Alls well in the land of bananas with honey

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Yogi bungalow

Flag of Indonesia  ,
Friday, October 8, 2010

First of all, I am skipping Gili T. Anyone who so desires may ask about it upon our return. I will include some pictures if i find fast internet but until then, its my little secret.

 So after things got bleak, they immediately started looking up again. I was still sick (bali belly= 5 days of fun) and my leg was definitely burned, but I sat in an air conditioned room, in a king size bed, watching cheesy romantic comedies for a few days and it was just what the doctor ordered. Our homestay/inn was really cool with a pool table (which we unfortunately never used! due to limping situation) and 7 crazy dogs. The dogs on Bali are kinda wild and not prone to coming up for cuddling purposes. The dogs here however were all about it. It was really nice to get some doggie time since i miss char a lot. And there were two puppies that were fun to watch biting each others faces off. The one was named Almost because kiki, the man of the house "almost" flattened him on the road in Mataram when he was just a few weeks old! The dogs in bali have never heard of a leash and know how to look both ways in busy towns, new puppies being the exception. However in the small towns, they own the road and you must avoid them, not the other way around.
Ryan went to desert point with a Costa Rican couple and sat aaaaaallllll day waiting for waves which never came and arrived home a bit disappointed. I was glad he showed up just after dark since at 10am they left saying, see ya soon...(i guess 9 hours later is "soon") but all was well and we rounded out the day by watching shrek 2. Lombok, an island inhabited by Sasak Muslims like most of indo, is an interesting place with far less infrastructure than bali, which is clear in the roads which are sometimes non existant. There are so many crazy pot holes and while the government is hard at work putting most of their resources toward building an international Airport, the locals suffer riding horse and carts, and motor bikes and ancient trucks on some pretty bad routes. (some roads are decent, but oddly the ones to major tourist destinations are not so much) I think this airport thing is putting the cart before the horse to use an extremely fitting expression. It also steals power from various areas of the island for a few hours each evening...or at least Kiki seems to think the power outages are a result of the construction. That was an interesting experience and makes me realize that many places in the world can't even count on electricity and I garuntee 500 Manhattan beach women called the dwp during the one hour my power was out in the last year.
The call to prayer was an interesting occurance and while at first a bit eerie, i grew to feel very comforted by it. Definatly makes it easy to keep track of the time! While we were warned all over Bali about the people in Lombok being shady and theives, we experienced no trouble at all, and found them very pleasant and welcoming (kids run out of their houses to wave whenever you pass by) and the young local surfers are hilarious! so stylish. serious ideas for haircuts. A few old timers are not too keen on tourists hanging around, but with the best wave in the world located here, times they are a-changin' old dudes. This island is not for the lesuire travellor  but we loved it because it had that mix of being kinda shabby and sketchy with tons of hidden gems that you feel have not been bubble wrapped by the wussy tourist community. yet. (no hand rails on these cliffs baby!)
The next day, which was a lull between two swells supposedly hitting this worlds perfect wave, we went on a boat with two Spaniards. I had been couped up for a while and needed a little adventure and Ryan needed something to take his mind off the lack of surf. These guys were pretty funny. Definatly grabbing the bull by the horns. They borrowed an outrigger, and i guess Jose has a boat at home in Spain, so while he drove, his buddy (name never established) climbed out onto the bamboo balance polls almost eating it into the water and then pulling a cliffhanger move that gave me faith in movie stunts being closer to reality than i thought, hoisted back onto the boat and somehow managed to stay aboard...all this while fishing. Amazing. We were in search of a lion fish that Jose wanted to photograph on a random piece of reef in the middle of the ocean. sure enough, it was right where he left it! This area is called the carribean of lombok because there are tons of little islands. (Fun Fact: Did you know that Indonesia consists of over 18,000 islands? Wow guys!) Ryan and Jose jumped off to snorkle, and the non english speaking friend would jump out snorkel for two minutes and then swim as fast as he could after me in the drifting boat, then cruise the boat back and jump out and so on. So i said, in my best spanglish, if you wanna teach me to drive this thing, i will come back when i drift. Well, he basically started the engine, said, "ok?" and then dived off! so, i circled them for a while as my heart raced a bit at being alone on an outrigger in the middle of choppy seas...all was well until Of Course I almost killed Jose when I went to pick them up for the final time, and i pulled up just to the deep side off the reef pretty close to the guys. Well as I know in my calm rational brain, a boat in idle does not steer, but as i second guessed my ability to work a tiller, i was too nervous to hit the gas for fear of hitting all three of them at a higher speed, meanwhile, Jose,  far over estimating my boat driving capabilities went back under for another look! But! this story has a happy ending because in need of another breath he came to the surface and moved his head two feet to the left. Oh man. near heart attack.
We checked out another section of reef and after being stung by "medusa" some underwater sea lice, Ryan stayed in the boat for a bit while the guys made friends with a local spear fisherman who was hunting octopus! This was by far the coolest animal in my eyes when we were diving in the gilis as they rapidly pulse changing both color and texture and just looking all out fierce. Now i got to watch them stab and then club a few. The food chain i suppose. The Crazy Spaniard "borrowed" some eyes and organs for bait, but still didn't catch anything (Ryan sat on the eyeballs! hahaha!)
We got some cool videos of this massacre (ink and all), but still havent figured out how to post them. So after that they went to desert point while i layed low. (the road to desert point is not for the faint of heart. Ryan opted to share rides after our disasterous motorbike attempt our first day in the area) They finally got some waves and he came home with a huge smile. when i asked "how'd it go?" the one word response "Barrels" was enough. (some of you may know them as tubes. haha!) The next day, I wanted to see this spot in action as the swell was building, and when we pulled was a site. First of all, for the last 4-5 days there were a handfull of people around at most, but with technology broadcasting wave reports across the world people showed up from all over the place to get a piece. The lineup was a lot more crowded this day than the night before but the spot was absolutely firing. Looooooong lefts breaking from the point and then building in size and barreling down the line until a wise surfer would kick out and avoid the massive uprising of the wave onto reef in what appeared to be less than a foot of water. (one guy totally went for it...we were stoked to see this in the cheering section) This wave is crazy...It shifted and moved its perfecton with the changing tides (we stayed though the entire cycle so they could get it twice on the low tide) and i gotta say, Ryan is right about how perfect it is. (i have some killer video for those who wanna check it out)  It breaks below sea level, so don't look back or you can see the water being sucked off the reef into the bottom of the barrel! (Colleen, please dont be scared! Ryan is really that good) A few of the shots i took at the low tide show people standing about 5/10 yards from the wave and you can actually see that they are standing higher than the bottom of the wave! unbelievable. I saw so many people get swallowed up by massive barrels, spectators holding our breath and then collectively "awwww....." or "YEah!!...", it was super exciting for me and i didn't even get to surf! Will he make it? will he get worked? Ryan only got worked once and has a pretty massive bruise on his hip to show for it. The reef also cut his elbow through his wetsuit top! he hit pretty good, but hes a trouper. Never complains (hehe...). He got an amazing day on the best wave of his life and already talks about next time we come to Lombok. I am stoked that he is stoked, and on that awesome note we decided to leave the island as a week had somehow passed and his board wouldn't handle the increased size expected for the next day. (the crowds were getting more aggressive as well) So, we caught a slow ferry for $3 with a bunch of cranky travelers fighting over bench space and crying children. (Nicolle, thanks for the tempur-pedic sleep mask info... that thing plus an ipod is a godsend!) Now we are on an island called Nusa Lembongan, but i will save that for the next entry...Devil's tear, underground house...very worth the visit. Till next time! miss you all ;)
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Mom on

It was so good to see you and speak to you via Skype! What a wonderful
trip you are having. I know it is alot of work to blog, but you will not regret
it when you get home. It is a first rate story of a very exciting adventure! I
hope you are enjoying it as much as we are when we read about it! I love\
you and miss you. Mom

Brooke on

I agree with mom, plus it keeps us in the loop and lets us live vicariously through your adventures:) (typing as I am sitting in an office with no windows...hehe)

Melissa Notari on

LOVING your blog and so jealous of the amazing adventure you're having.

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