Late season run - gallery
Positioned off the Indonesian coast, at the end of a remote island, lies a perfect right hand reef, one I've dreamt of since my teenage years. Yeah, that one.
It's a mission to get to, three flights and a long nerve wracking drive consisting of multiple deadly obstacles. As nonchalant school kids, barely 10 years of age, walk four abreast around blind corners while mopeds and trucks race by, only centimetres away. A quick beep warns of the incoming danger, but none seem to even flinch let look back over their right shoulder.
I'm not one to get anxious, but the car ride was enough to bring the slightest of insecurities to the surface.
Once at the losmen, looking over the bay with a belly full of nasi goreng, the endless hours of travel faded from memory.
The first couple of days provided playful 3-5ft surf, and a great introduction to the reef and lineup before things ramped up a little the following days. Sets in the 6ft range, with a couple of bigger bombs saw the wave start to really come to life, but with the swell being made so far away, the inconsistency left you wanting for more, especially when sitting at the top of the lineup waiting for the next perfect set to roll in.
The wave provides many different moods, depending on the tide, size and direction of the incoming swell. From perfect open carve bowls to a barrel on take-off or into the second section down the line it has it all with the reef generally deep enough not to cause concern.
The local kids provided great entertainment post school, surfing the inside reform rights and short wedgey left in between selling coconuts and asking for gifts and assortments.
Surfing at the end of the season allowed a much more chilled and relaxed vibe in and out of the water, and a greater opportunity to mix with the local community through the day and into the evenings without the peak season crowds.
Part of the trip was also for the friends/doctors I was travelling with to put the wheels in motion regarding opening a local medical centre staffed by volunteer travellers. There's no medical facilities close to the wave at all, and while catering to surfers during peak season, the medical centre will be of greater value to the local people.
A make-shift consulting area was set up in a community centre one morning in the local town, with 20-30 local people being seen by three Australian doctors. While some cases were beyond the scope of a simple consultation, helpful medical advice was translated across to the community which was quite a moving experience.
I can't wait to get back to the region in the coming years and hopefully see the proposed medical centre put into motion while experiencing the beautiful surrounds the island has to offer. // CRAIG BROKENSHA