During our stay in Sumatra, Rex and I had to start thinking about our next couple moves. After some debating we decided that we would want to stay in Bali a little bit longer than we had originally planned and we extended our stay by 2 weeks. Which means we ended up spending the max amount of time allotted on our visa and booked our flight out of there on the last day possible.
Once we came back from Sumatra, we headed straight to Ubud for some culture. The main reason to be in Bali was to surf, but we figured we should at least check out the artisan/batik/yogi meca of Indonesia (also it’s one of the only places I could find Pilates classes in Bali:)) we arrived close to midnight and just crashed out in our room.
The place (suly resort and spa) we stayed at was a real find. For $22 a night we had a massive room with aircon, wifi, 2 pools in the middle of rice fields, free yoga, a pretty cheap breakfast buffet and so much more. The resort is interesting due to the fact that it is also ran by high school kids. The front of the compound is a boarding school for kids from less fortunate areas who get scholarships to go to school and at the same time they get trained in everything hospitality. Basically at the end of their schooling, not only do they have their high school degree, they also have the ability to go get a job within the hospitality Industry. So the entire place (which is huge) is crawling with 16 year olds doing everything from room service, front desk, restaurant, and gardening. The resort was a little bit outside of town, in the area called Mas which is the area known for its wood carving. We rented a scooter to get us around and we were off to explore.
The next few days were filled with temples, monkeys, shopping, Pilates/yoga. It was pretty action packed considering the previous 2 weeks were fulfilled with just surfing, eating, sleeping.
One day we decided we would do some artisan classes, Rex chose wood carving and basket weaving, I did batik and also basket weaving.
We spent an entire day in a shop outside of town learning these 3 trades and let me tell you …basket weaving is hard… Like really no joke, hard!! At one point Rex and I both looked at each other like : “are you kidding me?!” In the mix of all this, it’s also 99% humidity and a heat index of 90 and we are tying our fingers in knots trying to weave a little box out of dried palm frauns. Our teacher completed 4 in the time that Rex and I finished 1…and he had a cigaret in his hand most the time… The upmost respect to those basket weavers.
As for the other classes, I think we both walked away extremely inspired to try and continue those crafts when we get home again. Batik was a lot of fun and reminded me of the silk dying, that Cat and I used to do when I was a kid. Rex took a huge liking (rightfully so, he has a natural talent ) to wood carving. His fish looks amazing and I can’t wait to see how it is once it’s sanded and done.
One of the only things Rex really wanted to do in Ubud was to go eat at Lotus Cafe. It has been there for over 30 years and was a restaurant he had fond memories of, from his previous visits. We decided to officially celebrate our 3 year anniversary there and unknowingly we also got to see a traditional Balinese dance performance. The food was amazing and the music/dance was entertaining. It didn’t break the bank and we felt like it was a special night!
After 4 days we left the hustle and bustle of Ubud and headed back to our beloved bukit peninsula. We had already reserved a room at Impossible Villas where Dana and Alex had posted up. We were ready to eat, breath, live surfing for another 14 days. Personally I was ready to put this whole surfing thing to rest mid Sumatra. I have had an odd relationship with it for 8 years. It has been an on and off again relationship, getting better but then taking 5 steps back, mental blocks that would infuriate me(and Rex) and I finally wanted to really just work on surfing and wrapping my head around it. I needed to figure out my mental issues with the ocean and the fear of it. So where to do it better than in the #1 best place to surf in the world (on reef?! The scariest thing ever) Rex, of course, thought this would be a great idea. He helped me learn how to read the waves/ocean and after the first day I was able to go surf on my own and figure it out. Rex would analyze and critique me after most waves and without him I wouldn’t have learned as much as I did. We would spend afternoon or evenings practicing on dry land (popping up, body movements once standing etc). We would watch videos of Sumatra and us surfing and analyze it(who knew that looking where you want to go instead of down the the wave would make such a huge difference ;)). Seeing the love that Rex has for surfing and the ocean really helped as well. Watching him surf, with such determination, grace and strength is really inspiring.
It was super uneventful and really boring for most people but I really truly enjoyed it! In the midst of all this I also met a couple other girls that surf and rip and it doubled the fun. Who could beat warm water, perfect 3-5 ft waves and good company?
We ended up surfing mainly Uluwatu and Padang Padang (I now know where all the German surfers go, 90% of people in the water were German and this is where I,ironically, ended up surfing most the time). We did a day trip to Pandawa (with some
Old colleges of Alex and I) and Rex did another day trip to Nusa Dua with Alex.
In the midst of our stay, I learned of a designer in town called Maggie. She is the founder and owner of a brand called Magini Bikinis. Dana and I made our way over to her shop one afternoon and man oh man was I in heaven. She had a rack of bikinis and then a shelving unit full of fabrics. In the corner were two sewing machines were a local couple was sewing away. Before we knew it Maggie (she is from Portugal, about 5’2″ and 80 lbs) had strapped and twisted and wrapped some bikinis on our bodies and was talking away about fit, fabric and construction. I felt like I was just glowing and then she told us the price of a custom bikini and I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. After long debates about what fabrics, fit and size to go with I walked away with 5 pieces and Dana with 3. In 3 short days they would be ready for pick up.
Weird enough, another couple from Orange County was in bali at the same time. Some ex-volcom employees that Alex and I worked with for awhile. We all had an amazing surf together and a great dinner. It was so great to see people from the old family and it truly made me be grateful for my times at volcom.
All in all it was nice to finally be in a little bit of a routine. We weren’t always bound to each other and could independently move around. It was inspiring and relaxing.
Rex got some massive waves and got his barrels in. I learned/did my first cut back front side and backside. We got to spend and build stronger friendships with old friends.
I am not going to lie, once again a piece of our heart was left in bali, we are already talking about when we can come back! So thank you bali and your people for being who you are!
Now we are on our way to Singapore and vietnammmmmmmm!!!