharks on the bottom!
Lil pup that kicked it with me on the beach on my Friday morning stroll.

Kihei Beach, super clear water, nobody around.

Paddling out to Hookipa, Photo: Nate Harrington