Bali: Padang Padang and Uluwatu Beaches

Everything I know about surfing comes from watching Point Break a lot in high school which is to say, pretty much nothing other than it’s cool.  I was in Bali to relax and swim and take pictures, and that’s what I did.

Still, actually seeing these guys (and a surprising number of gals) paddle out into a series of crushing breakers was pretty amazing.  It was fascinating, really.  (Above pics from Padang Padang.)

Padang Padang was nice, but Uluwatu was incredible.  The latter beach was really just a hole in a mountain where the surfers could swim out to try their luck.  I’d never seen anything like it.  (Wikipedia says it’s one of the best surfing sites in the world so I’ll take their word for it.)

That’s it — that’s Uluwatu Beach.  Wow.

This being Bali, a predominantly Hindu country, you see small offerings of incense and fruit and flowers almost everywhere.

The surfers could use all the luck they can get.

Really should have brought my good zoom lens.

Above Uluwatu Beach was a funky little enclave of huts and surfboard repair shops and pay toilets.

Honestly, as beautifully stunning as Uluwatu Beach was this little village had a definite Heart of Darkness vibe to it.  It was a fairly long drive and a bit of a scary descent to get down here.  It was incredibly remote, which is part of the attraction.

So Uluwatu won for sheer beauty and the incredible sounds of waves smashing into the mountainside, but Padang Padang had a little crumbling temple up above it which can only mean one thing in Bali — monkeys!

I’d hired a driver to take me around for the day, and he was adamant about these guys.  He said they were dirty, treacherous, devious little, um, monkeys, and that they’d steal my camera or sunglasses or wallet if I wasn’t careful.  Balinese monkey doesn’t give a shit.

But c’mon, so damn cute.

My day spent cruising around the southern end of Bali was the definite highlight of my trip and I’d have to say that Uluwatu is one of the most impressive feats of natural beauty I’ve ever come across.  As fall and winter come to Daegu I’ll be missing this place a lot.

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