Trip and Surf Journal: Sun 3.31 (day 19)

Sunday, pancakes, big beach, ding-a-rama, eggs (Easter!), injury.

I got your Easter thingy right here. (Galungun related ceremonial hanging all over Bali . . .)

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It’s “Easter” and nobody gives a crap cuz we are rolling Bali style and 1% are Christian.  They are in their own10 day Galungun religious holiday right now, randomly overlapping w/ Easter.  All good.  It was a Sunday, I brought some home tradition to the table as if we were in Truckee I’d be doing banana pancakes w/ kids while Mom sleeps in, then we’d go skiing or something . . . so the mod was in the pancake recipe and we went beach/surf fam morning / day mission instead!  The pancakes are rice/tapioca flour mix totally gluten free for Mom and I’m getting better at making them w/ a. no measuring cups b. no pans that naturally lay flat c. eggs sometimes yes/sometimes no d. wildly varying form factors of bananas and ripeness e. default dropping black rice from rice cooker in (love this!) f. figuring out right ratio of rice/tap flour . ..

Rando perma notes

1. As always check out the flickr sets and photosteams for more pics — they are linked in the blog menu :)

2. For the surf-y part stuff of these posts — the detailed context/intro is HERE — a series of posts on the surf gig and more.  Used to be one post, and of course turned into a giant post.  Now broken up by days :)  It will probably change again!

All good and charged up we hit Kuta beach for shopping / errands / kids swimming / both parents surfing — the place is insane but actually strangely convenient for “something for everyone” all good.  I decided to take pictures of all the dudes who want to sell us ice cream bars at 9am.  They go straight to the kids and sell them on ice cream.  Having just read Lustig Fat Chance I see these dudes like drug dealers, they might as well be trying to sell my kids cocaine.  Except its not their fault I get it . . . but what we’ve figured out is the ONLY way to get a polite “move one” for these touts is for the kids themselves to look them in the eye and say “no thank you!” (in english and/or indo, but trust me they know the english :).  This takes them aback, along w/ me taking a photo of them getting dissed by my kids.  Look, I know it is not their fault, they are just peddling product, I can relate yo.  And, they have no idea that their own region (SE Asia) is “poisoning” itself on cheap sugar and processed food, brutal.  They want to eat like “us”, yikes.  Sorry about that.  We took shots of 10 of these guys, just a sample here . . .

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Surf was pretty heavy, actually.   Mom and Dad both got worked over a bit.  Two major developments:

a. first major ding in board (might have been because I “stored” board where it was not welcome — we were not in a reefy zone and the “ding” was a little too perfect IMO but whatevs . . . just sucks to think maybe someone dinged the board because they wanted me to pay “them” to have it fixed or pay “them” for a rental in the meantime or whatever . . . just hate the us vs. them kind of zone but there is no way for me to be in a tourist zone w/out $$$ being all that is seen . . . that being said I cut 5 deals a day w/ folks and 80% are what I think are “fair” but it is not relaxing so to speak — and whack because it is not about the $5 I might be getting jammed on it is about humanity and fairness and what not but to be clear I roll on my toes it is what it is and there is a reason folks pay huge $$$ for their fam in developing spots so they can “relax” just hard for this grinder / never a mark / etc. to go that route!!  Anyway, Arif is rad . . . thanks man

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b. first “surf injury” for me — didn’t realize until later in the eve that I did something to a rib zone on right side under the pec — not a “usage/soreness” thing which i’ve had since day one but tweaked a muscle or cartlidge or whatever lives between the ribs . . . more to come in next posts on how this one plays out

So the cool thing was working w/ local beach cats on the ding — I wanted to hit an afternoon session and renting boards is actually relatively expensive (like $5 min) but found some dudes who where like “use wax” — DUH.  Loved doing the temp wax repair on the ding to make it watertight (the danger is you get your foam all waterlogged that is why a ding that penetrates your fiberglass to the foam is not okay).  The parallels of surfing w/ cycling/skiing/climbing/mountaineering continue . . . #fieldrepair.  Worked well enough for me to got out and whack my rib :)

On the way home I dropped the board w/ Arif at one of the local shops across from the groc store, it was about 4pm.  He was like “come back at 7 done” . . . we only haggled a little but it was $3 for the repair.  Love this guy, he and Olaf are down, small world.  Of course. He just wanted to know what I paid for the board from Olaf of course.  Business all good we had a chat about what is fair / etc. but all good.  Dropping my skis or bike at a shop  = starting price of prolly $50 so in the end I’m laughing but also its all relative, respect is what is valued in the end across the board.  Respect and fairness, that is a daily  mission.  I have to convince everyone that I respect them, I am not trying to “buy” them, I can’t be “bought”, I want what is fair nothing more or nothing less, I am not trying to grind them, I won’t be ground, etc.  Put language and culture and what not in the mix and I’m more convinced that ever that world travel on a budget is probably the #1 business and life lesson that one can engage in.

We were home in time for a villa bayu easter egg hunt for the kids which they loved.  Pancakes, easter egg hunts, bunnies, christ is risen, galungun, dings and ding repairs w/ Arif, ice cream touts, old man rib injuries, etc. . . another day in this life

 

Trip and Surf Journal: Sat 3.30 (day 18)

Back in the Hood.

Hi, I’m almost five, I’m in Indo on some crazy ass trip, and this is how I’m rolling right now.

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Quote of the day in the surf lineup: “See the power of my German steel!”

Rando perma notes

1. As always check out the flickr sets and photosteams for more pics — they are linked in the blog menu :)

2. For the surf-y part stuff of these posts — the detailed context/intro is HERE — a series of posts on the surf gig and more.  Used to be one post, and of course turned into a giant post.  Now broken up by days :)  It will probably change again!

Sat 3.30:

First morning back in the ‘hood at Villa Bayu in Padang/Ulu zone.  Super fun coming “home” if you will.  We are here for 10 days then off we go to the next, next things (homestays at local villages, ubud, maybe nusa tengarra islands sumbawa/etc.) . . . anyway some of the fun (and work) is figuring that out along w/ the rest of the trip.  I digress.

Can a I get good (strong?) cup of coffee without paying $1 – $2 for an espresso shot?  Not clear.  I digress.  I am on a quest.  Bali Coffee tastes good, I just think somehow is all decaf or something.

More digression.  Tidal set up not favoring the right fam / crowd zones these days.  Low is like 7am when I want to be out and most spots are not “low” spots . . . so I end up at Padang at 9am on a saturday morning with 60 people and one peak.  Actually I guess I should be saying hey in 18 days or so days of surfing this is the first time I am actually laughing at the crowd!  Not that I haven’t been surfing w/ other folks and around or whatever, but this is the first time where its like there are so many people the break is almost “unsurfable”.  Anyway, my progression is also in play.  See how fast you become a bitter local!!  2 weeks ago I would have been like hey cool I paddled out and am watching some stuff and maybe grabbing something and maybe standing up here and there . . .  now I’m like come on the surf is ok if it weren’t for 50 people I could be surfing 20 waves in this session!  All good :)  So, I focus on the lineup and the awesome world melting pot.  A few local indo ripper teens.  Super inside and willing to surf the steepest take off / shortest wall just for that 360 punt/bail.  I actually end up w/ these guys.  Super outside but perfectly positioned on the peak are the dutch ladies.  Boards are long and fast, paddling and tequnique is flawless.  If the rules of surfing were in full effect nobody would surf a wave but these ladies.  Nobody could catch something outside of them.  Maybe Laird Hamilton or random beast-paddler on a 10 footer or something.  Anyway, it is awesome in general the world melting pot going on.  I’m not out trying to chat everyone up or anything but happy to have the chance, many of my most social moments outside of family have been in the lineup waiting/scoping waves.  Pushpin to write a post about the Kiwis who paddled “in” to my zone from their sailboat.  Straight from Thailand.  Recco on Kimodo snorkeling best in world (and they’ve “done it all”).  We want to go there, but are wondering if kids can handle dragons and/or snorkels?

All good.  The theme for the day is really Megan and I figuring out how to “manage the help” at Villa Bayu.  This is hilarious.  But I am an introvert at heart, I don’t like random peeps making noise and chatting me up when I want to be reading my book or hanging w/ how and who I want to be hanging with (like my wife and kids) . . . so we have at Villa Bayu, the following awesome cats:

Wayan: amazing cook, amazing dude overall, shops for us, etc. (good and bad thing for us  more on that later!!)

Yansen: cleans and caretakes and watches kids all day if asked, usually is around to do that, usually . . .

Ketut: junior dude, helps yansen and wayan

Note: there are 2 other dudes who are the night security  guys and sleep in a shack outside the door whole other story going on there but anyway I digress.  Pool cleaners and various other sundry maintenance cats are consistently rolling through

Agus is the “manager” and IMO the “fixer” this guy is legit.  He is like an “executive” here — actually I insult him w/ that term, he is better.  He is a freaking doer.  He just gets in done.  More on Agus in another post/later.

But back to our story: net there are like 5-8 folks “sharing” our villa with us.  This is not like a hotel where the housekeeper comes for 30 minutes a day or something.  This is like you live in a house w/ full time staff.  The crazy thing is I can’t handle it.  Too much service.  Too little privacy.  Too much wacky influence on kids (great folks all of them, but our kids get “grandparents” syndrome so fast and get whiny and eat crap and act like kooks so fast cuz these guys can’t say no of course I don’t blame them!!!).  But really it is a me/privacy thing we’ve realized.  All good, we are making adjustments.  Also hilarious as Megan and I just aren’t “used to telling domestic help what to do” and how that rolls!! Actually, the dynamic is that Megan rules the domestic zone, and I am fine telling folks what do to, but the dynamic of 8 peeps w/ me and Megan trying to decide what the kids are going to have for breakfast in 4 days or something and that being a stressor is whack.  So we are simplifying for sure.  All good.  Megan and I brainstormed and skulled all this on an afternoon session of beach exploring locally, followed up by massages (drop in, one hour, legit body work, $7.50/hour!!).  Around the edges some things are scratchy like there is a road out there, the head thing on the massage table is not as plush as you might like, the communication barrier w/ the massager is in play, etc.  But I’m floored.  These women spend most of the time ON THE TABLE.  they are like 5 feet tall maybe less.  They know what they are doing, not as bad ass as the best body workers I’ve seen but amazing.  BTW I think the best body workers I’ve seen are pretty much the best in the world.  That is based on the fact that they ALSO have worked on the best cyclists/skiers/etc. in the world and those folks who can afford and NEED to hire the best work w/ these folks.  Go Truckee.  Anyway, I digress again.  So kids did a much needed 24 hours at the villa on the recoup, Yansen is amazing (how about a sitter who can go from hide and seek, pool games — to throwing your kids on his scooter and riding bali roads for giggles — how can any “ride” or whatever compare to that!!!)

Pics to come and 3.31 report (sunday/tomorrow) notes before I bail here (3.31 notes: daddy pancakes/easter, easter egg hunt, fam beach big mission, dad shopping mission AFL guernseny/knock off heavan, big beach surf meg and i both worked and blown out and daddy injure a bit . . . FIRST DING zone — Arif from the shop fixes that thing in real-ish time all good a few bucks love that dude . . . learn how to use wax for temp repair felt like a goon for not knowing I could do that but how do you learn unless you wade in . . . so stoked I bought a relatively cheap board and it was fun doing the temp fix in a certain way on the beach w/ a few indo dudes  . . . it was like I wanted to take them to my garage in truckee and show ’em how to fix bikes and skis and what not, all good.

Trip and Surf Journal: Fri 3.29 (day 17)

WATERBOM! (Keira’s big day . . .)

Miss K hit the Seminyak boutiques w/ Mom and melted me down in this number :)

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Rando perma notes

1. As always check out the flickr sets and photosteams for more pics — they are linked in the blog menu :)

2. For the surf-y part stuff of these posts — the detailed context/intro is HERE — a series of posts on the surf gig and more.  Used to be one post, and of course turned into a giant post.  Now broken up by days :)  It will probably change again!

Fri 3.29:

Woke up feeling our big night out a bit.  Hit the beach and 8-12 foot beach break close outs were the order of the day . . . Started walking south looking for a manageable peak or shoulder and I”m not gonna lie some slightly mellower conditions to get into.  Took a while to find it, got to practice my duck diving and getting outside skills for sure, and breath holding / hold downs, etc.  Finally found my goldilocks (just right) zone, and it was so consistent I took of on 20 waves in 2 hours which is some kind of record for me.  Short rides but didn’t care.

We checked out of our seminyak villa and plan was hit Waterbom waterslide/park.  Big tourist attraction.  But shockingly well reviewed by all.  For good reason.  It was a blast and they do a good job.  Everyone had a blast — and Keira shocked me by stepping up to the “smash down” slide which is a full on free fall bit — I made Megan video us . . . Keira is a must watch, yes that is cautious Keira doing 50mph dropping 100meters! (first link is me then second is keira following, this vid is of our 3rd time down — when I dropped it the first time I actually didn’t think she was going to do it . . .)

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It was super fun, we all got exhausted climbing the towers, and we shut the place down.  Traffic and a quick grocery run later and back at Villa Bayu on the Bukit around 7pm . . . all exhausted but happy on a big day.

Trip and Surf Journal: Thu 3.28 (day 16)

BEST DATE NIGHT EVER? 

(Not the best photo, but works for me/Megan bringin back KuDeTa and the whole eve . . .)

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Vids of the scene (sorry you have to watch them on Flickr until I upgrade our WordPress and pay for embedded vid functionality :)

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Rando perma notes

1. As always check out the flickr sets and photosteams for more pics — they are linked in the blog menu :)

2. For the surf-y part stuff of these posts — the detailed context/intro is HERE — a series of posts on the surf gig and more.  Used to be one post, and of course turned into a giant post.  Now broken up by days :)  It will probably change again!

Thu 3.28:

We decided to see about a “family morning beach” program this morning, which was pretty cool.  I was stoked for the crew to see what calm winds, cool sand, glassy waves, and favorable tides were all about (oh yeah, and no traffic BALI YO).  The crew was insane, rallying be 8am and were off.  Turned into a marathon beach sesh until 2:30pm or so, I got a couple of fun surf sesh in and so did Megan.  Kids took advantage of “cool sand” and we were not straight broiling like the normal fam afternoon zone at the beach unless we are paying for shade and pimping it free where avail, whatevs.  All good, Megan and kids hit Surfer Cafe Warung, we had a great day.  Then back to the villa and Megan went back out to the mad shopping zone in Seminyak where it is wall to wall boutiques that could be like mad ave style or mission or paris or whatever — except you might just fall  in a ditch or get run over by a car or break your foot on some wacky pavement . . . all good :) Megan scored an amazing and suitable dress that she rocked so well, and we were on for date night in Seminyak w/ sitter coming at 6:30.  Dress, and firedancers.

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There are too many options, really, for one night, but I laid out an itin and got super lucky w/ our overall experience what an amazing night.  Lot of go to tourist / famous spots but whatever when in ROME.  We are still buzzing about the night, insane.  KuDeTa club in seminyak, HU’u in Seminyak — super glitz and pimp, daybeds as sunset and lit up surf and pools and rad lounge techno dj’s and giant cocktails of “imported” booze for the price of 10 meals.

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Left car at home and grabbing 3 up scooter transport here and there wind in our hair  . . . all the way to kuta/legian for gang style (hole in wall delicsion) warung food where we literally ate the place down (WARUNG INDONESIA) at 9pm . . . We are getting really good at eating the whole fish.  The other day I almost went eyeballs.  Not yet.

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Hit crowbar crazy cool stylie dive off the beaten path and owner from austria and loving sharing the mountain zone and my austrian adventures w/ her — grand finale sky bar legian which is the sicket club complex i’ve seen, like 7 clubs in one.  Most importantly, the dj on the scene we hit was sick, the kind of dj who takes over — I don’t think we even planned on going nuts but the next thing we knew we were deep in the dance / clubbin zone and the hours were melting away.  So fun.  Fire spinners!  Megan could do it.  Go go dancers, stages, all of it.

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We finally bail and need to get back home as we are leaving sitter 1.5 hours later than “general” plan . . . btw sitter is $5/hour roughly all over bali for night hours (and most villas w/ foll mod cons like we have been spoiled at are ZERO $$ / hour during the day for the staff to hook it up, more on that in another post : )

So its time to get home and per usual the kuta zone cabbies are trying to jam me and we won’t play ball  . . . walking is more interesting anyway, but we finally recruit a rougue dude w/ a scooter and ride 3 up home, feels so good.  Thing has 6 horsepower but whatever.

I’m not gonna lie I have a soft spot for Black Rain and I keep feeling like I’m living scenes out of that movie — the chase scenes / driving scenes — , except for the parts about being shot or something :)  I am driving these scenes . . . hilarious.

Trip and Surf Journal: Wed 3.27 (day 15)

Legian.

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Rando perma notes

1. As always check out the flickr sets and photosteams for more pics — they are linked in the blog menu :)

2. For the surf-y part stuff of these posts — the detailed context/intro is HERE — a series of posts on the surf gig and more.  Used to be one post, and of course turned into a giant post.  Now broken up by days :)  It will probably change again!

Wed 3.27:

First morning at Villa Central in Seminyak, the South Beach/Soho/etc. of Bali.  And by FAR the #1 most quiet night of sleep and sounds we have had.  Seriously, the city is quieter than the country for us so far.  The country is wild dogs and roosters inter-mixing in an unholy alliance of barking and cockling all night. Mix in some insane rice paddy mating call birds (preferred hours 2am – 5am) it can be pretty insane.  So you just pave the paddies and jungle, don’t stay on top of a crazy street or club, and its silent, nuts!

Today was rad.  I did a couple of calls in the morning one skype and one handphone — further cool data on what things cost and where its all going.  Its not secret or surprise just fun to live it.  Skype calls Indo to US are about 2  cents minute.  Unf the connection was bunk this morning on skype so I went actual handphone program w/ my prepaid sim card.  Paid $25 for a phone and $10 for a sim card plus a few gigs of data and some number of minutes/translation I can’t figure out yet.  BUT, what I do know is how to dial the “Voip” prefix to get out of the country.  So I rolled that to the US.  30 minute call, $1.  3 cents a minute for what was a perfect call from my indo mobile phone?  Whatever, I”m going to keep this phone and SIM and recharge and put it in my sigs from here, its nuts!

I did my calls while the kids swam after breakfast number one (standard: warm black rice from warmer w/ whole milk of yogurt and fruit).  We are all weaning off toxic added sugars it is WAY easier here.  Mainly because real food is insane cheap, and processed food and sugar is mad expensive.  It’s all relative but the grinder/value/health goon in me can’t let it go.  A huge plate of delicious veggies and chicken or fish and brown or black rice (or not) is $1.50  – $2.00.  An ice cream bar is $1.50.  You get my drift, its a shame the world over stuff is broken.  In the markets here if you only buy fresh produce and meat and protein and spices and whatever I think you could eat for $3/day. Maybe less.  And so healthy.  2 pounds of fresh fish or chicken is on average $2/pound or $5/kilo.  BTW I love rolling metric, brain is going native on that.  A bag of greens/eggplant/cabbage/beans/carrots/etc. as big as my trunk is $2. A cabbage a big one is 7.5 cents.  What I would estimate as “16 ounces” of spinach equivalant greens is 50 cents (a bag of that washed/packages/whatever in U.S. is I think $5?)   Whole grain black rice is — get ready — about 75  cents for 500mg . . . so whatever that is 2.5 cups dry rice — or 10 servings /  7.5 cents serving.  A small jar of jam or honey  (8 ounces / 250ml) is at least $2.  Anyway, its really amazing.  Our family wants to eat like the social/native/cheap/healthy zone, and in tourist centers or even with our servants at villas like if we have a cook and shopper and stuff they just assume we want imported prcoessed b.s. while the native stuff is so rad.  They want to eat like us, I want to eat like them!  More to come on this post.

Surfing this morning was good, no wind and ok beach peaks/breaks in the legian zone.  Fun to not feel like the biggest goon out there :)  This is random, but my number one catching wave thing these days is a mental model of literally balancing on my lowest rib while I am in the perfect take off pocket on a wave . . .  when I nail this I can do 4 paddles and perfect timing and position and balance on that rib and plane on the wave LIKE THAT pop up and it all seems so easy.  Then of course balancing on a rib in a superman in the perfect spot on a wave or whatever is not easy.  Gladwell, more, on how it all has to become instinct.  This is one of the reasons surfing is not easy.  You can’t just “try harder” like on a bike or something.  At a certain point you have t oconnect the dots skills and instinct/etc .like hitting a baseball program your brain has to take a back seat to emotion and instincts (ok those are part of your brain blah, blah read how we decide).  Luck has not been w/ us on winds — we keep moving to onshore zones!!  Shoulder season.  When we are on the E, onshor, we should be on w coast.  When we are on w coast like now, winds are onshore again!! Just makes morning that much more impt.  Megan experienced blown out afternoon shank beach conditions today and is stoked for a fam rally at 8am to the beach tomorrow, rad!

Another big bali holiday and ceremony is going down galungun which closed some stuff, warung and street and what not . . . no nyepi but hey.  Culture wise these are awesome holidays, tourist/convenience wise not so much but oh well — mate warung II closed for 3 days wtf!!!

 

Trip and Surf Journal: Tue 3.26 (no surf)

Seminyak. 

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Rando perma notes

1. As always check out the flickr sets and photosteams for more pics — they are linked in the blog menu :)

2. For the surf-y part stuff of these posts — the detailed context/intro is HERE — a series of posts on the surf gig and more.  Used to be one post, and of course turned into a giant post.  Now broken up by days :)  It will probably change again!

Tue 3.26:

Okay, kind of cheating as I did actually get wet w/ the board today.  But really, just got wet.  Big travel day to Seminyak, the “Bali capital of glitz/style/etc.”  Worlds away from what we’ve been rolling.  And, ironically, maybe the quietest place we’ve been in terms of where we actually lay our head?  Crazy, villas are packed back in little back alleys off the packed hustle and bustle of shoulder to shoulder clubs, boutiques, restos, bars, etc. And no mad roosters and dogs and barnyard explosions going on so far?  We’ll see, night one it tonight. Can the city be more quiet than the country?

Sick scene.  Fun.  We are 1k from the beach. Amazing sunset beach club/bar scene w/ the kids.  Resto/warung EVERYWHERE selling insane food dirt cheap — and we are in tourist-ville!  Finding our villa was seriously a needle in a haystack.  1 hour it took when we got within 1k.  Simple, chill set up.  Stoked for a few days in this zone.  Once again wind gods not with us as shifted W and onshore now whatevs, so it goes.  Might mission to e coast a couple times dawn patrol we’ll see but as always optimizing for what we are doing and filling in the surf around.

Villa

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Insane yummy inexpensive warung

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Scene

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3.25 — Tough ride dude. And Zealios on the DOME!

New definition of “no shoulder”.

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Not missing the bike too much yet a few weeks into a 5 month family adventure in SE Asia/Indonesia, happy I was headed surfing when I snapped this shot.  And, uh, it was hard to beat the setting on this morning — pretty inconsistent but a couple nice peaks peeling and yeah, just the setting.

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Speaking of surf, I’ve been rocking Zealios Sun Barrier — putting it to the test against

a. tropical/equatorial sun

b. the surf/ocean/mad exposure of suring

c. my bald and pale dome and nose

All I can say is awesome stuff.  It truly is Sun Barrier, it feels good/smells fine going on and is clean.  It soaks in.  It does not sting the eyes.  And it has been holding up to multi-hour sessions on the ocean.  See, we are tan not burn!!

FW: Last day Kuta shot

I expected to have way more burned dome/nose/etc. action going on but the Zealios is the hook up — more here:

http://www.whereitcounts.com/zealios.html