BALI BAGUS WITH FLIC
Flic Palmateer recently escaped the Western Australian Winter and headed to Indonesia, read on to see what she got up to...
I swapped my life at home in Margaret River, Western Australia, for a month's escapade in Indonesia. It was a bit of a last minute trip, but as soon as those first few days of winter started to show their faces on the west coast I was out of there. Winter at home gets bitterly cold and the Indian Ocean pounds the coast with storm after storm.
I didn't go to Indonesia with a plan, so I just followed the swell, tried to escape crowds and looked for a little slice of paradise to call my own. I started with a couple of days of much needed R&R in Seminyak, then I ventured off to Canggu where I was welcomed by a nice balmy 3-4ft swell. Canggu is a really fun beachbreak with a few lava rocks here and there. It's littered with waves from A-frame peaks to punchy lefts and rights.
The swell forecast continued to show small swells hitting the west coast of Bali. I was pretty keen to escape the mainstream hot beds of surfing and venture out onto the road less travelled, but even though Bali is literally awash with waves finding out the where, when, and how to surf them is not so easy. This information is something the locals in the know like to keep secret.
I had heard whispers about this perfect A frame river mouth, located about a three hour drive north of Kuta, so I took a gamble and headed up to spot x. I arrived late at night, which I like doing because you really don't know what to expect when you wake up the next morning. To my surprise, I was awakened by massive boulders being tossed up and down the beach like marbles as the waves unloaded on the shore (it sort of sounded like distant fireworks). I peered out the window and it was like I'd stepped back in time - rolling hills of rice paddies and coconut trees on one side and a perfect A-frame nugget peak on the other (not to mention only one guy out). It's no wonder I spent the majority of my trip here!
My last week in Indonesia was spent in Uluwatu which is the epicentre of surfing in Bali, so it was inevitable that I joined the surfers' pilgrimage down to the fast hollow left handers of the Bukit. I was lucky a bit of swell had hit the Western Australian coast line a couple of days prior and the general rule is that it takes two days for swell to travel up to hit Bali's coast line. I managed to sneak a few waves in-between the masses and enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise water. No wonder Jennifer Hawkins used this alluring setting for her wedding.
As with all trips, on one hand, the Indonesian escapade felt like it was over before it began and, on the other, it felt like I was there for a lifetime. Now I'm in Sydney, rugged up and trying hard to settle back into a routine. After being footloose in Bali my feet are finding it hard to adjust to being confined by shoes which are, at the best of times, a rare accessory for surfers. I'll soon be off to California on my next summer adventure and I'm counting down the days.