Living In Torquay….The Aussie Surf Capital

House in Jan Juc

House in Jan Juc

Torquay is a smallish town of about 10,000 permanent residence.  In the summer the population can swell to 30,000 as many city dwellers from Melbourne have holiday or rental property here.  This works to my advantage because in the winter there are many new houses that are empty and in need of renters.  I linked up with another new arrival, Sam who was hired to manage the flagship store in Torquay and moved from Sydney.  He is Scottish but has lived in OZ for 5 years.  He rented this house and had a few rooms open.

Front Door

Front Door

Back Porch

Back Porch

The place is only 2 years old, and set up like a vacation house.  Its in the town next to Torquay called Jan Juc.  There is a development on top of the hill and lots have been carved up and built on.  We are at the back of the development and have a great view of the surrounding farm land.  I think this is going to be a great place for the summer!

On The Porch

On The Porch

Back Yard

Back Yard

Kitchen and Living Room

Kitchen and Living Room

Living Room

Living Room

Entrance way into main room

Entrance way into main room

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

We have deemed it the international house as the 3rd roommate is a young French kid who is over in Australia for 6 months to do an internship.  Its been a good set up so far, we will see if some Aussies get into the mix at some point.

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Into The Corporate Life

After a year and a half of freedom and freelance I am getting back into a corporate structure.  Granted it in the surf industry for a “cool” company, I’m still not sure exactly how I will react to a nine to five.  I’ve come to fully enjoy my independence and the ability to come and go as I please.  How will I react to these new constraints?

I’m excited to work in a team again, and collaboratively solve problems.  I have really missed the interaction between a group trying to think out or into a problem, so being part of a crew again should be a welcome change.  A steady paycheck is going to be nice too!

Back to it!

Surfcoast Surf

Bells Beach

Bells Beach

I arrived in Torquay a few days before I started work.  This stretch of coast is famous because 2 of the biggest surf companies in the world started here.  Bells host the longest running surf contest in the world and this year it will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Early Morning Bells

Early Morning Bells

I surfed one morning with good swell and got some great shots of Bells and Winki Pop which is the next point down.  The Bells and Winki areas are the first surf reserves in the world.  The land and coast line is protected at dedicated as a reserve for recreation and sealife.  A natural protected playground!

Bells Point

Bells Point

Bells End Section

Bells End Section

Just Down from Bells, Winki Pop

Just Down from Bells, Winki Pop

Winki

Winki

I drove about 2 hours west along the great ocean road.  There will be more on this in upcoming posts.  Here is a beautiful bay along the road.

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

Somewhere on the Great Ocean Road

Back to Aussie, Full Time

I arrived back to Australia emotionally drained.  I had missed my flight out Peru and ended up accidentally spending 2 days in Buenos Aires which was pretty amazing.

During this time I had taken a job offer for a surf company located in a little town south of Melbourne in the surf industry capital, Torquay, Australia.

Going into this I was very unsure if getting back into a corporate lifestyle in a small town in a country where I knew no one was the right decision.  But I figured I should give it a crack, and the company and I worked out a 3-6 month trial to see how we liked each other.

I flew into Sydney, stayed a few nights and watched the world cup finals with some Germans and Dutch friends. I closed my storage locker, packed up my gear, loaded up a hire car, and made the 12 hour drive down to Melbourne and the state of Victoria.  I was back in the surf industry, designing sandals, only this time I was down unda’!

Back to Peru, Because I Went Crazy

After two and a half weeks in Indonesia I flew back to Peru, where I had just been 3 weeks earlier.  I took a giant leap because sometimes, not matter what the circumstances, the odds, or the situation you have to do it, even if it is just to prove to yourself you have the balls to try.

If you ever see me you can ask me about my trip back to Peru.  Even months after I went back I still have a hard time explaining what happened.  It changed me, my perspective, and what I value in life.  This act of madness has also taught me that even if you do everything you can in a given situation and do it well, you can still fail.  Learning to deal with this reality has been one of he hardest mental battles I have had to face so far.

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.