Today we went surfing for the first time ever. It started with us getting up and getting breakfast down the street at Big Wave Daves. It’s decent food but as Nicaragua goes over priced. If you want those typical white persone breafasts you’re used to this is a good place. It started raining while we were in there, nay I say pouring. This was the first day on our trip that the big rain storm of the day wasn’t in the afternoon but instead in the morning. It was strange and extremely wet and the most rain we had seen on the entire trip. We headed over to the tour office hoping that the surfing trip would still be on, us figuring that you’re getting wet anyways right?
So luckily it was all still a go. We got there at 9:30, we didn’t head out until about 10:30, that is surfer time apparently. Hopped in the back of another land rover type vehicle and headed out to the beach with a few Americans and our Nicaraguan instructors. Road was surprisingly good for a while being the nice cobblestone they have but then we left that road and headed across someones land it would seem to the beach. Since it was still pouring we ended up fording 13 different streams. Some of which probably don’t exist when it’s not raining but it looked like most of them did.
Made it to the beach, Playa Hermosa I believe we were on, and got outfitted for boards and rash guards. Dropped our stuff at the bar, not in the lockers we were promised and charged extra for, and hoped it would still be there later. Lessons started with a bunch of talk and walk through on the beach. It’s pretty straight forward and really doesn’t require a lot of explaining. Point board towards shore, paddle hard, stand up, surf. The helpful information was while walking out into the waves (you could wade in the water on nice sand until up to your head) you should drag/shuffle your feet forward and not actually step through the water. This is in order to scare away any stingrays so that you don’t step on them and in turn get stung. Other advice was that if you felt something soft and slimy to instantly jump up onto the board as you were walking through the water so as not to get stung. Very reassuring. At least they didn’t have anything to say about Sharks or Spiders, or dare I say Shiders!
Lindsay and I have never surfed, it’s much too cold at home and the waves kinda suck. This was a good beach to learn on. The ways were not too big, but high enough to catch and the instructors helped out with the first few. We waded out into the water and they had us lay down on the board and then when a good wave came along they had us paddle (which got us nowhere as they were still holding onto the board) then they pushed us into the wave so we would catch it perfectly. This was quite handy at the start and I’m proud to say I got up and was surfing on my very first wave and surfed it the whole way back into shore. This continued for a bit and eventually the guys stopped pushing me, as I had it going great, and started concentrating on Lindsay. Lindsay is not a surfer. She has horrible balance and isn’t quite strong enough to fight the ocean all day. I had a blast surfing, however painful it becomes over time, Lindsay did not. I watched her try over and over again to get up. Eventually she did yet and was surfing!!! Yeah, shortly afterwards she had to give up though. On one wave the board shot back and the blades underneath hit her in her thigh. She got hit hard. 5 days later she has a giant bruise that is yellow, black, purple, blue, and some other colours in between. Not pretty. So after that, (which was a few hours in) she had to call it quits. I got smoked in the head by my board on my second wipeout and learnt real quick to cover my head.
Surfing is a ton of fun but a super tiring and exhausting way to spend a day. There were points that I had to just come to the beach to remember how to get my oxygen through breathing air instead of ocean. You constantly get battered by the waves as you head out to catch a wave and then get that one wave in, then go back out and do it all again. I would have loved a guy on a seadoo pulling me out every time, that would have been glorious. We stopped for lunch and oxygen and then I went back out for the afternoon. The waves weren’t as good as the tide was going out but still fun. Took a lot more breaks though as you had to work harder to get out to the waves.
After a long day of surfing, Lindsay relaxing in some hammocks watching the migration of hermit crabs as she calls it, we headed back into town. Stopped at Casa Oro to see if the Turtle tour was miraculously running, it was not and apparently wasn’t going to again until next week now. Stupid turtles. After a shower grabbed some dinner at Josselin’s. We were splurging on Lobster tonight. It was all right, but not that good as is pretty much all food down here (with the exception of Marta’s home cooking in Miraflor). It was more than half price of lobster at home though
Finally headed to the hotel to get some sleep. I’m super sore, my ribs hurt from lying on the board all day, and Lindsay is walking funny because of her leg. Injuries aside though, it was a really good day of surfing. I will definitely do it again sometime and Lindsay even said she would try again. Somewhere with no Shiders though…