Nothing beats escaping the summer holiday doldrums in PE and heading to the tropics to find some surf! Chris and Shane Pyke, and Damon Edwards, did just that. Shane takes us through their trip:
"What a trip! Everything from pumping surf to onshore days, a severe case of bali belly, and all of us getting flu for a few days. But what an experience! We went to Macaronis Resort in the Mentawaii's. starting our trip on Christmas morning and only arrived at Macca's 3 nights later.
The trip there consisted of a 1hr30 flight to JHB, a 4 hour layover there, then a 9 hr flight to Doha, with another 4 hour layover. Onto the plane for a 9 hour flight to Jakarta (which we thought was 5 hours but forgot to account for the time difference! only figured it out on the plane). A hop over to Padang (1h30hrs), then finally onto the overnight ferry out to the Mentawaii's. Travelling is not for sissies!
Once we landed in Jakarta it was just after Midnight, and we checked into a hotel. But without thinking I had brushed my teeth on the plane before landing and ended up sleeping like this most of the morning on the bathroom floor...welcome to Bali Belly!
Needless to say I was not looking forward to that overnight ferry!
On the ferry we got some chicken curry, some other unidentifiable dish and rice served in plastic packets on a palm leaf. Still not sure if that was super cool or super unappetizing!
After the overnight ferry we had to catch a lil speedboat to the resort, it was a beautiful day when we arrived, glassy and sunny conditions. Could not have been a more perfect way to be introduced to Indonesia,
The first two days we had cooking waves and incredible weather! The resort was amazing.
And the surf was great!
Unfortunately after these 2 days we all got flu! I hadn't even got to surf at this point and we were bed ridden for about 5/6 days. By the time we started moving around, the storms hit and strong onshore winds followed.
After about the 5th day of constant rain we weren't happy campers, haha. A photo says 1000 words.....
But what we all figured out is that onshore on a reef is still pretty good! But also quite intimidating.
There was a fun lil beachie across the channel from the resort which was so much fun on some SUPS and Longboards.
They had these cool surfboard racks around the resort, and of course they were always full.
We met some pretty cool people along the way
But after it was all over, not too sure what was worse for everyone, the idea of leaving......or the idea of leaving on that overnight ferry!
We weren't so lucky with all of us getting sick, having lotsa onshore wind and of course the horrid weather...... but it was a trip none of us will forget. "
(Head's up to anyone headed to the Ment's - quickest travel routing is JNB - SIN (8hrs), then hop on a fast ferry across to Batam (1hr) and then 30min to the airport in Batam by taxi, and hop a plane straight from there to Padang (45min). Chop chop! Annoyingly no direct flight from SIN to PDG so you have to route via Jakarta if wanting to fly from SIN, which usually entails going through customs etc with luggage in Jakarta before catching connecting flight. This can entail swopping terminals, which is no fun trying to squeeze huge boardbags onto the lil transit bus and everyone glaring at you!
You can also fly to Kuala Lumpur, and then from there straight to Padang. But. You arrive at the international airport in KL and then have to transit 25min away to the Low Cost airport for your PDG flight. Can't use local bus with boards so must hire a cab. Low cost airport is pretty hectic with queues at times. Plus on way back you annoyingly have to pass through customs at the low cost airport - which can take a few hours if busy - and then taxi across back to the international airport for the flight home.)