Surfs up Eggsy's down

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Dua Dura

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Friday, August 13, 2010

Andrew back from blog strike..... Well we woke to the alarm at 7am for surf school at 07:30. I was buzzing with excitement as I was looking forward to learning to surf from scratch to being a wizard and surfing G-Lands (the best surfing in the world) before we leave Indonesia, I was ready for about 20 odd days of constant surfing, I may be overweight but with a background in windsurfing and snowboarding thought when I learn how to get up there will be no stopping me. The Lady on the other hand was dreading it and with maybe 2 days of lessons with the no stand up guarantee and a phobia of the sea quite frankly it was good news she was wearing a brown swimming costume. Anyway fair play she agreed to do it and we kind of knew that one to two foot waves would put her out of her comfort zone (do one thing every day that scares you – something Baz Luhrmann told me).

We started off by being greeted by our instructors and two South Korean girls, a great small group although the Korean girls might have weighed about 7 stone between the two of them. Our instructor was called Edgar from Komodo (at least that was his 'English name' something lost on the Koreans who seemed to speak little English). We had a briefing in the office area before carrying our huge boards down to the beach. After a quick stretching session in our nice rash vests (mine was khaki (which Erica expected me to look like Daniel Craig in and quite frankly as there are no pictures I did) and all the girls ‘were a very sexy brown). We then practised our pop up technique on the sand and three out of the four kept on getting "that’s great well done". One person in the group kept getting it slightly wrong so the group maybe had to do it 35 times. In the end Erica started to pick up the method and we headed out to the water. (Erica edit: my lack of upper arm strength let me down, oh and perhaps enthusiasm).  Simply said I think the couple of foot waves we were expecting were not there. We hit it on a bad day.... or if you are an experienced surfer a good day. The waves were about 8 foot tall and granted we started in the white water after the wave had died but still it was very rough and Erica reached panic status very quickly and personally I don’t blame her at all.

I managed to get up on the second wave which thrilled me, and the Korean girls were up by the 5th or 6th wave. I looked across to see how the Lady was doing and saw a face of both panic and fury. The beachside photographer seemed to be keeping his lens firmly on the Eckster by this stage as she was still struggling to get up (I think more through panic and worry than lack of skill). After a short meeting in the shallows E made it known that she wasn’t particularly enjoying herself and I was bloody lucky she ever agreed to do it as she simply “didn’t see the point of it”.

The next wave we were all waiting in the deeper water as Erica had a brief “chat” with the instructor. I was getting a little worried I would never be forgiven for ever ‘forcing’ her to do this. The next wave came in and she was up on her feet on the board to the whoops and cheers of the instructor and the group (and I think I also heard one from the camera man on the shore who is there to try and get a picture of everyone stood up!). For me this was great Erica had done it I was really proud of her for achieving something she had been so unsure about.... For Erica this meant another thing, back to the shore, lesson and surfing career over.....

After a break the nut-job instructor got out on one of the boards and started doing headstands, handstands and the like which was crazy to watch. He then came ashore and told me I was ready to get out deep into the really big waves. After the first attempt I dropped maybe 8 feet vertically where the nose of the board went straight into the water I was smashed onto the board and buried underwater for what seemed like ages but in reality was probably only about 20 – 30 seconds but I was winded and in real pain. Having failed I got back on the board and started to paddle back out. My ribs were really hurting and it seemed to affect my paddling ability but I continued regardless. After two more serious wipeouts I was done for. My ribs were really hurting and I had started to lose all confidence. It was time for me to find Lady E and head back.

We then retired back to the room to reflect on the aches and pains of our first day in the big waves. I had a great day, Erica hated her day but I couldn’t wait for tomorrow to get a shorter better board and see how quickly I could improve. I seriously upset another shop keeper who after starting his price at about 15 pounds for a pair of shades ended up selling them to me for just under a pound, he snatched the money out of my hands and refused to say goodbye, well I didn’t force him to accept, the thing with stalls in Bali are they are desperate to sell you things so it’s an easy play, offer a ridiculous figure of about 40p at which point they either laugh or throw you out of the shop. Don’t really move your offer but then say you really want them but won’t pay more than 60p, they laugh again or throw you out. If they laugh walk off and they then start to shout after you seriously reducing the price. You casually wander back and offer 60% of their lowest offer (after doing the tried and tested Stephenson count out your final offer and tell them that is all you have take it or leave it). Erica as always walked away ashamed.

We then went to end our day in the local surfers bar called ‘Tubes’ and grab a beer to numb the pain which was getting worse and worse. We skyped my mum and Dad and headed out for tea. We managed to check in with Vic and see baby Ellie nearly walking before bed (with a couple of Mojitos). We were knackered.
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