A trip to the Mentawais almost always requires you to go through Padang on the mainland of Sumatra. A trip to John’s place is no different. An overnight in Padang is required to connect with the fast ferry service, in fact its really no different from travelling anywhere outside of Bali. Most places require, or at minimum suggest an overnight prior to your domestic flights, ferries or fast boats to outer islands.
The fast ferry service has made a huge difference in the Mentawais, no more arduous overnight slow ferry has made for a much more pleasant crossing. Arriving in Tuapajet I was greeted by John’s Place Surfguide and Caretaker Cahn Mitchell. You wont come across a more knowledgeable and easy going person that Cahn. He has lived in the Mentawais for the past 11 years and is married to Sue from a nearby island and they have two beautiful daughters Tani and Kayla.
The winds were really light when I arrived and it was a 5 minute trip across the channel to Awera Island, just so close, but as soon as I arrived and saw incredible set up of the lagoon, beach and foreshore it was as if time slowed down, I just exhaled any stress that may have been sitting with me instantly.
Cahn showed me around the house and the property, I think I must have said “WOW” about 50 times! We had a nice lunch and then it was time for Cahn to show me his local waves! On the way I was shown where all the waves were, I think this is really important as it helps give you your bearings. With a building swell we ended up out at pumping 4-5 ft Scarecrows and surfed all afternoon which was just an amazing way to finish the first day.
This is the part of the story I should probably go day by day and tell you where we surfed and what it was like…. but honestly it was such a blur of waves, sun, barrels, diving and drinking beers! We surfed allot! until we couldn’t surf anymore with sun burnt eyes, skin and the beginning of sea ulcers. The best waves I had were out at Scarecrows, Telescopes, Twiggies and Suicides…
The real difference that John’s place has to other places is it feels like home. A really comfortable huge home you are sharing with your friends. All the rooms offer Air Conditioning, you can take it or leave it, but I tell you its a really nice experience sitting in the glass Air Conditioned dining room having dinner, out of any humidity with a million dollar view, too good !!
I’ll be back in 2019 with the family. It’s a great spot for the wife and kids too, cant wait!