the oracle

i woke this morning at 6,30am.  had a bite to eat then headed off in search of surf. first stop, tonel, two minutes up the road. a nice wave there, maybe a metre and a half so i decided to head north to ariffana.
ariffana lies 22 miles north of me on the west coast, it has to be one of the most beautiful drives i know. at 7am i left home, and saw some of my portuguese chums walking home from the nightclub.
the sun was gently rising in the sky as i headed deeper into the national park on this end of the algarve.
climbing the hills into the forrest was a gorgeous start to any day, the pine and eucalyptus trees leaving a most awakening smell in the air, a very light mist hanging on the hills and in the valleys and sunbeams lighting up the mist as they krept through the hill side and onto the valley floor – tree lined avenues and the heavy scent of eucalyptus and pine – better than waking up with Dido (and that is saying something).
Ariffana is one of those beaches that remains in your memories. at the foot of 100 foot cliffs, it nestles with sandy beaches and at the right time of the tide, with a sweel from the northwest, gives the best longboard ride in the algarve.
today, i had timed it to perfection.  at 7,45am, i suited up and walked across the beach to join the other 5 surfers that had already started their paddle.  the wave was perfect. a metre and a half with the occasional head high wave.
after a few frustrating attempts i finally started to catch.  three beautiful long lefts followed by a most amazing right hander.  being goofy means i ride a right backside – with my back to the wave.  i watched a wave forming and as it began to break i took a gamble that it would reform as it pushed over the sand bank.  i could go left or right but decided on a right – the best choice.
up and riding, trimming nicely on the face, three quarters along the board with a wide stance.  I crouched and grabbed a rail with my left hand, my first rail on the new board.  perfect set up and stance, rode all the way in until i saw the wave breaking to my right.  just before it closed out on me, i did a trademark frosberie flop over the wall of water and landed on my back.  so stoked was i with this one ride, my arms were raised in the air in triumph – and i was still under the water!
an epic ride – probably the best of my life so far, always worth getting up early for waves like this.  after an hour and a half, the tide had pushed in far enough to have completely changed the shape of the wave – so it was time to get out.
after yesterday woes – all was good again, i dont know what was wrong yesterday, i have no idea where the woes went, but they went.  back on form in the algarve – it feels so good.
when i was changing, some spanish guy arrived and spoke to me, unusual this, i normally have a strong dislike for most of the spanish, but these guy were ok – they even sppoke slowly enough so that i could understand them – normally they speak like speedie gonzales.
so all is good.  now i am at work fixing my car and my bike, the beaches are full of tourists who will sit there all day and fight over waves that arent worth a toss and when they are bored at 6pm, i will meet james at tonel and we will surf into the sunset.
tonight, i head to lagos again with russ and sarah for a chinese and finish the night back in sagres in the bubble lounge, a reggae rock band playing live
i love this place – i love life!!!!!!

Have a moan - the beers are on me !!

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