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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaia surfboard in Lances Left, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.
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No such thing as a reliable time table - Ferry service changes from day to day, if ferry can't go due to weather, or broken etc, your stuck
Nyang Nyang is a hoax, local familys have got together and set a price which is way to high for what you pay(you can get a hotel in other parts of Indo), you get a smokey leaking no electricity, no toilet,no food, no shower, its rough but with a $ price, rip off area needs good swell to get in, so pitstops or long walk to pussys is only real options (crowded), tried to hire boat, what a rip off, this feral living with $ price tag, better pying a bit extra and staying at a camp/resort...never again :(
- The link below has accurate timetables as well as transfer cost both for ferries and speed boats to Siberut or Tueapejat in Sipora.
Contact "the mentawai shadow" facebook for experienced local speed boat transfers to mentawai and waves with good guides. Accomodation in Nyang Nyang is cheap but you need to bring most of your supplies...beware of thieves...staying in a camp or a boat will bring in the benefits...
A few years ago - A few years ago there was very basic huts on the beach and you had to take all your food and water, no village on nyang nyang, but now the area has upgraded, there is now two surf camps on the island pit stop hill(pitstops) and mentawai bungalow (e-bay)(both have websites )maybee you could stay on other island or at village,but its very hardcore/rough and you really need either a guide or to spreak bahasa indonesia, i did it with a local jakarta surfer, but we still got hassled by police and had problems getting to wave, so in the end it wasn't as cheap as i thought it would be.
staying at Pitstops - Hi guys,
I heard there was a rumour that you can stay with the local people at Pitstops. Is this true at all??
Is there any where close by that you can stay with local people near there? Any help would be muchly appreicated.
WRONG - I run a boat in the Mentawais and i have my papers to work for the 2010 season in Indonesia in hand...no tax fraud. You are way off the mark. Actually the situation is Indonesia is trying to advance there country by implementing a law which is already in place in most countries. That is: commercial boats departing from an indonesian port bound for a port within indonesian territory have to be indonesian flagged. Perfectly reasonable. The law was passed in 2008 and in Indonesia they give 3 years from the date of the passing of the law until they enforce the law...so it will not be enforced until May 2011. Most boats that i know of are either choosing not to operate anymore or changing their boats to Indonesian flag. The comment below is completely false and was either put there by someone wanting to keep the "crowds" down through misinformation or by someone who thinks they know what they're talking about but has no idea.
Regarding the comment below that, about the locals catching onto the business and that makes the foreigners angry, that's another misinformed opinion. I assume you're referring to some of the surf camp's frustrations with the locals running homestays as well. This isn't because they are losing business to them, it's not the case at all. Anyone interested in staying in a surf resort would most likely not consider going "feral" with the locals in the villages. There are a few reasons for this: time constraints, rough accomodations, lack of food/difficulty obtaining supplies, and the fact that you are staying alongside the locals who quite possibly have malaria. Malaria is spread when a certain type of mosquito bites an infected person and then bites an uninfected person, infecting them with the parasite. The difference between staying on land at a resort and at a homestay is most of the resorts (asides from HT's) are on islolated islands where there are no villages, so no people infected with malaria, hence a very small chance of contracting it. Of course, if you want to do it the cheaper way, there are ways to help prevent yourself from getting malaria. So don't let that put you off, just do some research, because you WILL get it if your throw caution to the wind and you're not careful.
A source of possible frustration in the resort owner/operator community is that they work for YEARS to jump through hoops with the local government to be able to have a resort there and to follow the laws in place, and as i understand are constantly harrassed by officials with their hands out for bribes. The same laws that the surf resorts have to follow aren't enforced for the locals. Why? Not because they were born there and have a right to make a living (which would be tolerable if that were the case), but because they charge $5 a night and the Mentawais Surf Tax is $3 per person per day, so the local police, etc. have no motivation to enforce the law against the illegally operating homestays as sadly the majority of the authorities in Indonesia are only enforcing laws so they can receive some sort of bribe. You can't get a bribe from someone who has nothing, so why bother trying? That's the main reason, so if you think you're doing a good thing by staying in a homestay because the locals are getting money, don't forget the resorts employ LOTS of locals and pay them wages much higher than the local standard (and rightfully so). The laws that they follow have the ability to steer the area to a more sustainable type of tourism not seen in other areas of indonesia (see: Bali, Lakey Peak). There is a slow progression in the foreign operators community towards a sustainable model in the Mentawais, and it's not to oppress the locals as our commenter below insinuated, it's actually aimed to help them help themselves so the area doesn't turn into another over developed, trash infested surf circus that can be seen in other areas of indonesia. (unfortunately the government is the key to this and they are not proactive so it probably won't end up working, so get it uncrowded while you can!) Some people may balk at my use of the word uncrowded, yes it is possible you may surf with up to 20 other people in the water at some breaks, but this is rare and most good operators will avoid crowds, even so, with 200+ people out at the superbank, 100+ out at Pipeline, i think it's fair to call the Mentawais uncrowded. The fact is there are alot of surfers in the world right now, if you can't get a wave, either: quit, surf more and improve so you can get one, or go surf a beach break.
Everyone's entitled to an opinion about what's the best way to go about experiencing the Mentawais, but if you make one without the proper info in hand and post it on a forum like this one you are doing everyone (and yourself for forming an uninformed opinion in the first place) a disservice. If you're a TOURIST, come out to the Mentawais by any means you see fit, it will always be a great adventure, no matter if you're staying on the Indies Trader 4 or staying in front of a wave with villager waiting for the wave to turn on so you can score (of course it's quite likely that you'll have waited out the bad conditions and a boat operator in the know will show up right when it starts to turn on, but you never know!) get some waves, be nice in the water (you're not a local just because your boat was anchored there a day before someone else's or because you stay on land in a local's house), in general respect everyone, and GO HOME with a SMILE on your face.
Boat charter - all foreign flag boat charters in mentawai will be kicked out by Indo government, Indo Customs Board found they did tax fraud. All Foreign Flag boats in Mentawai is in very serious porblem, Be careful before book your boat trip with Foreign Flag boat.
Cheap Places - Does anyone know of any cheap places to stay. Not looking to spend $200 a night. Hostels ? Camping ? Thanx
Rough Paradise - I just arrived from a 3 week trip. Its possible to travel independent ,and its cheap.
Some places to stay with the locals , decent , cheap. The food is basic but good. People are lovely , genuine smiles. The locals are waking up for the bizz.. With makes the foreigners who have bizz there mad.
If you have money , shortime and just care about surf go to the resorts or charters. Big Bucks
If you want the ultimate surftrip get on the ferry , get a basic indonesian book a go. The surf is powerfull , so if got a serious injury you are by your own..... Overall the level of confort is different but the waves are the same.
Just take lots of boards , because some of then will stay there...
Lodging 50 000 rp
Boats 4 surf 50 000 rp
Meal 20 000 rp
Best wave 4 me- Bankvoults and Rifles
Surf photographers/videographers for hire - Anyone traveling to Indo from June 23rd-Jul 23rd and would like to hire a photog for a portion of your trip? Let us know: www.freedomriding.com
We will traveling all around for those 30 days: Bali, Mentawais, Nias, Deserts, Lombak, etc...
Wavepark - Christian's comments regarding wavepark are certainly unfounded. One can only guess as to what his motivation is, competitor perhaps? After checking resort possibilities across Indo for a trip early this year I settled on Wavepark. I liked the fact that they didn't prostitute themselves across commercial agencies and they had by far the most informative website. I went there only armed with what I had read on their webpage, I knew no one who had been there or to any of the other resorts in the area and what they delivered exceeded my expectations. Christie Carter is truly an exceptional surfguide, professional and with knowledge only 10 years in the area can give. He has a dedicated passion to the islands and their people which is self evident after spending time at his resort. As a surfguide, when he takes you to an uncrowded break, sits in the boat on his own for an hour waiting for everyone else to get their share of waves before coming out to share a few and ripping the place apart that speaks for itself for how he treats his guests. Unlike the young Indonesian surf guide from another camp in the area who snaked and dropped in on his own guests while his boss was in the water! While I cannot comment on the level of service and comfort at the other camps in the area having not stayed at them, I can highly recommend wavepark to those seeking a great holiday. If you go there, you won't be disappointed.
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