Category Archives: Indonesia

Back to Bali, This Time For Work!

A week after returning from the Gold Coast marketing trip I took another work trip, this time back to Indo.  Our destination was Bali for a product meeting, line range call, and a final sample review.

Its amazing getting to go to a one of the best vacation destinations in the world for work.  Even though each day was busy from 9-5, we still managed to get up early and get a surf in most days.  We each had a scooter, and tore around the island going to and from dinners, surf sessions and market shopping.

I got surf in at a few new to me spots like, Uluwatu, Kuta Reefs, specifically airports rights where we got the wave to ourselves for 45 min early in the morning, but also had to contend with sea lice.  It was like swimming through needles.  I got several more days in at Canguu and a day in on the reef out in Nusa Dua. We also checked out Dreamland but I did not surf on that occasion.

With my second trip to Bali under my belt, I am officially in love with the place!

Advertisements

Indo Food

 

Fried Seafood Platter

Fried Seafood Platter

 

I can’t say this is very Balinese, or Indonesian food, if anything it is probably more English and picked up by the Aussies.  Since Bali is a big Aussie holiday destination, many restaurants cater to their tastes.  I still can’t understand flying around the world, or even going to another culturally rich place and eating your nationality’s local food.  Generally this is just asking for disappointment.  With all that said.  This was a pretty great meal, which is why I added it to the blog.

 

Fried Fish and Goreng (rice)

Fried Fish and Goreng (rice)

 

This was course one of like a 38 course meal that I had in Java with the Pow crew and the managers from the factory they do their production in.  The food just kept coming out.  By the end they basically had to roll me out.  This was only lunch.

 

After The Feast

After The Feast

 

 

Dinner in the middle of Java with the Goss family and POW crew.

Dinner in the middle of Java with the Goss family and POW crew.

 

After a great tour of Dustin’s brothers plywood mill, we went out for a great dinner.

 

Snake Fruit

Snake Fruit

 

This is at Dustin’s Brothers house.  We had a pancake breakfast with Indonesian coffee which is amazing, and fresh fruit.  As I sat after eating, and sipping coffee, I noticed this fruit in the bowl on the table.  I grabbed it and asked what it was.  The response was snake fruit on account of the skin looking like snake scales.  I peeled it and took a bite.  It kinda tastes like a combination between a chestnut and an apple.  The taste is very subtle and fragrant.  Really nice!

 

Bintang!

Bintang!

 

If your a surfer, even if you have never been to Indo, you have seen and heard of Bintang.  It is funny how so many regions are known for their beers, even when the locals don’t really drink beer.  Hooray for westerners……

 

Young Coconut

Young Coconut

 

 

Coconut Water

Coconut Water

 

Coconuts are the life fruit of the tropics.

 

Massive Seafood Dinner

Massive Seafood Dinner

 

This is another massive factory sponsored dinner in Jakarta.  I have never been part of something this crazy.  Even over 5 tables we still didn’t have enough room for all the plates.  This restaurant was like Disney World took over a seafood restaurant……..in Jakarta

 

No room for anymore plates.

No room for anymore plates.

 

 

Fried Fish

Fried Fish

 

 

Take Your Pick

Take Your Pick

 

 

Prawns, Calamari, and everything else!

Prawns, Calamari, and everything else!

 

 

Bamboo Clams

Bamboo Clams

 

Bamboo clams are named this because they live in a shell that looks like bamboo and they poke out the end to feed.  Very weird and very weird to eat.

 

Rock Lobster, Lancosta or Crawfish.  Whatever you call them, they are delicious!

Rock Lobster, langostas or crawfish. Whatever you call them, they are delicious!

 

 

No more room for plates.

No more room for plates.

 

 

Grilled Fish

Grilled Fish

 

 

Quail Soup

Quail Soup

 

This was eaten at a Chinese restaurant in Jakarta, so not really Indonesian.  I liked it because not only was it tasty (like chicken soup) it was served in a bamboo segment.

 

Indonesian Frog Legs

Indonesian Frog Legs

 

 

Black Eggs

Black Eggs

 

Don’t know what these are….I think they are hard boiled eggs soaked in soy sauce.  Pretty good.

 

Satay!

Satay!

 

Classic Indo food.  Grilled meat, usually chicken or beef and smothered in a peanut sauce.  Excellent!

 

Sop Buntut (Indonesian Oxtail Soup)

Sop Buntut (Indonesian Oxtail Soup)

 

This became one of my favorites.  Its oxtail soup.  You get to add the rice and goodies into the broth.  The oxtail ends up being super tender.

World Class Surf Spots and Last Days In Canguu

 

Happy Phil

Happy Phil

 

After the all the festivities from the wedding, and the parting in Kuda at the Hard Rock, the 4 of us that surf decided to take a few days and explore the world class surf spots that have made Bali famous.

First stop on almost any surfers list to hit in Indo would be Uluwatu.  This surf playground boasts some of the most consistent and best shaped waves on the planet.  Its the spot that put Indo on the surfing map and its not hard to see why from the moment you walk out to the cliff edge.

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

Ulu’s is really a series of spots along the outer reef edge.  The 200ft white cliffs frame the scene and protect the water surface from wind.  Adding to the magical location is the access point which is a cave and small pebble sandy beach.

Unfortunately the cliff face along the goat path to the cave entrance is riddled with hastily built restaurants, shops and surf shops. If you can focus through this mess and look straight ahead, it is not hard to imagine what the first surfers to discover this place saw…simple surf perfection.

 

Uluwatu

Uluwatu

 

 

Path to Padang Padang

Path to Padang Padang

 

The next stop on our tour was Padang Padang.  Walking down the the beach was an experience just like Uluwatu.  The wave wasn’t breaking this day, but I got a great shot of the “crack” in the rock entrance to the waters edge.

 

Relaxing at the Canggu Shops

Relaxing at the Canggu Shops

 

After our time on the Peninsula, we rallied back through the traffic hell of Kuta, Legion, and Seminyak and burst out onto the country side driving back towards Tanah Lot and the little town of Canggu.

We had made reservations at a modest guess house just outside town but still on the beach.  The place was great, and it was a short walk up the beach to the Canggu shops.  This quickly became my favorite place in Bali

As I have traveled, I have found many spots to emit a certain energy, some good, warm and welcoming, others dark, cold and guarded.  Canggu is on the good side of this energy, and is one of my special spots.

 

Canggu View

Canggu View

 

 

Room at Canggu

Room at Canggu

 

There were 5 of us staying in a little one bedroom place.  Full on surf trip style. Luckily the guys at the guest house had an extra mattress and we threw in on the floor.  The next few days we just woke up, surfed, ate, internet-ed and relaxed. Pretty much the perfect set-up

 

Thumping Waves At Canggu

Thumping Waves At Canggu

 

 

Thumping Waves At Canggu

Thumping Waves At Canggu

 

 

God Rays At Canggu

God Rays At Canggu

 

 

Heavenly Black Sand Surf Beach

Heavenly Black Sand Surf Beach

 

 

Close Out

Close Out

 

 

Bali Sky

Bali Sky

 

 

Bali Sky

Bali Sky

 

 

Bali Clouds

Bali Clouds

 

 

Bali Clouds

Bali Clouds

 

 

Canggu Sunset

Canggu Sunset

 

 

********

********

 

 

My Happy Place

My Happy Place

 

 

My Happy Place

My Happy Place

 

 

Ahh Canggu

Ahh Canggu

 

 

Canguu Shops

Canguu Shops

 

All the guys left a few days before I had booked my flight out.  I spent three more days relaxing on the beach, surfing, eating, catching up on the blog and setting myself up to go back to Peru.  I said in the past that Peru ended up being a special place for me, and looking back now it really did change my perspective and ultimately the direction my life is headed in. I had to go back to do something…something crazy.  I took these last days in Canggu to prepare myself for one of the biggest leaps I have ever made.

An Indonesian Wedding Story

 

Tanah Lot, Bali

Tanah Lot, Bali

 

We checked into the luxury beach resort on Legion Beach in the Kuta area of Bali after arriving from Java.  After backpacking and staying in hostels and guesthouses for over a year, this place was a 180 change.  The Ramada was decked out with a meandering pool, and beautiful surroundings.  It had beach front property and I could walk to the surf beach in exactly 45 seconds.

We checked in got our rooms and headed to the hotel bar overlooking the beach.  I finally got to meet the rest of Dustin’s friends and family that made the trip and we shared a few drinks.  I wanted to crash early so I could get in the water and have a surf first thing in the morning.

The next few days where spent surfing, eating, drinking, lounging in the pool, getting clothing tailored, and exploring the cluster mess of Legion’s shops and claustrophobic streets.

The night before the wedding we had a candle light BBQ seafood dinner on the beach at Jimbaran.  Although there are too many restaurants, too many tables, too many people, and too much smoke from 60 massive BBQ pits, this is still a special place to have dinner.

 

Dinner on the beach in Bali

Dinner at Jimbaran on the beach in Bali

 

We visited Tanah Lot, (see first picture in post) a Buddhist temple about 45 KM from Kuta to the west along the Balinese coastline.  The temple is built on a rock cropping separate from the main coastal cliff line.

 

Tanah Lot Gate

Tanah Lot Gate

 

 

Coastline along Tanah Lot

Coastline along Tanah Lot

 

 

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple

 

 

Tanah Lot Entrance Complex

Tanah Lot Entrance Complex

 

 

Tanah Lot to Infinite Ocean

Tanah Lot to Infinite Ocean

 

 

Wedding Group + One Massive Snake

Wedding Group + One Massive Snake

 

On the way back from Tanah Lot, a group of 6 of us that had rented scooters to tear around the island made a detour to visit the surf trendy spot called Canggu.  on the way out to the coastline we got lost and took several small farm roads (more like paths) along rice fields.

More on Canguu to come!

 

Balinese Country Side

Balinese Country Side

 

 

Rice Paddy and Farmer

Rice Paddy and Farmer

 

One night we decided to splurge and went to The Ritz Carlton in the ultra posh resort area called Nusa Dua.  This is easily the nicest hotel/resort I have walked through.  The crown jewel though was the Rock Bar.  To get down to the actual bar we took a 45 degree rail lift that dropped us along the white sandstone cliff to the rocky water edge.

 

The Ritz

The Ritz

 

 

The Rocks Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

The Rocks Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

 

 

The Rocks Bar look out.

The Rocks Bar look out.

 

 

Adjusted

Adjusted

 

 

Sitting amongst the rocks at The Rock Bar.

Sitting amongst the rocks at The Rock Bar.

 

The drinks here where $18 USD.  In Indo, known for its cheapness, this place was priced out even in United States main city standards.  But the price was worth it for the surroundings.

 

Another Rock

Another Rock

 

 

More Views from The Rock Bar

More Views from The Rock Bar

 

The wedding day arrived. The weather was questionable.  Luckily the rain held off and the ceremony went off without incident.  I was very surprised to be at a Christian wedding in the most Muslim populous country in the world.  Come to find out though, there is a large Christian population in Indo as well, and Dustin’s new wife happened to be Christian.

 

The Boys Getting Ready

The Boys Getting Ready

 

 

Dustin the groom really getting ready.

Dustin the groom really getting ready.

 

 

The Isle

The Isle

 

 

The Bride

The Bride

 

 

Married

Married

 

There was a reception, and a party after the wedding.  Pretty standard style wedding all in all….except in Bali.

The day after the wedding we moved back to Kuta and stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel for 3 days.  This was all part of a really good priced package that Dustin got for all of us that made the trip for the wedding.

The Hard Rock Hotels are well known for their pools, and this one did not disappoint.

 

Hard Rock Hotel Pool, Tuban, Bali

Hard Rock Hotel Pool, Tuban, Bali

 

 

Boohya!

Boohya!

 

 

Boohya Again!

Boohya Again!

 

 

Pow Gloves Crew Underwater

Pow Gloves Crew Underwater

 

We had fun with my G10 and water housing!

 

Floating Heads

Floating Heads

 

 

Party

Party

 

 

What a crocodile sees.

What a crocodile sees.

 

 

Cabanas around the pool.

Cabanas around the pool.

 

Most of the wedding guests headed out after the 3 days at the Hard Rock.  A few of us stayed around though to catch some surf.  We wanted to get out of the grime of Kuta and decided the best place to go was Canggu.  This started my love affair with the little town of trendy surf in Bali…..

Javahhhhhhhh!

The Island of Java, Indonesia

The Island of Java, Indonesia

I arrived in Semarang on the middle, north shore of Java.  I have been waiting to get to this part of the world for a very long time, and I was extremely excited to meet up with a group of guys that where here for work.  Dustin and his company POW make snowboard / ski gloves and dabble in golf gloves.  The factory is near the city of Semarang and I was here to meet up with the crew for a factory visit.

I have heard mixed things about Java.  One take on the island says that it is mostly Muslim and can be dangerous.  I think this as a skewed western view, but I went into the trip cautious. I was glad that I was traveling with a guy that has been to this part of the world many times and knew his way around the area and the culture very well.  Java ended up as one of the most enjoyable places and people I have met on my journey.  Most everyone we met was friendly and the island itself is amazingly beautiful and lush.

I landed at about 7:30 and caught a cab to the hotel that Dustin lined up.  I missed the crew by about 10 minutes for dinner, and ended up waiting for them in the lobby for an hour or so while they finished eating with the factory owner.

This was the first time I met Dustin, after numerous phone calls and countless emails.  We have talked about me becoming a consultant on the production side of the biz for a while, and this was a first step to setting an agreement up.

I was also meeting up with a great old friend, John Kaiser who I worked with almost ten years back at Windell’s Snowboard Camp.  He has been working for POW gloves the past few years and has been my connection to the company.

POW Gloves Production Factory

POW Gloves Production Factory

The next morning we headed to the factory.  I have been to a few footwear factories, supplier factories like a leather tannery, mold shops, and textile mills.  This glove factory was really impressive.  The amount of pattern pieces and steps it takes to assemble a glove is mind twisting. Just look at all the sewing stations!  Oh and dad, I got to see golf gloves being made.  The good ones are made from goat skin, which may be the softest material I have ever touched.

Back in a factory in Asia.

Back in a factory in Asia.

Any one that has ever been on a product development trip knows this room, this look, and the humidity that sticks to everything.

Dustin's Brothers Woodcore Factory

Dustin's Brothers Woodcore Factory

After the glove factory we drove about 4 hours into the heart of the island to meet up with Dustin’s brother who runs a wood mill and plywood substitute manufacturing.  This was a pretty cool place to see.  The company grows the trees, which are like Balsa trees and the wood is very light.  This area has the most fertile soil in the world and a tree can grow to 90 feet in 7 years and can be harvested at that point.  The wood is milled, glued into sheets and is sold as coring for cabinets or surfaced with hardwood veneer and sold as furniture grade “plywood”.

One of 2 massive furnaces at the mill

One of 2 massive furnaces at the mill

The next day we headed to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

Borobudur.  The Largest Buddhist Temple In The World

Borobudur. The Largest Buddhist Temple In The World

A Mountain of Carvings

A Mountain of Carvings

Wall Carving

Wall Carving

Story Line

Story Line

Stone by Stone Wall

Stone by Stone Wall

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Relief Carving

Relief Carving

Borobudur Carving

Borobudur Carving

The Story Continues

The Story Continues

Wall Carving

Wall Carving

Terrace Walkway

Terrace Walkway

The Boys At Borobudur

The Boys At Borobudur

Borobudur

Borobudur

Interlocking Stone Floor

Interlocking Stone Floor

Borobudur

Borobudur

Borobudur

Borobudur

Borobudur View

Borobudur View

Borobudur View

Borobudur View

Borobudur Archway

Borobudur Archway

Borobudur

Borobudur

Mountain of Carvings

Mountain of Carvings

The POW Crew At Borobudur

The POW Crew At Borobudur

Borobudur Hawkers

Borobudur Hawkers

Central Java Water Lilly

Central Java Water Lilly

Central Java

Central Java

Central Java

Central Java

After an epic day at Borobudur we headed back to Dustin’s brothers house and hung out for a few hours.  In the morning we got a round in at a beautiful course near Borobudur and along the volcano that is the main geographical feature in the area.  Unfortunately it was cloudy and we couldn’t see the mountain.  It also down poured on us halfway through the round.

FORE!

FORE!

Dan In Golf Mode

Dan In Golf Mode

The Links

The Links

Back to Bali for a wedding!

Hurry Up And Wait In Kuta

Kuta Beach Break

Kuta Beach Break

Getting through customs at the Denpasar Airport, Bali is by far the slowest process I have encountered at any airport anywhere in the world.  I lined up to get a tourist visa upon my arrival, which went quickly.  I then stood in line for 2 hours waiting to get my passport stamped.  While waiting I struck up a conversation with two English girls, and we ended up splitting a cab into Kuta.

Before arriving in Bali, I had been in contact with my friend Ramon from my San Diego.  He had spent several months in Indo and referred me to his friend that has helped an Indonesian man start a cab company in Bali.  I contacted Marty(Australian) that helped Roni (Balinese) buy a van, to use as a cab to support his family. We set it up so that Roni would meet me at the airport and take me to a hotel that Marty has stayed at in the past.

Roni specializes in day trips for surfers.  Since he has a van and can fit boards, he is often hired out to drive surfers to spots and hang out while they surf.  He watches the gear, and knows all the good spots to hit up pre and post surf.

Kuta is the main tourist area of Bali.  It is a gross chaos of bungalow motels, hotels, high end resorts, slummy, mid-range, and high end restaurants, shops, hawkers, and lots and lots of stark white tourists.  Most white people are from Australia as this is their close third world destination.  The best way to describe this place is its Australian’s Cancun, Mexico.

I spent 4 days in Kuta waiting to meet up with Dustin and the POW Glove guys in Semarang over on the main island of Java (more on this later).  I tried to get a little surfing in at Kuta Beach.  This is a beach break that is not great, usually its too big and closed out. The beach is also crowded and very polluted.  I would compare this beach to Pacific Beach in San Diego.

I had to do some work for a freelance project, so I ended up staying in each night and cranking out sketches and technical drawings.  Not the most fun I have had while traveling.  I walked around Kuta, and explored a little.  I got lost on the streets that are narrow and built with no particular order.  Some ally ways just end, and other streets twist and turn in a confusing quagmire.

The 4th day I was scheduled to fly over to Java to the city of Semarang to meet up with the Pow Glove crew.  For over a year I have been talking with them to set up a consulting contract to help manage production at their factory in Indonesia.  I was finally going to meet with Dustin, the owner and the rest of the design/development team and some of their sales and marketing team.

Oh, and I was to go to Dustin’s wedding………

I Made It To Bali!

Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia

To get to Bali, I needed to stop back in Sydney to swap out gear and pick up all my surf equipment.  Before I could do that I had to head down to the southeastern part of Aussie to have a meeting for a potential “consulting” gig on a long term contract.

To actually make this happen, I had to sequence a string of flights together that bordered on insanity.  I got on a flight in Lima to Mexico City where I had a layover.  I then proceeded to LAX (Los Angeles) where I had another 10 hour layover.  I knew I was going to head right to the interview once in Sydney so I got a motel room near LAX (the most seedy room I have ever been in) for 6 hours to freshen up before the next flight.

I got back on a plane at LAX and flew the 15 hours to Sydney.  There I had to get from the international terminal, to the domestic terminal in 2 hours, except my flight was delayed out of LAX, so I only had an hour. To link from one terminal to the next in Sydney you have to catch a bus for $5.  I didn’t have time to exchange money so I used USD.  The bus took ten minutes to depart, once it got going I had 20 minutes until the domestic flight took off. Took off, as in I had not even arrived at the terminal and I was suppose to be boarding the plane.  Luckily the flight restrictions and time limits are way more relaxed for Aussie domestic flights.  I ran to the check in desk, begged to get my bag checked, and sprinted threw security.  I watched the woman that checked me in hand deliver my bag to the guys on the tarmac.  I ran onto the plane and the door closed behind me.

I have been traveling around 36 hours at this point.  I landed in Melbourne and went to get the rental car that was arranged for me.  I had 2 hours to drive the 120K out to the small surf town of Torquay.  I got a GPS unit just to be safe.  Half way into the trip the GPS robot started to go crazy, and gave me wrong directions (later I would find out that the road I was on was very new and not on the GPS map).  So I got to the meeting about 15 min late.  I had a 2 hour conversation, and then was shuffled off to catch my return flight.

I sped all the way back to Melbourne and was running very late for the flight…again.  I got a little lost on the way to the airport and took a round about route.  I once again had to sprint to the terminal, beg the check-in counter get my bag on board and subvert the line at security.  I scrambled through security, watched them hand deliver my bag to the guys loading the plane and jumped on board just as the doors shut.

I landed in Sydney, got a shuttle back to my favorite backpackers in Kings Cross and died.

Two days later, after a unpack and repack I landed in Denpasar, Bali….I made it to Indo….finally!