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Welcome to my BlogBelow in the archives you will find a lot of different stories and photographs from my experiences traveling and living in the UK. Feel free to browse and enjoy.
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Tag Archives: bali
This is Johnny I met him at the Globe Bowl 2 years ago and bumped into him again this week, He has lived here four approx 4 years. This is Johnny surfing Uluwatu on a big swell, photo courtesy Johnny. These are some photos of Johnny skating the bowl,..We are trying to get him to step up his game on a skateboard with the same confidence he has in the sea. But the truth is for a young man uninjured with such big shiny muscles, combined with his “charge it” attitude in the sea. Truth is he skates like a “pussy” bailing his airs and only just scratching the pool coping with his trucks in a little 5ft deep concrete bowl. Hopefully over the next few months we can get him to start skating more like his torso suggests!!!
I am staying Back in Mekar Jaya bungalows, to be fair the staff are great the gardens are amazing and the breakfast is always welcome. However on a realistic note the price is increasing each time I return and the rooms are getting grubby, the mattresses close to un-sleepable in whilst sober with bed bugs and back ache. But coming from the Uk the gardens are still worth the trade off, The staff are super friendly, it is also very secure and at 9 US dollars a night including breakfast its still not gonna break the bank.
I have been bust working and sorting out a bunch of camera equipment and inbetween I have managed to edit through some of my video footages. Here is a small edit of my friend Eugene surfing in Sumbawa Indonesia, I filmed this on a sony VX 2100 3 Chip mini DV video camera. I managed to get a few various angles from the tower, the reef in a boat and also swimming with a water housing,.. Eugene is a good solid surfer from the Uk and spends every winter in Indonesia for approx 6 months..Enjoy
1 Corinthians 2:9 (New International Version)
However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”
Well this is one I read in the Bible when I discovered it, I have been holding onto these words for about 20 years now since the first time I read it alone in bed when I was 19 years old. It is easy to constantly look and feel about what your life is missing rather than what it contains, when I stop to think and count my blessings,then look back over my life I think the promise has been kept so far,.. as for your life well you decide…
Been raining super heavy every day for a few hours, heavy thunderstorms during the evening,..this means dirty river water in the sea. I have had conjunctivitis for 3 days probably from surfing dirty water. It is all gone now, saline drops and some antibiotic eye drops did the trick, not good felt like having sand rubbed in my eyes for 3days. Still waiting to hear news from my lawyers in Lombok RE land titles, so surfing each day, hanging out with my friends Mick and Troy and taking some photos along the way so I will post some soon,…Not too much swell at the moment,.
Clari is from Bristol I have known her for 13 years now and she has been in Bali for nearly 6 months having previously been in India as her self reward for finishing her fashion degree as a mature student. Super talented in many ways, can write a song and dance about life and dress the characters up in pretty clothes all at the same time. Clari is a social networker of the highest caliber and somehow managed to end up “Villa Sitting” in Seminyak the upmarket part of Bali, for free! while the rest of us pay for hotels.. However as the great friend that she always is she invited me around for a dip in the pool. With such great light and contrast to Lombok local lifestyles I could not resist taking a few shots of how some people live their lives.. Maybe one day this could be me,”oh, today it was” even if for a moment, but hey life’ s the present! enjoy it, unwrap it! thanks Clari all the best….
The last 3 Black and white photos are some portraits I took of Clari 3 years ago in Bristol, these are some of my favourite photos..
Mick my Balinese friend Putu and I went for a day out to Nusa Dua, no waves here today however its usually the biggest wave spot in Bali, five star hotels everywhere $200 a night but the beaches are free to everyone..
you will pass through Ubud and the world famous rice terraces and the restaurants dotted along the crest of the road. Follow the road ahead and you will pass the New Gunung Kawi temples, however at this point you have gone to far and need to do a U turn go back up the hill and take aleft turning at the top. Then for few km you will see logs and barefoot artisans with chainsaws and chisels and witness more carved wood on roadside display than possibly any other place in the world,..
Surfed Lombok’s infamous Desert Point again with friend I have made travelling from Australia called Michael Spiteri, surprisingly we had no crowds and amazing waves. Michael kindly let me use his new camera so I have some great photos to follow. Now back in Bali again for Ramadan as its a noisy time in Lombok and all the people working on my land are fasting so not a lot gets done.. Work on my retaining walls has made some progress the last 6 weeks and life seems all,.. ok so far,..Had some ups and downs and some stress with some stressful people but that has come to the end,..
There has been a few new banners going up about all the sexual health risks here, and it appears nearly all the women I have met over the last two years, finally emerge to be somewhat not entirely honest or truthful in one way or the other, so I decided to go for a health check up, and all the rest of the tests as there is a free place to do so. Kuta unlike the rest of Indonesia seems to be a cesspit of morality and hedonism to the extreme, especially in June, July, August, which is peak holiday season, so if a person is at risk of getting sick this would definitely be one of the places and times to be careful. It seems at the moment more than usual everyone is in full party mode 24 hours a day and the drunken debauchery you witness is enough to make one whince and cringe,.Usually all performed by a person wearing a Bintang Singlet
Well my results all good body still 100% healthy, which is always great to know, So as of now apart from a few scars hitting the reef at Desert point I am in good physical condition,..So I am going to just spend some time in Bali and get to surf as much as possible,..
The Canon G10 has a sepia tones setting for photos, so when the colour was washed out down the beach the other day with a few grey skies this setting seemed to work a treat. These are a few shots for you to enjoy of Kuta Beach and the scenery with a few adjustments to the tone curve and contrast settings in Adobe Lightroom,…
For the first time I finally surfed Impossibles today, It is the left hand point break between Dreamlands and Padang Padang. Swell still pumping, winds off shore, good size waves all afternoon. Me and Johan both got a few lengthy high spped waves to day so that was great. We went in at 2pmish mid tide 1.5m and came out at low .5m it worked really well at around 1.2m ish good size and shape, reef super sharp here and now I have a whole bunch of scrapes again all over my feet and a few on my hands.
So here we go more sea ulcers on the way. We both had to walk bare foot back over the reef on the way out. I got dragged accross the reef today whilst swimming back to shore trying to recover my escaping surfboard after my leash snapped!! Then, Aghhh!! a damn piece of coral gets broken and lodged in the ball of my right foot so in the Warung I had to dig it out with my thumbnail so that it does not get infected, live coral is really infectous and now this small hole is really sore now..
Impossibles Stats– needs a good size swell 6 ft + @ 14 seconds or more bigger the better. A 1.5m tide seemed perfect to get in and out of the break as reef covered enough to paddle freely over without scraping fins on the coral. Surfable at a .5m tide but super painful getting in and out without reef boots. Reef really sharp so rising tide better to come back in. Dry season wave, and the trade winds from south east blow offshore all day. Gets pretty crowded, called Impossibles as it runs really fast and can be difficult to make the sections, expect to be dropped in on by surfers with no faith that your making them. Lots of take off points down the line, shallow on the inside but a great wave,..
1st Place Jamie O Brien Hawaii
2nd Place “Bol” Made Adi Putra Indonesia
Saturday Morning and the Rip Curl Contest organisers have given the go ahead for the 2009 Padang Padang Surf Contest in Bali. Bali has been awash for huge posters and promotional material for this event, with the marketing slogan”its on when its on” This surf break is Bali’s premium surf wave a big cavernous green back lit barrel that peels slowly across the reef at Padang Padang beach providing awesome inspiring rides up to 150-250m with a barrel hollow and wide enough to fit a minibus inside. It has only broken properly once or twice this year as it needs a hefty south west groundswell of 10-12ft min with a 16 second period.
This is a barrel riding contest with 32 internationaly invited surfers. This line up contains the world most prestigous and talented surfing professionals with 15 or so Indonesian surf pros competing on their home turf. They have all been waiting for the right swell conditions as the contest was to be held on just one day between Aug1st-31st. Everybody has been in Bali waiting for the contest green light to go. This is a barrel riding contest with 32 internationally invited surfers so the conditions need to be perfect. Well the contest was given the green light 8.00am Saturday and the conditions could not have been any more perfect. Heavy clean swell offshore trade winds and bright blue cloudless skies.
To cut a long story short Jamie O Brien from Hawaii spent more time inside a barrel in today’s contest than most surfers will in the entire surfing lives. Jamie grew up in Hawaii with Pipeline as his local break and this really shone through as he pulled into the longest deepest barrels. Jamie was going “deeper than a Nigerian Porn Star” and just as the wave closed out and everybody was thinking game over he would burst through the white water like a superhero bursting through a wall. Arms always aloft waving with delight as though he was uncertain of the waves outcome as the judges and the crowd. Super talented surfer his positioning in the sea and wave selection was incredibly precise and he delivered for himself and his sponsors. He provide unforgettable entertainment for the crowds spectating scattered around the beach and cliff and more importantly the judges. He scored three 10’s during the contest and each one well deserved. Jamie OBrien is becoming more of a legend each day…1st Place
Highlights, “Bol” Adi Made Putra, a local Indonesian professional ripper surfed Padang today like it was his day job, super relaxed, wave selection perfect went deeper than everybody else except Jamie OB and delivered the goods every wave he ended in 2nd place. Could have won if hee had not gone as deep on a few immense barrels but he put his balls on the line for the judges and the crowd. Respect, It was my first time to witness Bols legendary surfing in the flesh I have only seen posters of him in the large retail outlets in Bali. Every bit as good as the life size posters depict, Bol is the man..
Everybody else took off went deep made some got shut down by others.. but the waves were great all day. The contest format was 2 man head to head relaxed vibe. Sit in the Sea wait for you wave take off and Boom pull under that thick heavy lip. I managed to video most of the best waves from the quarter finals through to the end, so they will end up in my next production soon..
A great day, Rip Curl continue to develop their credibility and Kudus in my opinion, a great event, 32 surfers at least 20 years surfing experience each so about 6400 surfing hours experience all on showcase in one beautiful bright blue Bali day.
I most definitely want to pull into one of these barrels at Padang Padang before my time is up, another reason to stay here. I am loving Bali more each day…
I spent the evening with a woman with the most beautiful soul who I met one week ago, her name is Alexa. We have spent everyday together for one week and she leaves on Sunday,.. so as one good thing comes another one leaves.. A crazy wonderful world the Universe, My God, my life is providing for me. Life is good….
Since my last post I have been surfing most days as there is consistent swell in Indonesia most days. In the evenings I have been spending some time in between with an Indonesian female I met this month named Donna, we get on ok but she is leaving to go and live in Jakarta in a week, so it will be another short lived affair of sorts.
However I intend to enjoy it while it lasts which will be in total, just two weeks…
Surfing at Uluwatu most days this week which has been fun, some days are a bit aggro in the sea and pretty crowded. Briefly a quick mention my friend Dougy “stand up barrels” McKinney is back in Kuta after travelling to Australia and the Uk, we had a fun surf on the beach the other day on 1ft high crappy close out waves, all good fun though..
Xgames 15 is happening right now this week in the USA and all my favourite skaters fmx riders and bmx riders are breaking all the boundaries this year once again. Its all happening on ESPN.com and Youtube.. so instead of uploading photos I have been watching all the latest action at snail speed internet connection slower than dial up.. so bad!!! aghhhhhhhhhh
However it has been worth the wait seriously the whole world of action sports has progressed at such a ridiculous rate over the last 15 years..makes me feel old, not ready to step down yet though.
We ve been here a few days now, managed to find an internet connection at the ohhh sooo jazzz Balian Yoga Centre, crappy slow connection so only a few but great photos from today. waves have been small but fun, crowded but still enough waves to go around.
below is Johnny Rad and me..
Johnny felt a real connection with this piece of artwork in our room at Pondok Pitaya and felt dressed for the part in his camo combat shorts,. Johnny is a real life action hero and as you can see below has a wide range of serious action moves,..
For a property developer Johnny is a very versatile actor and professional poser below you can see him do two excellent and unbelieveably convincing prisoner of war poses
Ok Ive been sat in Gloria Jeans Coffee shop Kuta Bali and have been drinking copious amounts of coffee in order to be able to get some wifi time to upload some photos to previous posts in my blog. I have not finished yet but my head is ready to explode from caffeine overdose and the pumping trance music playing outside in the road. I have uploaded maybe 50 -60 photos which is a nightmare on this internet connection. I need to feel positive about my world as the waves are super crowded and I havent been having a good surf this week..I am missing Bangkok for some reason, my friends Tim and Dan and just the fun time we had there.
This picture was taken by my friend Johan Pomtell in about Feb 2008 and I took the ones of him below at Kuta beach so much has happened since then but I have wanted to post these shots for a long time but haven’t had the chance Johan is from Sweden and rips on a skateboard and is like me surfing daily in Bali,…happy days…
I have been back in Bali 4 weeks since being in Sumbawa, My back has become strong enough to surf again so all is looking bright on the horizon.
One thing though is Kuta is like a vortex, that can suck you in like a powerful magnet. It is Bali’s surf capital however it is a known fact that when surfers come here they do their least amount of surfing whilst in Indonesia. Kuta is an amazingly colourful place, culturaly diverse with large amounts of people from Japan, USA, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Most of Europe, Russia and the UK.. It really is diverse, when mixed with the traditional Hindu cultural of the Balinese, trendy boutiques, surf shops, and the small street food stalls I find myself in the middle of a colourful playful world with many distractions. Traditional massage and beauty parlours entice all who pass by as the young attractive Balinese women try and engage you in conversation. Bottom line here is surfing often takes a back seat and the density of the traffic and dangers of riding a moped through it all in the blazing sunshine wearing only boardshorts often means I find myself surfing a lot less when I am here.
When you visit a remote beach with only a sprinkling of accomodation all you do all day is surf and to be honest this is exactly what Lakey Peak Sumbawa offers the travelling surfer, surf surf surf and more surf…Now that my back is in better condition I am feeling the need to get on a surf mission again. Bali is a great place but all the waves are super, super crowded.
Well to summarise my time in Lakep Peak I met soo many cool people, from many nations, the quality of the wave attracted visiting pros from the UK, from Indonesia, USA and Australia. I was able to get great big and small wave video action featuring Garut Widiatara from Bali, World Champion Mick Fanning came with an entourage including Bede Durbidge and Ozzie Wright, Ruebyn and Joss Ash, Josh Ward and many others provided me with great surfing action to film. I aim to post some of the action on my blog when I find a fast enough connection..
Bottom Line Lakey Peak is a great place to surf and I am realising that more each day
to get there simple,
Bali to Bima fly with Merpati Airlines, taxi to Lakey Peak, job done then its great waves from there on.
Lakey Peak I will upload some photos of some new friends and goodtimes when I get a chance
Traveling has been great for my spirit and my soul,I have met so many great people who are in a wonderful mind space, please let me explain..In Bristol I met many people who dreamed of traveling and experiencing things but it never really happened as they were still like me at the time working and living but still in Bristol..
When I decided to take the risk of selling my possesions embracing my fears and jumping on a plane into the unkown, I have now met many people who had decided to follow their dreams as well. Then I realised I was not alone and this is a good feeling to know you are not alone. If you combine this with being surrounded by may people living their dreams this is a positive environment for your mental health
Well If I try and articulate myself further, it will go like this,. often it appears one has to spend long periods of time with different people most days that they would rather see less of and not enough time with people they would rather see more of, this is due to life, work and circumstances,..
Furthermore many of the people whom we meet each day are not always at their best, with regards to their mood, their health, their mental state or generally how they feel about themselves, and where they are at in relation to where they would like to be eg, doing a job they dislike, living somewhere they would rather change, in a relationship they are not fulfilled in and generally pissed off they are not following their dreams.
This discontentment keeps people living in hope of, change, or maybe winning the lottery, It keeps celebrities in their celebrity status as an ideal to aim for and it keeps us all borrowing more money and spending more of what we do not have in an attempt to live a life better than the one we have immediately around us.
From where I am sitting right now, this seems positive for a nations economy because the debt keeps people going back to work on a Monday morning, it keeps the shops in business the pubs and clubs keep collecting any excess earnings at the end of each week as people aim to achieve a state of euphoria at the end of a generally dull, difficult, stress full and tiresome week. Well I am speaking from how I felt much of the time when I was generally caught up in the so called ” Rat Race” in the UK. The newspapers and television seems to keep everybody in a constant state of anxiety and fear with regards the Economy, also there is a seemingly never ending War in Iran and Iraq and War on global terror daily in the news.
Everybody has dreams!
Reality is the example of life that takes place immediately and remotely around us both past and present.. This example is often all we have to measure ourselves against and furthermore it is often all we have to guide our hopes and desires. Well I discovered if reality is the standard I use in my life and the example of what to aim for I will only go as far as what has already been and gone.
Now this is why dreams are so great, within my imagination all is possible, so many things can happen in my imagination.I have people who have inspired me in life, many people have dreamed of situations, circumstances and results and then gone in search of them until the results appeared. This is when dreams come true, and the possibilities are endless. Personally I found for a drea to come true, I just need to take small steps in the direction that I dream of going and the rest unfolds.
Many but not all of my dreams have come true,
In the picture below is a collage of all the things I dreamed of doing since I was a little boy aged 13, I wanted to ride my BMX in empty swimming pools like the pros in the American BMX magazines Mike Dominguez and Eddie Fiola, When I saw Tony Hawk and Christion Hosoi skateboard in early skateboard videos I dreamed of how it would feel to be able to do that too, so I took small steps in the direction of my dreams and they slowly over time came to pass,..
Then when I had turned about 35 and was financially in a position to try I was able to purchase a motocross bike and learn to jump that too.. I have discovered that it does come to pass all you have to do is dream first visualize how then head towards the dream.
Well I had always dreamed of what surfing must feel like and bought my first surfboard Oct 2008 aged 37 from Sharkbite Surf Shop Bristol. In Dec 2008 I decided to move to a place with sunshine warm water and waves, just like I had dreamed of doing and these are some pictures of some steps towards a dream come true..
This is me learning how to bottom turn! quite literally, following the dream of blue skies, warm water and great waves also had extras thrown in, life is good! this is my new friend Hannah she was in the water twice a day for about 6 hrs, and was staying at Lakey Peak with her boyfriend Eugene Tollemach (more about Eugene Later!)
This is me doing a frontside turn, It has been a very humbling experience staying at Lakeys surrounded by so many pro surfers and generally high level ability surfers. I really am not very good at surfing and have discovered surfing is not easy at all this is me working how not to drop in on a wave..
Stage 1 of learning the hard way, I have not paddled hard enough into this wave..
Step 2 I manage to get to my feet but because I paddled in to the wave too late I am caught up in the white water..Step 3, So now I am just free falling but I am still on my board, this is called an airdrop but I am not good enough to get away with this..
Vert Skateboarding helped me still stay on my board up until this point..Still standing, but I know I am about to get a wave on my headAny minute now half a ton of fast moving water is about to land on me and put me on spin cycle at the laundryHere goes, time for the washing machine..unless you have experienced this you can not imagine how much power moving water has, I broke 3 surfboards when I was at Lakey Peak..
Well apparently experience has shown me that learning anything is always achieved through balance, countless repetition and persistence until you know what you are doing inside and out in all conditions. This is unfortunately where you have to pay the price, this is the trade off the balance point, In order to find out how to do something correctly you have to also learn al the different ways of doing something inncorrectly regardless of how much good advice you get. The result for me always seem to be Pain! Yes raw painful pain, seems to be the price I pay, it is the living proof I am alive, I have hit the floor so hard so many times in pursuit of my dreams, I have been x rayed, stitched up bruised battered and twisted up in excruciating pain on my osteopaths floor begging for relief.. But all these things pass, like rain, pain comes and goes the body heals.
The result of pain for me is
-you learn what you need to learn about diet, nutrition, flexibility and strength in order to achieve your dreams. That is health, to be strong enough to live your life,” Health is Wealth” and although I have been in pain many times most days, visited and experienced the surgeons knife I still aim to be constantly healthy so that I can live my dreams..
Hitting the Reef,’…
Just before I left Bali for Sumbawa a wave hit me then I hit the reef and this is what it looked like..There is always a price to pay..and sea water everyday after really does “rub salt into the wounds”
Damn, spent three hours in a internet cafe drinking black coffee then stood up….Twang!!!! back goes pop, now my whole lower back has been in spasm for three days,I cannot stand up straight bend down go to loo, sit or sleep without pain. Pure excruciating agony like a knife in my kidneys twisting everytime I move..
This sucks its been three days I have visited two separate Chiropractors who seemed to have made the situation worse and took about 100 pounds from me for the privilege..
Feels that bad I want to jump on a plane and see my osteopath back in Bristol Martin Morgan from the Fishponds practice who has always fixed me up in just one visit and I mean always regardless of what state i crawl into his waiting room curled up in a buckled ball..
It seems in life some people are Healers and some people are in the health care profession. My friend Katerina Petropolous is a healer it runs through her fingers and touch, so is my friend Sarah Hussey. My Osteopath Martin Morgan is a healer. I do not kow why I have seen many osteopaths over the last twenty years, I have had deep tissue sports massages and sen various orthopedic consultants and surgeons due to skateboarding and bmx injuries. Some people are healers, some most definitely are not but they work in the profession due to the job security and salary.
For example, the French chiropractor I paid to see in Kuta the other day is not a healer, he just wanted my money. Supposedly trained in California with 19 years experience and practice, he sent me upstairs in absolute agony, an unqualified Balinese women massaged my back to warm it up then he comes 15 minutes later, then a forceful crack crack crack to my neck and back. This is all good and well if you want the spectacle but I have visited any trained and great osteopaths in the passed. What this guy did was messed up he didn’t even feel my back or my soft tissue before he went to work on me which is frightening. As a result I have been a complete mess for two days in worse pain with my condition aggravated.. This practice was called Global Chiropractic. I would not recommend this French chiropractor to anyone, anybody dealing with a complex injury or pain in the spine or neck needs to carry out a thorough examination with their hands and a soft touch before any rapid twisting or forceful realignments. His treatment made me worse. Literally having a poorly paid local masseuse to warm people up so he could walk in and just crack me into place, this was the worst practice I have experienced he spent 5 mins on me then sent his assistant in to do some ultra sound on my back.. this did not help I would not go here again… this is the address if you are thinking of going..
Istana Kuta Galeria Valet 2 No. 16
(next to Bank Buana)
Jalan Patih Jelantik, Legian
Ok so two days later I still cannot stand straight so In despair I visit another Chiropractor about 10 doors down the same road as the first one. This is an American chiropractor, my experience with him was more proffesional and reassuring but I am still in pain a lot of pain and the treatment lasted total 20 minutes and cost close to 60/70 pounds, this is all set up for people with travel insurance which I have, if I a can claim on it I will get my back x rayed and visit him again if not I will find a cheaper alternative…. Damn this sucks I want to go surfing….and I can walk properly let alone surf..
It has been a few days since i have been near my laptop, I am having troubles finding an internet cafe with a connection faster than 56kbps super slow and frustrating when the sun is shining,..
New Friends! Tiva, Doughy, Toby and Dan…
for the last three weeks I have politely crossing paths where I am staying with 4 surfers from Cornwall England, great guys really friendly and dedicated to the art of surfing. Every breakfast when I meet them in the dining area I discover they have been up at 5am already and have returned from their morning surf to avoid the crowds. Their routine is pretty structured up at 5am to go surfing, return back to the hotel, they eat, check the swell on the internet sleep than go surf again in the afternoon.
So recently they have invited me along for a few early morning expeditions, damn this is sooo early for me and my coordination at 5am is not at its best so the first few time i went and took photos instead… however the light is not so great that early in the morning..
Tiva Daka, Toby Millwood, Doug Mckinney, Dan Johnson.
As you can see they are all pretty good at their craft, so its been a bit of an inspiration surfing and hanging out with them all, each one is very different in character and personality and I have been having a good time getting to know each of them,..
Now we are going to be working on getting a blue sky, palm trees in the background, golden sand and facial expression coming out of the barrel set of photos!