Good fish, pretty places & barreling waves
A quick movie on an epic start:
Not knowing much about the country or the swell forecast, I was only planning on picking up Katie from the airport and finding a cute little place to start surfing less! After one night in dodgy Managua Katie arrived and we made our way to Playa Gigante, a picturesque fishing village that hasn’t been affected by the growing influx of surfers to this magic country. From Playa Gigante it’s a 20min walk to a wave called Amorillo, and we also quickly realised that it was 40min walk from Colorado – the world class barreling wave. To add to that, once again, we timed it well and arrived during what was apparently the biggest swell they’ve had this year… I don’t know if this is true but it made us feel even luckier to be there! Colorado was barreling in shallow waters, with a lot of close outs, but a few gun surfers were having a ball. 500m passed Colorado is Ponga Drops which got its name from a ponga boat (local fishing boat) who once got caught here by a wave. This spot gets more swell and whilst Colorado was 4 to 5 ft, this place was a getting some solid 6ft sets, but much more manageable for me.
To top it all off, I had another little story published, in Australian magazine TRACKS. See here
We are now in San Juan Del Sur, taking Spanish lessons and surfing Playa Hermosa, Playa Remanso and Playa Maderas.
Tips: Camino de Gigante is an awesome hostel located at the end of the main/only road in the village. It is right on the beach and is set up just the way you would want it to be, with a wooden bar out the front and hammocks on the sand. Private rooms are $26, and dorms $10. Food-wise, the little restaurant at the bottom of the hill in the village makes awesome local food with mains around 100 Cordobas (about $4.5), and the small Internet café makes unreal food from 8am to 5pm: home-made cookies and bread, incredible burritos and fresh fruit juices-and is not expensive at all.
Getting there from Managua: it takes a 2.5 bus to Rivas ($2 and $1 for your board), then one to Tola (50cents and 30min) then hitch hike to Playa Gigante (18km) if you don’t want to take a cab ($30). So far it has never taken us more than 10 minutes to get a ride in Nicaragua, even with the surfboard.
To go back to Tola, school buses are a good option and leave at 6am every weekday morning!