Week 3 - Dusty barrels from a classic wave
I jump on the public ferry from Gili T to Bangsal the closest port on the main land, it’s a 1hr boat ride in some turbulent waters from strong currents and high wind, even at 7.30am in the morning. It a mission to get the bike and gear on to a very full ferry, but some kind passangers helped me in the narrow boat and but the bike between there knees.
I arrived on bangsal and pack the gear, and hit the road. I had previously forgotten my speedometer in Australia but my firend brought it over for me. I click it on and nothing happens, its broken or out of batteries, I have a replacement and put that in, still nothing. I give up and hit the road, Ill fix it when I get to sengigi, my overnight stop to desert point.
Sengigi to Desert Point (Bangko Bangko) – 84km
I woke up early at 5.40am got ready and left at about 6.30am. The idea is that I give myself the best chance to make it too desert point. I used google maps to measure the distance, 82km roughly.
From chatting to a Dutch couple that travelled this road by motocycle the day before, its quite flat to Lember and then it’s hilly, how hilly we shall see. I make good KM and by 8 o’clock I have done 30km. I’m not sure how ill go as I struggled up hills the previous day. That’s what a 9 days of no so serious riding does to you. The first major climb comes afer lember. Its steep and I pause twice to get my breathe back. The Indonesian people are one of a kind, they often stare and then might shout out “Hello mister, or where are you going” as a practiced phrase. If there’s a group one person would say something and the others would laugh, probably because it’s the silliest thing they have seen all day. This would happen countless times during the day.
50km in and I start to reach awesome little coves with shite sanded beaches. The road surface is really good, sometimes smooth as anything, soft tar smooth. I pass little villages, google maps stops working so I navigate with a map and by asking people. Bangko Bangko is where I’m headed, Desert Point.
Desert point is one of those waves I have always dreamed about from seeing it in surf movies, what will the reality feel like. And here I am cycling to it by myself, unbelievable.
By now its 11.30am and im starting to get hungry. It’s amazing how hungry you get while riding. I planned ahead and brought a tin of tuna & ½ loaf of bread, some bananas and a chocolate bar. The tuna on bread tastes amazing, the banana amazing and the chocolate bar… amazing. I rest in the shade for about 25min, by now my speedometer is reading 32 degrees sometimes warmer but I think that’s because of direct sunlight.
After the break I charge up the next hill in highest gear and keep on riding. As I get close to Desert point, villages feather out, motorbike traffic ceases to exist. I past quite a few abandoned resorts & houses. Will there be a place to stay & sleep at desert point, I start to doubt this ride.
I heard people say you need a 4WD to get to desert point, but all I’ve seen is smooth tar road, upto 80km and google said 2 to go.
And then it ended & what started was the worst road I’ve every ridden on. Large jagged sharp rocks. Stones would shoot out from the tyres, I dodged the sharp ones as best I could. The bike rattled to bits. No one is around, am I going the right way?
In the hot dry air I could hear a motorbike, it came over the hill and I could see surfboard rack on the side, so that’s a good start. I waved him down, he pulls off his headphones & says to go 1km then take the turn left. It will take you to the waves & a cold coke. I head left and Im pushing up a dusty dirt track. Its 12.30pm and hot as hell. A 4WD comes screaming up the hill, surfboard on the roof, girlfriends in the back, why am I doing this?
I make it over the hill, drink the last of my water. I creep down the hill, one foot on the ground and make it to the bottom where the shade of coconut trees great me. A small girl manning a boom gate stares at me, I asked her to open but she doesn’t. I ask how much and she says 10,000. I cycle along and about 200m I can see two 4wd and a half broken surfboard with desert point written on it. I made it to desert point by bike, 1.30pm.
I find a losmen and notice my sandles are gone, o well barefoot it is. I drink about 3 litres of water, watch the surf, its about 5ft, barrelling but a bit windy. I psych myself up and hit the water with the gopro pole mount. Catch 2 ok waves before a surfer in front of me says he saw a fin. Another surfer says “I’m outer here, there are tiger sharks around here” I look out about 30m and don’t see a fin but do see something big in the water. Next wave im in and I hit the reef and tear my favoutire board shorts. What a day 83km.
Road to sengigi, absolutley stunning. Hilly but stunning.
Massive views, the road runs down to the bay throught the palm trees and over the next.
The start of the rocky road to desert point, I then turn and go left over that hill. Only one hill though.
As I arrived at desert point.
One of the better bungalows at deserts.
The lookout where you eat.
My bungalow, very dusty but so close to the wave.
The next morning, I woke up to this.
Big bottom turn, most of my waves the barrel out ran me, but I did make some sections.
Such a perfect wave.
Surfing lining up for an incrediable section.
The wave switches on and off, at high tide its about 3ft then all of a sudden the tide runs out and its 6 - 8 ft. crazy.
The next bay over looks promising.
Surfer tucked away.
Ling up the next section.
The swell just goes on and on.
Some surfers having lunch and waiting for the crowd to thin out.
Massive end section often resulting in a close out and broken board.
The bra boy himself, Koby Abberton.
Local showing everyone hows its done, linking into this massive section.
Some serious gear around, this guys with a RED Camera.
The afternoon lowtide offers this guy some quality green room time.