Surf's Up, Jo's down

Trip Start Jan 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're here in Kuta on our last night in Indonesia, and the two weeks we've had relaxing in Bali and Gili Trewangan have been superb. Kuta is far from superb though, it's full of rowdy Australians and a little too many Western comforts (some real, some imitations) for our liking. We're only here for one night though before our plane leaves tomorrow for the resumption of a little more hardcore traveling.
Nyepi was a wonderful experience in Ubud - have a look at the photos if you get the chance - and we got nicely caught up in the carnival atmosphere. As I mentioned in the previous blog, the Ogoh Ogoh creatures are created from paper mache and are representations of evil spirits. They were then hoisted on Bamboo scaffolding and carried through the streets, accompanied by as much noise as possible to scare of the spirits for the remainder of the year. We had a great time. The following day (the silence day) was a little tedious by comparison, but we got into the spirit of things by doing absolutely nothing bar relaxing by the pool all day.
When the excitement of Nyepi was finished and we were refreshed and relaxed after the silence day, we set out to hike the countryside surrounding Ubud. Again, what we saw of the Balinese countryside was breathtakingly beautiful. We have noticed an increase in the temperature here over the last few days though, and I was soaked to the skin with sweat after about five minutes of our hike. We then witnessed an entertaining evening of traditional Balinese dance.
This morning we left Ubud for Kuta, feeling perhaps that we'd spent a little to long there. It's supposed to be the spiritual and cultural heart of Bali. For spiritual read an abundance of hippies of all ages and enough tie-dye shops to match, and for cultural read any number of art galleries. Had it not been for the Nyepi festival I think we might have left sooner.
Anyway, we've just spent our last day in Bali on the beach in Kuta. We had intended to have a surf lesson here, but figured that there was only so much progress which could be made in the two hours on offer. So instead we hired bodyboards and waded out to join the throng of tanned bodies in the water. Kanan has found a new hobby i think as she flew past me on wave after wave (I put it down to her lightness, rather than any difference in skill of course!). We'd had a brilliant time, and had just entered the water for our third or fourth session when, as we were wondering where all the waves were a big beaut started building up in the distance. I spotted it from miles away and started paddling my way out to it, confidence having increased (indeed way beyond where it should have done, some experience surfers were swimming away from this wave), and with my tail up I turned to catch it just as it was about to break. The next thing I remember was my face being ground into the sand – nose first – under water, which isn’t a hugely pleasant experience. My neck then snapped back and I blacked out for a second or two underwater. I emerged seconds later with blood streaming from my nose, but was – thankfully – otherwise ok. I believe the term in surfer speak is being "wiped out", although I was actually knocked out for short while. With tail (once again on this trip) well and truly between my legs I trudged back to the safety of the sand, to leave the experts (Kanan included) to it.

We’re planning a bit of a night out tonight in our last night in Bali before we fly back to KL tomorrow for a two week scoot around Malaysia and Singapore, starting with Melaka.

Love to everyone, Jo and Kaa X
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joandkaa on

Quick update, I think I may have actually broken my nose!!!

A Tina on

Oh, Jo. Should have told you Smiths are not really aquatic creatures, though often cricket and tennis players. Take more care of you, and make sure that nose is set straight .Ouch! Love to you and Kanan. X

Chris on

Honestly, anything for a bit of sympathy!! Hope you've milked it for all you're worth Jo!

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