Thursday, 7 August 2014

Padang Padang Ripcurl Surf Championships

So, I've been in Padang Padang since Monday just chilling out by the beach. Monday I came from the hostel I was in (Kayun hostel) from Kuta to Padang with 4 other girls (yes, we all squeezed in one taxi). We just chilled on the beach all day hoping for the competition to start as there was a 2pm predicted start time that kept getting pushed back. Unfortunately it didn't happen and instead we were told 7am the next morning.




I was unable to get to my hostel, Jollie hostel, as the people by the beach were asking for 200,000 which is 10 pounds when it cost me 1 pound to get from Kuta to Padang which is so much further! Eventually I convinced this German guy to give me a lift on his bike for 40,000. The hostel is ok but nobody is really there. I rented a moped and went to McDonalds (after a large detour). I forgot how much I hate riding at night, especially when my light was so dim.

Tuesday I woke at 6:30am and made it down to Padang for 7:30am, again to find that the start had been delayed. I went up to the official view point and sat on the rocks and ended up talking to some guys from Australia. It turns out one is an international judge and just gets flown over the world to judge surfing competitions. How fun. Anyway, he turned out to be lovely so we just spent the day together. The competition finally started at 2:30pm. At one point we went out to go watch them on a surfboard he had hired, however the waves were so strong and the board was too small (my face was inappropriately in his butt). It was cool to watch them for a little bit anyway before I caught boat back to shore.

For the rest of the day we alternated between watching from the beach, and watching from the viewpoint before popping back to my hotel for a swim. I headed back to Padang but the heats were over by then because the waves had died down. So, in usual Scarlett fashion, I headed to McDonalds before spending the evening skyping my family to catch up, and Aran for a bit before heading to bed. I got bitten about 12 times in 5 minutes of being in bed so had to get out, lather up in repellent and switched beds in agony.





Wednesday morning the competition was expected to continue, but the swell wasn't what they wanted so I rode to a hotel nearer the beach and just spent the day chilling by the pool with two Australian girls and an American guy.

On that note though, seriously, fuck the corrupt police here. I was super angry - I got pulled over on my way back from my old hostel and they took all the money I had in my purse which was 400,000 (£20), when the guy in front only had 50,000 (£2.50). They claimed it was because I didn't have an international licence, but I've read in the lonely planet that its common for them to just pull you over for anything and demand money. They said if I didn't pay it, I'd have to go to court and pay $300USD fines.They pulled over every tourist - they must have made so much money! Ugh.

In the evening I decided to go for a little ride because I was bored and ended up at Blue Point Beach and there was a really busy beach bar place on the cliffs and so I found a group there and sat with them just talking to this lovely guy all night. They wanted me to go into Kuta with them but because I didn't want to ride drunk I passed up the offer. It was still a nice night chilling with them, the guy I sat with was lovely.

Today I was going to take surf lessons, but its so hard to find places around here. Kuta is easy and I'd bike back to Kuta for it as its cheap too but my bike was rented from half way between Kuta and the airport so there's no point me going past the airport when I just booked my flight for KL departing this evening. I couldn't decide whether to stay another few days, or call it quits and head to the next location. On a whim, I decided I'd had enough. I'm going to see if I can find somewhere round here quickly, or just rent a board and go out by myself. But I need to be at the airport for 5pm so I'm not sure I have time now! DAMMIT. I just had to get this flight though so I could get my Myanmar visa processed as it'll be shut on the weekend. I have so many forms to fill out and pictures to get though. Blagh. Visas are stupid, especially ones you have to get before departure!

**Update next morning**

So... I tried surfing again and I've been put off for life! I was just sucked under by the waves, had no strength to paddle out and had my head smashed by the board several times. The teacher was crap and just kept pushing me out on huge waves that I clearly wasn't ready for and at one point visibly pushed me into another girl learning to surf so that we badly collided. So, after 40 minutes I got out and gave up. I really didn't want to give up, but it was dangerous me being out there, he just wasn't safe at all and I was continually getting battered.

After this I biked back to Jollie hostel to return it and just chilled there for a bit cleaning up and removing sand from everywhere. Eventually at 5pm I headed to the airport, checked in, and realised how ridiculously expensive the airport was once you were past security. Muffin and croissant for dinner it was!

I couldn't sleep on the plane at all and it was a dodgy journey, but 3.5 hours later I arrived in KIlA 2 for the third time in a month and got on the sky bus back to KL sentral. Unfortunately, once I got there I realised that the place was all shut down and because it was 1am, the last train had stopped and so I couldn't get to a different hostel and would have to find one nearby. It was a very scary trip and the streets were filled with what felt like endless numbers of creepy men.

I bounced between two hostels trying to get the best price and either way, I still got ripped off. It cost me £18 for one night in a room with no wifi, no air con and dingy as anything. I just laid in bed and cried. I was just tired, hungry, fed up and knew I'd have to be up in a few hours to find the dreaded Myanmar embassy that I heard has the largest queue ever. These are the downsides to travelling female solo. 


Have this photo from the airport in case you've been doing it wrong!

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