Tyler and I experienced the closest thing to being famous while staying in Medewi Beach Bali for 5 days. Medewi Beach is a small laid back surf town about 2 hours north of Kuta, we went there hoping to find some “old Bali” atmosphere and get away from the crowds of the Bukit peninsula. I am now naming it the friendliest place in Bali ( that I have visited so far anyway) as I have never met nicer people who were very interested in saying hello to us.
We ended up booking accommodation with Medewi Surf Homestay, and got to meet and stay with one of the nicest Indonesian families. Ugis and his wife ( we just called her mama) have a amazing piece of land surrounded by rice paddies, and the back of the property was built to incorporate 5 rooms for travelers. The accommodation is basic but comfortable, with open air windows, open air showers and bathroom facilities. Our bed had a large mosquito net being as we had no way to fully close some of the windows, but I never got a single bite the whole time I was there. Mamas cooking was AMAZING, all the travelers ate together family style each night at a large outdoor table.
Every day Tyler and I would make the 15 minute walk to the beach to check the surf, which I think was the coolest part of the homestay. Because we were down a residential street all of the neighbors and their kids would smile at us and wave hello as passed. Everytime we walked by neighbor kids, they would run up and yell HELLLLLO! and smile. It got to be a “where’s waldo” of hellos as sometimes we couldn’t find where the hello was coming from and we would finally see a kid hanging out a window or peeking around a corner. By the time we got to the beach, we probably said heeelllllllooo to at least 10 different kids and their parents. The whole process would repeat on the way back and again when we would walk down again with our surfboards. I even had a couple kids yell helllooooo!!! as they whizzed passed hanging on to their mothers from a motor bike.
We also quite unexpectedly walked into a Sunday Indonesian parade when we went to the neighbor town of Negara to run a errand. All the streets were closed while the parade was going through and we ended up walking down the parade street on the way to a store. I seriously felt the stares and curious looks as we walked through the crowds on the way to the store. I don’t think Negara gets too many tourists as we were the only foreigners at the parade that day and it really isn’t a tourist destination, never less we got a ton of smiles from a lot of locals.
The surf in Medewi is the famous point which is known for its long left hand point break. Unfortunately it was always busy with around 20 people on it each day we were there. Because it is a pretty mellow long wave it also gets its fair share of beginner crowd making it even more busy and somewhat frustrating at times. The wave only breaks well on a high tide and gets blown out by 10:00 am, so the window to surf it is considerably smaller than other waves in Bali. The other break, Medewi right, is a faster punchy beach break.
Tyler was able to get it one morning all by himself when a larger swell came in and was pretty stoked to finally be able to surf solo for a hour. When I when out the next day with him there was probably 5 or 6 people on it the whole morning so he was pretty lucky to get a solo session in the day prior.
The entire 5 days we were there, we pretty much just surfed in the morning and hung out in the afternoon. We did go exploring in the rice patties and back roads one day which led to some amazing scenery and more friendly people wanting to say hello. We also went up to a temple close by for a hour and walked through the grounds and below on the beach.
Dining choices was pretty limited, we ate at the homestay every night because of how good Ugi’s wifes cooking was. We did however visit a good little restaurant attached to a another homestay Mai Malu that had really good food for a decent price. We also hung out at place called Bamboo Lounge that had a amazing view of the beach and very comfy bean bag chairs to chill out in.
I highly recommend Medewi Beach Surf Homestay to anyone looking for a different experience rather than your run of the mill hotel room. We really liked getting to know Ugi’s family and having a quiet room in the rice patties. Ugi also offers massage services, Tyler and I both had a 60 minute massage that I thought was one of the best ones I had in Bali. He also takes part of the earnings and uses it to help kids in his community in need of support, which to me was worth it straight away.
Next stop… Keramas and our stay at Komune Resort.