By Samir

After diving and relaxing on Lombok, we headed back to the island of Bali to the city of Kuta, a popular tourist destination. And for good reason – they have an abundance of restaurants, bars, shops, and vendors selling anything and everything, as well as offering a full suite of activities. We decided to take advantage of the cheap(er) Asian prices, and try our hand at several activities. But first, I thought the sign outside the Apache Bar on one of the main streets in town was kinda funny:

“Fish get jiggy in Water. Drink Beer, Not Water.”

On the first day, we signed up for a package deal – parasailing and jet skiing. We got picked up and taken to Nusa Dua beach (where we first landed in Bali two weeks earlier). There, we were taken by speed boat to an area teeming with choppy waves, boats, jet-skis, and other water-sports equipment. Amidst the choppy waves, we transferred to another boat, which already had ten people on board and looked like it was originally intended only for about three people. They took us to a beach, where we jumped out into the water and headed on-shore. First up, parasailing. Put on a harness. Safety instructions? When you see me waving a red flag, pull the rope on your left. When you see a blue flag, pull the rope on your right. And hold both ropes. Anything else? Start running when we tell you to. Got it. Before I realized what was happening, my glasses had somehow flown off onto the beach and I was mid-air holding onto the parasail.

Getting ready to go!

Up up and away!

After a great round of the bay

From what I could see, I could see fairly far into the horizon, and there was a nice wind. I rocked a bit, mid-air, but it wasn’t nearly as choppy in the air as the waves down below. Unfortunately, it was just one quick go around the bay. My landing was a bit hard – right onto my butt, and covered with sand upon standing up. Rachel was up next for a quick spin.

After another boat transfer, we got set up for a jet ski. They had a guide sitting behind us who steered the jet ski out of the bay into a smaller tributary with no boat traffic, and then let me take over. At first, I was a bit timid. But then I got going, making turns, jumping waves, getting splashed. It was awesome!

Rachel roaring along the bay

After we finished, Rachel asked me if we could buy jet skis when we got back to the states. Maybe someday.

The next day, we headed to the Odyssey Surf School on Kuta Beach, which was recommended online. We decided to take a two hour surfing lesson. We put on a black, long-sleeve shirt (performance wear to keep body heat while in the cold water), grabbed boards that were longer than we were tall (about 8 feet long), and headed to the beach. There was a discussion for 20 minutes on board terminology, how to ride the board, some practice exercises, and some quick stretches. Then we headed to the open water of the ocean.

Sitting in class

Getting ready to stand

When it comes to standing on the board, this is about as far as I got on most attempts

Alas, surfing was not for me. I stood on the board only once, for half a second, and promptly fell off. Rachel managed to stand several times for several seconds, though each ended in a fall rather than a graceful jump off (which is apparently how its supposed to be done).

Graceful exit (not really)