Surf, Pray, Love

Trip Start Dec 22, 2012
Trip End Sep 30, 2013

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Where I stayed
PinkCoco Bali Pecatu
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Indonesia  ,
Sunday, April 7, 2013

After Australia, Bali was an obvious destination. Most of my friends rave about this island. So I decided to check it out, particularly the surf!

I started off in Ubud, an inland town surrounded by rice fields. This place is a haven for yogis, raw foodies, detoxers, healers, artists and coffee enthusiasts. Apart from tourists, the crowd here is mainly single females 30-60 year olds (think Elizabeth Gilbert) in search of peace and happiness....bohemian with a twist. Other permanent residents include the ferocious monkeys living in and around Monkey Forest. Ketut, the doctor in Eat Pray Love, is still around for those who want to find out what the future holds for them! My favourite activity in Ubud is the Tibetan Bowl meditation with Novara on Tuesday and Saturday nights at the Yoga Barn. Not to be missed.

A week's raw food detox and colonics did me a world of good...lost 3 kgs in the first 2 days. Ubud Sari offers a range of treatments and a healthy selection of raw foods alongside the detox programmes. On my birthday I treated myself to a raw dessert "mud pie" at Clear Cafe...insane!! Other yummy raw food venues include Soma, Alchemy, Kafe, Bali Buddha.

Silver-making and batik (wax-based textile colouring) classes are worth a try!

Next stop was Pemuteran for exploring the underwater world in North West Bali. On a friend's recommendation, we chose Easydivers ( to take us diving around Menjangan island. Imposing Java was right ahead of us. To top it all off, when we ascended from one of our dives we found ourselves staring at a huge 'Ganesh' statue guarding the island. We drove through Munduk and Bedugul in north/central Bali on our way back from Pemuteran. Both places are worth a stop as they offer magnificent views of rice terraces, waterfalls and volcanoes.

Another fun dive area is Tulamben / Amed. The USS Liberty shipwreck and a series of walls offer a range of marine life including the odd shark :)

Bali is predominantly a Hindu is fascinating to watch the locals during their temple ceremonies. These take place every full moon. The men were a white costume while the ladies dazzle in bright coloured lace shirts and skirts tied with a sash. The island has hundreds of temples ranging from small family temples to the large Mother Temple in Besakih. Moreover, every house or venue has a small altar where daily offerings (banana leaf trays with rice, flowers, biscuits, coffee) are made to ward off evil spirits and everybody is blessed with water and rice on their foreheads during this ritual. The girl who carries out the ritual must not be menstruating as this is a bad omen. Kites are also flown in some areas to scare away the evil spirits.

Once I had my Bali culture fix, I headed south towards the surf! My friend Lorenzo was managing the food and beverage operation at Pink Coco resort which included an italian trattoria and an asian fusion restaurant in the Padang Padang area on the Bukit peninsula. He needed someone to step in for him while he managed another restaurant on Gili Trewangan, so I took up the challenge. It was an interesting time with my very limited Bahasa. Somehow I made myself understood. The staff became my local family and the customers became good friends. I got to surf different spots including Kuta, Jimbaran, Pandawa, Balangan, Padang Padang, Impossibles and Nusa Dua. We were also very lucky to attend the Oakley ASP tour and see the surf pros in action...Kelly Slater, Freddy Patacchia, Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, etc.

Bali is special in so many ways...the people, crazy motorists, cows and hens on the streets, temples on the beach, the bright moon, mie goreng...BAGUS!

Time flew by amid surfing, yoga, work, beach clubs, late nights at Single Fin (the only bar in the area!).

And it ended in style...just like in 'Eat, Pray, Love"... I found LOVE
                                                                                as one journey ends, another begins


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