And breathe in the fresh sea air. Ahhh.
We have arrived, after a fairly long bus journey, on the south coast of Java at the small – very small – fishing village of Batu Karas. A single strip road of bungalows and eateries, flanked by a black sand beach and excellent surf!
This place has been known as a good place to surf, and to learn, for quite a few years (according to our 2010 Indonesian guide book) but it remains sleepy and laid back. The silence only being broken by the crash of waves and the surf talk on everyone’s lips.
We checked in and checked out the waves. Our 1-hour schooling by two chilled Indonesian ‘surf dudes’ was a good starting point, and even though their teaching style was hasty-and-hazy I can happily report, that after a gruelling half hour, I was up on the board… Actually standing. Actually surfing.
And even when they left me to my own devices I managed to catch a couple of waves without assistance. I was amazed; however, I am far (very far) from a pro… And I also feel, after a few hours on a board over a couple of days, that I have been mauled by Jesus!
My toes and feet are ripped to shreds (where they have scraped up and down the board), my inner thighs are red raw (same reason), my chest has shed a layer of skin – and I’m pretty sure bruised (board again); the side of my left toe is swollen (where the board smashed it), and my right lower back has also suffered a contusion (the evil board strikes again).
I have a new found respect for surfers. It is a battle every time you turn against the tide and paddle out ready for another run. The sea is unrelenting and as you push through each surge to get to the breaks you get pummelled again. And again. And again. And again. And… Well you get the picture.
It is exhausting. But when you catch a wave, you are ready to do it all over again.
As day two rolled around we once again stepped into the surf. Joyce decided on another lesson as, unfortunately, day one had resulted in her 1. being horizontal on the board; 2. lunging forward on one leg – fencing style – before coming to rest in the waves or; 3. tumbling sideways into the surf. Vertical was tantalisingly out of reach.
However, just a few more minutes teaching and by Jove she had it.
I meanwhile was in some whacking great wave – amongst the big boys – fending for myself. I managed to catch a few (honest), although there is no photo evidence as Joyce was amid the waves. I also managed to get in lots of people’s way, destroy my body much more (a few headlong dives into the surge were on the menu) and have a lot of fun.
Amongst all this we were also treated to a under-16s surfing competition…
… So for the photos that Joyce missed of me, this is what I looked like! 😉
We now turn inland again to Yogyakarta (known as Yogya, pronounced Jogja) for more fun-filled adventures. Stay tuned.