Hurley’s Phantom “Dream Trip” Winners arrive in Padang and get a serious reality check
This story was supposed to be about our six “Phantom Dream Trip” winners and their magic trip to Indo. About our long-but-smooth series of flights to Padang, our easy crossing across the channel and their first day in paradise surfing with Rob Machado at the Kandui Resort.
But it isn’t. Instead, it’s about reality in Indonesia. It’s about 7.7 earthquakes, deadly tsunamis, erupting volcanoes and any other calamity the Ring of Fire can conjure up.
The Caples family. Photo: PK
After 30 hours of straight travel, our bleary-eyed-but-spirited 17-man crew arrived in Padang to hear the grave news. Details were and still are sketchy, but we do know this much: the October 25 earthquake and subsequent tsunami took out the Macaronis land camp, grounded two boats and left more than 100 dead and 500 missing. Meanwhile, back on Java, the chain’s largest volcano, Mt. Merapi, blew its lid and forced thousands to evacuate. Time to wake up from that dream trip.
Dinner at our hotel in Padang. Photo: PK
Our intended destination, Kandui Resort, is located approximately 100 miles north and was spared from the tsunami disaster. But the situation obviously didn’t have anyone excited to jump on a boat and start cracking the Bintangs. “If we’re too far away to help,” said Chris Hardt, winner of the ZJ Boarding House Phantom Sweepstakes. “Then we really don’t have any business being out there right now.” The other winners: Dylan DeBie from San Marcos and Greg Jensen from Laguna – along with their companions – agreed.
Machado, checking in to Padang’s Grand Sari hotel. Photo: PK
So, as humanitarian aid boats line the Padang harbor and rescue efforts get underway, our team is re-directing to Bali. We’re dropping off water filters with an aid boat, putting in another night at Padang’s Grand Sari hotel and calling up Rizal Tanjung. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned so far, it’s this: Dream Trips never go according to plan.
To see the coverage from our Phantom Sweepstakes events, go here.