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Re: back across the equator

Kuta, Indonesia

(clarifying the Bangkok lady-boy remarks from the previous report...)

I generally try not to actually engage them in conversation. You can usually tell from a distance, though some do a really good job of looking the part!

Bali has some truly amazing waves that I have no intention of paddling out to anytime in the near future. I spent part of today day at Ulu Watu when it wasn't even on, and it looked plenty mean. There's rock here, by the way. I'm going to do some scoping over the next week to see if we should be planning a future expedition w/ Hilti in tow. There's definately enough bouldering on the beach to keep a fella occupied for a while.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on December 25, 2000 from Kuta, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Southeast Asia, 2000-2001
tagged Climbing and Surfing

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The Australian Mobile Office

Noosa Heads, Australia

Believe it or not, if you spend enough time sipping Mai Tais on a tropical beach, you will eventually get bored of it. After 4 months in Thailand, I was ready for a change. How about a last minute, 60 day return ticket to Australia? I hear they've got surf there.

So, with the promise of another couple weeks client work (for real money), I booked a crazy plush holiday flat in Noosa Heads for myself and the lovely miss Helen. Bought some surfboards, wrote some code, surfed a bunch, lived large. Bought a cheap van off an English chick, threw a bit more money at it so that it might actually run, and headed South in search of right point breaks and wireless hotspots named Linksys and Default.

A few new features kept creeping into the site. Somewhere along the way, Tags were born, browsing and search were improved, and the map stopped zooming out to see the entire planet just because you started your trip halfway around the world from where you were actually writing reports. Internet access is actually hard to come across in Australia, so updates would pile up for a while before being thrown live with crossed fingers.

Once we made it to Sydney, the surfboards got stashed in the back and the climbing gear came back out. Spent a week in the Blue Mountains and another at Nowra, clipping bolts with friends met in Thailand. Finally, we limped the van down to Melbourne and passed it off to a friend, who managed to get it halfway back across town before it died a painful death in the middle of rush hour traffic.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on March 1, 2006 from Noosa Heads, Australia
from the travel blog: Building Blogabond
tagged Climbing, Surfing, Blogabond and Hooptie

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Surigao, Philippines

There is a small island that is situated in northern Mindanao which is a very exciting spot. It is the ultimate surfing destination in the Philippines. Foreigners and locals alike travel all the way to Siargao just to experience the great surf. Siargao is blessed with monstrous waves which have attracted lots of people.

Because of its enormous popularity, many Americans and Australians who have visited the wonderful island have called it home. Siargao is different from other surfing sites because it is free of pollution and trash. Another good thing about the island is that it is free from commercialization. Nonsurfers can also enjoy the island. Because of its relaxing and laidback environment, people enjoy hanging out in the beach. They can also enjoy watching surfers glide on the waves. The nightlife in Siargao is different from Manila, as it is more tranquil and peaceful. You can simply enjoy cool drinks while watching the sunset.

permalink written by  On Foot on August 8, 2007 from Surigao, Philippines
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Surfing, Beach, Philippines, Sourth and Mindanao

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Nuqui, Colombia: Real info for budget travelers

Nuqui, Colombia

Nuqui is an amazing place, but it can be hard to pull off a trip there unless you really know what you're doing, or you have a LOT of money. Since there's not any good information on the web, chances are you won't know what you're doing. And since you're researching the place on the internet, we'll assume you don't have any money. Here's the info that I wish we had before we went.

Staying There

There are almost no cheap places to stay near Nuqui. It's a strange situation there. You see, the "Ecolodges" found it first, and have built these amazing places that you can't afford to stay in. The locals in places like Termales and Guachalito have since opened a few places of their own, but the only reference they have to how much a hotel should cost are places like "El Cantil", which charge $200US per night. So as a result, you can get a crap room in a little shack in Termales for $50US per night including meals, which the locals seem to think is a pretty good deal given the alternative.

More fun, the locals know that you got there on the 1pm lancha from Nuqui, and that the next lancha back doesn't go until 6am. Sure, you can walk up or down the beach, but the only place to go is to an expensive lodge. You're stuck, and everybody knows it. That'll be $50, please.

So here's where you're actually going to stay: Casa Jacky in Arusi.

Arusi is the last stop on the daily lancha that goes south from Nuqui at 1pm. Jacky is a really nice lady who has a little house with rooms you can stay in and a kitchen. She charges $5 per person per night for a room, and an extra $1.25 per person if you're going to cook in the kitchen. There's no restaurant in town, so you're probably going to cook most of your own meals, or arrange to have a local cook for you for about $2.50 per person.

Arusi is an amazing little town with a good beach and a great little river for swimming. The locals there are all super friendly, and chances are you'll be the only gringo in town for the entirety of your stay. You'll need to bring your water from Nuqui or boil it, or take your chances drinking out of the river. There are shops selling basic food to cook, but if you want anything besides potatoes, beans and rice, you might want to bring it with you. There's fish for sale (it's a fishing town after all), but even this is hit and miss, since some days nobody catches anything, and others all they have to sell is an entire 20 pound tuna.

There's a super helpful guy in Nuqui named Juan Maria, who has a deposito near the lancha dock and is an amazing resource for lost travelers like yourself. Seek him out and talk to him for an hour before you go, and any problem you may have had will resolve itself quickly. In our case, he hooked us up with all the info above, and even found us a lancha out to Arusi after the daily shuttle had gone.


We were there for a week and didn't see wave one. But then we were in Arusi, which is pretty sheltered. There's a good looking left-hand point there that we noticed from the boat on the way in, but it must need a big swell because it was gone by the time we got settled in. Your best bet for surf info would be to talk to the El Cantil guys before you go. Beware though, that they're used to renting boards for $50/day and boat trips for $150/day!

Termales has boards that you can rent. At least we saw some kids playing in the shorebreak on a nice selection of shortboards and guns. No idea how much they want per day, but it's probably heartbreakingly expensive. If you're going there to surf for a while, it might be worth bringing your own.

Stuff to do

Termales has a really cool hotspring pool by a little stream. It's quite pleasant. Be sure to get there when the Ecolodge tourists aren't there or you'll be subject to a $5 entrance fee. Don't eat in the restaurant in Termales if you can avoid it, since they'll gouge you as best they can on the price.

The river in Arusi is good for swimming. If it's high tide, try to get somebody to canoe you up to a good swimming hole. Better still, wait for low tide and walk upstream a ways until you find a good deep pool. No crocs. No piranha. None of those scary little Amazon fishes that lodge themselves in your jimmy. Just cool clear water and maybe a few local kids to splash around with.

Getting There & Away

You have 2 options to get to Nuqui. You can fly or you can take a boat. In theory, ADA ( http://www.ada-aero.com/ ) and Satena ( http://www.satena.com/ ) fly there from Medellin. In practice, however, I never saw an ADA plane come or go. Satana flies Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, leaving Medellin at about 10am, then turning around and leaving Nuqui at 12:15. One way is about $80US, and you can generally just turn up at the airport in Nuqui and stand a good chance of getting a flight that day. There are also flights to Nuqui from Quibdo, but you really don't want to go there, do you?

The Airport is right in the middle of Nuqui, a few steps from the only little places to stay, and from the boat dock where you'll be getting a lancha to Arusi. Nuqui itself is not that nice. You can buy what you need there, and you can check email. But I wouldn't want to stay there.

There are two boats that go from Buenaventura to Nuqui: The Nuquimar and the Luchador. Both go out of the port called "Pi┼łal", just before the bridge on the left-hand side as you're headed out of town in a taxi or collective. It'll be on your right just after the bridge if you want to stop your bus from Cali on the way into town. Both boats charge $45US for the 18-24 hour trip, and have tight little communal sleeping areas where you'll be overcrammed with other passengers for at least one night. You can sleep on the boat while you're waiting for it to go, and chances are you'll end up doing this since even the captain won't know for sure when you're leaving until the last minute. The restaurant across from the Nuquimar's dock is pretty tasty. In theory, one will go every few days.

Lanchas go up and down the coast around Nuqui each day, down from Nuqui at 1pm, back from Arusi at 6am. It's $10US per person each way.


You're going to need to take ALL the money you plan to spend with you in the form of cash. There are no banks anywhere on the coast, and the airline office at the airport can't take credit cards. If you run out of money, you're pretty much screwed. Take out piles of money and hide it about your stuff as best you can. Consider flying in since you're less exposed to robbery. Your fellow boat passengers are unlikely to be master criminals, but then you'll be spending plenty of time at the port and it's hard to watch all your stuff all the time.


Columbia gets safer each year, but Choco is one of the provinces that seems to be taking its own sweet time. 3 days before we arrived in Buenaventura, a bomb exploded at the entrance to the port. A few days after we sailed, another cargo boat just like ours was boarded by pirates after leaving Buenaventura. All 20 passengers were tossed in the sea, and the pirates made off with the boat.

Everybody knows that you'll be carrying a ton of cash with you on your way to Nuqui. If there's bad people around, you'll likely be their target.

It's All Good

The Nuqui area is one of the most rewarding travel experiences you're likely to have in South America. If you do it right, the good will far outweigh the bad, which is why this document unfortunately needs to spend so much time dwelling on the things that can go wrong.

Don't worry. It'll go right. Have fun and let me know if there's anything I need to add to this little guide!

permalink written by  Blogabond Travel Tips on February 6, 2010 from Nuqui, Colombia
from the travel blog: Round The World Travel Advice
tagged Surfing, CertainDeath and OffTheMap

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Surfin' Cherating

Kampong Baharu Cherating, Malaysia

Hallo ihr Nasen, hier sind wir wieder. Ja, es ist schon ne ganze Weile seit dem letzten Eintrag vergangen, zugegeben. Aber auch wir werden aelter und haben es entweder vergessen oder verdraengt.

Aber jetzt seit ihr wieder voll dabei, denn: es wurde nass. Und naesser. Max (und auch Tati) sind endlich am erklaerten Ziel angelagt: sich auf ein Brett zu stellen und der Natur zu trotzen. Und den Wellen. Die bisher noch kraeftig zuruecktrotzen, aber daran wird gearbeitet. Denn, liebe Freunde, es wird gesurft! Das darf Oma uebrigens auch nicht wissen, also vertrau ich da auf euch. Und weil es wir sind und nicht irgendwer, der hier durch die Welt zieht, haben wir uns dafuer den einzigen Flecken in Malaysia ausgesucht, den man zum Surfen finden kann. Alle andren gehen naemlich nach Indonesien. Und Himmel, sind wir froh darum!

Wir wollten eigentlich nur drei Tage bleiben oder so. Heute sind es fuenf Tage und es wurde damit begonnen, Rabatte fuer den Surfbrett-Verleih der naechsten Woche zu verhandeln. Wir koennten hier also noch ein bisschen bleiben. Aber es ergibt sich auch leider ganz wunderbar, wir koennen gar nicht anders: Zum ersten Mal in Malaysia (nach Kuala Lumpur und Penang) ist die Unterkunft wieder bezahlbar - 25 Ringgit, knapp 6 Euro zu zweit. Dafuer gewinnen wir zwar kein eigenes Bad, aber eine eigene kleine Huette mit Moskitonetz und ueberdachter Veranda, auf die zwei Stuehle und Max Haengematte aus Siem Reap passen. Und auf der laesst sich super Zeit verbringen, da sie ebenfalls mit einem grandiosen Blick auf den hauseigenen Hasenstall ausgestattet ist und sich zusaetzlich aus bisher ungeklaerten Gruenden jeden Abend puenktlich um halb Sieben zwei Eichhoernchen hinter unsrer Huette zanken.

Neben kiloweise Eichhoernchen gibt es ausserdem Katzen in jeder Farbe, Groesse und Geschmacksrichtung und mit ein bisschen Glueck sieht man morgens beim Fruehstueck einen Nashornvogel auf der Palme sitzen. Fast schon kitschig hier. Da es hier genug Backpacker und Surfer gibt, damit sichs rentiert, gibt es einen Laden mit super selbstgemachter Pizza und einen (die Don't tell Mama-Bar) mit klasse Burgern. Ansonsten gibts viel einheimische Kueche fuer wenig Geld, meist Reis oder Nudeln mit irgendwas. Oder pfannkuchenartiger Roti, der in Currysauce gedippt wird. Oder Obst. Oder - der Klassiker - Fertignudeln, sehr asiatisch und gut, wenn man nicht wirklich aus der Haengematte will.

Der Tag sieht ungefaehr folgendermassen aus: aufgestanden wird um 08:00, dann gibts Fruehstueck (Muesli aus dem Supermarkt oder Roti mit Chilisauce - roti canai - oder Reis und Fisch - nasi lemak) und dann wird sich aufs Bord geworfen und gegen die Natur gekaempft bis ungefaehr Mittag. Das ist massiv anstrengend, man ist nachher voellig fertig, wund und - wie in meinem Fall heute - hat so viel Meerwasser in der Nase, dass es einem in den Mund laeuft. Muhaha. Irgendwie wird das Bord zurueckgeschleppt, man wirft sich in die Dusche, versorgt Wunden mit Calendula-Creme und geht Mittagessen (Nudeln oder Reis, meist gebraten mit irgendwas, dazu gibts frische Kokosnuss, weil Kokoswasser hilft gegen alles und schmeckt auch noch). Dann kommt der anstrengende Teil - Max davon ueberzeugen, dass eine Rolle Oreo-Kekse am Tag genug ist, und dann gehts auch schon in die Haengematte. Dort wird der feste Vorsatz gefasst, um 16:00 nochmal ins Wasser zu gehen (das uebrigens mollig warm ist), was aber meistens irgendwie dann doch ignoriert wird. Der restliche Tag wird mit Buechern und der neusten 30-Spiele-Spielesammlung fuer den Nintendo DS durchgestanden, die ich mir in Penang geleistet habe. Wenn es dunkel wird und sich die Eichhoernchen fertig gezofft haben, gehts Abendessen - dann eher westlich. Oder eben nicht, heut gabs gegrillten Fisch aus dem Fluss um die Ecke. Dann wird in der Haengematte gezockt bis in die Puppen (Max) oder sich mit dem Buch nach ner Weile ins Bett verkruemelt (ich) - schon lustig, vielleicht ist das genetisch. Die Keksrolle ist zu diesem Zeitpunkt uebrigens schon lang Geschichte.

Auch die hier getroffenen Leute sind recht nett. Auf Blutsbruederschaft wurde zwar noch nicht getrunken, aber ein paar Reisegeschichten geteilt und lustigerweise hat unser Surflehrer eine Deutsche geheiratet. Im Maerz gehts fuer die beiden wieder zurueck nach Nuernberg, um dann im Oktober wieder nach Malaysia zu kommen. Ja, die Welt ist klein. Und wir haben eine ostdeutsche Familie getroffen, deren eine Haelfte in Kuala Lumpur wohnt und die andere in Dresden. Sollten wir also mal Tina in Leipzig heimsuchen, wird Dresden gleich mitbesucht.

Soweit, so gut. Wir moegen, wo wir sind und die Seele kann hier prima baumeln. Ausserdem ist Surfen dermassen anstrengend, dass wir mit gestaehlten Astralkoerpern zurueckkommen werden, wenn das so weitergeht. Ich hab zumindest immer brav Muskelkater und muss ab morgen Kraulen ueben, weil ich beim auf-dem-Brett-liegen-und-Paddeln immer gnadenlos absauf, weil ich ungefaehr einen Armmuskel hab. Der reicht lustigerweise zum Marmeladenglasaufmachen, ist aber fuer im Meer Kraulen gaenzlich ungeeignet. Ab morgen gibts da Bootcamp. Oh hurra.

Ah ja, ganz vergessen: wir haben die ersten zwei Tage Surfstunden genommen und sind dann ohne Stunden nur mit Brett weitergezogen, um Gelerntes anzubringen. Alles zum Glueck hauseigen. Hier gibts Bilder!
--> http://cheratingpoint.com/2013/01/11/10th-january-2013-lesson-postcard-day-in-cherating/

Die naechsten Stopps werden uebrigens Malaka, Singapur und dann Bali, weil man da gut weitersurfen kann. Der Rest von Indonesien ist zu krass fuer Anfaenger. Schade. Von Bali dann wahrscheinlich nach Lombok und dann..keine Ahnung. Ich geh jetzt wieder in die Haengematte :)

permalink written by   on January 9, 2013 from Kampong Baharu Cherating, Malaysia
from the travel blog: MaTi in Südostasien
tagged Surfing

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