Days have gone by. The timeless Indonesian setting, littered with beeping cars entwined with organised scooter chaos, bars and foreign tourists scattered into the setting sun is synonymous with more than a handful of travelling surfers that make their pilgrimage to Bali. But this is where the story diverges from the standard, beaten track flogged by more than a fair share of surfers, and this is where our journey begins.
It’s 9pm in the popular ferry port of Padang Bai on the Northeast coast of Bali. Allanah, a surfer from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, steps onto an Indonesian ferry, drenched with everything and anything Indonesian culture can throw at it; bungkus hawkers and squat toilets and the persistent smell of the latter. Four hours on an Indonesian ferry is a lifetime for some, but Allanah is tracking down a rare find in modern day Indonesia: a wave that has never been surfed by a girl.
The ferry pulls into Port Lembar, Lombok, and the journey continues. The winding roads are filled with sights unfamiliar and rarely seen by many of those who have travelled to Indonesia.
The road comes to an end at Port Kayangan. This part of Indonesia is a disconnected paradise, there is no Skygarden in these parts. Our journey takes Allanah and I across the Alas Strait and we land in what is pure Indonesia. There is one road south and one road east. This is West Sumbawa.
Taking the south road to the promised land we see some of the most beautiful, elegant, scenic landscapes in Indonesia. For those searching for the garden of Eden, West Sumbawa would surely be a good starting point. Arriving at Benete Harbour – dominated by the operation of Batu Hijau Copper and Gold mine – we are met by an Indonesian woman,
Sri, the owner of a small surf camp, and she guides us around the bay into what will be our home for the next 4 weeks.
Sri explains along the way that this wave has been overlooked by surfing boat charters and land based surfers that have been coming to these parts for over 20 years. As we get closer we are met with an empty, mellow left-hander on the end section of a large reef. This bay is the definition of secluded. The chaos of Bali and the rest on Indonesia is forgotten here. The party scene, the packed surf spots, the progress of rice fields to villas is just a distant memory, thankfully left behind.
Allanah simply takes the first crucial strokes into a shoulder high wave… stands up, rides, turns and gently flows into the channel. No photos, no videos, just happiness. She is the modern day surf pioneer, the first woman to surf Nasu.
A huge thanks to Sri and Damien Cowley and the crew at DreamTime Sumbawa Surf Camp.