I'm a record setter and bull whisperer

Trip Start Jun 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 17, 2012

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Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I'm currently waiting for the local bus to take me to Waikabubak. I’ve checked out of the Sumba Nautil and become officially the longest tenured guest in the history of the hotel at a whopping 15 days!

I love it here. I will miss it a lot. A LOT. While the surf never got too perfect, I surfed every day but three, I think. I surfed twice a day about half the time. The last few days were really, really fun – a little bit overhead and glassy.

On Saturday night, we had one last meal, the eight of us – Erik and Kariana, Jeff and Linna, Em and Rob, Krista, and, of course, me. The resort set us all up at the same table, which was a real treat. I brought my camera. I intended to take a photo of all of us, but I didn’t.

I blamed it on Jeff a bit. But as I thought about it, I didn’t know if anyone else felt the same way I did. I’ve bonded with these eight people, on this weird island called Sumba. Yes, we all spent about a week together, had some laughs, shared some serious memories, but maybe that’s what happens on surf trips. Maybe you meet people around the world, get to know them, enjoy their company for a week or so, and then you never see them again. I don’t know. I got phone numbers and e-mail addresses. I hope to keep in touch. I really like these guys.

I’m glad I’ll get to see Emily and Rob at the Aloha Hotel this afternoon. I’ll see Erik and Kariana at Tarimbang on Thursday.

I surfed with Jeff yesterday. He even gave me a tip about where to surf next year. We got to talk a bit. Apparently he paid for his trip by taking part in a medical trial for three weeks. It paid $5,000. Not bad. That will go very far here, especially if you budget right.

Jeff is a very interesting guy. Intense. Unhappy. But completely genuine, at least it seems to me.

Two days ago, I went down by myself in the afternoon and scored really fantastic surf. It was probably the best surf I’ve had since I’ve been here. Overhead, glassy, some fun barrels – the "beachbreak" or “coconuts” is just a super fun wave! It’s got a fun drop, nice walls to try big turns, even a barrel section when it’s good.

I want to surf it again when it gets REALLY good. Plus, there’s a right on the other side of the bay I haven’t explored yet. Yup, I’m already planning my next trip here.

On the way up from the surf Saturday, Emily, Rob, Krista and I were walking through a field of coconut trees, on the way to the rice paddies when we were chased by a bull. It was weird – the bull was a completely different color – brown and white, as opposed to the stark white of the regular bulls around here.

I think that’s what happened – I spent too much time eying the bull, and it didn’t like it. So he stopped and stomped and snorted. Krista thought she would wave her surfboard at it, but that just made it angrier. I maintained eye contacted and slowly walked away.

The others followed suit. But, just as we were away, just as we laughed and Krista said, “I always feel safe around Tom,” the bull came running at us again. This time Rob and the girls ran up onto the banks of the rice paddies, while I scooted through them. The two kids, 6 and 8 maybe, who were whacking the cows with a thin stick, started laughing hysterically at us. We thought it was pretty funny too.
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