Four years ago, a while after I decided to take a break from the music industry, I felt the urge to pursue another dream of mine: surfing.
For a while, this dream had developed in my head and had kept me going. During very tough times I would tell people: when this is over, I will go to Bali and learn how to surf….
And so I did. In March 2013 I took off on my first backpacking trip ever to Indonesia and it was the start of something big for me. It was the start of all of this. I surfed my first wave, I visited temples, I watched sunsets, I walked through rice fields and soaked in everything Bali has to offer like a sponge and at the end of the trip, I decided two things: I would go back to University and I would travel the world.
And here I am now, traveling the world with a Bachelor degree in my pocket. And here I am now, back in Indonesia. I didn’t have to think twice about where I would spend my time on Bali, I knew I wanted to go back to the place where surfing started for me four years ago, the Rapture Surfcamp in Padang Padang. It’s a surfcamp suitable for all budgets on the Bukit peninsula, far away from the Kuta party nights and close to all the good surfspots, like Padang Padang, Uluwatu, Balangan and many more.
Coming back there felt like coming home, I moved into the deluxe dorm with an outdoor bathroom and super comfy beds, plenty of space for everybody and was welcomed by the team, consisting of people from all over the world and Indonesia, of course. All the surfguides are locals and will for sure bring you to the best spot everyday. A big variety of boards waits for you, as well as a nice pool to chill out at after the surf and yoga classes in the afternoon, oh, and you will be fed really good food, a mix between Indonesian and western food – all the ingredients for a perfect time of „eat, sleep, surf & repeat“, I would say!!
A typical day in the camp will start around 7am (times vary with the tides) with breakfast, getting some energy before the surf starts, my preferred breakfast option was boiled egg with bread and a banana pancake, but don’t worry, there are also healthier options, and afterwards you will grab your board and drive to the spot – surfguiding is included in every package you book with Rapture. You will spend most of the day at the spot, either doing one long session (3 hours) or two short ones (2 hours each) and have lunch in between, and return to the camp surfed-out and happy. Since I like to explore, I rented a scooter and drove around most days in the afternoon, trying to find places that I like and just generally having fun cruising.
Here are some of my favorite places in the area around the Rapture Camp and some of my favorite things to do there:
Surf Balangan – even though Padang Padang is my favorite surfspot on Bali, I always enjoy surfing in Balangan because it’s just a dreamy beach with little beach huts you can have lunch in and look at the ocean and watch other surfers. It’s also a good spot for all levels of surfers, from beginners to advanced, since there are several peaks in the bay.
Go shopping at Drifter – yes, there is now a Drifter surfshop at the Bukit peninsula and it’s a surfer girls paradise… I admit I spent too much money there AND ate too much cheesecake.
Have Lunch at The Cashew Tree – a nice little hideaway close to Bingin Beach, situated in a calm garden with a good atmosphere, that serves fresh juices, smoothies and healthy (yet delicious) food, as well as offering Yoga sessions all week and live music on Thursdays.
Find empty beaches – yes, there still are some hidden beaches in Bali, for example the Nyang Nyang Beach, but you really have to want to get there and first take a very bumpy road to a parking lot and then walk down to the beach for 15 minutes, it’s worth it though.
Rent a scooter and go exploring – a scooter is the number one means of travel and the easiest way to get around Bali. It will make you independent and save a lot of money on drivers, but remember to always wear a helmet and don’t drink and drive!
Watch the sunset at Uluwatu – this just never gets old… grab a cold Bintang and see the sun going down in the ocean with the cliffs of Uluwatu behind you, watch the really good surfers there, staying out in the lineup until it is nearly dark because they just can’t get enough and just feel the energy of this place. I always sit there and dream that one day I will be surfing out there…
Party at Single Fin – it’s not a secret that there are parties at Single Fin in Uluwatu on Sundays (and Wednesdays) and some might say they are too crowded or some might say they are for people who are looking for someone to spend the night with, or some might say it’s too expensive, and all of them are right, but, come on, they are still pretty good parties in an amazing location, so, you know, whatever, just dance!!!
When it comes to Bali, there are a lot of different opinions floating around. Some say it is paradise, some say it used to be… Bali used to be the place of my dreams and I was lucky enough to go there a couple of years ago, when the tourist crowds would still stay in Kuta, and I was privileged enough to return there now – of course you can never repeat magic and of course places change. Bali has changed a lot even in a short amount of time. You could say this is bad, or you could just take it as what it is. You can complain about it, but you cannot change it. It is still a beautiful place with good waves, you just have to share them with a few more people now. And if you embrace the change, you can still have the time of your life, I promise. I did have a great time at the Rature Camp (again) and for me it is the perfect homebase on Bali that I would always be happy to return to.
Rapture does have a second camp on Bali now, the Bali Cliff, which is also incredably beautiful and one in Portugal (that I have also been to – had an amazing time) and one in Nicaragua…. so where ever you want to catch waves, they got you covered. Find out more about them here or on their Facebook and Instagram.