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Hippie Trail Gold

Uluwatu. Photo: Trevor Murphy
Alby Falzon, 1971
Peter McCabe, Uluwatu, mid-'70s. Photo: Dan Merkel
1970s Balinese painting

Details of the Kevin Naughton-Craig Peterson adventures—the single-fin boards, the mustaches, the endless procession of surf-rack-equipped Volkswagens—would all soon be pinned like butterflies in the display case of 1970s surfing. Naughton and Peterson continued to travel in years to come, but they seemed to accept their assigned place in the cultural timeline. Their first retrospective article, as if on cue, was published in 1980. The spirit of surf exploration, meanwhile, just grew stronger...

The Bukit Peninsula dangled like a pendant, glittering, off the end of Bali. But metaphysically it was on the wrong side of the tracks. Every Balinese knew the friendly gods lived in the mountains, while demons lived in the sea. In their view, surfing, as one writer put it, “was a bit like playing soccer in a cemetery."