I delighted this morning to wake up about 9am after great sleep and my knee felt almost completely back to normal. We had arranged to go to Maurice and Bo's place for breakfast this morning, so once we managed to get ourselves together round we went.
Maurice was keen to go surfing again, and I had heard there was a part of Uluwatu which learners are taught on, so we went there to check it out. Also for the first time in a long time we woke up to beautiful sunshine, which automatically put everyone in a great mood.
We had been watching the surf at Bingin from the amazing cliff top patio area etc at Maurice+Bo's hotel during breakfast, and it looked really good - big (hard to judge from above) and breaking peeerfectly on the reefs below (Impossiles to the left and Bingin to the right). Unfortunately when we got to Uluwatu it was actually very windy and the swell was a bit of a messy. There were 2-3 guys out but they weren't having much luck. Instead we decided to go back to Bingin again, and let Wesley and Maurice rent boards there. I guessed they could surf the 'inside' and I could go out the back of the reef.
The moment we got down to the beach my heart almost jumped out of my chest in surprise - the surf was actually WELL over head and thundering across the reef. I have no problem admitting as I went down to the water to paddle out and meet the pack of 5/6 guys there, I was absolutely bricking it. Somehow I navigated the inside and the reef without getting to beaten up, but I got more scared by the time I was paddling over some bomb sets. It was probably some of the biggest surf I have been in, but that wasn't the point. It was the way it was just jacking up and barrelling relentlessly across the reef, while the current dragged you down the same way at a ridiculous speed.
After 10 minutes of constantly paddling to stay in the same spot what appeared to be a medium size one came though, and I turned and went. I have literally no idea how I made it, but I free fell about 7+ to the bottom of the wave, dug the backside rail in bounced along the chop like speed bumps, made it to the shoulder and pulled off. It was the craziest adrenalin rush, mixed with the pure fear of the next wave in the set obliterating me.
That turned out to be the biggest wave I took in the hour I was out there. I also took 3/4 others, all of which I'm extremely chuffed to say I made, despite not doing much productive other than racing away to safety and pulling out as fast as possible.
When I got back in to the beach again having navigated the waves, reef, rocks and coral boulder shoreline I was shacking through a mix of adrenaline come down and tired arms.
That is by far the most intimidating surf I've had as far as I can remember, but I'm so proud of myself that I didn't fall or cook any of the waves I paddled into.
Wesley and Maurice had an interesting time, as the current took them down the reef at a hell of speed and they eventually scrambled out and had to work their way back along the coral boulder shoreline.
Bo had been watching from one of the beach front shacks, so we met her there and had a few drinks while coming to grips with what we had done hahaha.
From there we went back up to mine and Wesley's place, dropped our stuff and came round to his brothers. There we spent the rest of the afternoon early evening, having lunch, chilling in the patio/cliff view area and in the pool. I must have spent hours just fascinated watching the almost mechanical surf firing along the reef at Impossibles, and the lines of swell just stacked up rolling in from the horizon. I also watched people surfing the same left hand reef at Bingin where I had been, and it really drove home the difference between my surfing ability and that of some of the other travellers and locals. Testing conditions like that really splits the men from the boys.
At about 7:30pm Wesley and I went back to our place to get showered etc, then met back up with Maurice and Bo again. From theirs we went off looking for somewhere to have dinner, and ended up at the same 'Italian' place as the other day. The menu is so big you could eat there for a week.
I had veggie spring rolls and a Sushi selection. I had never ordered Sushi as a meal before, but oh maaan was it good!
Every Sunday night there is a live band playing at a bar/modern surf shack right down on the water at Uluwatu called 'Single Fin', so we went on to there having eaten.
When we got there about 10:30pm the whole place was packed out. The live band was actually a bunch of Brits - a bassist, drummer and rapper. I actually really liked their music, and the atmosphere was brilliant, everyone was having a great time.
Unfortunately the band finished about 11:30pm, so we stayed on for another half an hour and another beer, which was so good before leaving. By the time I was in bed it was past 1am, and I knew I had to get up about 6 to go to the immigration office about my VISA.
(Photo - me in the infinity pool at Maurice and Bo's place!)