Bali High

Trip Start Aug 16, 2006
Trip End Aug 2007

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

We flew into Kuta on Tuesday morning not knowing what to expect. As usual our first aim was to find a cash point to get some local currency. The exchange rate at the time was roughly 10,000 Indonesian rupiah to 1 US dollar so for the first time in our lives we became millionaires! We met Gorka (a great guy from Spain) juts outside the airport while we were haggling HARD (we thought the Indians were good but the Indonesians were exceptional!) for a taxi to th seafront.
Kuta looked more like a tourist resort in the south of Spain, only it was full of Ozzies surfing, sunbathing and drinking. We only spent 3 days in Kuta (which was long enough) and the highlight for us both was learning to surf. It turned out that Gorka had been surfing for years in his home town of Saint Sabastien and he offered to give us both lessons for free.

We hired our boards at the beach for about 2 US dollars for a 2 hour stint. It was great fun, hilarious and extremely hard work! Before we were let loose on the waves Gorka gave us a 3 monute run-through of the basics on sand. We set off paddling out to sea lying on our boards with enormous waves (well, Gorka said they were small and perfect for beginners!?!) beating us back to the shore and knocking us off our boards with annoying regularity! Once out in the calmer waters Gorka taught us how to sit on the boards and then eventually pivot ready to catch an incoming wave.
The first wave in was great and really exhilirating, needless to say neither of us tried to stand up for that one! We tried and tried and tried again, and after a comment from a nearby private instructor "hey beginner, you don't need such big waves!" and numerous spectacular wipe-outs, a smack on the nose for Rich and a huge bruise on Vic's calf, we conceded and headed further into shore to catch the smaller surf. This proved easier, just as much fun, but not as acrobatic. We still took a good beating by the waves and both swallowed a ton of seawater within the next hour and a half, and Rich even went back for more the next day! He managed to stand up on his board for a few seconds - so he said - I was in trouble as I missed this amazing feat - was too busy watching the pros taking the serious waves - purely for learning purposes of course ;-) .
Here's some pics from one sunset: 
IMG_0934 IMG_0920
We set off from Kuta on Saturday in search of the more "authentic" Bali and headed for Ubud about one hour inland.
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