After eight trips to Bali, Lombok was a refreshing adventure. We stayed at Heaven on the Planet near Ekas Bay. After a flight delay, we found ourselves being driven through the darkness along a track that was akin to the road into 3 Mile Camp, Gnaraloo. After our driver negotiated the trees growing in the middle of the road, the 'pot holes' and the rocks, we arrived close to midnight.
We were told to keep our shoes inside to avoid the scorpions and to watch out for the monkeys, then wished a good night. The room we had booked for the first night was very rudimentary, with a pipe coming out of the wall for a cold shower. We dearly hoped this wasn't what we were in for for the rest of our stay.
Next morning things looked much brighter as we sat down to breakfast and a 270 degree view of the ocean. Drank black tea while watching the first shift of surfers out on the reefbreak.
We moved to our actual room and were pleased to have a traditional style Indonesian bungalow with a view of the surf... and an actual shower.
It didn't take us long to switch to island time, finish a number of books and countless cups of tea. Getting to the surf was easy with a boat waiting in the bay to take us out whenever we were ready.
I think I came home fitter than when I arrived. As there were 100m of stairs down to the bay that we climbed up and down multiple times each day. One or two surfs, plus snorkelling and SUPing, had us starving for our dinner each night.
I made the most of my child-free time. One day I went for a snorkel over the reef break, then swam to shore, climbed the stairs, down the stairs, Sup'd across the bay to the break and back, up and down the stairs, surfed in the bay, then caught the boat our for a final surf at Inside Ekas. With that out of my system, I chilled out a bit over the following days.
I didn't see a scorpion the whole trip and the monkeys kept to themselves as they are native here and aren't in the habit of being fed (unlike the unpleasant Monkey Forest near Ubud.)
The wave was pretty great. Relatively soft and gentle even at well overhead. It was forgiving on all tides, although, with the small swell it stopped breaking at high tide. The lefts were super fun, long rides and the right was more abrupt and faster.
I enjoyed the isolation of this place. There was no temptation to go shopping (there are none) and I was put off sightseeing the the road we'd have to leave on, so it was wonderful to just stay put, eat, surf, read and relax.
I think I appreciated this holiday far more once I returned home and realised just how lucky we'd been with the swell. It's a leap of faith planning a surf trip in advance and it's all luck whether the waves are too big or non-existent. This time, they were just right. If I get the chance to come back, I'll be hoping on a plane.
It has been two years since my last trip to the Chillhouse and it was sorely needed. Just a short, 5 day trip but we crammed a lot in.
I also launched a new product range - painted skate decks. This one has been upcycled and painted, ready to add a pop of colour to some lucky person's wall. For sale at
The Artisan Store. More are coming soon... After I get a few waves under my feet.
This is what greeted us. I took the 5'6 mini simmons and wondered if I'd even catch anything. As it was, we all had some fun rides and the reforms went all the way in to the beach. Managed to do some halfway decent duckdives - haven't done any in months and months as I'm always on the longboard.
So everything changed and this huge rip developed which is was paddling around in for half an hour trying to get in. But I went and had a cup of tea with some guys on the reef and they pointed me in the right direction to get in.
We had our customary BBQ bacon fry-up when we got back to Casa del Escher. We had a fun afternoon surf, did the trip to the shops and I squeezed in some geeky sewing before we walked to the pub. We look like a bunch of bogans (below) but I promise we're not. (They were next door at the house with the "peck deck" out front.
I had a very lovely break in Bali at the end of July/ beginning of August. Surfed every day. Ate loads. Here's a taster - there's more on my instagram or facebook feeds.
This week I will have a stall at the Night Markets as part of the Ignite the Park Festival.
Thursday 28 August 2014
4pm to 9pm
818 Albany Highway in East Victoria Park.
WELCOME TO MERMAiD'S COiN
Surf Artist, Hannah Katarski is based in Fremantle, Western Australia. She creates ocean-inspired art that is bohemian, retro and fun.