In respect of local custom tradition, my girlfriend Tash was required to cover up on the beach or out and about. Which would’ve spelled disaster for her tanning aspirations, were it not for the grassy garden at Casarina, where she could sunbathe in a bikini to her heart’s content.
Our rooms – in traditional Sumatran wooden cabins – were clean and simple, featuring a comfy bed, fan, traditional Indonesian (squat) toilet and bucket shower. Not five-star surf-resort luxury, certainly, but wasn’t that the point? We ate like kings, slept soundly every night and felt like guests in Rina’s home rather than package-holiday surf tourists.
As our time in Simeulue drew to a close, we reflected that we had got what we came for, and much more. Its remote location, tricky access and lack of a real A-List wave – like G-Land or nearby Nias’ Lagundri Bay – has kept the influx of travelling surfers to a trickle.
We found a warm and friendly people living simply on a wonderful island. Sure enough, as we arrived at the tiny airport on our final day we learned that, due to technical issues, the plane would not depart until the following morning. Dismay turned to delight as I realised that if we were quick, there was time to catch the evening session at Dylans for a bonus session to sign off.
Do it yourself:
From Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Jakarta, fly to Medan on the Sumatran mainland with one of the Indonesian low-cost airlines (Lion Air, Batik Air etc). From Medan, Wings Air operates daily (ish!) flights to Simeulue.
Casarina offers accommodation including 3 meals per day for 45USD per day. Rina can organise scooters or 4×4 hire on request.
Guides & Expeditions:
We hooked up with local English-speaking surf guide Ilan who can help with all logistics around the island – boat charters, jungle hiking, board hire should you need, surf photos and more. Reach him on Facebook.
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