Gerry's relationship with Uluwatu dates back to 1974
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 June, 2015 - The Gerry Lopez Yoga and Talk Story at the Uluwatu Surf Villas raised over 124 million rupiah for Project Clean Uluwatu, the local environmental organization working to keep Uluwatu clean and beautiful. In his first visit in decades to the fabled surf break he helped pioneer, Gerry returned to the Bukit Monday evening, June 15th.
As a dedicated yogi for over 40 years, he hosted a Yin Yoga session under a spectacular Bali sunset atop the cliff at the Uluwatu Surf Villas. After a healthy dinner donated by Alchemy of Ubud and the local Lands End Cafe, Gerry narrated a slideshow of his early adventures to Uluwatu and surrounding iconic breaks, also offering his insights and words of wisdom on surfing and life.
Narrating countless original photographs from Dick Hoole, Dana Edmunds, Dan Merkle and Don King dating as far back as back as 1970s, Gerry told his story of the early days surfing Indonesia - getting lost among the thickets and shrubbery trying to find Uluwatu; rickety bemo rides from Kuta, the scarcity of water on the Bukit, and 16 hour boat rides to G-Land. With over 300 guests in attendance, this event was a huge success. “It goes to show that PCU has a strong following and that people care about the environmental issues facing Uluwatu,” comments PCU project manager Curtis Lowe.
A key figure of the history of Uluwatu, Gerry Lopez reflected upon the past and had these insightful words on the current waves of change approaching Bali:
“In 1974, the first time I came to Bali, I found very few surfers at Uluwatu and waves of a quality and consistency that I had never experienced before. The surf combined with the languid lifestyle of Kuta Beach plus the genuine and enviable contentment of the Balinese people kept me returning year after year on a regular basis. What attracted me also brought more and more people and as the surfing world grew so did the crowds at Uluwatu.
In the beginning, there were no plastic containers; water, drinks and food came in glass bottles, on plates or maybe banana leaves that would be reused or easily disposed of. Trash was dumped in the ravines, rain washed it out to sea and once again man used the ocean to clean up his mess. This worked, more or less, if the waste was organic but then came plastic containers and more people. Without the infrastructure to support the rapidly escalating usage, the raw sewage and garbage issues reached critical mass in a short time.
Project Clean Uluwatu is the initial effort directed toward dealing with this ever growing problem and for the moment it has the edge. The attractiveness of the waves, the lifestyle and the Balinese people is still as great as it ever was. It does, however, continue to bring visitors in increasing numbers and the wake they leave as they pass is not small. Please support the continuing undertakings of PCU as they tackle this monumental task. We all have a responsibility to protect our natural resources for future generations to enjoy as we have and Uluwatu is an extraordinary treasure that deserves our best efforts.“
This was the most important fundraiser of the year for Project Clean Uluwatu. All the proceeds will go towards the continuation of waste water treatment, rubbish removal, recycling, composting, community gardening, and the completion of a waste water garden facility, which further purifies waste water and sewerage after it has passed through the bio tanks.
Finally, the proceeds will help PCU address future development near the surf break, thus ensuring the protection of the beach, reef, and ocean. PCU executive Tim Russo concluded: "We were so lucky to have the support from Gerry Lopez to do the yin yoga session and talk story for the 3rd annual pcu fundraiser. The timing worked out perfect and it was an awesome opportunity to reflect on the rich culture and history that Uluwatu has become famous for and to reaffirm why people need to act now to protect this beach for future generations"