by Gerry Lopez
I spent a lot of time surfing a spot in Indonesia called G-Land. Remotely located on the edge of the Alas Purwo National Park, on the southeastern tip of Java, it was, relatively speaking, far from civilization. Actually, as the Indonesian sea eagle flies, it was only about 15 kilometers from the nearest village but with the terrain and local inhabitants in between, it might as well have been a million miles. Residents of that area included the Java tiger, herds of wild boars, the Indonesian wild water buffalo, the Komodo dragon, more deadly snakes than one could shake a stick at… well, I often wondered what I was doing out there with no more protection than a few surfboards.
Patagonia surf ambassador, Gerry Lopez, shares a story today about life before single-use plastics. Read on for some rarely seen photos from the early days at G-Land and an opportunity to join the Plastic Pollution Coalition. [Above: With waves like this, who would want to do anything else all day long? Gerry at G-Land, sometime in the late '70s or early '80s. Photo: ©Don King]
In the mid to late 1970s, we were permitted to build a temporary camp with some bamboo tree houses and a shack to cook in. The lack of human presence made the beaches – the only area we frequented – absolutely pristine. We brought our drinking water in glass bottles, the only containers available at that time. We dug latrines out in the jungle and burned all of our garbage. When the coming of the monsoons heralded the end of the surf season, we left.