When travelling I always recommend going off the path. Why? Because that way you truly explore and experience the beauty of nature and other cultures and places. I went to see the famous Hindu pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot, which is a very popular tourist attraction in Bali. When you get there you pay an admission fee to get into the area, which is ok I think, but when you walk from the maingate to the temple itself you have to walk through a purely selling anything you can to tourist market place, which I didn’t like that much. Well let’s not get into that, lets talk about going off the path.
It all started with getting there, I didn’t get a paid travel tour to the temple with guides and drivers, I just took the my motorbike, put some water and sunblock and my camera in my backpack and drove away without a hurry, stopping everytime I saw something nice and took pictures.
So once I get down to the temple, I took a couple of photos of the temple and a selfie with the temple in the background and here is where I made a choise of taking another path from most tourist. It seemes that for most tourists it’s enough to get some pictures of them posing in front of the temple, but for me, that’s not it, that won’t give me kicks or won’t make me smile. What I get kicks out of and what makes me smile is going exploring, so I went off the path. I saw a nice cliff further down the coast, but still close enough to be able to walk and climb there.
The path to the cliff was exciting as I stumbled on a crab colony, and litterally stumbled upon it as the crabs are very well camouflages withing the nature they are in, so at first I didn’t see any of the crabs, but all the sudden something jumped, yes jumped over my foot, first I got a startled as I didn’t see what it was, then I saw the crabs small and big. The smalles where around just 1 cm and the big ones where around 20 cm in size, and they can actually jump.
After going through the jumping crab colony, walking through water and climbing some rock I got to the place and the view was breathtaking. I’ll let the picture do the talking.
On my way back from the cliff I meet an old woman who was gathering seaweed for eating.
Now would you have seen amazing view from the cliff? The crazy jumping crab colony? Or meet a true local old lady gathering seaweed for food if I had stayed on the path like most tourist?
Go off the path, and like Captain Kirk from Star Trek said, boldly go where noman has gone before.
I woke up and it was raining so I decided to take the laptop and go to my everyday breakfast at Bali Bowls. While driving there which is just a couple of blocks from where I stay, I all the sudden realize I drove passed it, I was about to brake and make a u-turn but I got a gut-feeling that told me to continue straight to the beach even if it was raining. So I listened to my gut-feeling and continued to the beach which is just a couple of more blocks down the road.
I get there, just rain and bad waves. But I stayed and just looked at the ocean. Then a woman walks by with her dog following. The woman walks by but the little dog stopped and just looked at me. Didn’t come close and didn’t walk by, just stood still and looked at me. The woman turnes around and I told her that her dog didn’t want to move, she walks back and we start talking. She has moved here from Austria and has been living here for the last 3 years.
And this is when it get’s interesting.
I told her that I’m here feeling the waves and the ocean and their movement to learn, even if I’m not out on the water. And I told her how I think it’s important to feel your surfboard and feel the waves and the ocean to become a better surfer. As I believe there is a mental side to it, and to become a good surfer you need to have a mental connection to your board and the ocean on top of being a good athlete and fit.
She said, she totally understands it. Then she tells me that she teaches yoga and we started talking about how important it is for any sport or activity to be present and feel the soul of it.
Now I’m here eating breakfast at Bali Bowls and thinking, was it meant to happen? Was I supposed to drive to far and was it that my gut-feeling was supposed to tell me to go on and meet the woman and talk about the soul of the ocean and the souls of sports.
And what makes this even more interesting and emotional is that yesterday I was in the pool with my own board, just balancing and trying to feel the board and even if I might not be able to get up on it yet as it is small and I’m practicing on a big board, I have planned to take it out on the waves tomorrow for the first time, even just to paddle around on it.
As y’all remember tomorrow is the day when I will reveal the board graphic 21.1 and now I have all these encounters happening to me as 21.1 is closing in. For example, yesterday in the evening I was swiming around in the waves and the mount for my GoPro Hero6 broke and it dissapeared into the ocean. Was this meant to happen? As I had planned to mount it to the surfboard when I take it out for the first time, but when this happened it felt like the ocean and life was telling me, go out there without any cameras and just be present and feel the soul of the moment when you are taking the board out. Which is true, if I would take a camera with me I would not fully concentrate and be present in the moment as I would fiddle around with the camera. But now when I will go out without any cameras, just me, my board and the ocean, I will feel the moment, I will feel the soul of the ocean.