I recently met a sports journalist from Montana, Mike, while on my last Nicaraguan adventure. I felt extremely proud because he already knew of my blog! Being new to this story-telling, movie-making and photography-taking world, I jumped on the occasion to ask him for the magic ingredients to a good story.
One of his many valuable tips was to describe what I see, smell or feel. I explained how I found it hard to do this because almost every place I surf at is pretty special, but I don’t want to sound as though I am bragging about a different surf paradise on a weekly basis! I don’t think the lovely people who read my stories would really enjoy that and the stories themselves would lose some of their impact.
The place where I met Mike made it even harder because I experienced something there that I didn’t really think existed. Well, I knew it would have been around some years ago, when surfing was as soulful as you see it in Endless Summer, but maybe not now, not since online forums, guides, and forecasts often contribute to making great waves as crowded as a Guatemalan chicken bus! It is one of those places that is not talked about, by natural choice from whoever finds it because they feel a sense of responsibility to keep it the magic, uncrowded barrel-fest that it is…
I felt good there, and never intimated by the few very good lads who would encourage me to pull into the best barrels I’ve had…the only ones really! The surroundings also contributed to this sense of comfort: lush grass, horses, fresh water from the well, and coconuts in abundance. Seeing the same few people every morning, and being happy to have a chat, waiting for the sets to roll in was also unique. I usually hope to be on my own when I get in the water at 5:30am – not there. It was that good that it would have been a shame not to share it… everywhere you look was barreling, and most of them empty.
If there is one thing that you can be sure of with traveling, it’s that there seems to be some kind of a pleasant surprise pretty much everyday; a gift from another traveler, a huge electric storm, a great hostel with an eccentric owner, a glassy morning surf, or a local prepared to show you a good time and doesn’t mind that you understand less than half of what he says… I love my Melbourne life, but things are a bit more predictable over there!