I have found paradise, and it’s on a small island near Bali called Nusa Ceningan. Everything about this place is perfect: the waves are good and consistent, the locals are friendly, the water is clear, the beer is cheap, the food is good, the sunsets are beautiful… The list goes on forever.
The two main reasons I travel are (1) to surf waves and (2) to meet people. Locals’ attitudes make or break a surf spot, and I have never met more friendly locals in my life. Every time they paddle out, they do it with a big smile and say hello to everyone in the lineup.
Today, I was surfing the main point at Ceningan, and Jack, a local working at the Warung (restaurant) on the cliff over-looking the break, sat on the cliff and directed traffic. He called out when sets were coming and told us, “out farther, farther, farther… Stop!” The the set would arrive and everyone would be in perfect position to take a wave. Amazing! I have never experienced such a thing. Sorry Stoney Point crew. I never thought it would happen, but I actually found friendlier locals than you guys!
Even the non-surfing locals here are all smiling and saying hello. To reach the island from Nusa Lembongan, you have to cross a dodgy bridge, which is so narrow only one moped can cross at a time. Once on Ceningan, locals smile and say hello as you pass, and kids high-5 you as you ride by on the scooter. The guide books say “this is what Bali was like before tourism.” But now there are a few boutique hotels popping up around the surf break. Let’s hope Cenican can maintain its authenticity along with its surf-side infinity pools. Ok… Time for another surf. Ciao!