Paige Hareb shares with us why there's heaps more to surf travel than just dialing in sketchy reef breaks
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 December, 2017 - From the outside looking in, anyone would think that we were the best of friends and had been traveling with each other for years. Codie Klein is like my annoying but caring, funny little sister but traveling with Ellie Brookes and Isabella Nicholls was a first for me.
Codie the social butterfly was the connection between us all and kept whispering about a trip to one of her favourite surf locations, Lakey Peak. She thinks it’s her eighth time there. With all of us having a busy competition schedule, we found some time in between the Los Cabos event in Mexico and the Supergirl Pro in America. I didn’t think it was going to happen with all this talk and not booking our trip until only one week before we flew out whilst still in Mexico.
Even though I was the only kiwi and luckily can handle a lot of flak from the Aussie girls, we quickly became a tight knit group, spending our first night in Bali and all buying matching mosquito pants and naming ourselves the ‘Quad squad’.
For all of us I think it was our first ‘surf trip’ away from competition in a long time yet somehow with the perfect waves everyday ranging from 2-6ft, we did not get to relax! Up every morning at 5:30am and surfing six plus hours a day with minimal time to spare to eat, undeniably check our instagram, play ‘monopoly deal’ card game and straigth back out to do it all again. Ready for bed every night by 7:30pm. Some of us single but definitely not looking to mingle.
The first few mornings seemed like a breeze. Our bodies were fresh and we thought we had sussed out a good deal with the local boatman ‘grommet’ to save our energy for surfing instead of paddling half a km out across the reef to the break Lakey Peak and back every surf. Unfortunately we learnt the hard way even though every morning when we handed him what we thought was the right ‘agreed’ amount and he would say ‘yes it’s ok’. After the first few days we realized he wasn’t happy through someone else so decided to start paddling from then on. Pretty sure I lost a few kgs that week.
On our way to Lakey Peak Codie and I tried to promise each other that we would go running everyday. This quickly went out the window as we barely found time to eat between surfs. At every meal the main converstaion was how tired, crispy and ‘cooked’ we were feeling but also what time we would have our second or third surf. This was always discussed over Isabella’s new favourite card game (because it was her first time playing) Monopoly where she practically forced us all to play at every meal. It was a good thing though as it forced us to do less scrolling on that app, I think it’s called instragram.
With Codie pretty much being a laid back local as it was her 8th time at Lakey Peak, Isabella most of the time and myself being pretty cruisey. Then there was Ellie with constant questions like “Have you girls put mosquito spray on?”, “Are you taking malaria tablets?” then on the last day when one of the boys needed some tape for his knee, she whipped out a full first aid kit like she was a walking chemist. Some would say over the top worrier and some would say well prepared. Me being the complete “worry about it when it actually happens” would probably still be relying on her so I won’t mock her too much haha but I do think that was the biggest difference between a veteran decade traveller and a rookie traveller.
Speaking of a decade traveller. I literally hadn’t been to Lakey Peak for 10 years so I was excited to see the changes. It was pretty funny and cool to see that nothing had changed, not even the hotel Amin Ghadi had anything renovated or done to it. I think the biggest things I noticed was there was a new tower out on the reef, a new restaurant ‘the wreck’ and unfortunately, whole lot more rubbish scattered everywhere. I think it might of been because of the local holiday but there was a lot more people in Lakey Peak.
Most of the Women and girls covered in burkas. Every time we went in and out for a surf, even at 6am we would get asked to stop by a local for a photo. Being one of the only blonde girls there with minimal attire on of a bikini, we were complete opposite to them. The biggest joy of traveling though is that with a language barrier we all know and like a smile, a high five and a photo.
After all the recent articles about Bali cooking and serving dog in their meals, I instantly became vegetarian while I was there. I thought it would be hard but I almost felt better and enjoyed all their local gadi-gadi peanut sauce flavours. It wasn’t until I got to Bali for a few days after the trip, a much needed holiday after a holiday (We are spoilt and appreciate it a lot but we really did work hard, surf a lot and push our bodies in Lakey Peak) where I really enjoyed the vegetarian lifestyle, with so many cool new cafe’s mostly opened by Australians I assume but with some crazy, amazing vegetarian recipes and flavours that blew my mind, tastebuds and aesthetically pleased me.
If you’re planning an Indonesian getaway, if you’re a surfer I would definitely recommend Lakey Peak but I’m warning you now all you’ll be doing is the cliche’ surf, eat, sleep, repeat. If you’ve got a family or you’re a ‘foodie’ then Canggu, Bali is the place to be. Although you can still get a decent ‘real’ coffee at Fat Mah’s in Lakey Peak.
Now for us girls, it’s a bit of time at home, for me time in California to re-set and get our minds in the competition waves and mind frame again for the Supergirl Pro in Oceanside, California at the end of this month. Always a little bit hard to re-adjust to after a perfect week of waves and good times!