Location: Bali

Hi! This morning I got the joy of waking everyone up far earlier than they wanted to after a late previous night. After a 6 am wakeup and a quick breakfast, we all walked down the dock to get on our bus for a morning of surfing. Once we got to the beach, we split up into our groups by skill level, got boards, and headed down to the water. We parted ways at the beach as my group headed out for the main break, and the beginners practiced some popups and then headed out into the whitewash. Dray, as always, looked incredibly graceful, Margret made best friends with her instructor (who did not want to hang out with her again tomorrow), and Kirstyn almost fooled absolutely no one that she was, in fact, sponsored by Red Bull. After about two hours of a lovely mix of pure bliss while on top of a wave and fighting for my life while trying to get back out, we headed back on shore to rejoin the others who had all become masters of the wave to return our boards. The rest of the day, we had to ourselves to do what we pleased. Everyone split into small groups to roam around the bust surf neighborhood, get some lunch, shop, and hang out.

My little group of Margret, Kirstyn, Jack, Heloise, Sierra, Perry, and Dray roamed the streets and allies, popping into surf shops and cute boutiques until we found a cafe for coffee and smoothie bowls and a small restaurant for typical Indonesian food across the street. We shared a long, much-needed meal and relaxed for a while until we had digested enough to head back into town. Sierra got a boba, Margret went into the candy store of her dreams, and we bumped into our fellow boat mates in the mall, far too nice for how we all smelled, before continuing on. After tiring ourselves out of shopping and walking, Dray, Jack, and Sierra went off to find a 30-minute massage – which they did indeed find for only 6 dollars a person. Romeo, Kirstyn, Margaret, and I (we lost Perry and Wheeze along the way) headed down to the beach to spend the rest of our day. We sat on the beach and people-watched, and I had a very bittersweet, solo, last swim in the amazing south pacific ocean (last for this trip – I will be back). At 3 pm, we all filed back onto our bus, burnt and happily exhausted after a day well spent for the 45-minute bus ride back to sweet home Vela.

Once back aboard, many people took naps, showered, or looked through the hilarious photos of us all surfing that we were surprised with. Dray, Jack, and I walked over to the kite festival that was happening right off our dock. Dozens of kites bigger than cars were sent flying into the air at a time in a competition that I didn’t understand but had big crowds. Each kite had a team of about a dozen people in matching team shirts – jerseys ready to help their kite fly. The festival went on through the whole afternoon as we watched for the boat as hundreds and hundreds of kites of all shapes and sizes (but all varying degrees of huge) took flight. When we returned back to the boat, we learned that Kirstyn had gotten out of her cooking duties, and we were going to get takeout from a local restaurant. We took everyone’s order, then K-dawg, Margy, Kee, and I got into a taxi to the restaurant, where we waited for the biggest takeout order I’ve ever seen. Back at the boat, we had a late dinner, and everyone settled in for the night, working on letters to each other or trying to enjoy every last second of each other’s company in our last days together 🙁 As the end of this incredible trip draws to a close, tears are becoming more frequent, and our incredible days together days seem far too short. Not to be depressing or anything.

Another incredible day shared with amazing people.

– Larkin S.