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TR: Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

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#1
spook

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Hey Sjers

Hope everyone is still enjoying the snow.
As some of you may know Spookette and I have decamped and settled in the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia where we are helping a close friend establish and run a surf resort. We’ve been here almost 4 weeks now and things are great. There’s lots of challenges with this sort of business – mostly relating to our remote location and the fact that everything has to be shipped in. Seeing this place rise from the jungle into some pretty swish accommodation is amazing. It’s like being on a remote mine site – generators provide power, there’s a construction crew building the main building, our crew doing the landscaping, boats and other odds and ends… crazy.
Obviously I’ve been pretty quiet on the forums as I’m too busy surfing, carrying heavy stuff around and generally just bustling about (as opposed to my previous job which mostly involved me sitting in an office pretending to work and hanging out on SJ).
Anyway, thought I’d share some pics of the trip so far.

Paul surfing out the front at Pitstops


Walking back from Beng-Bengs


Ewok the kitten


Spook crusing at sunset


One of the crew climbing a massive coconut tree (this is hella scary, I freak out and give up at about 2m, theseguys climb 10m+, and more often than not the tree overhangs a steep hill...)


Yet another epic sunset


Another picturesque island


Spook at Crystals


Some kids in a nearby village




#2
spook

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oh yeah, i took the cat and coconut tree pic, the rest were taken by my lovely wife... she's a genius that girl

#3
Mantas

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Nice one Spook. Glad it's all working out. Very envious mate.

To be young and free again.
The older I get. The better I was.

#4
pbd

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We are planning a trip to Mentawais next year so I will be keen to follow your progress.

#5
Indo

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Drool..
enjoy, bring back wicked memories..
Enjoying the Beng Bengs?

#6
kokodoko

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fully sik bro'

have a great time, we have been having pouring rain for a week here..

\:\)

#7
Creek Boy

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mate, you seriously suck as does this TR \:\) Your pics should be BIGGER FFS!! C'mon, we dont want thumbs! We wanna see the pics without using a magnifying glass...I expect better next time!

...jealous mate, looks so beautiful!
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#8
spook

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haha, yeah i hear ya CB but i don't want to put big versions of some of those pics out on the net. would rather not have people filch them as this has happened to a few of our friends.


things are great hear but also hard,especially for the missus at times. we're living with 15 odd blokes, there's not much privacy, 3rd world hygiene standards (at this stage it is still a construction site and things will obviously get better...) still, i'm not complaining

#9
Kingofmyrrh

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Looks magic, really does.
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#10
spook

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ahh, had a fun surf this arvo and we just had the best meal we've eaten since we've been here - a vegie coconut milk curry. they cut up some coconuts to make it. i know that isn't earth shattering, but it's pretty cool to see people make stuff from basic ingredients
and someone just busted out some turtle shell they found and everyone's cutting thin strips, bending them in hot water and polishing it up with cigarette ash. spookette just scorred a groovy new pair of earings
we're going to get back to oz wearing turtle shell jewelry and seem like total hippies

#11
TubbyBeaverinho

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haha, how long you out there for Spook?
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#12
spook

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6 months, depending on visa extensions/visa runs and any other issues. probably 8 months next year if everything works out.
been digging all day, making a massive septic tank. stopped for lunch, had a swim and a rest and then back at it this arvo. it's nice doing lots of different jobs

#13
TubbyBeaverinho

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yeah it sounds like a good gig. You don7t mind the sweat and hard work when the rewards are great!! Just living in such an environment would be reward enough never mind the actual pleasure you get seeing something you made take shape
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#14
Mantas

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I though the isolation would be an issue, I could only imagine the logistics involved in living somewhere like that.
How are the cravings going mate? I had a lovely cold chocolate milkshake today, my wife enjoyed a latte and the kids had banana spit ice cream, tonight we are having big juicey steaks on the BBQ with loads of fresh salad


Tell us more about the waves Spook. Many boats been through yet?
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#15
Ewok 2

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absolutely fabulous.
great to see Spook and Spookette are doing well in Mentawai =)
i love indonesia, haven't been back there for many years.
keep us updated with your latest news with fabulous photos.

would be nice to see big versions of these 3 photos but small versions are still great desu.

=>
Paul surfing out the front at Pitstops,
Spook crusing at sunset, and at Crystals

#16
spook

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ok, i'll post bigger pics next time!
isolation is a bit of a factor, but having internet and being able to make calls on skype helps. at the moment i am enjoying the bland diet of rice, vegies, fish and chilli. we have coke and beers (sometimes) but i'm feeling good. we're going home in august for a week for a wedding. no doubt i'll make my mum cook me all sorts of comfort food

have only really been surfing out the front at pitstops, because we've been too busy working to hunt other waves (that will be later when we have guests). there's lots o spots though, plus some secret ones we'll only take mates to...
had one or two days in the past month with some boats here. other than that we surf it to ourselves everyday. it's not world class at pitstops (more a fun playful wave) but i've had more good tubes than i can remember. 100m away is a scary world class left (e-bay) that needs a bit of swell to come alive

#17
Indo

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e-bay is awesome... Hope you score that!

#18
spook

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pics pics pics
a couple of shots of me at beng bengs last night. we were the only ones out, so pretty chuffed about that


am starting to go slightly stir crazy out in the islands. travelling through the 3rd world in one thing. staying put and trying to make things happen is another. phew..... but just got to keep realising that for all the negatives there are way more positives.

it just seems that the positives (good waves, tropical islands etc etc) and the negatives (managing staff, meeting deadlines, finishing projects, trying to educate people about hygiene and rubbish etc) are both pretty extreme. so i go from being ecstatic to soooo frustrated and then back again

everyone here sees things so different so it's a challenge to try and understand their point of view and then to try and make things better. an example - there's heaps of flies near our crew house,so they spray bug spray everywhere. i keep trying to point out that they shouldn't throw foodscraps out just behind the house and they should burn rubbish regularly, but it's about as effective as bangin my head against a wall.

i must sound like some soft whingeing westerner, but at the end of the day we're paying the staff to build and run a resort for western tourists, and yet it seems impossible to get simple things into place. the big boss is back from the mainland in a few days, i'll be glad to hand the reins over to him!

aaaaarrgghh, i'm off to go dig a septic tank, then for a sunset surf

#19
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photos like that make me want to take up surfing!

hang in there spook, make the most of it while you can, when you back cooped up in a office you'll wish you were back in the islands.

#20
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those waves look freaking awesome!!! **Droooool**
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