Discovering surfing at in my late twenties led me to change a few things in my happy little Melbournian life. Between twenty-eight and thirty-one years old, I tried to improve by surfing every weekend around Melbourne and spending my holidays in Reunion Island, East Java, Telo Islands, Mexico or Lombok. I actually had a ball doing that, but something was really stuck in my system: I wanted to experience the “Endless Summer,” where nothing is planned too far ahead, and the blackberry doesn’t need to be checked most evenings for random work matters.
Packing up everything and interrupting the momentum of some kind of career was a surprisingly tough decision. It seems easy to get stuck in having it all planned out. At the time of writing this, all I know is that I don’t know where I will be surfing next week… but I will be surfing. I almost felt guilty for having such freedom in the first few weeks, but that feeling is now long gone.
For the past five weeks, I have been in Peru. And it is fantastic.
Just flying to Lima was unreal: Iberia forgot to charge me 300 Euros for my board bag. They upgraded me to business class, which was my last taste of luxury for a while. To top it all up, they slightly damaged my board and gave me $690 to replace it! Happy times!
I don’t want to tell anyone how to suck eggs, but if crowds are what bother surfers, Peru might be a good option. It is exactly like what I thought a surf trip should be – maybe because it all seems so removed from the western world. Numerous point breaks, awesome food, ultra easy transport and the friendliest locals. I am surprised that it is not more often featured in the media; perhaps because of the arid look of the places, or perhaps because the water is not often aqua blue.
When traveling, we all perceive things very differently but it would be hard to deny the following:
Chicama is truly a memorable place to experience. Yes, it is the longest left in the world, and surfing a wave for over a minute is pure pleasure. It even barrels on the inside section.
Lobitos is unusual, being located in an abandoned military base, with oil wells replacing palm trees. I am not sure that it has the best wave in South America as often said, but it definitely has the best level of surfing.
Lima has heaps of waves, from the barreling La Herradura, to the busy Costa Verde.
In addition to these three places, there are tons of unreal waves, mainly lefts, often in tiny places like Puemape were only 20 people live. Pico Alto is often compared to Sunset Beach in Hawaii due to the size of this monster.
I almost feel bad bragging about a country that is not suffering yet from wave-celebrity status, but if the growing surf fraternity spreads a bit wider, Indonesia, California & Hawaii could reverse back to being cruisy surfing destinations. It doesn’t hurt to be hopeful!