Sunday 19th March FIRST IMPRESSIONS
I like to travel solo, I enjoy the freedom and independence, experiencing the world unfiltered by anyone elses perspective, meeting people and being invited into their lives more easily. I try and prepare myself as much as I can because I have no one to rely on but myself. I read up about a new place I’m visiting, learn about what to expect, plan transport and accommodation. Except this time I didn’t. All I had to go on were Steve Fitzpatrick’s photos of epic winter sessions in
Coming from Ireland I pictured all of the Caribbean as little palm tree covered islands, white sandy beaches, slow paced life, small colourful villages… I got a bit of surprise flying into
Monday 20th March. Head west. Hideous traffic on the highway. Bumper to bumper out of
Tues 21st MarchThe predicted swell hasn’t arrived yet. In fact it’s looking pretty grim for the week. I keep hearing how I really missed it last Saturday – the swell of the season. Secret spots that only break a few times a year were going off… I don’t wanna get skunked. I guess its best to have no expectations.Have the ultimate PR brekkie experience, ‘quesitos’ at the local Panaderia. A must-have, highly addictive sweet pastry filled with cream cheese! Bad but oh-so-good!
Sat 25th March.Surf PR’S Rocky Pt. today with local surfer Pablo. I can see why it’s known as a rocky pt. It’s on the outskirts of the city and the most consistent
Monday 27th March.Things tend to fall in to place when you let go. Last week I was despairing I wouldn’t get any surf and in the week I’ve been here I’ve scored 7 of some of the island’s best breaks, including a few which can’t be named!
Surf a wave called ‘Junk’ today though its far from it! A long, very hollow, very shallow, bodyboard infested, fast left – dangerously beautiful. I don’t have time to dwell on the sharpness of the urchin covered reef or how to tackle the sucking lefts detonating on the reef – I’m in such a hurry to get changed and get out there, away from these bloody ‘neversee’em mozzies’ that are so found of feasting on my sweet Irish blood! Paddling out along the line-up I realise not only am I the only girl out here but I’m the only stand-up surfer amongst 50+ local spongers! I get accepted in the line up by shouting ‘VOY,VOY,VOY! MIRA VOY!!’ on my first wave. It works a treat, nobody drops in on me then! The best wave of the session, a long fast wall, lip pitching over my head…Definitely the most important Spanish phrase to know. Steve swims out with his water housing, encouraging me into some heaving closeouts. I get slammed a few times but relatively unscathed!
Tues 28th MarchGet up at the crack of dawn to make the most of the early morning glass. Take a path through jungle and climb down a cliff to one of the most beautiful set-ups I’ve seen; a hidden beach with a perfect steep, hollow right breaking in front of a rock shelf at the bottom of cliffs. The sea, dark, oily glass and only a handful of bodyboarders! Slide into the last waves of the trip before the sky darkens and the wind picks up. Eat my last quesito on Wilderness beach, its divine! The wind is up and the surf blown out. It looks like it might rain. Time to go home.‘Looking back Is to seeThe souls Image of a universeUnfoldBefore your eyes.’– Lady Lee Andrews, Puerto Rican poet.