Thursday, July 30, 2009
you can check out my humble contribution to the drift blog collective here, and see photos of stitches and UFO ice cream. for those of you who don't know drift, i highly recommend it. along with the surfer's journal, which i'd love to get my hands on, it basically ignores the high-adrenaline world of pro surfing competitions, gearfests and gab to focus on the art, inspiration and culture of downhome surfing...
Saturday, July 25, 2009
la gloria, one of lima's best restaurants, has opened a joint out in the country called 'la gloria campestre' and it is beautiful. set in the middle of a working farm that raises all kinds of organic greens and spices for a few select restaurants in lima, most of the cooking is done outside. the breads and meats are done in clay ovens and only a few things, like pasta, are done in an indoor kitchen. a lot of people in peru still cook outdoors over fires every day, especially in poor towns or the mountains, and a lot of dishes simply taste better with smokey flavor. eating is a big deal in peru and food hasn't been industrialized like in other countries. most producers are small scale. frozen fish doesn't exist, you can only get it fresh, and animals are fed real feed and slaughtered shortly before meal time, so the goat, duck, pig and turkey taste exceptional. still, i'm thinking that when i hit 40 i'll become a vegetarian again.
a big turnout today at a break in chilca for a bodyboard competition billed as part of one global circuit or another. the merchandising and blaring music and tv crews were a turn off, but the trip out was worth it because, supposedly, it's a 'newly discovered break.' hard to get to and you basically need a four wheel drive or a horse to get out to the break once you make it past miles of huge ovens where they cook bricks from dirt dug up from old seafloor. apparently peru's military controls the hills behind the break, so for years people weren't allowed in. it's a big, heavy wave, very fast, with a thick lip and today, so far as i could tell, it couldn't be surfed. the body boarders often were stuck in the foam as soon as they dropped in and couldn't get over to a face that folded over quickly. maybe on a smaller day. it looks and behaves like a beach break, but i think there is a reef near the shore line that causes it to jack up quickly. there is a big slab of rock that sits in front of the break, but i couldn't tell if it was part of a bigger mass extending into the water. i don't know. it could have just been hype by the town of chilca, which also promotes itself as a favorite landing pad of UFOs, trying to lure day trippers.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
please surf on over to drift, a fantastic surfing magazine that operates a bit like a collective and has put up a blogging platform for surfers. i'm honored that they asked little old me to participate. i'll be contributing posts there as well as here, and hopefully will figure out a way to post in both places at the same time. my page at drift is already up and running, though i'm in the process of writing my first post. check out the nifty photos...
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
here's a photo of pico alto, the big wave spot south of lima that you need to get towed into on a jetski. it breaks right near a bunch of other surf spots i frequent. i've never surfed pico alto as it dies quickly and i can't say i find huge waves all that alluring, but this is a great photo. it was taken by a friend of mine, a professional...
Monday, July 20, 2009
okay, i admit it. i was feeling sorry for myself for a cut i suffered on my cheek on saturday at puerto viejo, where the waves were up to 10 feet and the line-up was so crowded that twice i dropped in on waves only to look up and see someone at the bottom of the wave waiting to get runover. there were accidents that happened, and others waiting to happen all over the place. handling a drop on a big wave is much tougher than on a small wave and when there are a bazillion people in front of you it's that much tougher. on the one good wave i caught, i waited to pop up until i had steered left of about five people. but the other times i wasn't as lucky and one time my cheek hit someone's fin. another time my nose hit someone in the shoulder. the big lesson here, for me, is that it's a waste of time and dangerous to go out when it's super crowded, even when the waves are great. and saturday was the most crowded i've ever seen it here. so, i was moping around for the last two days until i read this... ed over at quality peoples, which you can check out here, had a downright awful experience the other day. as his tale shows, surfing is the only sport i've encountered where you can have a purely blissful, almost cosmic experience one day, only to find yourself screaming in agony and feeling like a torture victim the next... (by the way, i'd say it was a stingray that got him. i got stung once and an old fisherman's wife put my foot in a bucket of cold water, rubbed tree sap on it, and then told her 10-year-old grandson light up a cigarette and blow the smoke on it. she also said the poison goes straight to your boobs if you are a woman, and straight to your balls if you're a man).
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
nice waves this morning at punta roquitas, glassy and windless, with 5 foot waves that required you to pump like mad to make it through the sections. a nice little challenge. it can be a very, very fun break. especially on a fish that allows you to take off just a bit earlier than would be possible on a thruster. it can also be a tricky break, with quick close outs that hurt unless you pick your waves carefully. i thought today that lima should really make a big push to clean up the bay, and maybe even move some rocks around on the shallow, rocky floor to improve the shape of the waves. peru has an important surfing culture, but it could be bigger and deeper, it seems.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
southern peru is in day 3 of a 12 foot swell. things are very, very big. tried to surf caballeros on sunday but couldn't get into a wave, and on the inside things were a bit too nutty. will try again today at a more mellow break. hopefully the video will work.