Its hard to imagine that not long before this shot was taken I was on foot and lost in an Indonesian jungle crossing streams with nothing but a dying cell phone light to guide the way.
I arrived in Bali at midnight with my surfboard bag, my main back pack and a small back pack. The plan was to get to the Bhukit Peninsula that night so that I could wake up to an array of perfect point breaks and step into my first Indo barrel. I met this Aussie on the plane who Indo’ed regularly and he mentioned to me that he was staying in Kuta that night (the main town in Bali) with a bunch of mates. He said I should party with them that night and head down to the Bhukit Peninsula tomorrow. In hind site thats exactly what I should of done and I debated it for a good 10 mins. But eventually the thought of rolling out of bed and into the water was too tempting so I decided to turn down his offer and head out that night .
I didnt think much of it when the taxi driver hadnt heard of Leggies, the bungalo resort I was staying in. He knew where the village Bingin was and I knew this place was right on the beach so it couldn’t be that difficult to find. Right? So off we went. It was about 1:30am when I started seeing signs for Bingin and the taxi driver turned down a street that I recognised from google maps, Impossible Beach road. So I knew we were really close. The road eventually reached a dead end so the taxi driver pulled over and said that the resort is at the end of that pathway. The pathway went straight into a dark Indonesian forest and I thought: Wow that looks scary, but the taxi driver was already pulling out my boards from the car so I went with the flow and trusted him. He handed me all my bags, I payed him and he cheekily asked for a tip. So I handed over a few more tens of thousands of Rupiah and he was off. I looked at the opening to the forest and then looked back at the taxi moving off. I almost shouted to him to come back to take me back in to town but I hesitated and then it was too late.
I entered the forest and what little light there was from a single street light quickly vanished and I literally could not see the ground I was walking on. I considered turning around but the houses back on the street were seriously dilapidated and I had no idea what I would find if I were to start knocking on doors. Especially because I had all my valuables and money with me. So there I was at 2 in the morning on the other side of the world standing alone in a pitch black Indonesian forest not knowing if there were any dangerous animals in there nor dangerous locals. To top it all off I could hear the airy sound of wind chimes coming from within the forest. What the Fuck. I started swearing at myself under my breath. You fucking idiot, you’re such a fucking idiot. There was a point where I thought I was going to break down and panic but luckily I managed to bury the fear for the time being. So I put down all my gear and with my heart racing I pulled out my cell phone to use as a torch (I didnt have roaming so calling someone was not an option). I could see the path sloping downward fairly steeply. The thought of Leggies bungalows possibly being just a little bit further down the path reassured me somewhat and I decided to push on.
I fumbled onto a stream at the bottom of the slope and managed to get across it without getting soaked but on the other side I was met with an even steeper bank. To make matters worse my cell phone battery fizzled out and now there was no way I was going to find my way back out the way I came. There was no other option but to carry on walking deeper into the forest, with no light to guide me.
I climbed the banks and then completely lost the path. At this point I was considering getting into my boardbag and waiting till morning but I managed to find what I thought was the path and continued on. the vegetation started getting really thick and I was having to step over bushes and duck under branches. All of a sudden I had a realisation that there was not a single breathe of wind and yet the wind chimes all around me were still sounding. That freaked me out. My mind raced to try figure out what it could be. Locals watching me from a distance came to mind. I quietly began edging further forward when the next thing the front of my board bag rammed into a massive animal. It scuttled and let out a deep grown. I got the biggest fright of my life and quite possibly let out a girlish scream before my mind registered what animal the grown might be coming from: It was a cow. I had literally walked straight into a cow. Luckily I remembered reading that cows were sacred in Bali and that they are leashed into stakes in the ground all over the place. I was relieved to know that the wind chimes were cow bells that would sound every time they moved their heads. I didn’t know that some of them had horns like this guy. Stuff this, I’m going to head back to the stream and search for the real path.