Week 5 - Chased by monkeys on Sumbawa and the october mega swell.
The bay at scar reef is one of the most beautiful I have seen, you can easily compare it to some places in the Mentawai, clean water, huge reef pass and breath taking headlands on each side. I book into the Jelenga bungalows for 3 nights, $15 per night, I have just missed the massive swell the day before as I was at yoyos.
Compared to the previous night at yoyos, this place has such a better vibe. A few travelling surfers are staying here as well, very friendly and keen to share there knowledge of scar reef with me. After speaking with them it seems everyone in the area, or at least all of the bodyboarders are waiting for the wave called super suck to come to life. Full length wetsuits and helmets are wore to ride super sucks, as the name suggests its very shallow. Mistiming the barrel will definitely see you being cheeze grated over the reef.
The swell wasn't lining up for super sucks but scar reef had a few small waves. I attached the pole mount onto the bodyboard and hit the water, surfing early before the wind would come up at midday. It would usually be cross shore. After nothing but eating sleeping and surfing in this small village about 10km from the main road, you start to really enjoy this thing people call travelling.
The last few days at scar reef sees me at the turning point of the trip, I start to see why I came on this trip, one to see how I would handle traveling on a bike by myself and two to really escape and live day to day, having a general plan but nothing set in stone.
I fly out of bali in the next 8 days and need to make my way back to bali. I have been able to some really big days, 90km, 101km and a big 120km, all usually during the hot midday sun. My body has become accustom to the temperature and has gotten noticeably stronger while climbing hills. I judge that it would take one day to Lombok, another to bail, and maybe one more to uluwatu, so 2- 3 days on the bike.
Knowing the road conditions is a big help as I have just cycled majority of the route, so I say goodbye to the friends I made at Jelenga and set off for the ferry to Lombok. During the morning ride I pass a troop of monkeys, they were startled to see me as was I when they started to hiss. There were about 10 - 15 monkeys on each side of the road, I had seen a few previously on the trip but they would scatter when I approached. This time they didn't see me approach and as a result they hissed and chased me on the slight incline. They eventually gave up only because of my fast pedalling.
I stop for some filming which usually involves me finding a empty bit of road with no people around to set up the camera and cycle past. Sometime locals stop and ask if there a problem but I just say I'm taking a photo or end up taking their photo.
As I near the ferry I can see its moured and loading vechicles, I push but just miss it, the next one is in an hour, its about 10am. I get too Lombok at about 1pm midday and my legs have cooled down which means it takes a bit to get the legs pumping again. The route now sees me cut a through the middle of lombok, the problem is that theres one massive volcanoe on the north side of the island and my road goes directly towards it and then turns west. Whilst heading towards it im faced with a slow killer " the 3% gradient" its not much but enough to slow me down to about 8km per hour and you need to put in alot of effort. This slows me down and really saps my energy and to make things worse its the main road with lots of trucks and dust, you could feel the dust collect on your teeth every 20min or so.
Making it to the west bound road travelling parallel with the gradual volcanoe incline I make it to the downward section towards the town of Praya, my stopover destination. All that climbing about 250meter above sea level is stored energy and I cruise the remaining 20km down into praya. 120km for the day, arriving at 6pm making it another long day.
The next day I had a short 30km to the port of Lember to catch the ferry, the previous days push had worked. Jumping on the massive ferry at 9am for the 5.5hour sail to bali, I kicked back and relaxed. 5 hours in and the ferry stopped just outside of Padang Bai harbour, I asked someone what was happening and he said the port if full and we must wait. So 2 hours later we dock at about 5pm making it a very long and boring ferry ride.
Cycling off the ferry and onto bali really gave me a sense of accomplishment and a bit of a sense of coming home. I always heard people say that Bali was different from the other islands and on this trip I have noticed it. Compared to Lombok its very different.
So with no place to stay in Padang Bai and from sitting for 7 hours I'm mad keen to hit the road and cycle to Keramas. The road is very flat and the mountains near the harbour are amazing, the road was fully covered by lush trees and with the afternoon orange light it made it a great 20km to cycle into the sunset. One of those moments that really hit home at how lucky I am to be doing this trip.
Having been to Keramas in my first week I knew my way around and found a place to stay. The next morning I woke nice little pulse of waves about 3ft and surfed it with 35 of my best mates. It was super crowded.
I stayed one night and then hit the road towards Padang Padang my favourite area. Keen to take a short cut on the new toll road that bypasses the crazy traffic near the airport and Kuta. I got halfway across the new bypass to the toll booth only to be told that no bicycles were allow to go through. Meanwhile I had already cycled half way on a massive shoulder that is perfectly safe. The security guard wouldn't let me through and as a result had to turn around onto the oncoming narrow motorbike lane and backtrack. Fuming I peddled back the way I came and came to a grinding hault as I hit the traffic. I would sometimes head up onto the footpath to beat the traffic. This detour took me an extra 1.5hours in the midday sun, thanks Mr security guard.
Through Jimbarin beach and onto the massive hill heading upto the Bukit Peninsular I found the Losmen that would see me out my final nights in Bali.
A predicted mega swell on the 9th october was predicted the day I fly out, I had the midnight flight which allowed me to catch all the action of this massive swell. The afternoon before the swell hit I scored padang padang at about 6ft with this building swell. The lines were so clean and big that I knew the next day would be epic.
Road side in Sumbawa just before the ferry.
Ferry to Lombok. Nicely packed in witht the motobikes and trucks.
Rice paddys of lombok, some of the greenest I have seen. Just before lember.
CMy boy blue at padang cliffs.
The Mega Swell
Under the lip snap for this local.
The crowd watches on, on Balinese trys a massive air and everyone erupts.
I've just found your blog and think this is epic.
Just a quick question - did you find lots of accommodation options at scar reef area?
I am planning a trip there and I can only find expensive resort style types.
I'd love to go but it looks too expensive to book one of those online!
Yes I stayed at the Jelenga Bungalows was about $15 AUD a night. very basic but right on the break. I think Super sucks also had a cheap place to stay.
I think you should go there will always be accomodation.