Blogs from Mentawi, Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Mentawi April 13th 2017

You would think I'd learn but it seems some people in this world are a bit slow on the uptake. This was my 9th foray into the group of islands off Sumatra's west coast so it's not as if I was sucker punched by the heat and humidity a degree or so from the equator. Yet despite all previous experience and everybody else's advice to slowly ween myself onto the surf, the moment I set eyes on those waves, the "go hard or go home" ethos overrode pragmatism. Caught up in a haze of fantasy, the first full day involved 2 x 3 hour sessions beneath a flat equatorial blaze. 6 hours and during a forced leisurely paddle back to the boat anchored in the channel, it was time for a flashback. Last year, an acquaintance ... read more
Ooh la la
A couple of ales at day's end
Plenty of dead trees on this island

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Mentawi February 14th 2016

I had an aunt and an uncle who went to South West Rocks 36 years in a row for their January holidays. Why? “South West Rocks has everything you could possibly need. A beach and a bowling club with a top Chinese Restaurant” they said. Uncle Sid and Aunty Jean living on the edge. What is it that draws people back to the same holiday distination on a regular basis? Perhaps that particular locale ticked all the boxes required for their hit and run vacation time and there’s a sense of comfort in the familiarity. I suppose that’s pragmatism defined but, “Where’s the adventure”? Having said that, there are quite a few dots on this earth we’ve retraced and would do so again given the chance. Offer me a ticket to Paris tomorrow and I’ll go ... read more
Your author.
Yes I know it's self indulgent

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Mentawi March 8th 2015

Megan is one part of Pitstop Hill management, a 10 guest surf resort tucked into a niche of the Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra. I asked her if our particular group of 10 were collectively the oldest to have bunked down there in the resort's 8 year history. I had barely squeezed out the last word of the enquiry before; "Yes". "Would you like some more time to think about that Megan?" If you take out the 24 year old son of one of our crew and if my numbers are correct, the aggregate age of the other 9 hit the scales at around 540. That's over half a Millenia of prime Cronulla manhood trying to prove they can still dance the Funky Chicken. The purpose of these 11 days was ostensibly to ... read more
Beng Beng Beach
Your humble author

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Mentawi February 1st 2015

As the name suggests, Resort Latitude Zero sits within spitting distance of the equator. A hedonistic oasis, the resort is snuggled cosily amongst the Telo Island chain. The what chain? If you are not a surfer, it's an archipelago incognito. Even the good people of Sumatra, a couple of hundred kilometres to the west, would struggle to point it out on a map. That resonated of a decent enough reason to call in for a fortnight. This was my second visit to the ballpark but Telo Island Lodge, while upscale in a surfer kind of way, isn't the genre of place to drag the blushing bride. Not so RLZ. The brainchild of a group of Oz surfers, what they have created from the foundations up in this off the grid locale is a cocktail of vision, ... read more
Christian majority out here.
Another shitty day in Paradise
Who said Poms can't surf?

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