August 12th 2014

Morning of the World

6:30am. Rise and shine boy, for in the words of former Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru, Bali is the “Morning of the World”.

On that morning of August, the first thing that struck me while watching the sun rise above the rice paddies around the village of Berawa on Bali was the light. It’s different. There is a particular warmth to it.

Half an hour later, after paddling through the waves along Sasu, one of our local surf guides, the salt water and barrels do their job: make sure a proper wake-up gets delivered.

Resting on the board, waiting for a next set to come in while the sun glitters, the guides laughing and spreading their Balinese joy, small waves gently rocking me from side to side, the mind becomes still. After a very grayish summer in Zurich, all that light flowing through the pinal gland photoreceptors, the so-called “third eye”, apparently helps to regulate melatonin levels, thus enhancing quality of sleep and recuperation. And indeed, resting has rarely been as good as those nights spent on Bali. Or maybe it’s just because our days were packed with activities – surfing sessions, trips around the island, climbing to the top of the sacred (and still active) volcano Gunung Agung during the night in order to catch the sunrise, visiting temples, celebrating independence day with the locals, scuba diving on the Eastern shores of the island – and there is only so much a human body can take at once.

Bali has been a whirlwind experience.

Now that I find myself shuffling through pictures, stitching memories together, I wonder if Sasu, Ian, Harris* and the other Balinese surfers are still getting their daily dose of light through those pinal glands.

They probably are.

Many Terima kasih’s and suk suma’s (I always made abusive use of the latter one, so don’t go and make that same mistake) again to the folks over at Surf WG for taking care of all the logistics and the employees of the Komaneka at Bisma for a memorable stay.

Selamat tinggal!

 (*If you find yourself in dire need of one or two guides that can show you the best surfing spots on the island, these boys rock. Harris is definitely the crazier of the bunch, but he’s got good instincts. After all, the man decided to bet a small fortune on Germany during the World Cup. Never told me what he did with his winnings though…)

All pictures shot on Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 50mm 1.4 & Canon 16-35mm 4.0

This post is also available in French and German