Batu Bolong 10 years ago
Ten years ago, our family's routine in the Sunday morning was to go to Batu Bolog beach, order pancakes from the warung (a simple local restaurant) on the beach and relax on the almost exclusively family-friendly beach. In those days, there were not many surfers at Batu Bolog beach and I would sometimes arrive at the beach at 6 am to surf alone. Years later, when a shop selling croissants was set up in Canggu, my family bought croissants along the way and spent my breakfast on the beach instead of the pancakes. Younger tourists started to come and before I knew it, Batu Bolog beach had gone from being reserved for locals and families to a hipster hangout, with a topless Barbie Doll and Conan the Barbarian taking selfies. It has become a "Not Place to be" for families. I think it was only recently that I went to the beach at night when it was dark and empty, but now it's the most popular clubbing spot in Canggu... For about five years now, I've stopped going to Batu Bolog beach for sunset as there's no more room to park my car on Sundays, and for about two years now, I haven't been going there to surf there.
It's so crowded on land, it's even worse in the sea. This is probably the most dangerous beach in Bali. This is what it looks like without exaggeration before corona.
With the coronavirus spreading in the world, there is no tourist in Bali and Canggu has been deserted by only foreigners who are long-term residents. So about a fortnight ago I chose Batu Bolog beach for my first early morning surfing there in two years, thinking it would be somewhat empty. It was fun to surf there, as it suited the tastes of my kids, who have recently developed a sudden love of surfing mellow waves on alternative boards. So today I went out again with the younger kids.
Younger son on a fishboard
Older me goes left and right.
This time it was even more of a fun session than last time, the mellow surf at Batu Bolog beach is not only perfect for beginners but also great for wiggling, wobbling and fluttering left and right instead of going up and down. I've sold my longboard since I stopped going to Batu Bolong beach, but if it's as empty as this one is for a few more months, I'll buy a longboard again. After Corona, Batu Bolog will come back as even more crowded place than the streets of Jakarta. Someone needs to make a subway on the beach!!