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My journey started with a simple yet mentally elongated 6-hour flight from Brisbane Australia to the famous holiday location Denpasar, Bali. As we arrived I lugged my surfboard bag holding two boards and half my wardrobe inside towards the exit, already dripping in sweat without even hitting the outside air humidity and smoke yet a smile on my face from ear to ear. Let’s do this!
Our first stop was Canngu, well known for its cocktails, surf and good vibes. As being two young females in our 20’s this was the pinnacle of our trip, so we thought. We hired out a room we found on booking.com and discovered the pictures were better than the real thing, “ahh-well” we thought “were on vacay!” The next few days were a blur of a few too many cocktails, epic surf wipeouts and meeting so many new friends.
With a slight cold coming on (in the heat? I know) we made our way to Kuta, Lombok. We booked a fast boat to the island, then jumped in a taxi in Bangsal and headed to Kuta. The drive was 2 hours long filled with mountains, monkeys, colours of the sun setting, Smiling faces and a language barrier between the driver and us, Oh don’t forget the 2006 bangers from so fresh playing through the car speakers. As we arrived in our beautiful hotel and greeted with such kindness from our hosts we went on a mission for some well deserved Nasi-Goreng. We spent the next few days exploring the beaches and coves of the beautiful island while getting to know a few locals.
On our last full day in Kuta, we jumped on our scooters and headed north towards Pantai, Mawun. As we didn’t have our phones/ maps we ended up going where the views were. We headed up this mountain with a breathtaking panoramic view that overlooked a gorgeous empty beach. We decided to check it out. On our drive down we were greeted with about 20 buffalo on a dirt road with a jaw dropping island scene in the backdrop. We arrived on the beach where there was a shack with a local lady cutting fresh coconuts and not another soul insight. We asked the lady and found out were we at Pengembur beach. We made our way down the sinking sand beach and set up for the day. The sand was filled with beautiful shells and a warm feeling of freedom, a day to remember.
The peaceful and quiet few days in Lombok came to an end as we headed back to Bali to go to Pandawa, Nusa Dua. We paid that little extra to stay in a fancy, buffet breakfast, gym and pool included hotel (well worth). Pandawa ended up being an unexpected highlight of our trip. We decided to head down to the beach with our short boards and check out the surf, My girlfriend who I was with isn’t a very confident surfer although after an hour of you can do this remarks. We paddled 200m to the surf break where there were 5 others. We spent 2 hours on the water surfing epic waves, many wipeouts and heaps of laughs before having to paddle back in before the tide was low and the reef was exposed. Our afternoons in Pandawa were spent on the beach eating Nasi Goreng with Gado Gado sauce on the side while watching fairy floss sky’s and the sun setting behind the sky high rock walls. Our stay here was short but oh so sweet, a recommendation for anyone wanting that quiet escape.
Next stop on our trip, back to Canggu! One of our girlfriends was meeting us there and we couldn’t have been more excited for her to join our girls on tour adventure. We booked a mixed dorm at Mojosurf Camp in Canggu so we could meet some people and really get into our traveling backpacker vibes. Mojo Surf was such a fun place to stay, everyone seemed to be constantly happy and the pool was a massive hangover lifesaver. We were fed pancakes and eggs for breakfast, which them banana pancakes being the best I had on my trip. Being inspired by Mojosurf we decided to go down to the beach and hire out some longboards and give it a red-hot crack. We paddled out and all caught some of our best waves. You feel like a shred lord when surfing in Canggu, all the Local boys shout praises at you while you’re gliding across the ocean, feeling at your absolute best. This was our average day in Canggu with our afternoons spent at Old Mans listening to live music, playing cards and having two for one cocktails.
With a stammering hangover we left for Nusa Lembongan, we took another fast boat to the island and then jumped aboard a mini bus to take us to our hotel. We spent the first day exploring Nusa lembongan and headed across the yellow bridge to Ceningan. We found Blue Lagoon, a beautiful cove perfect to spend the day by the ocean with a surf break just a short paddle out. The sunsets on the island were unforgettable; we would spend our afternoon eating local food on the waters edge while watching the sunset with pink skies. We booked in to go snorkeling around Nusa lembongan and Nusa Penida. We jumped aboard the boat with 7 others and journeyed out to sea. Our first stop was Manta Point, unfortunately we didn’t see any manta rays, although this didn’t take from the beautiful aurora of the ocean. We went to another two spots and our last destination was at a cove in Nusa Penida. The sea life and coral was a sight for sore eyes, so magical something I’ve never laid my eyes on before. I spent my time chasing after fish, listening to the coral sing and singing the theme song to my little mermaid in my head. My heart felt content. Considering I can’t really snorkel and I was mostly holding my breath it was one of the best experiences I have ever had.
We packed up our things again and took our sun kissed skin, content hearts and our beaming attitudes to our last location, Uluwatu. Uluwatu is one of my favorite towns because of its laid back vibe and surf culture. I’ve been dreaming of coming back here since 2015. I was the only confident surfer out of my group of friends and made the courageous yet terrifying decision of paddling out at ulu’s by myself. The paddle out isn’t actually too bad if its high tide and waves of 3ft, the thing that got me is the howling of the waves crashing on the caves walls that you paddle out from. The view from out there is breathtaking, one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve surfed in. I caught a few waves before catching a wave back in before the tide got too low. My friends greeted me with a bintang while monkeys danced around the cave. What more could you ask for?
We spent our last few days exploring the beaches around Uluwatu, Thomas beach, Binging and Padang Padang beach just to name a few. We ate copious amount of smoothie bowls and drank too many cocktails at single fin.
As our 29 day Adventure came to an end and our journey to the airport and back home was here. The beauty of the small amount of Indonesia we had seen blew us away. An adventure I will never forget.