The ferry from Java to Bali is only a short thirty minute ride, but the transformation is quite astonishing. Everything is different. Sparsely developed East Java gives way to trendy beach developments and tourist traffic jams. Mosques are replaced by Hindu temples and the call to prayer gives way to ritual gamelan music and chanting. On the way south, our dodgy bus screamed past hundreds of community temples and family shrines lodged between boutique hotels and shops full of tourist crap, I mean art. It’s another world.
First stop: Uluwatu, legendary surf paradise and temple town. Known to most surfers as Ulu’s, the little village boasts the most famous waves in Bali. For us non-surfers, the epic views of plunging volcanic cliffs and crashing waves will have to suffice. So why are we making a beeline for one of Indonesia’s leading surf destinations if we don’t surf. We’ve come to crash with our friends Lisa and Garrett joined by two new friends Aimee and Kurt at their ultra-swank cliffside surf villa. (Actually, we will rather parasitically be occupying the third room. Thanks guys.)