Atacamenian Hangover

After 3 months of Pachamama-guru gardening in the Andes, I was in dire need of salt water, coastal air and moving water. I set out on a 20-hour bus ride through Martian-like terrain only to arrive at an Atacamenian oasis filled with coastal pampas, lively atmosphere, colorful South American houses and an abundance of reefs.

On the first morning I woke up before first light to check the waves. I found myself in front of empty, overhead sets coming in under the overcast dawn. I suited-up in minutes and paddled out with two other locals. We traded off quick, heavy barrels with hoots and Castellano conversation.  After a while the crowd filled in and I headed in for some toasted flour porridge. I caught on quick to the locals surf schedule and un-crowded waves were bountiful. Dawn patrol sessions, mid morning breakfast followed by a mid-day session, siesta and concluding the day with an evening session quickly became my soul nourishment.

On the 3rd morning, the routine and waves were still holding strong. I suited up and paddled out alone admiring empty-emerald-overhead-right-hand barrels. I waited for a set and caught my first wave. I drove down the line, pulled in, didn’t come out and went straight to the bottom. A flash of light illuminated the ocean green in front of my eyes. I surfaced dazed, confused and with open gash near my temple.

Makeshift duct tape bandages were applied but they only lead to torn-out hair and a delayed bloody-faced taxi ride to the ER. I keenly observed the ikikeñan nurses in hope for more than just a remedy, and as my name was called low and behold the only grey haired, nearly blind surgeon opened the door for me. I’m not sure if it was the lack of eye contact, sparse mental/physical condition questioning, or simply the hairy bloodstained sheets that had me second guessing lying under the lamp. Never the less, the Doc. left me with 5 stitches and a prescription for 1 week of no surfing.

The following days were filled with frustration, relaxation and reflection. It was agony not being able to surf while watching the waves fill in. I quickly became the regular gringo at the bar de zumo. Round after round of zanahoria and naranja kept me hydrated and nourished. Argentinean bodyboarders kept my mind occupied with excessive consumption of yerba Maté, yerba buena and boogie vids. Their hospitality and lifestyle reconnected me with the sport of bodyboarding, and above all why and how I began to travel. It was humbling and motivating to meet more kids in search for waves, travels, adventure, and most importantly not sweating over the bullshit of social pressure and pursuing their own path in life. Although my latest travels haven’t been a hundred percent wave driven, bodyboarding is what sparked my first travels. It has been with me on every trip and it will continue to be so on those to come.

Departing the oasis in return to the farm was an endless filmstrip of arid earth and uncharted coast with tons of potential for waves. Injuring myself due to excitement, lack of local knowledge (being it was low tide) or simply rusty bodyboarding skills was frustrating. However it is the risk when one searches for thrill and is part of the adventure.  I’ve got just under three months left of working la Pachamama until I return home and if I don’t return to the Martian oasis, at least I have a souvenir that I’ll never loose. Good times in South America!

The other West Coast

Full write up to come, but to sum it up. 6 days in Peniche, 3 nights in Porto, 2 in Santiago, Supertubos, empty beach breaks, lucky reefs, 5 germans, 1 kiwi, 2 fins, lost keys, Una guapa Portuguesa, hair in the sheets and Galatian wind.

Sin documentos

¡Qué vago soy! 3 months have passed without an update in my 2nd extended stay in Asturias, España . With that much lagging I thought I’d hold off until the 23rd of December  to celebrate the holidays and the beginning of my stay sin documentos.

Everything started off in all the right ways. In the first two weeks I saw Mundaka unleash itself full force into the  mouth Guernika. Half of the puta Iberian Peninsula was out in water and never have I come across such a multilingual and multicultural lineup in such a remote place. A couple weeks later I road tripped with a local boogie, his ladyfriend, su guapa amiga and 2 dogs along the Cantabrian Coast in an 1987 VW van. That trip is a story all itself that I’ll chronicle later, but between the night life, the morning after and wedges later, it was unforgettable . The following week, I found some offshore and overhead left handers while staying with local Asturian surfer, whose english was as anomalous as his taste in music, coinciding perfectly with his wear house style living situation.

November was stacked with new friends families who dish up some ridiculous Fabada Asturiana, which is always served with sidra,  a couple more trips to Cantabria, some fun peaks at El Brusco y Los Locos and more botellón that you could imagine.

This month has been frigid. Sub zero temps in the city and snow topped mountains in the distance. With the cold and lack of waves, the boozing has increased. I’ve been picking up some local dialect with Excalibur’s People while prowling for chicas buenas. As christmas rolls around and with no set date for return to the Golden State, Iberia’s west coast is calling. With new digi cam in hand and a one way ticket to Lisbon, I plan on trekking from southern Portugal to Northern Galicia over the next 2 weeks. Hopefully some intermittent updates along the way but full story to come mid January.

Feliz Navidades y Buenas Olas

Saluds desde la Peninsula Ibérica.

eat at joe’s

This weekends special was fresh elephant seal intestines, as a seasonal dish. Served marinated & sautéed in dominate male ichor, it’s oily, yet delicateness had even the french fine taste buds frothing, cross dressing and questioning their native tongue. The baby seal face was shocked as well, but indulging himself in cannibal like activities upon his return back from the rock, where the spam is served at room temp, or branch mill style, with a side of beneficial paddling peer pressure. The BSF’s stay at the Murdock colonial was quickly replaced by an academic redbeard on a sugar momma budget. With Señor Glock already reporting double stacked spam, Roldy’s four week stay will have him rejuvenated and capturing the goods. A giraffe kid was reaping nicotine cured tripe as well, with him and the french dusting off their erudition as classes began this week. Willie has been lurking with osos’ oldest hermano, ryan moore, collecting artifacts, droppin’ de knee and blasting full body gymnist inverts. Wilbur is holding it down solid, nursing young Aiden and feeding on PB & Crackberry sandos at Level. But a wiff of cookin’ Mirounga brought out some delinquent like speeding and sweaty bacon. But a chunk of pig is always an unpleasent appetizer(unless it’s your lard card), especially when there is seal on the grill. Gotta thank hoover for the FG’s, although he did miss the pinnacle of seal insides pillaging, bbq’d blubber and fly soup, but we can assume some sort sweet tooth festivities were the conclusion behind that…..

Links –

Camel Corral

A DUB has been killin’ it.