Went there for the first time last week, down the south coast, wave wise got a bit skunked to much swell for waves i went for and south winds.
But Aceh its self was interesting having watched a docco the other month on the separation movement (GAM) and just the tsunami thing we all saw on news etc. long ago.
One thing for sure lots of money from places like Australia and USA got there after the tsunami.
The new trans sumatran highway is one of the best roads ive seen in indo very wide and well maintained and cuts virtually through mountains would have cost a mint to builf and weird thing is its not busy as low population.(locals said USA paid for it)
Also locals were given basically free houses, you can tell what ones as a genetic type design
People also shared stories of help given by Australians etc. and stories of how they saw the seas drain and ran for high ground to survive, something we all know but different when you hear it from people who lived it
I didn't dig to deep into the politics but was not long after independence day and you could see they had celebrated and laughed when i asked about GAM saying long gone
Apparently many saw the tsunami as like a punishment from Allah for wanting separation.
Was also amazed at how lush and untouched the jungle seems, virtually goes almost to the coast
PS. Some guys also took me to the only surf camp/resort in the area, and by chance the place was overtaken by police/army all kinds of officials about 50 people all up.
Apparently the western owner had been operating illegally without permits, was even in the local.paper next day, so place is now shut poor guest even guest to have their trip cut short
PS. On the Islamic i was surprised to only see one burqa, but it did suck not bring able to have a bintang.
Sorry would gave edited some of the spelling grammar mistakes but can't in main post
Well done , Indo.
Always appreciate your input , particularly your Indonesian related contributions .
Yeah best road in Indo alright.Beautiful place isn't Indo.Just out of interest is that the Russian blokes resort? Asking for a friend.Onya mate,cheers.
Yep heard he was Russian, was funny that by chance i rocked up and the place was overtaken with officials etc.
He and guest weren't there though, but yeah anyone booked in should be hitting them up, because from what locals and news story said, it didn't sound like they will be opening again real quick.
But its Indo i guess it might come down to how much money passes hands.
Was that the road via Meulaboh Indo? That took a while to get reconstructedSurf options there are though conditions are fickle.
Up until recently most political positions were filled by ex GAM - a good way to quell any discontent, but I've been bailed up be dissatisfied ex GAM crew wanting there part of the action. You're right about the money invested post-tsunami, a lot of business people made their small fortunes on the back of that investment - black SUV with tinted windows the symbol of choice!!
Only went as far south as a bit past calang, but yeah same road
Yeah is waves but yeah fickle not typical indo reminds me more of some areas of Australia just the geography of rock outcrops and lots of those she oaks planted.
Known as Road of Skulls
that's a great road on a moto - not so good in the back seat of a local bus!!
Indo,yeah that's the joint,Russian bloke .Doesn't surf told me it was all about Eco tourism.No worries,heard a bit of this and that just curious about what was going on as he was trying to sell off a bit of it.The radar was on full alert.Awas. Cheers.
I wonder what is eco about the place?
Nothing explaining that on website and i didnt notice any solar panels or anything.
Seems just a marketing thing.
“Eco “ hasn’t referred to anything except the personal Economic situation of the resort owner for quite a few years now.
BTW Horas here is the news article https://aceh.antaranews.com/berita/94432/tak-miliki-izin-tim-terpadu-ace...
Haven't been to the area but wrong time of year for wind isn't it?
I went a few times between 2009 and 2015 - great waves on the first trip but progressively more and more crowded to the point that I decided it wasn't worth going back. Got my first good left barrell there, and surfed empty Peak every day for almost a month. I reckon I had sunstroke for most of that trip!
I had a classic "got in too deep" moment up there going down the same road ID. Got just a bit further south of Lamno and pulled over to get some fuel, and the standard gang of middle aged men sitting around smoking and drinking coffee. We started chatting and they quizzed me on why I spoke Indonesian (I was studying in Jogja at the time) but I stumbled a bit, and it resulted in this big group of ex-GAM soldiers accusing me of being a spy for the US and Indonesian governments. It was a very, very, very tense half an hour of them stroking their guns while I produced my student card and trying to hold back tears of panic.
I got away in the end, though the day wasn't over. Pulled over on the way home on the windy mountainous roads overlooking those two islands for an es teh. All of a sudden the owners yelled out 'RRUUUUUUUNNNN!!' and being on edge I was certain a mob with guns was about to jump us. Turned out it was a much more dangerous mob of big black monkeys that stormed the warung, turning over tables and smashing plates while we ran to the other side of the road and hid behind our bikes.
Pretty much collapsed in anxious exhaustion once I got back to Lhoknga haha.
classic monkey ambush dandandan - and don't get the old GAM guys started...Sy bicara Bahasa Indonesia sedakit Pak and walk away calmly...
you're right about the crowds increasing, local guesthouses start promoting the Peak and next thing you know it gets busy, who'd of thought? Paddled out a few times in the dark to get some solitude the last couple of times I was there, lovely set up but limited options once a crowd turns up
Wow sounds like it's really mellowed, no wonder the guys i was hanging with kept saying dont worry place is safe all the time, tell your friends the place is safe, not sure why they thought i was worried as was happy and joking with them as i do most Indonesians.
One was a kepala desa another has a god job and involved with bupati, and he kept introducing me to all these high level officials.
Im guessing now that for sure some i met were X-GAM glad i didnt get too political with conversations..
I focus- believe winds this time of year are normally more west which i actually wanted for spots i went for(fun but not A grade waves), but winds were south everyday, few hide holes but didnt find that much worth surfing other than some A frame beachies.
Overall good to check out, i wouldn't mind going back when better winds and do some more exploring, but overall better spots/coast in Indonesia, and although not a big drinker, i do enjoy 2 or 3 bintangs at the end of the day.
PS. Anyone know any investors for mining Iron ore etc?....dont know why they kept taken me to mining sites thinking i can get them investors, even though i told them i have no clue on that stuff.