Share on Pinterest

lombok-smallIt’s amazing how busy you become when you retire. Leaving my company and my job behind as I set forth on this journey I naively imagined the vast expanses of time I was opening up would be used to explore new vocations, skills and pastimes, yet there aren’t enough hours in the day to even write this damn blog.

Since I last dispatched a month ago the grand tour has taken in Lombok; Bali again; excitement and fury directed at Singapore Airlines as they refused to allow us to board our flight to Brisbane due to a ticketing error; family and friends’ time in Australia as we rediscovered sofas, TV and booze (and realised we’re pretty good at all three); a stopover in New Zealand and a week’s breather here in Tonga before our assault on Nicaragua, a country where our meagre budget will allow us to blossom again. During this time I’ve tried (and infuriatingly failed) to buy a shipment of Kush Kush caps from India to sell back in the UK, I’ve been developing and planning an e-commerce idea and designed and launched an early-bird website for our winter venture in Kerala, Soul&Surf/India while continuing to worki on the main marketing site. Whew.

The expectation is that, on an extended trip like this, we leave all cares and worries behind, and that through the absence of a job all problems cease. Not the case I’m afraid. I know I won’t be attracting much in the way of sympathy from those folk working 50-hour weeks back home, but what I’ve learned is that our usual character traits come with us. We find new ways to be busy, stressed and anxious – or at least I do. Personal projects, travel arrangements, budget concerns and existential angst fill the shoes of the mundane home-life triggers that continue to swirl around the maelstrom-mind. It’s the character traits we need to work on, not their location, detail or circumstances.

But enough guff, it’s our time in Lombok that I wish to recount.

lombok-3I was enthralled by this wild, rugged, beautiful land. Yes, it’s well known as a destination, easy to get to and sprinkled with resorts, but in most parts its raw charms prevail and, unlike its Westernised tarnished neighbour, it feels like Indonesia proper. The roads are horrific; trees sprout from the centre of the cracked tarmac south-coast road, yet traffic is almost non-existent. Villages of traditional thatched bamboo huts fleck the rolling hills, which meet the ocean in dramatic crescent-shaped bays; people smile and wave with genuine warmth as you approach, rather than as a ploy to extract your tourist buck.

Visiting, as we did, at the end of the rainy season, showed the oft-arid south coast off at its verdant best. The grass was green, the rivers full, and the roaming livestock fat and contented. And the surf… The south coast is indented and scalloped by bay after bay, creating breaks of numerous variety… Except beach-break. The easiest wave in the area at Inside-Grupuk attracted 90% of the travelling surfers, despite the boat-ride access, leaving empty line-ups elsewhere for the more adventurous. Inside-Grupuk also attracted groups of Japanese surfers who pay locals to snake, block and drop-in in order to clear the wave for themselves. Is this the future of colonial-style surf travel in increasingly busy global line-ups? I hope not.

Yet despite my natural affinity with Lombok, its lack of beach-break beginner’s waves left Sofie a frustrated observer for much of the time, so with an egalitarian spirit we headed back to Bali.

Until next time…

Share on Pinterest
  • Lombok is amazing. I loved to ride motorcycle, that was so crazy ! Grupuk is a nice wave, even for beginners, even it’s a reefbreak, I think. I’ve also surfed Mawi which said to be for big wave riders. That was quiet difficult, but I was lucky that time 😉
    Just have a look on my website : http://tripsurfeuse.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/trip-surf-indonesie-%E2%80%93-kuta-lombok/ even if you can’t read french, you’ll like my videos.
    See you on the spot 😉

  • Hey, I was lucky too at Mawi… it got real big out there, and I got real scared!

  • Ed,

    I think you hit the nail on the head about us changing our habits and personalities first. But, I can also say that many of my personaly traits, some similar to yours, would but much more enjoyable in a foriegn locale while Im riding waves and feeling the sand beneath my feet. I come from a place where surf is a 170mile drive round trip and the waves are rarely over chest high wind slop (Texas coast).

    I too am quitting my job (just 2 more months!) and heading out for the unknown. Im converting a full size van to live in comfortably and heading to Panama and back over the course of the next 2 years or more. Ill work if I need cash or I get bored. But nothing over 25 hours/week, thats my limit. I too plan on using my free time to write more and try and normalize my life. There are a lot of things I need to change about myself that I dont like and this seems like the perfect time to try and find some balance… to chill out.

    Keep on your path dude.. no one in the world is ever totally stress free 🙂 I think a lot of it has to do with being born, raised and integrated into extreamly industrialized first world societies. We tend to carry our “baggage” of modernization everywhere we go. We have to learn to let go. To worry about nothing, neither past nor future. To Live for now, in the moment. This. Moment.

  • Dave,
    Thanks for the comment, and make the most of your road-trip. Central America is a great place to explore – I’m in El Salvador right now, surfing too much to get time for writing my blog!
    It seems we’re on a similar path, trying to ‘normalize’ our lives as you put it. All i would day is don’t try to do too much with your new-found free time or you’ll have no free-time left. Allow yourself just to be and do. Live life in the moment.
    Cheers,
    Ed.
    P.S. – Nice blog

  • Dave,

    Dave,
    Thanks for the comment, and make the most of your road-trip. Central America is a great place to explore – I’m in El Salvador right now, surfing too much to get time for writing my blog!
    It seems we’re on a similar path, trying to ‘normalize’ our lives as you put it. All i would day is don’t try to do too much with your new-found free time or you’ll have no free-time left. Allow yourself just to be and do. Live life in the moment.
    Cheers,
    Ed.
    P.S. – Nice blog