So naturally, I gathered up a few people from the hostel and we all split a taxi to head down to Padang Padang (pronounced pah-dong pah-dong) the next morning. And low and behold, we happened to pick the day the surfing competition was on!!
Ripcurl advertises the competition for anytime during the month because they're waiting for the perfect swell to come in. Once they spot it, they officially hold the competition for the day...thus their slogan "It's On When It's On".
The four of us got there around 8:30 in the morning, and there weren't many people (or vendors) settled up yet. So we headed down the creepy, tiny staircase that's carved in between two massive boulders...and arrived to the most gorgeous beach I had yet to see in Bali!
So as I'm sitting in front of the big Ripcurl structure where the judges, announcers, and other surfers are waiting, I look up to see none other than Bethany Hamilton...the famous Hawaiian surfer who had her arm bit off by a shark!! I literally screamed like a little girl when I saw her, but only managed to grab a small shot of her.
As the morning faded into the afternoon, the already small beach became absolutely crowded with people from all over the island who had been waiting for the competition to finally happen for weeks. Two of the guys I had come with from my hostel had climbed up on a big rock with a bunch of other people to get a better view for taking pictures, but me and the guy from Germany decided to stay down on the beach and tan while we waited for the competition to kick off. We were quite a ways up from the waterline, but we DID NOT plan things out very well at all.
As a HUGE swell came in, both of us were far too busy taking pictures with our big cameras to realize that big waves out there...meant big waves on the beach as well.
In the blink of an eye, a massive wave crashes onto shore...headed straight for us. We both had our cameras strung around our necks, but we had our backpacks, towels, flip flops...and my iPod on the sand. I managed to grab everything up before the waves reached it (my cat-like reflexes have quite a lot to do with that). But as the wave slammed up to my knees, my iPod that I've had since 9th grade came unplugged from the headphones and plopped right into the water. Once the wave receded I was able to grab it, but I knew that I was going to have no luck getting it to work again. 7 years worth of music...GONE.
I had my self pity party as we both packed up what was left of our now soaking wet stuff and headed over to the big boulder to find the other two guys. The beach was absolutely PACKED at that point, the waves were huge crashing against the shore, AND high tide was rolling in slowly but surely. Within the hour, their wasn't going to be too much of a beach anymore.
So we climbed up the massive rock and manged to score some more amazing surf pictures of the competition.