Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Las Olas: Punta de Mita

Monday was our roadtrip day when the crew took us 20 minutes south to the town of Punta de Mita.

After yoga and breakfast, we packed up and piled the surfboards up on a taxi.  I didn't know much about where we were going, and I didn't even really ask.  That's kind of been my thing here:  just trust the instructors to take me around and tell me what to do.

I did know that the object of the trip was to let us try surfing in a different spot with different waves and a longer run.

I didn't know what a big and scary and thrilling day I was about to experience.  

After the drive, we arrived at a cute beach-front restaurant where we would later have lunch, and waited for Chana, this guy, to take us by boat out to a surf break about 10 minutes away called La Lancha. 

The girls had warned us that the waves would look "different" from the back.  They did look different, bigger, and scarier, and the sea spray was flying high above each wave.  This photo doesn't do it justice, but this is from the boat before we jumped in.  We never went to the beach, but instead, entered the scene from the back. 
 Here Nicole is pointing to the direction we were supposed to paddle.  When we jumped in (and the water was cold) we had to paddle a ways in order to get where we would catch waves.   After the day was totally over, they admitted to us that the waves were a little big for us and they figured this was right on the edge of what we could surf.  I should have been suspicious when they kept asking us if we were nervous.  Come to think of it, Nicole looks a little concerned in this photo.

Las Olas arranged for a professional photographer to be on the beach and here are the photos she caught.

I'm glad I couldn't see the front view of these waves.  That is definitely a step up from the Sayulita rollers.

All three coaches were out there in the water in wetsuits and fins to help us set up for the right waves.   Aynsley helped me get ready for my first one, and if you look carefully you can see her white baseball hat popping up right over the wave. 

These waves were bigger and also much faster than what we had been surfing in Sayulita.  Once the wave had you, it pushed hard and fast.  Forget the whoosh we got used to feeling when a wave had you.  This was more like a roar. 

 Lo and behold, I got up on it.  And rode it for a long, sweet ride all the way in.
Probably one of the coolest feelings I've ever had.

Paddling back out in this surf was seriously hard.  The waves would push me back out as soon as I had made a little progress.  It was the hardest paddling I've had to do while here and I was fully out of breath when I made it back out to the girls.  We each took waves one at a time so there was a lot of sitting on the board and floating and waiting (which I actually love) but the water was cold and the wind was strong so by the end of our time out there I was shivering hard.  I rode in on three long cruisers that were fast and furious and totally amazingly fun.

After everyone was satisfied, we paddled back out to the boat, and then rode back in to shore.  When we got to land, I wrapped up in my towel and sat in the sun and while my teeth chattered for thirty minutes.  But soon, it was time for lunch:  fish fajitas, quesadillas, and ceviche with lemonade.  Oh man. 
post surf lunch spot.
I call that a good freaking day.

Tomorrow is my last day and then I head home.  There is still one more day of yoga and surfing and sunshine before my re-entry.  Tomorrow I pack, but I am packing so much more than my stuff.  I'm going to try to bring home the feeling I've had here.  I'd say that I'm putting my week at Las Olas into my pocket to bring home, but I haven't worn anything all week that had pockets.  Instead, I'll tuck it under my left bathing suit strap, and that's where it will stay.

I have about 10,000 more photos and stories yet to come. 


Lee said...

Your trip sounds nothing short of amazing.