Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back on Canadian Soil

There is something unique about landing back in Canada and following that "Canadian Citizens" sign that makes you feel totally comfortable. Our travels have been amazing but its nice to be back in Canada! Can't believe a YEAR has gone by soooo fast!

Landed Safely in Vancouver and met by Riley, Sharon, Lizzy & Geo. First order of business was.... 60 Timbits! Second order of business.... BMX bikes! Third order of business.... visiting all the cousins and family in Vancouver!

Did the Grouse Grind today and off to Stanley park tomorrow with a couple BMX races mixed in there at Ridge Meadows BMX. Then off to Vancouver Island to see Sister Wendy and company.



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Monday, July 11, 2011

Newsflash.. Wendy Stars in Elephant Show

Bali Safari & Marine Park was our stop after a surf this morning. Worked out well because surf was really small today (everybody hunting/driving to different spots in "search").


Arrived at a gorgeous safari facility with animals galore and had an amazing day wondering around and deciding that AFRICA should be our next teaching exchange.







Wendy proved to be the STAR today. She volunteered and was picked to be in the elephant show. Up on stage, THEREZA ( the elephant) demonstrated picking up a wreath and hanging it over Wendy's head. Following this, the elephant gave Wendy a kiss on the cheek! The crowd enjoyed the action and so did we!














Another highlight was the elephant ride. We got to travel through the jungle on the backs of these huge elephants.

The kids and Wendy met a cute little Orangutan (sp?) who enjoyed hanging out with them for a few photos.



Amazing day in Bali again.! Couple more surfing days left, then on to Vancouver!













Sunday, July 10, 2011

ULLUWATU Surf Session

We have been ranking the surf destinations across Australia and now here in Bali. By far, today was the best and most unique surf spot we have been exposed to.... ULLUWATU!!!







We arrived at Ulluwatu hearing stories of 12 foot double over head waves and that ONLY when it has a small swell do you ever venture out! Today was our lucky day.! The swell was perfect for us and an opportunity to surf one of the most famaous surf breaks in Indonesia.


The famous surf site is below an ancient Hindu Temple where locals use as a spiritual place. The temple over looks these huge cliffs out into the Indian Ocean.




Surfers have a gradual descent down a steep windy path through a variety of 'Warungs" (surf side eat site that are built into the side of the cliff on overlook the surf). After dropping some gear at Nyomen's friend's Warung, we continued downward.

At the bottom, the cliff walls give way to a min cave entrance to the ocean. Felt very surf movie for sure. We paddled through the cliff gap and through the rock cave out into the surf. We had an amazing sunset surf at ULLUWATU. It wasn't 12 foot but 5 foot and clean.....perfect for the whole family!!

















Fabulous day and No.1 ranking for unique surf location. Definitely a destination to remember.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lembongan Surf Shop



Wicked day on a boat tour today. We took a cruise out to a remote Indonesia Island called Lembongan (pronounced... Lem-Bo-Nan). The boat ride took 75 minutes from Nusa Dua boat ramp and pulled into the beautiful tropical island paradise. We were anchored at a Pontoon with kayaks, tube rides, slide, snorkel ling etc... which was relaxing and fun. Lots of kids around so good for H & N. Amazing meal at lunch after snorkelling and looking at coral and fish.











We got a tour of the local village of 200 (Lizzy would have loved this part) where the primary job for the locals is the harvesting of SEAWEED. Apparently Japan buys up all this seaweed and uses the chemicals for cosmetics and skin lotions.




During the village tour we saw an old school possibly illegal COCK FIGHT ("chicken fight" for those little readers)! Check out the video below. The chickens really go at it!! Not to worry, noby was fighting to the death today.




















I have always thought about owning a small SURF SHOP of my own once retired from teaching.... well..... I found it! Located in the little village with a world class collection of surf breaks out front.








"Playgrounds", "Lacerations" and "Ship Wreck" are all famous surf breaks that pros, locals and tourists like us come to visit all year long! Apparently, lacerations at low tide comes by its name honesty as you potentially could get trashed on the coral reef!


Fantastic day cruise that returned up back to the harbour and then our Villa after a full day of exploring and playing!



















Canguu

Surfed at Canguu (pronounced...CHAN-GOO) today. Very cool to hook up with fellow Aussie guy named SHANE whose wife was shopping and was was looking for a surf family to join up with.


The swell dropped off a bit so the waves were smallish but super clean.


Here is a variery of photo's from the session.



































Friday, July 8, 2011

The ART of BARTERING!

Who knew that I was actually a MILLIONAIRE! ...... only in Bali! When you take $100 dollars out of the ATM it magically turns into $1,000,000 dollars when you change it over to RUPIAH!

If you want to anything in Bali, you need a lesson in BARTERING!

RULE #1 - The suggested price provided at the beginning of negotiation is approximately inflated 75% of the actual price you should pay.

RULE #2 - The locals (the opposition) enjoy the opportunity to Barter as much as you should. They will totally "spar" with you! Have fun with it!

RULE #3 - If you don't see what you want at one shop, don't worry it will be two shops down the street.


PRICES....
$15 - Gourmet Dinner for Family of four
$25 - Guided Surf Tour for the day
$1 - New Release DVD of Transformers 2
$17 - Rip Curl Watch (Noah's Purchase Price)
$2 - Fancy Coffee that is normally 5 dollars in the Gold Coast








Noah had a good Barter session for VANS shoes and his Rip Curl watch (he looks PRO SURFER for sure now). Kevin is called in as the "hired gun" when a big barter session is required. Wendy calls it a "donation" to the local economy when she settles on a price. And Hannah has yet to buy anything, she is a looker and has the words "NO THANKS" easy spat out of her mouth when somebody approaches.






Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Airports LEFT

Another EPIC surfing adventure today! Picture this.... Arrived at the surf spot called "AIRPORTS" and was informed by our surf guide that we would taking a small outrigger boat out to the reef near the airport. We would hit three different spots... Airports RIGHT, Airports LEFT and Too Goo were the surf spots.









For $6 per person, our boat driver took us all out to the reef for what felt like a scene from a typical Quicksilver Kelly Slater video. Nyomen basically said... "ok, here we jump"! Hannah started pitching boards out and we all dived in. The boat driver anchored close to the break and we paddled a short distance to the waves. Wendy always wanted a Jetski Tow In, I guess this was an even better option!




Airports LEFT suited all us Goofy Footers nicely! These waves seem to rise right out out of the ocean as they hit the coral reef below us. You would wait a few minutes and see a beautiful set of 3-5 waves in a row. As well..... ONLY 5-10 of us on the water! No Crowds like back at the Gold Coast!



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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Balangan Surf Session

The local owners of Villa Viona #6, that we are staying at, recommended a surf driver for us to use while we are here in Bali. We met "Nyomen" (pronounced.. Noy-Men") was amazing! He loaded up in his party van and we headed off to a place called "Balangan".






After weaving through the Kuta region and over to the cliff side terrain of Ulluwatu, we dropped down into Balangan Surf Spot. Totally cool place with a series of beach side shacks that different drivers use as home base. Turns out Noyman, age 55 now, was part of the original surf movement here in Bali over 35 years ago. Needless to say, his expertise on paddle out and wave selection were perfect. We let the Rip Tide suck us out the back with minimal paddling, carved turns on beautiful left hand breaks and then rode waves back to shore only a few meters from said home base. PERFECT!








We surfed two sessions with some lunch inbetween at the local "Warung" (which is the name for a local Balinese kitchen). The beach side Warung set us up with Noodles and rice like the locals eat. No Bali Belly yet!













Only downfall was Jelly Fish. Turns out when the winds are "on Shore" for a few days, the jelly fish wander in from the Indian Ocean. We scored some nice jelly fish stings. The upside... it kinda felt like "acupuncture".Tomorrow we are headed to the other side of Bali to surf at a place called Nusa Dua.




Noyman & Noah seem to be best buds now since he thinks Noah rides really well for his age. He was impressed with Noah dropping in on some bigger sets. The two of them were talking in the van ride home and have planned out a "jelly fish free" session at a place called Nusa Dua. We will keep ya posted.













Water BOOM

























What would a trip to a developing nation be without venturing to your neighborhood Water Park! The facility standards and staff commitment to patron "rule following" are somewhat less than what you would get at Canada's Wonderland. Don't get me wrong GEO, I feel very safe in these surroundings, however it might not pass your "circle check"!! You could go 1, 2, 3, 4 at a time, push off as hard as you like, carry a camera with you and even follow right behind the person in front of you! Although I am a bit concerned........my own kids started to mix up rides between southern and northern hemisphere's! Moral of the storey...... my parental obligation to theme parks is now COMPLETE!



















The local place called WaterBom (pronounced "BOOM") is a fabulaous place for tourists looking for a post surf fix of adrenalin on water slides. We spent the afternoon on uncrowded rides having fun in the sun. Check out a couple of the video's.





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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Journey Home Begins

Itz official, we have said goodbye to our second home.... Australia!
What a great departure from Australia.....Many thanks to Kerrie, Matt, Family and Steph for the great Final Supper and the drive to the airport. Smooth flight to Bali, Indonesia. Soooooo Crazee and Soooooo Different landing here. Bali is a classic developing nation thriving on tourism. The airport was insane with people, taxi's, scooters etc..., all who wanted a piece of you. The kids eyes were like Toonies!

Currently sitting in Seminyak at a internet cafe just chillin' and reflecting on the year we have had living Down Under". Amazing that a year has gone by and that we are headed home. Mixed emotions about leaving but loving the opportunity to see more of this planet.




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Staying at a small Villa which is in the heart of this small Balinese beach town. It will serve as home base for about 8 days and after that we are not sure..... hope to seek out best surf spot and plunk ourselves there for the last 7 days. we are going to check out a waterpark this afternoon....WaterBOM!