David and I are in the Bukit peninsula of Bali – generally called Uluwatu, but more specifically staying at Bingin. The beaches and surf breaks here are legendary – Uluwatu and the fabled Padang Padang, along with Impossibles, Bingin, and Dreamland.

A view down the cliff to the surf break at Uluwatu (on a bad day)

We arrived here via Ubud after a terrifying ferry ride back to Bali from Lombok, the enormous boat violently swaying in the tremendous swells. We had left our new friends – the Webster brothers of Long Beach, CA – in Kuta, Lombok, with plans to meet up again in the next few days in Uluwatu. We had already formed ourselves into what we dubbed “Team America” with our adventures and antics beginning on Lombok and hopefully continuing in the southern surf haven of Bali.

David and I arrived to Uluwatu and set up camp at Susie’s Bungalows, a simple and friendly homestay run by a bunch of giggling women set on top of the cliffs above Bingin beach. We spent the days descending and climbing the impossibly steep and painful steps (work those buns!) that led down to the beach, visiting the shantytown woven into the cliffs of Uluwatu proper, and getting the lay of the land via our rickety red motorbike (which we eventually traded in for a newer, hot pink one). A couple of days later we met up again with our good friends from the West Coast and we all settled in at Susie’s along with our new acquaintances: Jay and Linda from an island off of southern France, Anya from mainland France, and Nikki from Brussels.

The boys and I became a pretty solid unit, searching for surf during the day or belly flopping into the nearby infinity pool or settling down for banana milkshake time and an endless series of jokes and stories.

The boys lounging by the pool. Bingin beach.

We spent one day outrunning the corrupt police on our motorbikes on the way to give a farewell to my mom in Nusa Dua. David and I barely escaped while the Webster brothers – having been pulled over for some made-up reason – ingeniously adopted the Spanish language and annoyed the frustrated policeman out of his monetary bribe.

Another day was spent at the surf spot Greenbol, where we all witnessed a Planet Earth– style moment of a large snake using its muscular body to climb the precipitous wall of a cave to strangle an unfortunate bat for its lunch, while waves crashed violently and a storm brewed around us.

A storm brews at Greenbol

Adventures and escapades during the day gave way to often boisterous and deboucherous nights. Whether we were out and about or lounging with our books or a stack of cards, David and I could hardly have been in better company and feel fortunate to have met these new friends on our trip. Often, a downside of traveling is that you lose the emotional connections you have with people, save for a traveling companion if you have one. People float in your lives, but the nature of traveling necessitates for them to quickly float out. However, we were lucky to have these guys in our current traveling lives for two weeks and we had a great time. Alas, they left to go back to real life and David and I are once again stuck with each other (love you buddy!).

A heartfelt “Namaste” and “claro que sí” go out to the brothers.

And thus, a chapter ends in the epic saga of Dav and Taz.