Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Week 5 // Part 1 // The journey to the perfect right....

     First off sorry everybody for not keeping this blog as up to date as promised, sometimes it is very hard to sit down and concentrate for hours on typing up an interesting post. I do post as regular as possible on my instagram ( @travelsurflive ) and on facebook ( ). I like to keep all my blog post full of story and adventure, I have a few backed up half written posts still saved to be published later on. But this part of my trip was way to cool to wait and post so I want to tell you now!
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Airport, Bali, Indonesia prior to departure.
     The journey to the Mentawi islands and this specific island in general is quite a bit of planning involved, my mate David has done it twice so he had a good idea on what we need to do. None the less last time he traveled there was 2 years ago and everything in this country changes everyday without notice or updates to websites! The whole journey would take an estimated 30 hours of traveling going something like this taxi, plane, plane, taxi, ferry, taxi, boat...... After we all sat down and went over prices for a few hours couple days in a row, the decision was made and we headed to the airport to book flights leaving on Thursday morning in two days. After getting all our gear packed and inside and on top a van heading to the airport for the 7 am flight to Jakarta (Java), which was of course delayed an hour. Arriving from Jakarta to the city of Padang (Sumatra) at 2 in the afternoon we waited for our bags to come out the baggage claim door. Once realizing we were the last ones standing there and no more bags on there way out we instantly had all sorts of thoughts and emotions. A friendly local Indonesian in the same situation told us to come with him to the counter and told us this happened to him before, after some translating we found out the bags will be on the next flight arriving from Jakarta in 4 hours.
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Approaching the beach after a 2 hour boat ride.
     We had heard form some other traveling surfers that the ferry we were trying to get onto is being fixed and is not working anyways so we wrote off that were not getting onto that later in the evening. So wait we did for 4 hours and sure as shit our bags had finally arrived we got outta that airport as fast as possible right as the rain had started.... Getting to a hostel near the port the ticket office for the boat was closing in 10 minutes, we threw the bags off the car while David and myself hurried to the ticket office 1 minute away. Upon arriving they told us the boat the next morning (Friday) was now full, just like most third world countries pulling out a stack of cash will change there minds pretty quick. Walking out of there with 4 tickets for the 7am boat the next morning, finishing off the night with a few beers, and some locals lounging out front the hostel talking about the season and the people they have come to meet.
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Heading to the village to find some necessities.
     Walking through the humid morning down the street with 70lbs of board bags and backpacks sweating in places you didn't know you had is a wonderful start the 2nd day of travel. Getting onto the ferry finding out the last minute tickets we got were basically standing room only, but screw it we were almost there, or so we thought. We didn't mind much until 30 minutes into a 3 hour boat ride were surrounded by 30 people chain smoking/ throwing up from being sea sick. I think we all agreed that was one of the worst parts of our trip by far! Finally landed on the island of Sipora, all the bags off the boat and put off to the side we had another surfer join us trying to get tot he same place we were, a guy from California named Todd. After trying to haggle with a few people trying to get a ride to our destination on the other side of the island we decided to find a spot for the night to get a shower, some food, and relax after two full days of travel.
     Having a walk around the small town of Tuapajet there is not much going on other than what is the necessities in life. You won't find WiFi, a nice restaurant, warm shower, maybe just a little TV if you really search for it. After a bit to eat the hammock I had purchased the day before we left sounded awfully nice to sprawl out in, play some cards and wait for dinner. Dinner was a fish curry, everyone knows I'm not the biggest fan of fish but when you know that meat is a rarity on this island you eat all of it you can. a good nights sleep and we were off on a boat to the south tip of the island where our destination was. I would more so call the boat a canoe hollowed out from a large tree, with a make shift roof, and two 25hp engines on the back. Surprisingly we fit all 5 board bags and gear in the boat without it tipping over, and to our surprise it actually made it's way through the water decently fast. After two hours of mild choppy conditions, water squirting through multiple holes whenever the boat smashed a good size wave, we cruised right up onto a perfect white sand beach in paradise.
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     Now the two weeks on an island in the middle of the Indian ocean begins. The place we are staying is located right in front of the wave, it is a families house that they have added some extra rooms to. The family is much older now but still very nice, helpful, and still cooking and cleaning everything for the guests. The price was 60K (5 USD) a night including dinner, over looking a white sand beach, with a view of a perfect right through the over hanging palm trees. The four of us took over 2 rooms upstairs with a nice big room to keep our boards bags in and a large patio with dinning table to converse. There were two other people staying as we arrived, one being Francisco from Spain and the other Ben from Australia. Both super easy going guys, Francisco did a lot of spearfishing, basically all day everyday unless he was fixing his spear gun or the waves were to big. Ben on the other hand loved to lounge in his hammock and read whenever he wasn't getting ridiculously barreled sitting way out the back ever session getting some of deepest barrels I've seen in person!
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     A few hours after arriving, settling in, unpacking, and getting a quick mie goreng (fried noodle and vegetables) Jeremy and I headed out for a surf. There was nobody out and we saw a few fun lil waist to chest high fun rippable waves coming through with nobody out. We were careful for the first few waves since it was lowtide and quite shallow on the inside, after about 30 minutes we slowly made our way deeper and farther out to better waves. On my 4th wave, 45 minutes into our first session I took off on the biggest wave we had seen so far only about 5ft and had a late drop, air dropping a few feet before landing and unfortunately sticking the nose and falling over the front of the board. I had penetrated the water luckily and popped out the back unscathed until I pulled my board toward sme and saw there was only half remaining. I quickly yelled out a few curse words as it was a basically brand new board and one of the favorite shaped I've had in a long time, but what can you do.
     It wasn't the best way to start the two weeks here but luckily I have 3 more boards knowing this would happen eventually. I didn't surf the rest of the day but sat behind the camera lense and got some shots of the boys getting some fun ones till the sun went down and the Beer caps started popping of the bottles......

Look out for Part II coming in the next few weeks!
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