Surfing Uluwatu in the 1970s was a lung-busting affair even before you paddled out, because you first had to hike over hill-and-dale and through pastures just to get to the famous cave. Balinese living alongside the main road to Uluwatu temple (and road is a generous term, as it was a pot-holed ribbon of tarmac) would wait for surfers to rock up and offer to carry their surfboards. Not just young lads, either, but adult farmers scrabbling out a living.
(photo courtesy Peter Neely of Indo Surf and Lingo).
Ah, the infamous bamboo ladder of Uluwatu cave. A rite of passage, in a way. The man carrying the board probably earned more cash money for this day then he did in a month of farming. It was really, really tough living for the Bukit locals back in the day. Now, it’s premier real estate (and a lot of the locals got kicked off their land…)