Thursday, November 13, 2014

Week 6 // Part 2 // Indo Coffee, Coconuts, and Instant Noodles

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The palm tree window.....
     There is nothing like falling asleep to rain pounding on the roof and a cool breeze wafting in
through the window making it’s way into your mosquito net. Then knowing your waking up the next day to a picturesque beach on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. As my mind starts to slowly awaken from my 5th REM cycle and my hearing goes from peace fading into the sound of crashing waves in the distance. Once my eyes fade from black to the vision of our wall full of palm fawn’s swaying with the light morning wind. If only this could be the way I woke up from a night’s sleep every morning, then everyday would be bliss. But for now this is life in Indonesia and has been for the last 42 days.

     The following days were filled with lots of surfing just out front, where we could view the wave right through the arch of palm trees out front. Waking up around 7:00am each morning, wandering onto the patio for a quick 5-minute surf check usually followed by a trip down stairs to get the thermos of hot water for our packet IndoCafe Cappuccino coffee we had all got addicted to. Once I had prepared my packet of coffee the guessing begins, since this spot impeticular was frequented by boat charter surf trips. We would all guess how many boats were moored in the channel hiding behind the palms trees to our left. Chest high waves, a lil bump on the ocean’s surface, 15 guys out, must be at least two boats on there first day of the trip and maybe a few guys from the land camp down the beach.
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     By the time 8:00am comes around I’m getting restless after finishing my coffee, and sweeping the table and floor. Yes I am on a 3-month surf trip to surf and relax, but as most of my friend’s and family know, I don’t really lounge around. I am always tinkering with something or on the move to somewhere to do something active. So nothing has change even on the other side of the world, so I grab my board; scrap a lil wax on it, apply some sunscreen, and head out in the board shorts I had already woken up in. Walking down the stairs into the ground level of the losmen (local term for homestay) were staying in I make eye contact with one of the elders this morning being the grandma and exchange a sincere smile before walking out the door.

     Between the 200 feet of sand leaving the losmen ending at the beach, my ears are full of sounds; palms brushing against each other, every insect and birds chirp, and of course the waves breaking and rumbling across the reef. Upon reaching the sand and getting the full view of the bay, the peeling wave, and channel where I can confirm there are actually 3 boats. Submerging myself into the water for the first time today you can hardly feel any change since the water here is a warm 81-83°F. The
next few minute paddle to the lineup starts to loosen up the muscles, while I observe how the ocean is moving, and scope out a position to get some of the better waves. The lineup here is like most others with the beginner/intermediate surfers sitting inside and the more experienced surfers looking for better, longer, and bigger waves farther out! But luckily at this break since there are always new boats coming everyday anchoring up for only a 3 or 4-hour session, the people staying on land get priority and position on the better waves.

travel surf live     The first few days of surf were epic, being head high to overhead and quite a few make able barrels coming through. Between dodging some people sitting or paddling in the wrong places we all had a few great waves. Travis on the other hand took the first 4 days off and shot some photos and video since he was still recovering from some pretty bad cuts that got infected again. It worked out for all of us since there were some good waves, since our two friends Alex and Jay had got caught up in Bali figuring out there Visa extension. Most evenings started at 6pm everyone usually out the water from the evening surf and watching the last few guys get some waves before you could only hear the ocean but not see it through the palm tree window. We all usually grab a beer and wait for dinner which is promptly served at 7pm, dinner consists of a bowl of rice big enough for a football team, a few bowls of veggies with a delicious broth, and hopefully a piece of chicken or fish! Everyone gathers around the table like a family and chows down hardly saying a word, after dinner the cards come out and we play games for hours. With the card games comes great laughs about the day, talks with Ben from Australia and advice on spots he has been and surfed in the area, which is always good knowledge to know from a first person perspective.

     Lunch was a mystery everyday, if Ibu (mom in Indonesian) was home then we had the choice of fried rice or fried noodle. If Ibu was not home then we were basically shit out of luck, so we had to resort to our bag of snacks and instant noodles. All of us had spent $20 or so on a huge bag full of our favorite goodies, I picked up 10 instant noodles, 3 lbs of peanuts, chips, Oreos, bread, peanut butter, and jelly. The other land camps on the beach were not much better except one 100 meters down or so that our friend Todd was staying at. They had a pretty decent menu he had told us multiple times out in the water, after drooling over him talking about the burger and fries he had I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Only eating rice and noodles for 5 days at this point I had to go check it out, but upon arriving and trying to order food they said no, guests only here. We were all disappointed but what can you do but go back and have another PBJ and instant noodle soup before heading out for the second surf of the day.

     At this point we had been on the island for 5 days with no internet, so we were wondering where or if our friend’s Alex and Jay would even show up? They were supposed to arrive Wednesday evening if all had gone to plan with flights, ferries, etc. The waves were a bit smaller today so Jeremy,
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Wrangling some coconuts!
Travis, and I decided to go for a walk down the beach we told David and other new Aussie friend Ben that we’ll be back in an hour or so. After getting around the first point and seeing a few other in sight we just wanted to keep going and explore around the next bay and the next bay! All we had were our two GoPros, a hat, and sunglasses, no water haha. Obviously after 30 minutes or so in the sun, walking on the hot sand paralleling the thousands of scenic coconut trees lining the beach, we were thirsty. We tried our hand at wrangling ourselves a coconut from the treetops, our first goal, get up the tree trunk!

     Most of the tree trunks had these little steps cut into them at a 45° angle every 2 ft or so, we could now get pretty far up the tree. But once at the top of the steps the inch or so groove that our feet were in would get uncomfortable and the coconuts were just at our finger tips, with nothing to cut them off with other than hitting them with a stick of bamboo found nearby. After getting nowhere the 3 of us resorted to throwing rocks and pieces of coral at the low hanging coconuts to our surprise we got a pretty decent sized one down. Now step two opening the damn coconut with anything we could find, I initiated the attempt with a solid coral head that I pounded into the soft part of the coconut head. After a few minutes I was getting somewhere but was also exhausting, took myself about 20 minutes to finally crack it open. The first sip was actually delicious even though there was a good amount of sand mixed in, we didn’t care much, after finishing the coconut the wandering continued down the beach. Finally returning back to the losmen with a few coconuts to properly chop open with a machete 3 hours later…..

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