A trip to the Mentawai is always about the journey not just an arrival destination, that’s why we always incorporate a stopover in Bali. The Garuda flight that aligns with the Mentawai Fast Ferry fly’s via Denpasar so perfect excuse for a few days in Bali to break up the trip. We stayed at S-Resorts Bali, a hidden oasis and great base to explore the region and access a variety of beaches on the Bukit Peninsula. The Perfect Wave run the surf program so have local surf guides to get you to the best breaks for your ability. Being away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas, its the perfect place to come back and relax by one of the three swimming pools and enjoy a few bintangs or cocktails.
Two of our guests joining us in the Mentawai, Linda and Bryan also joined us here for a few days before the trip and to explore the region. After living in Bali for 18 months and loving the freedom and flexibility of riding a scooter, it wasn’t long before I convinced them this was the best way to explore the region and of course they loved it!! Even followed us all the way down to Jimbaran Beach for sunset and seafood on the beach.
After 5 days in Bali it was time to head to Padang where we spent a night at The Mercure Hotel with the rest of the group before our early morning departure on the Mentawai Fast Ferry. The journey gave everyone a chance to chat, doze, watch violent loud English movies featuring ‘The Rock” and look forward in anticipation to the week ahead. We arrived at our destination, Kandui Villas, and it did not disappoint! The sun was out, the surfers hit the waves, kids were in the pool and us surf widows enjoyed the relaxing vibe whilst getting to know each other over a Bintang. Before long it was time for a shower, quick change and head to the bar to watch the footage from the afternoon’s surf session before dinner. This became the nightly ritual with a 3-course dinner that never disappointed! Kandui Villas have an amazing organic garden where they grow most of their ingredients so always plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. The highlight of our first night was the performance by the Mentawai Shamen, traditional tribesmen who have been around for thousands of generations and these men are the last of their generation to carry on the tradition. They don’t know how old they are but they remember World War II.
Barton had an intimate group of 8 surfers including, 12 year old Oscar who got to experience his world class coaching skills. There was never a shortage of waves to surf for all abilities as Kandui Villas has 14 different breaks in close proximity to the resort, and another 30 breaks a little further North, all within the Playgrounds area. Over the week they managed to surf 11 different breaks with at least two sessions daily. Because of the flexibility and availability of boats, there was always room for the wives or extra kids to jump on the boat and either snorkel, learn to surf or just enjoy the journey. One afternoon we all got a magical sunset cruise whilst the boys surfed, kids had fun and then enjoyed a few Bintangs on the way back to the resort!
The morning we planned our water implementation trip to nearby Pei Pei Village, a wild storm hit the island stalling our plans!! The trip was 30min by boat, so once the weather had settled down and the boys came back from their morning surf we packed two boats with 46 buckets and filters and headed off to make a difference to this local community.
We were met on arrival by the Kepala Desa which is the village chief who escorted us to the community hall where we were greeted by families all intrigued about the Waves For Water filters. These filters are amazing and once you see how dirty water quickly becomes clear drinking water, you will understand why they are so excited. For us Westerners, we’re extremely fortunate to have drinking water so easily accessible, which you would think is a human right. In these remote Indonesian communities the chance of drinking contaminated water is extremely high resulting in various deadly diseases for the young and old. After a demonstration by Jordan from Kandui Villas of how to use and clean the filters, we all joined in with the locals putting them together before they were allocated to those families most in need.
What a feel good moment that was!
We even managed to fit in a beach clean and filled a whole sack on the short journey back to the boat.
Go BL, Kandui Villas and A Perfect Foundation Team!!
So between surf coaching with the best, making a difference for the local communities and creating new friendships everyone had an amazing time!! Special thanks to Kandui Villas for helping us create this special life changing experience and look forward to returning again in 2019!! If you’re interested in joining us please contact me to secure your spot!