Rapture Surfcamp Padang Padang, Bali

Rapture_surf_guide.jpg
 The steps to Thomas Beach. Fine to come down - harder to get back up after surfing for hours. 

The steps to Thomas Beach. Fine to come down - harder to get back up after surfing for hours. 

Wannabe surfer? Doesn't matter, this place is awesome for anyone wanting to run away to Bali and stay 'in the jungle' as taxis from Seminyak tell us. No hawkers, a handful of shops and restaurants and Roosters crowing in the morning. And guess what, not a Bintang singlet in sight!

Surfer? You are sorted. Guiding is included in the rate, and can be for a full day. I'm used to going out morning or late arvo, so this came as a surprise. No that I'm complaining. With surf breaks all around the Bukit Peninsula, Rapture made sure we went somewhere suitable. Beginners and advanced in different groups so no one gets the raw end of the deal. Padang Padang is just down the road - but as fate would have it, we never made it there to surf. Whenever I go to Bali, I seem to take big swell with me - and as a beginner, a lot of breaks were out. Big swell may have kept me out of some breaks, but looking out over Balangan I couldn't help but dream 'one day'.

 One day....

One day....

 The Rapture pool at night

The Rapture pool at night

Back at camp, non-surfers have a quiet haven to hang out at during the day. Pool to themselves, massage in the gazebo above the pool anytime, and food and drink ready to order at the bar. Well, that is until the surf groups get back. Then it's a hype of activity. People practice their duck dives in the pool, try out their balance on the Indo board and crack the Bintangs. I even give a show - losing my bikini bottoms on diving into the pool. Crimson? Not sure what colour that is.

 Harder than it looks - the IndoBoard

Harder than it looks - the IndoBoard

Quietness sweeps across the resort again when the afternoon session of yoga starts. Great to stretch after your surf workout or turn it into a workout on one of your days 'off' surfing. Above the restaurant, it's serene and Abby, our instructor, is perfect. Attentive, gentle but ensuring you get the most out of the practice. I would have been in my zen if I hadn't had looked at my armpit while doing one of the stretches and seen a bush peeking back at me. Argh.

As the sun drops, everyone gets ready to head out of 'the jungle' and watch the sunset at Uluwatu. Thongs and shorts are dress-code - love the simplicity. Some girls put make-up on but most just chuck their sunnies on their head and pile in the van. Hey, did you know you can fit nine people in a squishy six seater? You get to know each other quick - and all the lumps and bumps of the car body. Don't even mention the road bumps that make you bounce - ouch.

 Big swell at Uluwatu

Big swell at Uluwatu

 Uluwatu cliff bars

Uluwatu cliff bars

Nights are spent around the communal table. If there is one negative of the resort, it would be the fact that you don't get a choice for dinner. It's a set menu. But hey, it fills my tummy, and it is yummy. Chatting with the other guests over Bintangs, my mind is not on the food. I love getting to know everyone from the four corners of the world. And being a surf resort, I think we all kinda gelled through our love of simple, surf, sun, party and chill. 

 Rapture food

Rapture food

 Rapture food

Rapture food

For night bunnies - Uluwatu is just down the road. If you don't have a bike, Rapture can organise the van to take you down, or you can walk out to the main road and flag a Bluebird taxi. Cheap cheap. After a few sneaky vodkas poolside, we decide to head out. The famous Single Fin, along with a swag of other cliff-hugging bars cling to the cliff about the sometimes huge break. There's no air-con, but with the sea breeze, who needs it. We dance the night away - well, till it closes at 1 am - then haggle for a taxi back to Rapture. I'm quite proud I get a low price which one of the guys from 'camp' said we wouldn't be able to get. It's not that I even try, I just tell the guy what we paid to get down here, and he agrees. Win win. 

 Rapture outdoor bathroom

Rapture outdoor bathroom

 Loft room

Loft room

 Downstairs in the loft room

Downstairs in the loft room

Now, to lay your head down and rest. The resort isn't a huge party place. Most people are in bed or out to a bar after dinner and casual drinks. The rooms are a nice place to retire to if you decide. Because there are three of us we book the two-story private room, which can accommodate four, but many of the other guests are in dorms. They are pretty beautiful dorms too. One day I poke my head in one and am left uttering 'wow' under my breath. Bean bags, comfy beds, space...

What more does a girl need? I'm a happy chappy here - surf, relaxed vibe, friendly people, stylish rooms, yoga and massages. Oh, and some Bintangs. When can I go back?

 Waiting, over lunch, for surf at Thomas Beach

Waiting, over lunch, for surf at Thomas Beach

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