Good day everyone! How's life on your side of the globe? All continues to be excellent here. I woke up to the sound of rain this morning and felt like it was a perfect opportunity for ketchup part 2...here you go!
First things first. Here is a little visual of where my journey through Indonesia has taken me thus far...all the way from Jakarta to Bali, that's 1195 km or 795 miles covered by train, bus, boat, motorcycle, car and on foot!
After leaving the mountainous areas in Java, I boarded the ferry and crossed over to Bali. My first stop was Medewi, the nearest possible place I could surf! I wasn't planning on going here originally, but I met an Australian girl who was traveling alone and decided to hang out for a few days. (side note: traveling alone does not equal traveling by oneself. More times than not on this trip, I realize that I have been surrounded by people constantly and need to get away for some time by myself. It's easy to make friends while traveling.) After being in Indonesia for 1 month with no ocean time, it was so good to get in the water! Medewi consists of a single road a couple hundred feet long, going from the main highway to the beach. It's a left point break with rocky bottom. The first time I went out, the local guys saw I was having a hard time getting into the waves, so they just waited behind me and pushed me into the good ones. Ha! This happens all the time here! I have had my best days surfing EVER in Medewi!
A surf competition happening one weekend I was there.
Medewi sunset...dang son!
After chillin' in Medewi, I headed for Kuta for NYE and my birthday (shut up, I'm only 2 months behind!) Kuta is an insanely touristy and dirty, but it was sweet to celebrate the New Year being surrounded new friends and throbs of people. It was like Times Square, Indonesia style.
The highlight of my birthday dinner was being sung to in 5 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Finnish and English. And my homemade spinach pesto pasta, of course!
I also got to go on a diving adventure, thanks to my new friend Gideon, Hanna's cousin whom I met at her wedding. We had our own dive master and got to explore the USS liberty, which was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during WW2.
On drive to the dive spot...lots of rice!
After couple of days in Kuta, I was ready for some peace, quiet and good waves! I decided to head to a teensy island which lies an hour to the east of Bali, Lembongan Island. It's a beautiful place with pristine beaches, heavenly snorkeling and 3 famous surf breaks (Shipwrecks, Lacerations and Playground). I found a sweet little bungalow to stay in for $8 a night which was steps away from this:
I have a dream of living in a tree-house at some point in my life; this was the closest I've ever come. There were a few nights of VERY heavy rain during my stay. I woke up more than once to water leaking through the thatched roof and dripping onto my forehead. Solution: put my head at the foot of the bed. :)
I rented a motorbike one day to drive around the island. I met this cute little high school kid at a secret surf spot. He offered to take me around to some view points in the area. We had a great time taking jumpy pictures and making fun of my his English and my Indonesian skills.
After 5 lovely days in Lembongan, I made my way back to Bali eventually up north to begin volunteering. Since January 11th, I have been working in an orphanage called My Father's Home, located in a teeny village called Tukad Mungga. It's a pretty cool story how this opportunity came into being, a story I will save for another time. What I will say right now, however, is that I feel like I could spend the next 10 years here perfectly content. It's only been a month, but the kids with their sweaty little hands and faces have found the path straight to the core of my heart. Precious little ones.
Today's headlines at the end of the post: Bali, get ready! Mom, Bethany, Brittany, Mrs. Rovi and Donna are coming to see me next week!!!!
- ► 2006 (20)