Day 1: On Monday it was time to set off on our Ocean Tribe adventure. My friend Alisha and I had courageously decided to book in to a retreat focused on surfing, yoga, adventures and fun. I say courageous because I am a pale redhead who battles sunburn on an overcast day and we both were lacking surf experience. Eric came and picked us up from the hotel and was waiting patiently in the hotel foyer with the widest smile on his face. He shook my hand for a moment before it turned into a big bear hug. I’m not sure what he uses as his official title but he was about to become our day planner, translator, Bali Dad and comedian. Eric is a man of many talents, his other jobs include Lawyer, English teacher and he also has trained in Chinese Medicine (he subscribes to the view God has made a treament for everything you just need to find out what it is). The other girl to come on the retreat was also waiting there, Hortense (I pronounced her name ‘or-tonz’ and apparently that was pretty close) a deeply bronzed Blonde Dutch/French girl who currently resides in Switzerland. When we arrived at our villa in Canggu (pronounced Chang-oo). we were greeted with Fresh Coconut juice straight out of the Coconut and a platter of fresh Mango, papaya, yellow watermelon and red watermelon.
This was prepared by Anna our expert chef for the week. She owns a local Café in Canggu called Green Gardens. She has never trained but cooking is her passion and very evident in her delectable food. We then became acquainted with Aaron, Chief Entertainment expert and Tour Leader, he grew up in Bendigo and is a Concretor by trade but fell in love with Bali for its surf, yoga and way of life. Our local surf instructors were there too, Antoq and Edy were originally from Lombok but migrated to Bali so they could get work as Surf Coaches. After our introductions it was time to relax and check out our accomodation, Villa Del Mar. The villa is a luxurious two story place with massive bedrooms and bathrooms and a long pool that was always warm (see main picture ). It was a little bit out of town but still only a short bikeride to the beaches. We headed down to Echo beach.It has a stunning view and usually some surfers. We had some Bintangs and watched the sunset before getting stuck into a delicious Seafood barbecue at the restaurant there. There was an array of food to choose from including freshly caught fish, calamari, chicken skewers and tofu skewers. This also came with a salad bar of delicious pasta salad, garden salad, vegetables, sauces and more. Aaron’s recommendation was Tuna steak which was an excellent choice, super sweet and limey. After dinner it was home and a tired Alisha crashed while I cooled off in the pool and got to know Hortense.
The day began with a zippy Apple and Ginger Juice. This was at the spritely hour of 7am but for some reason in Bali this wasn’t shockingly horrible. Perhaps the heat and Island vibes were having an impact! Our yoga teacher Rae then arrived to take us through some stretches, hip openers and shoulder openers in preparation for the looming first surf. She lives in Canggu but hails from California and is very talented at what she does. . After all the exertion we gobbled up one of Anna’s delicious smoothie bowls (on the left) .The surf conditions were better for later in the day so we went for a tour around the Canggu beaches of Brawa, Bata Balong and Echo beach. After all the heat we were ready to hit the beach for our first surf session. We each got a big 8 foot foam longboard and headed into the ocean. Antoq took me out to the waves and was super patient and helpful reminding me that nothing could happen while he was there! I managed a bit of a standing up on the first
wave so was fairly happy. Alisha got badly dunked by the waves going out so her and Aaron had a paddle and some chats before heading back to the surf. Hortense took to the waves like a natural and was flying past me like a pro! After the surf we were conveniently in front of Old Mans bar (see the main picture) an awesome beach front place with heaps of seating a massive bar and cute colourful umbrellas. Happy hour is from 5 to 6 so we got stuck into some 2 for 1 Mango Daiquiris and Bintangs.
Day 3: A similar start to the prior day we began with a freshly squeezed juice and an entirely different but equally as invigorating yoga session with Rae. This time breakfast was vegan pancakes. You’d never know it because they were the most delicious fluffy ones I could recall having. They were made healthy with fruit and a yummy syrup. After that some lovely Balinese women for a full body massage in the comfort of our Villa. Then, you might be surprised, it was time to surf! You’d think I would be improving by now but it is amazing how hard it is to balance yourself when you’re on a wave and it’s moving past. Luckily Antoq is very patient and kept suggesting what I could do to improve
my positioning. The paddling was starting to get easier and my arms were no longer aching. It is really good exercise getting back into sets. This time after surf drinks were at the Sandbar. A cute little bar right on the beach that doubles as a board rental. That night I tried to twist Alisha’s arm into coming out as Wednesdays are the big night at Old Man’s but after an action packed day she could not be convinced. Aaron was much easier to talk into going out and he brought some Balinese Rose and Red wine to have with dinner. The wine, ‘Plaga’, is not quite like the Margaret River varietals I’m used to but I plowed through half the bottle anyway. Apparently the red was a bit more palatable! After a glass of wine Hortense was also feeling merry and decided to join our pub crawl. We called into Deus about 8pm but it had more of a dining vibe so went over to Ji. This is a really cool Japanese style cocktail bar and restaurant with views of the beach and Old Man’s bar from the top deck. The Coco Sexo cocktail is the most popular, apparently it looks amazing and has dry ice smoking off it. That had run out so we had a delicious Fuji cocktail that looked like a Fuji apple with tropical flavours and a fancy glass straw. After the cocktail we accepted the inevitable we were headed to Wednesdays at Old mans. Hortense and I got some delightful mojitos and swiftly made a beeline for the dance floor. Wednesdays do not disappoint, after 5 minutes in the midst of things we began to experience similar side effects to being an a sauna. It had a really good atmosphere, everyone chats and gets to know each other. We ran into Trailer producer called Kevin who bonded with Hortense for also exhibiting traits of heat exhaustion. I left them to their attempt to cool off and returned to the dance floor and met a cool Chilean who was on holiday over from Sydney. We had a beer and all was going well until he began busting such suggestive dance moves I could of been in an R and B clip, which to me signified it was time to go home. We had been warned that getting taxi home from Old Mans after midnight was pricey but the 20 minute ride back to our Villa came to 60 ooo rupiah( just over $6 AUD), makes uber seem pricey!
Day 4: When Aaron rocked up to the Villa I jokingly said “why did you let us go out?!”. Unfortunately my put on groggy tone was frighteningly close to what what I felt on the inside, it was all the Plagas fault! I nursed a Green Tea with Ginger and managed to pack up my things and depart Villa Del Mar for the next part of our adventure.