Southern Bali: Padang Padang to surf

“Bali is a popular tourist destination, which has seen a significant rise in tourists since the 1980s.Tourism-related business makes up 80% of its economy. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Ubud, Bali. In March 2017, TripAdvisor named Bali as the world’s top destination in its Traveller’s Choice award,” pulled from Bali – Wikipedia.

For all their hard work on the boat, Eric Rigney and I wanted to reward Bryce Rigney and Trent Rigney with a trip down to Southern Bali to surf the famous Ulu Watu and Padang Padang breaks with their s/v Ocelot buddy Rainer Dawn. Eric stayed in Lovina to guard the boat and I went with them as chaperone. Our 5 hour drive south included a stop at the Twin Lake Trekking Point with pretty lake views where the boys goofed off a bit, and a fellow had bats to hold for a photo-op.

Trekking Point: Rainer Dawn, Trent and Bryce Rigney.
Leslie Rigney in front of the Two Lakes, Bali.

Then we stopped off and had a tour of a coffee plantation specialising in Lewak Coffee (a little catlike rodent critter who eats the fruity coffee beans and digests them whole. After coming out the other end, the beans are then cleaned, roasted to perfection, ground and voila…delicious tasting coffee!).

Rainer Dawn, Bryce and Trent enjoying their coffee tasting on the road to Bukit Peninsula, Bali, Indonesia.

Passing straight through Bali’s capital, Denpasar, and heading along the only route south, the Jelan Bypass Nusa Dua, past Bali’s Intl airport, we culminated our 5 hour taxi drive south arriving at the bottom of Bali on the SW corner of Bukit Peninsula.

SW corner of the Bukit Peninsula of Bali, Indonesia.

Just barely noting an unassuming wooden sign pointing the direction down a dirt road, our taxi driver hesitatingly drove the narrow route to a dirt lot on top of a cliff with a long dirt walking path heading down to the Bali Rocks Hostel. We unloaded the taxi and waved goodbye to our still unsure taxi driver. He was worried because the Bali Rocks Hostel was not a typical “hotel” with a typical hotel entrance. It is tucked away down a cliff – like most of the other homes/apartments/hotels along that beach, and literally hanging over the famous Pedang Pedang surf and beach, otherwise known as Labuan Sait Beach. The hostel manager was there to greet us with a smile and showed us to our very tidy two twin bed room with private toilet, sink and shower.

Two beds, two sleeping bags makes four sleeping accommodations – Bali Rocks Hostel was in the know!

We arrived just after noon. Having already eaten lunch along the way at McDonald’s the boys quickly got organized to surf. Leslie

Here is Trent’s journal account of the adventure:

The day after our boat Kandu arrived at Lovina Bay on Bali, Bryce, Rainer Dawn, myself and mom left to the southern end of Bali where there is great surf. On our drive, we stopped to look at really cool, tame bats. The bats were fruit bats. We could have held them, but I didn’t want to pay the money.

Tame Indonesian fruit bat ready for his photo-op.
Photo-op Indonesian fruit bat.

We got hungry, so our driver stopped off at a road side fruit stand for us to buy curious fruits and packaged snacks. We bought strawberries, passion fruit and delicious rice snacks to tide us over for the next couple hours of driving.

Just past noon, we finally arrived at the end of a dirt road. I got all the stuff I could carry and walked down 50 stairs to our hotel which was perched on the cliff right beside the beach. We arrived in the early afternoon at Pedang Pedang, which allowed us to surf until low tide when the waves became too small to surf. We walked up the dirt road into town for dinner. It was really expensive! The next morning, we surfed at “Impossibles” which is a little big for my BIG Robert’s epoxy board (hard to duck-dive) but still pretty fun. “Impossibles” is good at low tide, and at high tide, we moved over to the beginner/intermediate surf break toward the beach area. That’s where I caught a lot of waves.

Trent Rigney back to the hostel after some good surf.

On our third day, we surfed “Impossibles” in the early morning as the tide was coming in and the other intermediate area at high tide later that morning. We broke late and ate linner. Mom discovered a snack restaurant at the neighboring hostel. Boy, that chicken burger and fries never tasted so good! We ended up eating there for most of our meals. After a little rest, the three of us decided to rent long boards because after 2.5 days of boogie boarding, Rainer was ready to surf! The three of us headed out for the beginner spot. Rainer did great and I caught even more waves than I caught the day before. I also got huge rashes on my legs because the board was made of foam. Rainer stood up for the first time on his long board. The three of us even caught waves together – they call those party waves!

Rainer Dawn up surfing!
Padang Padang Party Wave from left to right Bryce, Trent, unknown, and Rainer Dawn far right.

The next morning “Impossibles” was too big for me. Bryce had taken off before sunrise on his own to surf the famous waves of Uluwatu with his GoPro. Later we learned he caught a ride on a scooter and joined up with some French guys. He caught a gnarly barrel.

We had a crazy experience dealing with the macaque monkeys that morning. A bag of granola had been left outside the room from Bryce’s breakfast. A monkey must have found it, spread the word to the other monkeys, and it seemed like 25 monkeys swarmed the hostel to get their share. They made a terrible mess – turning over all the garbage cans, pulling out the trash, and scattering the oatmeal everywhere. Only a long stick or broom could actually scare them away. I tried to shew one away, and it lunged back at me baring its teeth. I dodged the male, but it spooked me enough, that I never approached one again unless I had the broom. I swept up the mess, and eventually the monkeys went away. Unlike the previous days, the beach in front of the hostel was swarming with all ages and sizes of monkeys the rest of the day. The local dogs had a great time chasing after them.

Agressive male Macaque monkey reluctantly allowing this photo.

Bryce returned later that morning. Because the waves were too big for Rainer and I, we didn’t surf again until after lunch. That afternoon, we all surfed the beginner spot. I surfed this time with my short Robert’s fiberglass surfboard and it wasn’t very fun. So I paddled back to the hostel and exchanged it for my boogie board and fins. I got a pretty cool barrel!

The next day our taxi cab driver from Lovina came to fetch us at 13h00. Unfortunately, “Impossibles” was too big in the morning and the other site wasn’t good either, so we didn’t go surfing. On our ride back, we went inside the coolest and biggest surf shop ever with a huge statue in front: Surfer’s Paradise.My mom wanted us to hold the bats, but when we arrived at the spot, they weren’t there. We took a detour to see a very special area of rice patties which was cool. The entire valley was so green. We also stopped off at The Temple on the Lake – Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. It was a pretty place and full of tourists. It felt good to be out of the car. The three of us joked around knowing that our buddy surf trip was just about over.

We dropped Rainer off at his aunt and uncle’s boat with the dinghy and unpacked to repack our sacks with clean clothes for our next adventure. The day after we returned to Kandu, we took off on another road trip to the neighboring island, Java. But this time by bus and ferry.


6 thoughts on “Southern Bali: Padang Padang to surf”

  1. Thanks, Trent, for your post. Your mom is a keen reporter, but it is refreshing to receive news through your eyes. I’ll give you a 20/20 for this article.

    1. Glad you liked it. I asked mom why we post so much. She said, “Our family likes to hear about what we’re doing.” I’ll try to write more often. Trent

  2. Great job with the writing and the videos. So fun to live it along with you in a small way. You have to know that you are experiencing life in good ways that 99.5 percent of people never have an opportunity to. Soak it all up. Blogging and your videos will help you remember as you grow older. Keep up the great work!!

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