First time in Africa.

First time in Africa.

I’m quite surprised I made it to Morocco since my plane was an hour late leaving Spain and I didn’t get to my connecting gate until 15 minutes after boarding time. However, apparently the planes never take off on time from Casablanca, so although I was late, they had only just started boarding. After a short flight at a 50 minute drive, I was welcomed to my hotel with some traditional Moroccan tea. I paired it with a veggie Tajine for dinner. It was completely enjoyable to eat it alongside the ocean. I slept well that night to the sound of waves in my own bedroom. This place I’m staying at is super nice!

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The next morning I had an early morning surf session at a spot about an hour away. After breakfast we drove out there and I was able to take in the landscape. The coast was beautiful and the inland was rolling hills covered with Argon trees. We drove down a steep hill and were suddenly in a fisherman village. This spot apparently has the longest riding waves in the area. I was excited to get started. It was a bit chilly so I was glad we were wearing wetsuits. However, once getting in the water I was even more glad. I’ve never surfed in cold water before and it was a bit of a shock! However, I “warmed” up to it pretty quickly. After a few hours of surf I was very tired and starting to get cold. We at some sandwiches and had some tea while we sat and watched others still surfing. I heard someone yelling dooooonutss fresh dooooonuts and I flagged him down. He was carry huge donuts in a tray (ballpark style) and would dip them in sugar while they were still warm. They were delicious! Some others ordered some fish, which I tried, but didn’t want my own since you literally get the whole fish. One of the guys decided to go out again but I was still feeling very tired so just lied down on a bench in the sun.

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We arrived back at the hotel around 5pm, showered, had dinner (this time a chicken curry which was my favorite so far…also there isn’t any alcohol on the menu which was a nice break after daily sangria in Spain), and then waited up for my friend Kristi who was arriving tonight. She didn’t get in until 10pm, but it was great to see a familiar face!

Surf and Sushi.

This morning was the final surf for most of us. The waves weren’t as good as yesterday, but what I loved was that it was storming. The sky looked ominous and eventually it started raining. There is nothing better than getting caught in the rain when you’re already wet. I caught a couple good waves today, but I also swallowed a fair share of salt water! Another fun and successful morning.

The rest of the day was spent literally doing nothing mixed in with a little reading, some hammock action, and a bit of packing. Around 5pm a few of us were having some pre-dinner drinks. Amongst the stories told, there was one about portals and UFOs nearby. I swear I saw a UFO last time I was in Costa Rica.. we figured it was just a comet with a fire tail…but now it has me wondering again…

We all went out for dinner tonight, to a really great Sushi place. The atmosphere was perfect with the outside tables, cafe lights and live chill music. The sushi was killer and it was a great last supper for our crew. We had already lost Jon and Jennifer earlier today, but two new people joined tonight. Saying goodbye is a sad ritual, we all  know approximately when someone is leaving so we hang out in the common area and when their cab pulls up we all give hugs and say goodbye.

The next morning it was my dad’s turn, and that was the most sad! I’m going to miss his company. My turn followed shortly after, although I really wasn’t going that far.. I hopped into a cab with Simone and Klaus and headed to Santa Teresa where I checked into my hostel. Let the solo times roll..

Shred and Tread

Shred and Tread

Today’s tide allowed for both me and my dad to surf in the morning. Mine was at 6am and his at 8am. I had another great time and I think my best waves yet. Although, I’m really starting to feel sore in my arms, but luckily my coach today, Danny, gave me a tow so I could catch one last wave. I never turn down a free tow out to the green, but I tried to keep it low key so the others wouldn’t get jealous LOL. Since our afternoon was free, we booked ATVs to ride to Montezuma.

It was a dusty ride, but the views were worth it! We drove through the town and then along the coast and eventually through the jungle. There was endless vegetation, animals, and beautiful ocean to look at. Although, I feel horrible because the Halloween crabs are starting to come out now that it’s beginning to rain and while I tried my best to avoid them, I ran over two :(((((

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We arrived and hiked to the water fall where we went for a swim. It felt great to get all of the dust off. Then, walked around town for a bit before heading back and stopping at the cutest bakery where we bought très leche cake (quattro leche since we washed it down with milk). The plan was to stop at a beach bar on the way back, but we passed by some kids selling coconuts and I always support lemonade/coconut stands since I know the hustle very well. That, plus the cake made us too full so we just kept riding.

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We returned in time to shower and make the daily sunset drinks at Pranamar Villas. Back at Shaka, they were playing 80s music so a dance party began with the featured groove, the backpack kid dance. I tried not to eat too many of our favorite chips, Gina’s, because it was pizza night. Then….the pizza came out! We ate our weight in pizza only to learn that John and Jennifer brought ice cream sandwiches for everyone, so we ate some more. The brand of ice cream is called Trits, which turned into a game of using the ice cream name in exchange for something that sounds similar (think about it). You can probably guess who went to bed first.

Shaka Shred

Shaka Shred

To my delight, the first day of surf was at 2pm, meaning I was able to sleep in. After a morning yoga session focused on shoulders I indulged in a delicious breakfast and then lounged around until it was time to get ready to surf. Admittedly, I felt the need to perform well to show I’ve actually improved since I was last here in 2016.

I had my same surf instructor as last time, Mike. I enjoy joking around with him, but I tried my best to stay focused for my dad’s sake. I’m happy to report that we both fared well in the waves…me a bit further back 😉 It was so much fun to get out there again. I just love the waves at this beach. Since today was a success for me, I was given the option to do the morning surf tomorrow behind the break. At first I said no, but with some encouragement from the others who went out this morning I committed.

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Continue reading “Shaka Shred”

Etiquette.

Etiquette.

Does anyone know the etiquette on co-ed rooms? Do I knock first…? Should I wear a bra to bed…? When the first guy walked in, I admit I was a little thrown off. By day two though, it’s actually not that bad with the exception of I have to walk all the way to the bathroom to change. He happens to be very respectful and also a lot of fun. An Irishman eh. We ended up even going the zoo together. I actually prefer him to my female roomie. She introduced herself and then handed me ear plugs because she snores. That was a first. The good news? I didn’t need them because the sound of the waves outside my window drowned her out. The better news? She only stayed one night.

Pro Tip: It’s acceptable to hang your towel the long way on your bunk to dry while simultaneously giving yourself a privacy curtain.

Another etiquette to take note of is surfing. I think that intimidates me more than co-ed rooms. There are rules.. such as who has the right-of-way on the wave. The last thing I want to do is steal someone else’s wave, and then not even catch it. In soccer I can jump in and school even the boys. I hope to reach that competence in surfing one day. It’s always better to go out there with a buddy. I met two girls (London and Canada) who are similar experience as me. I invited them to Bondi Beach hoping to catch some waves or in the very least, it’s always better to embarrass yourself with someone you know watching. It’s true. Have you ever tripped and no one saw? It’s awkward because you want to talk about it and acknowledge the embarrassment. You almost want someone to laugh at you. Anyways, we surfed and managed not to hit anyone or annoy anyone. We also managed to catch 0 waves. I promise this is a fluke. Word around the beach was that the waves were flat, so I’m going with that. Regardless, my surfboard was hella cute!

Pro Tip: Get a hostel like Bondi Backpackers that rents free surf boards!