Friday, November 11, 2011

Fabled surf towns and abducted French girls

How do you survive an earthquake? You sleep through it!

Many people in Bali felt the 5.6 mag. quake, but not your intrepid adventurers. At 11.30 on the first Friday night, we were sound asleep. Rockstars, huh?

In fact, we had to abduct a French tourist to learn it had happened at all.

For those playing along at home, we spent the rest of our time in Bali at Bali Village Bagak. I wouldn’t say BVB grew on us (though there are certainly things growing there)..but it can’t even use the word charming.  But after a few days we’d lost-and-found our way through the Legian maze, and could direct a cab (and later a scooter) to our digs, which is no mean feat, perhaps winning it a small place in our hearts.

Our day trip to the South-west coast of Bali was a highlight of our time there. 

Arriving at the legendary surf town of Ulu Watu, we followed the steep pathway down through a surf-centric cluster of shacks, warung, ding-repair joints and accoms into a huge, open cave which opened out into a cove of turquoise perfection, rock, coral and breathing beds of seaweed.

My thoughts jumped immediately to the first non-local surfers to bring there mates here… 
Imagine. How. Stoked… 

Ulu Watu as we were seeing it was not as you see it on a surf magazine cover shot – the almost generic perfection of an indo wave working. But looking back at the coves, cliffs, lookouts and along the coastline, somehow capturing that full effect is a cover shot I can’t imagine.

I took the fins out for a body surf in the fun 3-footers (enough to see the reef up close – people surf this at 6-8….really??) The waves were blue, the water clear. You could hear the rocks moving in the big crevasses in the bedrock just below the surface, the rolling vortex of the wave over my head was frame-for-frame the wave-porn that makes those surf movies so mesmerizing.

After an afternoon on the cliffs above, where we gazed without focus across the waves to the peninsular in the distance, we haggled our way into a fair-priced ride to the seafood Mecca of Jimbaran.

Chilli and garlic red snapper from the local warung

Alex was an innocent victim in our mission to escape Ulu Watu and score the ultimate seafood dinner (a tall order considering we’d enjoyed a 9.5/10 Red snapper plate at the local’s warung near Kuta, less than 24 hours earlier.)

Whether it was Alex’s English or ours, it was 15 minutes into our shared ride before we established she was heading for the Ulu Watu temple, and we were heading to the other direction.

But going with the flow works here - Alex joined us for some cold beers and a dinner of char-grilled snapper, prawns and squid, Bali-style, all at tables set metres from the ocean at Jimbaran. Fantastic to be swapping stories with new found friends once again.

Our victim and dinner date- Alex

We wound out our time in Bali on a scooter.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! 115 cc’s of automatic freedom cast us into the sense-awakening world of traffic on Raya Seminyak and Jalan Legian.

We cut our teeth Bali-scooter stylin’ by pinning it through shin-deep flooding alongside hundreds of others, minutes after a torrential half-hour tropical deluge had subsided. 

That little gem really opened up the streets of Legian, Kuta, and Seminyak and beyond to Echo beach.

A: Babe! Look at those fields..they’re so cool!
K: You know what’s cooler? LIVING! KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE F*****G ROAD!

…the next day…

If you kill me, my dad will hate you for two reasons.. 1. You killed his daughter. 2. You can’t ride a motorbike.

After a few days of Kuta’s Western Breakfasts (including toast made from weird white bread that wouldn’t mold in 20 years) playing havoc on our digestion, we have enjoyed small blessings in the form of some great meals at some great places. Highlights include

Red snapper @ the local’s warung
Char-grilled snapper, squid and prawns @ Jimbaran
Gado Gado @ the Yogya Warung
Tempeh, grilled fish and more @ Warung Murah
…and a menu of mouth-watering, pro-digestive hippie food @ Zula Vegetarian Paradise – who would’ve thought I’d be so grateful for a falafel pita with spicy homemade ginger beer? Just what the doctor would’ve ordered for me if he’d been there… ;)

We are filing this post from Yogyakarta (we arrived yesterday after an overnight train). Stay posted for what we expect will be a great update from this really cool city.

Early morning arrival in Yogyakarta

 A few extra pics to include....

Hanging out with the lovely locals

One of the few amazing sunsets from Kuta Beach
Kimee's new favourite novelty toy!

Earthquakes - 1
Surf sessions -1
Traffic fines - 0!
Trips on uneven sidewalks – K=22, H=28.

Please send...
  • Greek salad injections
  • Better helmets
  • Ponchos
  • An approval for Australian Dept. of Immigration form #100

With Bali now behind us, lots of love from Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia.
Kimee & Hedge


  1. I must say that your outrageous adventures thus far really puts my thai food and Maxibon on a Friday night into a rather harsh perspective.

    Missing you heaps...keep the blogs coming. Might have to start one for California. Chameleon much??

    Big love,
    Jess x

  2. Kimee and I were just talking about the various forms of culinary we've seen some indonesian versions and I defy anyone who turns their nose up at a good Quarter pounder meal :) Lana Thai and a maxibon may just fall in the same category.. xxx

  3. soon you'll move on to a grown up sickle!!!!!

  4. This is great....though....Andrew....remember.....eyes wander to and fro....limbs tight....and please always use an approved Department of Transportation helmut....

    Love Kimee's toy....have a great time guys....miss you more than you will ever realize. Praying for 100 with mum

  5. Wow - Hedge your writing is amazing... I feel like I am there with you and kimee! Tasting the food and enjoying the sights. haha Kimee you are the motorcycle comment. so funny! :)