Saturday, October 30, 2010

Surf and a Trip to Vallarta

We woke up with a mission to get wet after being skunked up north even though we knew it was hardly worth but we were men on a mission. Joe whipped up some great scrambled eggs and we had egg tacos with some great salsa before loading up the van. When we hit the parking area for La Lancha I was extremely discouraged by the sheer number of vehicles I saw there and couple that with a dropping swell and you get pure drop in madness. A drop in is when a surfer drops into a wave another surfer is already riding and committed to, thus cutting him off and possibly creating somewhat of a dangerous situation. A drop in, snaking or whatever you want to call it is extremely rude and in some places in the world it will quickly get you a beat down back on the beach.

When we hit the beach it was packed. There must have been 20 surfers in the water fighting it out for waist high slop and I could tell the attitude would be aggressive especially with us three just showing up. The bad part of La Lancha is that you can see all the surfers coming in so sometimes its hard not to get a bad attitude. We paddled out and fought other surfers for the inside and next thing I know, only Joe and I are catching waves! Everyone else was fighting for the very rare “big set” that would come through so that left us on the inside with a few others to take our pick. The rides were fast and short but hey we were catching waves so I cannot complain. Then a pack of 12 surfers on longboards show up. Basically with a longboard, they can catch the smallest of small waves before any shorter boards can enter as we need a steeper entry to catch the wave. Shit….

They hit the water and immediately I figure out they are total beginners which changes things. Its pretty rude for beginning surfers to paddle out and crowd a good wave so I was not cutting them any slack. I motioned for Joe that it was game on and drop ins and blocks were going to be legal and he agreed. I started putting myself into positions right in the middle of them to make them nervous and I took my share of waves with no reguard to them. It may sound very rude and well, it is but we have all started somewhere and I started at the crappiest breaks until I could handle myself in the water. Every surfer knows the dangers of large fiberglass boards with razor sharp fins, especially a LONGBOARD (read 9ft boards) in the hands of a beginner. Someone is begging to be injured! So in exchange for their rudeness and totally obliviousness to the danger they were creating, I became an asshole and took what I wanted from them. In my defense, beginners are usually so happy they are in the water on the board “looking the part” they don’t even know what I was doing was rude and breaking all the major etiquette. The best was the blocking though, purpose diagonal paddling down in front of them into a wave so they are obligated to stop paddling or risk a collision.

Finally I calmed down a little and talked to them. One of the guys tried to drop in on a good Mexican surfer and that’s where I became vocal. “hey dude, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Dropping in on a Mexican local who is riding a 12ft Stand Up Paddle board (SUP) with a 6ft paddle in his hand? He’ll bash your brains in on the beach dude”. His reply was “ohh no, I was just paddling for nothing”. Right.. jackass. It became even more crowded and we were happy so we got out and headed into Puerto Vallarta for adventure and some great tacos I found in Mismaloya. I had been telling this guys for several days about this place and it was basically a 2 hour drive to get there but man was it worth it!

If you find yourself visiting Vallarta and you make your way to Mismaloya, stop right in the small town off the road to your left, heading up to Eden canopy tours. The place is called “Juan and Only” which I find hilarious and the tacos will leave your mouth drooling. A fish taco there is only 12 pesos, about 1.10usd which is NOTHING and I promise, they are some of the best tacos I have ever had in this country.

After the tacos we headed back into Old Vallarta because its much more beautiful than all that modern hotel tourist shit with Starbucks, Home Depot and Outback Steakhouse. We wondered around for a little while and finally found ourselves on the malecon or seawall in English. We watched a typical Indian dance where they swing from a tall pole by their feet while one gay stays atop and plays the flute and a small drum. I have seen it once when I was 15 and in Tulum Mexico with my dad so it was nice to see it again. Joe and Paul were pretty blown away so it was cool to show them a cultural experience from Mexico. We checked out the Huichol (pronounced WE-chole) art store and that was awesome. They are a major group of Indians that used to inhabit the coast line until farmers, government and hotels drove them into the mountains and out of their lands. Now they live deep in the Sierra Madre in several states and their land is somewhat protected. The story of every indigenous culture, we will take your shit if it is worth some money. Sad Sad story of the world but what can you do? Their culture places major importance on the use of Peyote to talk to their Gods and to help guide themselves and their peoples. They make amaaaazing artwork all based on their visions and its extremely cool.

We left Vallarta and swung into Walmart which was packed for Halloween and Day of the Dead (dia de los muertos) celebrations but we just needed a few items and got the heck out and got back to our hotel. It was a pretty cool day and a great adventure. Joe’s time is running out and Im sad to see him go and I imagine he is feeling the same. I hope that he has had a good time down here and things will get better for him when he returns home. Now is the time to think about my next plan of action, stay and ride this swell to the max or head south. Im leaning hard on staying for a few more days, as the guru Allan Weisbecker said, never drive away from good surf.

1 comment:

Texas Roadrunners said...

Happy Halloween. Glad you are getting some water time. Have fun!