Playing in the Jungle
With Shannon’s feet firmly back on Ozzie soil, we caught up with our barrel-loving jungle-dweller on her new Indo home, it’s perfect waves and the occasional hazards; the price to pay for living in paradise.
Having tied the knot, Indo-style, with local shredder Imer, and built their new home from scratch, Shannon is taking time out to catch up with family and friends, and the clear, refreshing ocean of South coast WA.
“I still have a couple of boards in Aus so I hope to get some waves while I am there. I wouldn’t mind partying a little too as it is pretty quiet in the jungle hahaha” – Shannon
“So this past year we have built our house. We did it all ourselves, with help of Imer’s family, from cutting the wood through to building it. The whole thing! I did the ceramics, electrics and plumping myself and Dad came over to help us set up a solar power system so we have free, quiet power. Our veggie garden is getting there, so far we have tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, sweet potatoes, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, taro, bananas, and papayas. We’ve got so many avocado trees planted too.”
“We have two new puppies, they are pretty big now. Their names are Bunyip, which means a mythical Australian animal, and Sandy, coz he’s always sandy!”
The Pet Pig:
“Our pet pig, Babi Girl, is really cool, she can sit on command. I think she must have watched the dogs and learnt from them. And she loves cuddles… as soon as you start patting her, she flops down on the ground for a tummy scratch!”
“My surfing has improved a lot since I started living here, especially my barrel riding skills. I’m still working on getting deeper in the barrel and taking the right line on the wave. That is what I want to focus on improving at the moment, being able to read the wave effectively so that I set my line up better for the barrel. Also I am trying to work on my top turns, trying to do more vertical turns rather than just carves and tail slides.”
“So my craziest story is about being bitten by a snake. It happened at dusk, just before it was dark. I was walking along the edge of a muddy trail, barefoot, with no torch, and then, bang, something got me. I hopped quickly, about 100m, to the nearest homestay and under the lights of the building I saw the two telltale puncture marks and knew for sure it was a snake. We got as many bandages as we could, which was only one haha, and used some other cloth to wrap it up. My friend ran off to get my husband and his Dad, who is a traditional medicine man. He went off into the jungle to collect some leaves to put on the bite, which I think helped with reducing the inflammation, and cooling my foot down.
I had some pain killers but other than that I just had to ride it out. So so painful. My whole leg swelled up, I thought I might die, but after surviving the first 40 minutes and not feeling dizzy or feverish I figured I should be able to ride it out. I couldn’t walk or stand or even sit up for over a week. Imer, my husband, had to carry me the five metres from the bed to the toilet and shower for over a week, I couldn’t even get that far by myself. Only after two weeks could I hobble around very short distances. My leg was pretty numb, and painful the whole time. When I lost movement of it in the first week, that was when I got pretty worried and thought I may not be able to walk again. But in the end it all turned out okay and I have full function again and have been barrelled many times since, so it must be all good!”
Snake bites aside, Shannon really has made her dreams a reality! Living off nature, in beautiful surroundings, with her hairy companions and supportive husband … and one hell of a wave in her front yard!