B-B-Bali Surf Coaching and getting away from Tourists.

ACB__'s picture
ACB__ started the topic in Thursday, 26 Jun 2014 at 9:23am

Hey Guys,

You may remember I posted a forum on surfing Tassie not too long ago, not only was it helpful, but the whole experience of wave hunting down there was amazing. The people, food and seclusion of the whole place should be on everyone's bucket list to check out..

And waves we did score..

The reason why I'm reverting back to the forum is for a little bit of advice on heading to Bali. What I'm really looking for though is to try and do some sort of surf camp when I can get coaching through video and reviewing technique and improving. Has anyone done this before?

I plan on having at least 5 days at Keramas to fight with every man and his dog for a wave and meet the duck man, but after that I have no idea where to head. Is there any waves on the North Coast?

The other thing is I plan to get as far away from these Muppets as possible..
Bali tourists
So don't plan on staying around Kuta. If I wanted to get wasted with bogans, I'll got to the West Parramatta Leagues Club.

As always, I don't expect straight up answers because obviously surfing is something that is best left to those who put in the effort to search, however if you have friends, relatives, or business partners who run the sort of surf camps I mentioned before my hard earned is there on offer.

I'll be heading over in from December to January... very very wet season I know.

Thanks again,
ACB

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Monday, 30 Jun 2014 at 11:28pm

I've heard the Chill House does this sort of thing, though I haven't checked - have a squiz on google. Slim over at www.baliwaves.com also might be able to hook you up.

asharper001's picture
asharper001's picture
asharper001 commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 2:07am

G'day ACB. Can't say about surf coaching or even surf in North Bali but there are definitely waves heading further (north) east than Keramas and further (north) west than Canggu and the crowds thin considerably. The one caveat however is that other geographical features (islands such as Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida on the east side and Southern Java on the West), and swell size/direction have a large bearing on how far north east or north west you head before running out of surf options.

My last couple of trips to Bali, I spent a bit of time exploring side roads and dirt tracks up to Amed on the east Coast (surf options do appear to end at the eastern most point of Bali) and up to Gilimanuk in the West (surf appears to end not much further past Negara).

Apart from Keramas, on the east coast and Balian/Medewi on the west, there are kilometre after kilometre of empty beach breaks, river/creek mouth breaks, and reefs with no other surfer in sight. Not giving away exact locations, but there is a break in plain sight of the Gilimanuk road, before you get to Medewi that I surfed by myself and which reminded me of a particular reef on the Sunshine Coast. Also a nice creek mouth break north of Balian, the equal of some of the best peaks I have surfed on the southern QLD and northern NSW coasts. Same on the east coast, there are a multitude of options north of Keramas all the way up to and past Amlapura (there is a particular reef/point option between Candidasa and Amlapura I might suggest you try and find). As mentioned, just have to take a punt, turn off to any side road, heading towards the beach and you may luck onto your own little slice of Bali heaven with no one out. I will add, if you want to get away from the muppets, the further away you get from Kuta, the better Bali gets.

A few suggestions starting with Keramas (you mentioned you are planning to be there for 5 days). There are waves north and south of the main break. Go for a little walk and see what you find. You might be pleasantly surprised to have a wave to yourself whilst 20 people sit on the peak in front of Kommune. If you absolutely must surf the main wave straight out the front of Kommune, there appears to be notable shift changes. Keep an eye on the crowds and pick when the crowd tends to thin. Keramas can be a on and off several times throughout the day, so if you paddle out when the surf is clearing because it is getting a little side-shore or bumpy or tide affected, it may just turn back off-shore ½ hour later and start to pump. There is also a warung south of Kommune which offer cheap tasty meals and fruit smoothies. Nice people too. Another suggestion is to learn a little bahasa, because it's always respectful to try the native tongue when you are visiting another country, and the locals do appreciate the effort. I found there is very little English (almost non-existent) the further north you go. Might I suggest this online site (disclaimer: I have no link or affiliation whatsoever to this site other than searching google for free bahasa lessons a few years ago before my first Bali trip and I found them very good): http://www.learningindonesian.com/ . Last but not least, you can play safe and eat at café’s/restaurant’s etc, but it is way more fun and more atmosphere eating at warungs and cholera carts (especially when practicing your recently acquired Bahasa skills).

All the very best, hope you have the time of your life.

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 10:57am

Nice post Ash ;)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 12:57pm

Don't encourage him Welly or he'll move on to his '101 uses for a sarong', including his famous 'beer sling' and snake tourniquet.

You know he got thrown out of a temple in Bali once because they told him he had to wear a sarong. He fashioned it into quite a stylish G-string but those humourless Hindus couldn't see the funny side of it.

Maybe because he wore it around the wrong way?

1173

ACB__'s picture
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ACB__ commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 1:08pm

Thank you so much Ash.

I'm definitely keen on exploring the river mouths and beach breaks north and south of Keramas. I've heard good things. I suppose it is mandatory to get a wave out main break but thank you for your advice..

It will be tough and hopefully we have enough swell around that time of year. Exploration on scooters is a must. Just like the pacific highway ehy? every turn off could potentially hold a little gem.

@Danx3 thanks for the chill house.. looks sweet. might be a good place to stay while at Canggu.

Nothing wrong with a Sarong Thong... just as long as the monkeys aren't trying to get at ya python!

udo's picture
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udo commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 1:23pm

Earplugs are mandatory around those rivermouths and always flush ears after a surf with aqua ear or similar, gargle your throat with a weak water[bottled] betadine solution.....pure evil lurks in the river run offs.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 1:25pm

And never take up the offer of a 'happy ending' whilst having a beach massage if the purveyor has an Adams Apple.

Just sayin......

1173

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 2:06pm

zenagain wrote: Don't encourage him Welly or he'll move on to his '101 uses for a sarong', including his famous 'beer sling' and snake tourniquet.

You know he got thrown out of a temple in Bali once because they told him he had to wear a sarong. He fashioned it into quite a stylish G-string but those humourless Hindus couldn't see the funny side of it.

Maybe because he wore it around the wrong way?

Zenmon you obviously know Ash well....!

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 3:07pm

I'm pretty sure it's his brother Welly.

ACB__'s picture
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ACB__ commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 3:47pm

udo wrote: Earplugs are mandatory around those rivermouths and always flush ears after a surf with aqua ear or similar, gargle your throat with a weak water[bottled] betadine solution.....pure evil lurks in the river run offs.

Thanks heaps for that... handy tip.. I got pretty crook around the Mekong Delta in Vietnam from a few river evils.

asharper001's picture
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asharper001 commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 5:48pm

Cheers for the encouragement Wellymon and ACB, not that I need any more as noted by zen (yep, zen is my elder brother). It also wasn't the g-string so much, but the follow up fashioning into the man-kini with matching bow tie (number 37 of 101 uses for a sarong). Those temple monkeys are some of the nastiest little bastard's on the island, will grab anything including your jatz-crackers (not fun in a man-kini).

Bugger the scooter idea, four walls for safety. You are likely to be sharing a single lane with 4 cars, 15 scooters and 2 trucks abreast. I have never seen so many vehicles fit into a 4 metre square space. In saying this, it seems to be much safer than driving in Australia and everybody is courteous.

Good advice on the river mouths udo.

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 6:28pm

Ash do you ride a red short little looking fat square Twinnie...????
Or am I getting you mixed up with someone else.
Cheers brother of Zenmon;)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

ACB__'s picture
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ACB__ commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 6:54pm

Aaahhahah the monkeys really live up to their cheeky monkey name I guess...

Cars to go for transport? What's the licensing situation like? Is it like the scooters? Basically bribe if pulled over? How does that work?

Has anyone been on a trip to Bali during dec-Jan? Does it get swell still?

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 7:26pm

Ash, I thought we put that nastiness behind us?

Think of our poor old mum. She must have been so proud getting that little phone call from the Australian Consulate.

Anyway ACB, Ash is quite accomplished at sniffing out the uncrowded sesh somewhere. So regrettably, I concur with what he has to say. He's been pretty much the solo warrior as long as we've been surfing.

Probably because of his surly disposition and a scorching case of herpes:)

1173

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 7:27pm

PS No Welly, that would be the tall skinny one with bad eyesight and low self-esteem.

1173

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 7:31pm

international drivers licence needed these days most car hire places wont hire to you without one
expect to pay bribes 100,000 rupiah about $9-$10 aus up to 3 times aweek, yep serious .....for doing nothing refuse to pay they take your licence and cars rego papers to be picked up in Denpasar police station [we always paid] .
One afternoon about 4pm heading to serangan for a late surf local constabulary waiting on the corner of the beach rd and hwy had approx. 25 scooter riders and 5 or 6 cars that were heading home pulled over to collect BULE money ...$10 per car or scooter....nice earner....a months wages or more in about 20mins ....what can you do ? just pay its cheap and the way there system works. this was in 2013 same this year I guess.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 7:48pm

Drove a car around Bali on off for a few months earlier this year. Didn't need an international licence to hire it and I got confirmation from my insurance company that I was still covered for an accident without it as long as I had an Aussie drivers licence . Never got pulled over by police but I had to gun it passed them once when they saw me and their eyes lit up.
Car cost me 170000 rupiah / day. I'd never ride a bike there and my Indo mates only do it if they can't afford a car.
If you're wanting an international drivers licence it's a lot easier to get in Australia apparently. I think it's a mission to get one over there.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 7:47pm

You know Udo, Ash is such a terrible driver and a hazard to other road users, that the Balinese police actually pay HIM to leave the rental car back at the posh resort he usually stays at. Usually he can get another 50,000 out of them if threatens to tell tell them one of his stories about the good old days in Bali and how things used to be.

1173

asharper001's picture
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asharper001 commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 9:16pm

Nah Welly must be someone else. Last time I owned a twinny was a plain white Sky back in the late 80's. Can't even remember where I got it. It was lined up by Zen (might have been offloaded by one of his mates).

Never hired a scooter. I expect cars to be the more expensive option. I understand that you can hire a driver for $50+ per day (if you are a great haggler) but then you have to pay for his petrol/meals on top of that. Mind you, meals are cheap and so is petrol at 67c per litre (as at August last year) and unlike Australia, the price never moves and is the same the island over. Also saves you the hassle of driving and navigating in an unusual place. I usually just hire the car without a driver for the same $50 and drive myself (scout around and you find a variation in hire prices, negotiate for a cheaper price for longer hires). My dear old dad always says, you are never lost as long as you have petrol in the tank. You can always find a detailed Bali map from bookstores/newsagents (try Carrefore shopping centre).

All vehicles require you to have a current Aussie licence for the vehicle you will be hiring (motorbike for scooter, car for car, learners licence doesn't cut it) and an international drivers permit which you organise here in Australia through RACQ/NRMA/RACV or whichever state motoring body you have.

As for bribes, I got hit up by saying you need a local Indo licence. This is not the case. You can try and play dumb/don't understand and keep them standing around for as long as possible (costing them money as more and more cars pass them by) until they finally get sick or you and send you on your way, or you can try and argue the point, maybe ask for their identification, and then tell them you will lodge a complaint with the local regional commander. I was pulled over short of Pecatatu (near Medewi) last year and got hit with this lack of Indo licence scheme. They had a nice little hit and run scheme going with around 6 coppers pulling a RBT stop and go scenario (3 and 4 cars lined up) both sides of the Gilimanuk main road. Paid the 50000rp (just short of $5) and went on my way. I headed in to Pecatatu to the local station to check on the actual rules and found that the coppers were pulling a swifty. I will say that the senior Pecatatu police appeared quite pissed off and were very apologetic. One of the senior police was even offering to give my money back out of his own wallet (which I didn't take as it wasn't him doing the shakedown). I was directed in to a room to speak to the Regional Commander for the Negara region who explained that they are trying their best to clean out the corrupt, asked me for any identifying information, and where they were doing the pull-overs. I gave then what information I could , they made out a report, and I left them with it. Another time I was asked for the rego papers for the car. I explained it was a hire car, started pulling at all sorts or papers etc in the glove box (no idea what I was looking for). The police probably thought they weren't getting anywhere, and sent me on my way. I did get a little tip that you carry two wallets, only putting a couple of thousand rupiah in your everyday wallet, and keep your other cash hidden. When being hit up for a bribe just keep arguing it's all they money you have. Also, will add that I have only been pulled up twice in Bali, both times on the west coast between Balian and Medewi. Never had an issue on the east coast (so far).

As for swell in December/January, take a little stroll in Baliwaves archive for a general idea http://www.baliwaves.com/category/surf-report/bali/page/6/ .

Geez Zen, pot calling the kettle black. Dad still says that you are the scariest driver he has ever been with (not bad when dad was in driver training centre for the army teaching driving skills from motorbikes up to tank carriers). This also includes the bloke in the army that he would only let drive with one hand on the wheel because if he used two hands he would veer off the road. At least the Aussies are now safe, pity the poor Japanese drivers. Fuck, I do sound surly, don't I.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 at 10:24pm

I was just fucking with you.

You're not a bad driver.

1173

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 7:07am

You can hire a car with a driver and all fuel included for about $30/day. You might be able to get it cheaper, that's just the deal I have with a fella. I can give you his number if you want. Good bloke - helpful but mellow, doesn't try to push or sell anything on you and is just a legend guy full stop.

asharper001's picture
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asharper001 commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 9:01am

Have never been the greatest negotiator myself Blowin, but that is a great price. Did this blokes details get passed on to you or did you find him yourself and do your own negotiation? Great effort if the latter.

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 12:32pm

zenagain wrote: I was just fucking with you.

You're not a bad driver.

Love it... Brotherly love.
Which my brother knew how to drive a computer and keep in touch, he can only drive 4wd's, jet boats and his rifle...?
Hey hang on a minute how is he going to the Ukraine in 6 weeks time to pick up a wife.....?
Got me stumped, the sly bugger...

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 1:05pm

Yeah, he's a top bloke Welly. He'd give you the shirt off his back.

Problem is you wouldn't want it. His shirts are mostly skin tight, pink and adorned with sequins.

1173

ACB__'s picture
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ACB__ commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 1:36pm

Cheers for the advice fellas. Seems like Cars are the unquestionable way to go.. International drivers license through the NRMA is $40.. so its cheaper to have Blowin's mate by far. Does he surf Blowin? like a double as a surf guide?

How friendly have you guys found the locals in the water? I've never in my 15+ years of surfing had any problems. Learning a few simple phrases "Saya Minta Maaf" (sorry), Apa Kabar? (How are ya) should give me a better advantage in the lineup with the locals? Obviously anyone who paddles up the middle and is wave greedy is gonna cop shit, expected anywhere in the world, but anyone had any random acts of aggression?

PS. "JERRY JERRY JERRY JERRY" bit of family feud going on here... :/

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 1:40pm

Just met him myself Ash. He lurks out the front of Rip Curl on Legian street near Surfer Girl surf shop.
He loves a beer and is a very honest fella.

udo's picture
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udo commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 2:40pm

This guy is cool: Heriyanto
mobile: 081 337 302 411 - landline: 0361 758681 - lives at Legian
cool dude loves a beer a surf and rooting stories .

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 3:09pm

ACB, his name is Wayan : +6281338458505 is his phone number.
He doesn't surf but wants to learn to help lose his arak belly. He knows all the main spots and a few others that we have found together with a bit of exploration.
He will just wait by the car and maybe have a bit of a gamble while you surf, no pressure.
He drives safely , speaks good English , has a chat if your keen or let's you relax if your tired or chilling, will help you out wherever he can ie getting the best price for things and is just a legend guy.
It would be unreal if you threw a bit of trade his way. Have a good time over there anyway mate. Bali is awesome.
If I see a local I'll go out of my way to say G'day in Indo. It's their country and 99 percent of the Balinese are champions. They mostly surf well and are friendly as fuck if you don't give them reason to be otherwise.

ACB__'s picture
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ACB__ commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 4:51pm

Thanks heaps blowin, your advice is priceless. I will definitely be hooking up with Wayan. He sounds like a class bloke and perfect for what I'm after, few days at the resort then a safari with a car and driver.

Would you guys recommend any activities for when the surf aint so great? Eg. Tirta Empul Temple, Pura Taman Ayun? Water parks, Caving, Kayaking? Cool secluded jungle temples? If anyone's been to Angkor Wat - that's the sort of thing I have in mind. Those temples are amazing.. just fun shit for when / if its flat.

Ps. End of this month I'm driving up to byron from sydney and back camping in national parks and getting midweek winter waves. If Blowin, Ash, Udo, Zen or welly are on the east coast I'd be happy to buy a few beers in return for your kind wisdom.

udo's picture
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udo commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 5:54pm

Zennie Boy is just a bit to far north of Byron to have a beer with ?
about 35+ degrees north of the equator by memory.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 5:58pm

Twas a very kind offer though all the same Udo. Thanks ACB.

Hope you enjoy your travels.

1173

udo's picture
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udo commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 6:05pm

Yes ,very Australian.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 6:06pm

Cheers anyway ACB , but I'll be gone by then. Hope you have a good time and get a few waves.

asharper001's picture
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asharper001 commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 7:55pm

No worries ACB. Mate, I'm up for a few beers anytime, unlike Zen. It's just plain embarrassing taking him to a pub and having to order him a shirley temple. Zen also fails to mention that like all little brothers, I get his hand-me-downs. I have the matching skin tight high-hip white leather pants that also were handed down. Explains his high pitch voice. I just thought he liked Barry Gibb.

As for doing the tourist thing, just about everything I mention will be temples or educational (I'm in to that sort of thing) but read on if you will.

Tirta Gangga is quite nice. You usually get hooked up with a guide at the gate whether you want to or not. The missus and I ended up with a deaf mute called Juli. This did work out better than it sounds. He had his little notebook for when he couldn't do the charades thing. That's how we found out he was named Juli after the month he was born in. Takes you everywhere, and then to meet his family who live above the water palace. His mum makes really nice woven sarongs which are for sale. As with everything, negotiate a price for your guide first (not that Juli was too bad).

As mentioned, Tirta Empul is nice too. I rate Tirta Gangga better though. Quick tip. Don't follow the exit signs to get out. Just go out the way you came in. If you follow the exit, you will be led into a labyrinth of hundreds of shops, each selling the same shit, and all of them hard selling. If you haven't developed the thousand yard stare before you hit this place, you will probably end up snotting someone.

Same goes for Tanah Lot. Once you have seen it, not much else to do apart from palming off the hawkers.

I highly recommend the museum negeri propinsi bali in Denpasar. If you can, find a guide called Wayan (one of many I'm sure) from Mengwi (claims to be of royalty from the Mengwi dynasty, 7th brother in the family, can't quite remember the details). Has a big Eddie Murphy head tilted back, wide open mouth smile. Hilarious fella but doesn't mean to be. Absolute wealth of knowledge in the history of Bali, all the conflicts, everything. Our trip to the museum would have been nothing without this bloke.

Just across from the museum is Puputan Square which commemorates the suicidal stand of the rajahs of Badung against the invading dutch in 1906 (some interesting but quite sad photo's of this are in the museum). It's a peaceful park in the chaos of Denpasar where people come to fly kites of all sizes, from small to f'ing huge.

Lebih beach (just north of Keramas) is alright for a little detour. It's a spin out at night as is full of mica and like walking amongst a billion stars (same with Echo Beach to Pererenan on the west coast).

Since you are around the Keramas area, a quick trip over to Semapura (Klungkung) which is about 20 minutes away, to visit Taman Kertha Gosa is well worth it. Museum Semarajaya is in the same palace/temple.

Tenganan further north up the east coast may interest you. It's a traditional village trying to hold on to the past. Seem to make their money selling banana leaf drawings but not your usual hard sell you get down in Kuta. They just let you have a look and if you buy you buy, if not no hassle (which makes a nice change).

A lot of tourists usually head to Amed, but really their isn't a great deal there unless you are interested in salt production. The real interest is taking the coast road (not the main road) around the twisting mountains to Amed. You keep looking down to the coast looking at potential surf breaks (if only you could get down there) and trying not to go over the edge. It's like New Zealand in the tropics.

You could also check out Uluwatu temple. You will probably head to Ulu anyway so might has well check the temple whilst your at it. As mentioned, watch those bastard monkeys, oh and wouldn't drop my name anywhere, you know....the sarong thing.

Ubud: can't recommend anything here really. I personally hate the fucken place. There is touristy and then there is shameless exploitation. Ubud falls into the latter.

As for locals in the water, never had a problem. Like the world over, show respect, wait your turn, maybe even donate a turn or two, offer a smile and a friendly greeting, and you should never have a worry.

Cheers Blowing and Udo for the contacts. Might throw them a bit of work next time I'm over. Would love to have a few beers post surf but as I generally surf by myself, seeking out the solo uncrowded, I usually have to worry about the drive back to accommodation.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 8:04pm

Tidak Masala Ash.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 8:09pm

I told you ACB, bloody sarong's.

First paragraph, he can't leave 'em alone.

1173

asharper001's picture
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asharper001 commented Wednesday, 2 Jul 2014 at 8:24pm

Shit, busted. I asked the missus what the woven thing was hanging off the back of the couch and she said Sarong. I was trying to look for another word. Should have said Batik. Yep, think that's it. Whew, explained my way out of that one.