One of mine, and Sam and Matt, goals for the trip was to learn to surf somewhere along the way and Indonesia was the place the entire time. However, finding a steady break for beginners was not that easy. One existed in Kuta, a MAJOR tourist town very close to the Bali airport. I cannot be too bad at the entire country of Australia because of its location, only a few hours from Indonesia to Australia. Australians go to Kuta just for a weekend, or for spring break or just to party more. Walking around Kuta people called me mate, which sort of got on my nerves but if thats my biggest problem, thats not too bad. Kuta is full of tourists, night clubs, crazy western clothing stalls for tourists, bars, western restaurants, cheap indonesian restaurants, internet cafes and travel agencies, not many temples, historical sights or ancient ruins. No offense to Matt but he thinks he can do anything, sometimes while driving in Tibet he would say, "I would love to climb that mountain". I would look outside and think to myself, there is NO WAY you could ever climb that but would keep my mouth shut. He thought surfing was going to be a piece of cake and we did not need lessons. I half agreed but (not to be arrogant) I thought I was going to get it quicker than him because of my beach bum lifestyle. For you sailors out there, you know that I've been surfing waves since I was about 10 in my Opti (love live Echo, my first boat) just pump the main, if you do not understand that, do not worry. Then I went to surfing university by sailing my Laser in big breeze. Anyways I thought I was going to have an advantage over landlubber Matt. So we rented board the first day and decided to hold off on lessons. The waves were breaking right at the Kuta beach, maybe 5 to 7 feet. I have watched my fair share of surfing videos so I had a good idea how to do it and considering it was day 1, I did alright. Man I was beat after a day of paddling, getting barreled and in the sun all day. Renting a board cost about $3 a day and the waves were free so we stayed in the water all day. The good thing about Kuta is that 75% of the surfers are no good so there is no need to be embarrassed.
The next day we took a morning lesson and WOW it helped so much, by the end of our 3 hour session we had become some of the best beginner foreign surfers on the beach. Our coach really helped me with my foot positions and how to paddle differently down different waves. That afternoon was surfing surfing and more surfing and same for the next day. By the end of 3 days and only one morning lesson I felt awesome about my improvement, I feel that I could go to most places in the world, rent a board, shake off alittle rust and go out there. This does not mean you will see me dropping in a 50ft wave on a surf video, yet, but maybe one day. Matt did great too, my classification of him as a landlubber is still sort of true but he did great on a surfboard. After 3 days of surfing together and travelling together on and off for about 4 months, Matt moved on. He was speeding up his trip so he could surprise his family on Christmas. He was off to Hanoi for a week, I was jealous he was going back before me but in reality, I had unlimited time there, he had a week, so I guess he should be jealous.
I knew I did not want to stay in Kuta longer. I was beat from surfing and tired of being in an Aussie tourist partyland. I started doing some research on where in Indonesia to go next.