April 03 2020 Friday at 03:45 PM

Set out to do

Indonesians are, on the whole, an incredibly accommodating and accepting race of peoples. It took us only hours, far less than days, before we felt at home. We had our shack, our base of operations and we’d sit around out the front as life paraded by, delving into the darkness within to grab a change of clothes or to sleep. The stress and pressures from past weeks at home, and away, parted like well-coffered hair. You could say that we had walked to the edge of village life, liked what we saw and plunged head first in.

Morning had brought with it an incredible light show across the bay. The water went from inky black to an unbroken golden slab. Boats glide in and out with purpose drawn from daily repetition. The gold didn’t last finally giving way to the days blues and greens. We turned away and went off to break the fast while chatting about the next frontier on our adventure. There were waves across the water and others across land. Either way there was a trip in it. Already having had an afternoons ride in the country the day before, today's early morning dalliance favoured a water approach.

We loaded ourselves, along with ample stashes of water and nibbles, into a Jukung, an Indonesian version of the outrigger. Cast off and soon found ourselves gliding across this plate glass plain. Half way out cracks began to appear in the surface as the winds crept in. Early but welcome all the same. Dispelling any and all pockets of heat and teasing us, playing with our hair and whispering in our ears.

We found sanctity in the water and sanity with the friends and likeminded we shared it with. Sets rolled through and time was along for the ride. Masked by the waves, we rode through the morning past noontide stopping only to quench our thirst or relax and take stock on the bow of our little floating oasis.

Bonzers and trackers were today’s fare. Grace under fire. Turns need to be planned in advance and executed in half time. One tends to see everything in slo-mo riding such craft. Often referred to as the ‘transition’ boards. A rethink has many of us out there reevaluating their design and we are definitely enjoying the time. Roll from rail to rail but rider beware, pop that big fin and you’re destined to swim.

We had to wait until everyone was totally buggered before pulling anchor and heading back to shore and our shack. Midday food and perhaps a sneaky hour for a lay down, after all we were here to rest. We did get a bit of a sleep though wasn’t long before the noise of afternoon life invaded the darkness and moved us one by one from the cot to the verandah out front.

We’d taken the city boys out of the city but with a bit of the city still within it’s hard not to grow a little restless. Strangers in a somewhat strange land, itching to explore. The charts were once again spread out and a course of action plotted.

Bikes and boards saddled up. Dirt road gear donned. All contingencies catered for. We rode out of town through an interesting mixture of children and chickens. Some were chasing after us while others, running from us. You decided which was which.

Our oneness on the road returned. Camaraderie that was again left unspoken, or perhaps just unheard in the noise from our exhausts. A trail of dust and fun temporary reminders that we’d been through. The scene scrubbed clean mere minutes after it was done. We became more and more adventurous taking on smaller tracks that seem to head in the right direction and lifting front wheels in lighthearted jousts across uneven surfaces. Without consciously thinking about it we’d once again slipped into a time warp and destination was accidentally discarded. The ride became the adventure. Turning over new stones. The adventure was now. Right this second. A simple life can teach us a thing or two about living that a world with many distractions can’t.

We’d begun to do what we had set out to do.

Words by Ano. Photographs by Grasshopper & Monty