And on the seventh day it stormed. And we rested. Finally!
Yip, it’s safe to say summer in Indo beats summer back home. Just locked in 6 straight days in the surf, and been having some super fun waves. Bit of a mission to get here but well worth the effort. Stayed overnight in Padang as our flight out to the islands was an early one.
One night in Padang teaches you that lots of things are optional in Indo. Wearing a helmet when riding your scooter. Optional. Driving on the right side of the road. Optional. Using lights on your bike at night. Optional. Stopping at red robots. Very optional. Smoking your ciggie whilst on your bike. Definite. Carrying at least 3 other people with you. Definite. Add a dog. Definite. And yet it all seems to work. In a chaotic kinda way.
The teeny charter plane that brings you over to the resort is just that, teeny. One seat either side of the “aisle” and they take out all the seats on the one side so the boards can stack in. The breakfast snack box consisted of a coke and a chocolate bar. Guessing Tim Noakes diet ain’t big over here.
It’s hard not to spend the entire flight with your nose pressed against the window, cos as you fly over the myriad of lil islands you can’t help but spot wave after potential wave. A guy on a motorbike buzzes up n down the runway a coupla times before you land – to chase off meandering goats and cows and the kids playing soccer on the tarmac.
A short walk from the “airport” (hut with a fence around it) and down to the jetty where the resort boat is waiting to whisk you over to the island. The resort is on its own island, with a beautiful calm white sand beach fringed by swaying palm trees. Welcome to paradise.
Latitude Larry, the resident Labrador, gets his froth on when new guests arrive and swims out to greet you.
Days at the resort follow much the same pattern. Wake up early to get on the boats by 7, and head out for the day hunting the surf. The closest wave is about 10 minutes away, the furthest about 1h20. What’s cool is that outta season the resort guests are the only surfers in the entire island chain, so the only peeps you’re gonna see in the water are those on the boat with you.
Weather can be a bit inclement this time of year, as it’s the rainy season in Indo. They get more rain in 30 minutes than we probably get a whole year! But the squalls tend to be over as quickly as they start, and the sun’s back out in no time.
The resort consists of 2 big houses with a central restaurant area. Each house has its own surf guide and boat, accommodating 8 surfers a piece. We lucked into a quiet week to start with, as there’s just us and 2 other guests in our house – meaning maximum crowd in the water is four! It means a super chilled vibe in the surf and plenty of waves for everyone.
Also had my Brazilian surfer stereotype turned on its head. Generally the travelling Brazzo’s we’ve encountered on our trips have been pretty hectic out in the water – snaking each other, let alone anyone else in the water. So it was with trepidation we learned one of our crew was a Brazzo. Turns out he’s a lekker ou. He explained to us it’s the Brazzo’s from Rio you have to watch out for, as they’re the aggro ju-jitsu hustle, drop-in and snake eejits you associate the Brazilian surfer stereotype with. The guys from down south, Sao Paulo area, are way more chilled in the water. Was funny to hear him go on about how the southern guys hate the northern guys cos of the bad rap they give travelling Brazilians.
He went banana's when Medina won the world title. He said Brazil was like a morgue after the disastrous World Cup and everyone's hopes were riding on Gabe. We had random shouts of celebration from him all day, and then had to blow the boats horn when we got back to the camp. The Brazzo's are passionate as hell about surfing, so no doubt celebrations would have gone on long into the night in every coastal town in Brazil.
Surfs been super fun, we’ve already had 6 full days in the water. Waves were pretty average the first 2 days, but the last 4 have been awesome. Nothing big, but just a selection of chest to slightly overhead perfect peelers. A smorgasbord of lefts and rights, points and sucky lil reefs. And with only 4 peeps in the water, it’s hard not to catch bunch of waves. A lot of the time there’d just be 2 of us whilst the others took a break. Reckon have already had more waves in these few days than in the past 2 months at home.
Had my first session with my Billabong Surf Capsule, and was stoked it saved my ass. Literally. Bounced on my butt on the reef after ending up in a really shallow section and the neoprene did a good job of softening the blow. Beats picking bits of coral outta my bum. Plus it’s such a bonus to have a bit of padding on your ribs after a few days.
Went left for the first time in about 10 years. Bit like driving a car without a steering wheel as have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but such a perfect lil peeling left to practice on reckon I might even be able to do a turn backside by the end of the trip.
Coming back after a full days surfing is usually followed by a jump in the pool, a coupla beers and then some epic chow. By 9pm everyone’s shattered and hits the sack. Just to repeat it all again the next day. Tough holiday to beat!
Hopefully week 2 will be more of the same!