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Bali Blog - Article About Bali Holiday Island

Medewi Beach, Another Bali Surfing Beach

14 April 2008

It wasnít for the big sign announcing its presence as you come up over a rise, driving west along the Jembrana coast, youíd never know it was there. Medewi lies in the middle of Baliís most sparsely populated and least developed district, the far-off regency of Jembrana 75 kilometers from Denpasar on the main road west (2.5 hours) or 34 kilometers west of Tabanan. All that can be seen are a string of houses and a solitary mosque along the highway. This tiny and remote tourist enclave, at the end of a 500 meter-long asphalt road, is actually one of Baliís premier surf spots ó a private paradise for the Japanese and Australian surfing set (the rocky beach is not suitable for sunbathing or swimming). The place is still a little bit like Bali was when the first wave of travelers hit the islandís shores in the mid 1970s. Because of its distance from Kuta and the absence of nightclubs or bars anywhere in the vicinity, there are never any problems with the high, long rolling waves of Medewi becoming crowded. The best surf is early in the mornings before the wind picks up.

The biggest waves are in August when even the villageís fishermen donít dare to go out. The locals make their living by fishing off the black sand beach, peddling giant prawns to tourists, and grazing their cattle in surrounding paddocks. Thereís one billiard table, meatball soup kitchen and drink stall with wooden tables and chairs, an open air bare-style restaurant. Back from the beach under the coconut palms is a cluster of home-stays, an excellent three-star hotel ó all very good value.

The beach consists of a stretch of huge smooth grey rocks with some sandy patches. The current is light and the waves probably the easiest on Bali, ideal for beginner and amateur surfers. The surf can also be lots of fun for more advanced surfers to practice tricks, without having to be concerned with clashing against the sharp coral reefs of Baliís south coast. Medewi is in fact the longest point break in Bali, a lefthander that rolls gently over black boulders and offers rides of up 200-400 meters long. It works best at mid- to high-tide on a two-meter high swell. On bigger swells, a right-hand breaking peak breaks in the middle of the bay straight in front of traditional fishing jukung pulled up on the beach.

A 500-meter walk south of the main point break will lead you to the Pulukan River mouth, a thrilling fast breaking right-hander that, although visible from the main Bali-Java Road, seems to miss the crowds. There are also numerous bombora-style peaks just off the beach, and a couple of other point/reef breaks that are regularly surfed by Baliís west coast crew. As is the case everywhere in Bali, the locals are friendly both in and out of the surf. As a bonus, Medewiís spectacular sunsets and cool and quite tropical evenings add a touch of glamour. In the end, Medewi is a solitary travelerís kind of place and in absolutely in no danger of becoming a hot spot! The few places to stay in this isolated place are high quality and good value for the price asked. All have restaurants attached.

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