Post by Sarah Sackville
HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE CIRCLE WATER?!
Bukit – A place of dreams. Home to the famous surf break Uluwatu and Bali’s most Instagrammed sunsets.
Here you will find an array of popular surf spots; Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Bingin, Impossibles, Balangan..All guaranteeing waves of hollow perfection, barrels for days! Pity I suck at getting barrelled. My style of surfing is more like “let’s drop down the face of this wave and pray I get to my feet quick enough to not die on the reef below”.
While in Medewi a friend of mine told me about while giving surf lessons to some kids they insisted to know when they would get in the “circle water”. They were, of course, talking about getting barrelled. Cutest. Thing. Ever.
I cruised down to Padang for a weekend recently. I chose to stay in my favorite homestay. A few shacks nestled in the cliffs overlooking Padang Padang to the south and Impossibles to the North.
Two reasons why I love it so much.
- It’s simplicity – a bed, a fan and an epic view
- You can paddle straight out to Padang/Impossibles from underneath
The owner Made (pronounced Ma-day) is lovely and she always speaks in 3rd person. “Made happy to see you”, adorable. “Made makes you breakfast!” Awww, Made…
Made’s homestay is 3 levels and made out of thatched, straw and bamboo. Each level is armed with its own bamboo poles for the daily monkey fight, always between 8-10.
The first encounter was an experience – One moment I was sitting there enjoying my papaya juice after a morning surf. The next I’m racing to close my bedroom door. Watching as the monkeys swept through taking what they pleased.
I learned immediately you can’t show fear. I armed myself with a pole one morning. There I stood protecting my whole floor from the tyrant monkeys. Then one scary scar covered beefed up boy flared his fangs and came at me.
I ran and threw the pole at one of the guys.
The monkey ran after me.
Said guy picked up the pole and protected me.
Needless to say, it deflated my ego.
To make myself feel better, I went and looked at boards, clothing and guitars I never will be able to afford. Local surf shop/cafe “Drifters” has many beautiful things for sale. It’s also my office for when I’m down in the Bukit, as the internet and reception are nonexistent in other parts.
At some point, my dreamy thoughts of owning a wooden 9ft shiny piece of board riding heaven was interrupted by my partner declaring he was going to go for a surf check. Even though the surf he checks is way out of my league I like going and taking pictures. A surf check picture on Facebook is at least 50 likes!
Disclosure: I’m not actually one of those people. I do like taking cool pictures though.
I live vicariously through him at times, people ask “How was the surf?” and I’m all like “PUMPING, like 8ft barrels!” and they go something like “Niiiice get any?” … Me: “Oh no, I watched my partner get them”. He surfs much better than I….For now. (We are marginally competitive).
Seeing as the surf was huge I didn’t venture out. I didn’t feel like being beaten into a pulp by the reef or one of the aggressive surfers in the water that I kept hearing about.
Instead, I went and played in the rock pools like the child I am!
I met a girl who had had her butt clawed at by the reef on Lembongan, it was rather impressive..her scratches that is. She came and played too. We got along impressively and talked about how we hate feeling like the girlfriends who just sit on the beach tanning waiting for their boyfriends to come in from the surf.
Not that there is anything wrong with it but we hold our worth in our independence. We value the confidence it gives us to be able to go surfing – when it’s not double overhead that is, working up to that one.
The weekend was wrapped up nicely with a homestay family outing. Since coming down regularly, some longer staying travelers became good friends. So on this particular weekend, our little crew filled nearly the whole homestay.
A variant of nationalities, Dutch-Indonesian, South African, Australian, German and Swiss! We ventured together to a nearby warung for dinner and beers and afterwards a beach party! Little Padang beach was holding a reggae party, which turned out to be more of a hookup fest.
Alex, my partner, had left by this point to go back to Canggu, so I was feeling a bit out of place. Especially because the typical response to my “I have a partner” was “So where is he then?”…Oh men, you have such ways sometimes…
Then a tortuous ride home in peak hour traffic. Though, this was also possibly the highlight of the whole weekend.
This man became my hero, I insisted on chasing him down so I could take photos. He was the epitome of my dream life. A motorbike, my dog, a few boards, a small bag of belongings and a whole lot of traveling!!