Pacifico de Colombia
Trip Start Jan 24, 2011
6Trip End Jun 04, 2011
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We found a great little bungalow for 12$ a night, and set up shop. There were a few different breaks within 5 min walk from our place, and the beaches were beautiful! On the first day we met two little local kids who liked to surf, so of course they decided to start hanging around with us, since we have extra boards. After our first surf I walked out of the water tired and feeling rusty, the boys were sitting on the beach with a fresh coconut they had just picked, and prepared! Booyah, nothing like coco water fresh off the tree. The little groms were paying off.
We got into a pretty good routine in El Valle. Wake up and surf, go have breakfast, then lounge in the hammock and read during the heat of the day, before paddling back out for a sunset surf. Could have just stayed there for 4 months, but we decided to try our luck further south. So after about a week there we headed by boat to Nuqui. We kind of got ripped off on the fare down to Nuqui, but it seemed like there was only one boat leaving El Valle, so we felt in a pinch.
Nuqui is in a great spot, but the town itself is kind of ugly. The boat ride into the harbor goes up a river along muddy shores, with dirty water flowing around you. We stayed one night there and then headed south again to a place we heard there were some good waves. It seemed like it was going to be an expensive part of our trip, as the area is very remote, and the only real accommodations that are set up for travelers are deluxe resorts. We had heard that there was another surfer in the area (it's that small that you hear about those kinds of things, haha) and to our luck, when we went to catch our boat, we ran into him at the dock. He had lots of great information about the accommīs and surely saved our asses a lot of money. He was staying in a little town called Thermales, living with a localīs mom in her house. The lady had another son in town, and our Dutch surfer friend was able to sort it out for us to rent out the other house. So, for $20 a night, we had our own house (2 bdrms), with a kitchen and fresh water only about 20m off the beach. It was amazing. Especially since staying at any of the other resorts in the area would have been about $70-80 per person/night! It was a huge score. So we lived off a steady diet of rice, eggs, bread, and salchis (canned hotdog) for about 5 days. We cooked all our own meals, and some of the local ladies thought it was pretty funny to see men cooking. Once settled, we were able to hook up 2 epic days of surf at a break 30min by boat away called Pico de Loro. We had the wave to ourselves both days, since the only way to get there is by boat, and almost no one surfs in the area. Itīs a pretty fun left-hand point that breaks over rocks, and picks up more swell than anywhere else in the area. We were pumped to get some good rides in.
Probably the coolest thing about this part of our trip however, was being immersed in the lifestyle that the locals live. We got to live in a local house, and get a feel for the standard of living. The living is very simple, and it basically hasnīt been influenced very much by the changing outside world. No electricity, so cooking and eating at night was by candlelight, there a was toilet 5 houses away, running water sometimes, and it was out back by the neighbours house, and the sorts of groceries available were very minimal. However, the people are the most friendly you will meet; the kids donīt need toys to play with, they are always happily playing some random game; and the land provides them with lots of fruits and forms of food to make up for any shortages of imported food.
We had a lot of fun with the kids. They were interested in anything and everything that we had to show them. We would wake up at 7 and there would be a couple kids sitting on our front porch waiting for us to wake up, and we would have to kick them out at night in order to get to bed. It was pretty funny.
Unfortunately, we had semi-organized the purchase of a VW van back in Quito, and time pressures were getting to us. We needed to return or else we risked losing the purchase (which is hard to find down here). Plus we also felt kind of bad for renting out someoneīs house. So back to Nuqui we went, flew out of there to Cali through Medellin, and then took a long ass bus from Cali to Quito. 2 days of travel, mixed in with one night of partying in Cali, and you get two tried dudes. Now were back in Quito, and are going to finalize this VW we went and started the process yesterday, and today we will hopefully get most of the paperwork done. There are lots of details we need to make sure we cover in order to ensure the least amount of run-inīs with cops and what not along the way.
So weīll see how she goes. Weīre going to get beds made (or make them ourselves depending on time) for the back of the van, and get a sound system put in so we can bump Latin disco beats. Then itīs off to the coast of Ecuador to get back in the water.
Probably write again at some point on the coast. Picīs to come as well.