If you ask me which French guy I know much, the answer is Philippe. I met Pihilippe first five years ago. He came to Krui early July 2007. He rented a car from someone in Bandarlampung and rode her all the way from Bandarlampung to Krui.
It was the first time he came to Krui and he hadn’t had any idea about the surf spots around Krui yet. He asked me to come with him to show him the surf spots in the north. I agreed and I took the front seat by him and we hit the road up north the next day. I showed him Jenny’s and Jimmy’s. luckily, Jenny was working quite big and there were only two other surfers in the water. He surfed Jenny’s and I waited for him in the car.
The next day he asked me to come with him to explore the area up north, looking for some other hidden surfs, if any. He was so curious whether there is some surf spots hidden out there after the points. We drove way and way further from Jimmy’s until we got lost deep into the jungle, but we failed to see any new unrevealed surfs. We drove back then after driving hundred of miles where we didn’t see any spot of seas any more.
The next day, he found his fond of the surfs down south. He droved to Karang Nyimbur almost every day. And when the surfs down south were not good, he turned to Krui Left instead. And after staying in Krui for about a month, he left the town for Bandarlampung.
However, he left the town behind with a sore memory. Prior to the day when he left, he hit the reef in Krui Left and he got a big cuts in his head. The cut looked so nasty and he got his head bandaged almost half way. Luckily he was physically OK and still able to drive the car back to Bandarlampung by himself the next day.
Five years over and I never heard about this guy any more. The email that I sent to him got no reply. I totally lost contact with him since the day he left until all of a sudden I saw him walking out of a restaurant in town in the middle of July, 2012. “Hi, are you Philippe?” I said. “Yes,” he said, smiling and giving me a handshake. He was sorry that he didn’t reply my email. He said he had a serious problem that made him so depressed and felt so unhappy with his life. But now he is OK and finds his life back.
This time he drove his own car, a Toyota land cruiser that he bought in Bali three years ago, two years after he came to Krui. He told me he built a house in Bali three years ago and he went to the island whenever he had holiday. He got this car transported by a lorry from Denpasar to Jakarta, and then he drove him all the way from Jakarta to Krui. It was a tough jeep that looks like a war tank. And he is a tough driver. He took only eleven hours to drive the car from Jakarta to Krui, which is much faster compared to what buses might take.
During this second stay, he regularly surfed Karang Nyimbur. He never surfed up north but one. He commuted to Karang Nyimbur from his hotel in town every time when the surf was on. I came with him when I had time. He droved like crazy. A ride on his car was like a ride on a horse back when the road is bumpy.
However, he was a bit luckier in this second trip to Krui. He never had a major accident but some minor ones. About one week after he arrived, he hit the reef in Karang Nyimbur and had some scratches on his back. But it didn’t hamper him from surfing. He kept on surfing with those scratches after he put some antibiotics.
When he was surfing Jenny’s, he had another minor one. “I had my board smacked my left face,” he said. “It was so hurt and I think I got my left cheek swollen.” I took a look at his left cheek, yes I saw it was abit swollen.
And on the next other day, he told me a different unlucky story when he surfed Karang Nyimbur. “I was being washed ashore by this swell,” he said. “And I got stranded on the reef. It was strange that the reef where I was ended was very dry. The water was all sucked back by the waves. And what surprised me so much is that there was a swell that came all of a sudden and broke on me. I was struck and leveled on the reef. My board got away a few meters from me. It was very strange. The waves didn’t use to break at that reef. It is too close to the shore. I felt so hurt and cranky and I thought I was gonna die. It was amazing that I am still alive and I got no injury.” He said seriously.