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almost home

Nov 12

Lonely road to empty waves

Down a series of long, dusty tracks across an empty desert, nothing to look at but sand and rocks and the frequent empty left point breaks that scatter desolate coastal Peru. This was my 5th trip to this country.  No, I’ve never been to Machu Picchu.  Yes, I’ve been to Chicama, and a ton of other breaks as well.  This surf trip brought the best waves I’ve ever surfed in Peru.

The 2010 Peru crew:

the 2010 Peru crew

Driving through Peru means having to bribe the police every hour or so.  People are driving aggressively, pedestrians walk in the street almost getting hit by cars, and tuk tuks weave in and out of traffic like this is some kind of video game.  Driving along the coast, one feels like they are on the movie set of Black Hawk Down or Mad Max. On our journey, we realize that tourism has yet to make it to most of these places. In a town of 50,000 people we are still the only “out-of-towners”.  The people are incredibly poor, yet so incredibly friendly.  It makes you feel like shit because you own an ipod and an iphone.

a lonely town near a lonely beach

Once you make it a few hours north of Lima, you pull off of the main road and enter a town that looks like this.  You follow the road until it makes its way down to the water’s edge.  Miles from civilization, the only thing on the beach is this little fish camp.

nothing but a couple shacks on the beach...

and an empty point break…

old school longboard cruising on the nose, so stoked

With an empty break and dozens of surfboards, we had the opportunity to ride a different board every day.  Longboard, shortboard, fish board, retro thruster; it never gets old.

Antonio charging the left point

Here is Antonio, one of the first surfers from Peru and a good friend of mine.  He helped put this trip together for us.  Antonio has been charging these waves for the last 40 years.

On this trip I mainly surfed an old school twin fin thruster that Antonio has in his quiver. It was super thick and caught everything, and on the wave it would really tear it up.  Flash and Andres started calling me Joey Lopez on that board, which got me stoked, though Gerry Lopez doesn’t have the giant arms to deal with.  Wanting to give respect to the old school, the Peru crew held the annual mustache contest.  Please give us your feedback so we can decide the winner!

Dirty Mustache Contest

(left to right, starting with the top row)

Amish Chinstrap
Freebird
Frenchie
Bigote Chino
the Milk Man
the Babysitter
Ice Trucker
Got Meth?
Dirty Sanchez

stuck on the edge of the earth

At the edge of the earth, the road ends and it turns into sand.  You need a good crew to help push the bus when you get this far.  Fortunately we had a great group this year.  The trip was just awesome.  So sad to see it end, but I’m definitely excited to get home. It has been 3 weeks since I hung with my wife and boys, much longer than it ever should have been.  pura vida.

PS- The Peru trip for next year will be November 5-12, 2011.

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