Balis Rubbish !
Balis rubbish is not a statement that most surfers or tourists would agree with! During a recent trip to the paradise island of Bali we were saddened and shocked. Balis rubbish has reach truly epic proportions !
Everybody knows that according to the direction of the wind some pollution will accumulate on one side of the Island or the other. At this time of year being Mid march generally we surf around the East coast early in the morning and enjoy the clean pristine tropical waters, with an offshore wind. The reef of Nusa still teaming with fish and look in good shape generally.
After a morning surf a couple of days ago we ventured over to the other side. The west coast of Bali is the coast that’s probably more well know to most surfers vising Bali. It’s the home of all the super famous waves such as Uluwatu, Padang Padang ( so good they named it twice), and of course Bingin.
As there wasn’t too much swell this day we went for a lunch and a stroll along the beach at Balangan. We arrived at high tide and there was a 2 foot pretty rubbish wave with a whole bunch of learners having fun. The parking at the top of the cliff gave a great view of the left hand side of the bay. Upon our decent to the beach it was a truly jaw dropping site to see the entire wind sheltered side of the bay totally full of plastic! Not really an appealing site.
Upon arrival on the beach it was obvious that this island was in some serious trouble. My son and I rented a sponge and was disgusted just entering the water. It was impossible to take one stroke as we paddled out without hooking a plastic piece of Balis rubbish.
The afternoon went on and the tide dropped exposing the reef. We were told that at low we would be able to let the kids play in the many rock pools left exposed. Sadly the dropping tide left a once beautiful reef covered in a thick layer of plastic. We decided to take a walk along to the left hand side of the reef. Unfortunately it was impossible to let the kids go anywhere near the reef.
The afternoon finished early as the amont of pollution pretty much destroyed any enthusiasm to explore and the heat was intense.
The paradise spot that I had described to my kids had turned into a giant rubbish bin. As many surfers who visited Bali in the 80’s, I had memories of pristine beaches and crystal waters breaking on the best formed reefs on the planet. A truly sad and disturbing day seeing how mankind had left its mark on this Island. Not to mention the fact that the business owners on Balangan beach sat with empty restaurant’s hoping for tourists to come and enjoy this spot.
We spend most winters in Bali and continue our SURF GUIDING service on the Island. If anyone is thinking of planning a surf trip to Bali and need help finding the clean spot with great waves , please don’t hesitate to CONTACT US. We can also arrange accommodation in FRANCE or Bali.
We left Balangan with a lesson for the next generation about the short sightedness of humans, and the monumental job that they and their children had to try and save our oceans. First step being say NO to plastic bags when shopping and please recycle hard !