Surprise because of the bad rap El Salvador receives from all and sundry, a deep-rooted prejudice I played-up with all the subtlety of a pantomime dame in ‘that’ post in the hope that readers would see both sides of the coin.
El Salvador. The most dangerous, god-forsaken hell-hole in all of Christendom. What in Beelzebub’s name were we thinking coming to a place with such a bad reputation? Even in the badlands of Nicaragua people would lean in, speaking in hushed tones, as they told tales of hapless surf-travellers being accosted on the beach, a line being drawn in the sand over which they were forced to lie face down with their heads on one side of the line their bodies on the other as the prelude to an horrific, yet reassuringly accurate beheading.
The trouble with these remote-access Central American point breaks is that you can’t take a camera. To get to Lance’s Left near El Astillero, Nicaragua we took a bone-rattling ride in Johnny’s pint-sized hire-car to the fishing village. We then walked north up the beach for half an hour, fording rivers and scrambling over high-tide storm debris until we reached the headland which forms the point-break. We then had to inch our way around the rocky headland, making a run for it between sets to avoid being dashed upon the rocks before finally reaching the paddle-out spot.
It’s amazing how busy you become when you retire. Leaving my company and my job behind as I set forth on this journey I naively imagined the vast expanses of time I was opening up would be used to explore new vocations, skills and pastimes, yet there aren’t enough hours in the day to even write this damn blog.
On previous visits to Bali, my prejudice has kept me from visiting the Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok. It’s dubbed a travellers’ paradise, so my visions of stoned, dreadlocked, friendship-banded euro geeks gamboling about the place overshadowed the reported beauty of the three tiny tropical islands… and I guess the supposed lack of surf didn’t help.
The inordinately long time between posts is testament to the surf-rich Bali lifestyle. We left India a month ago now and have been squeezing two or three surfs in a day, cowering from the oppressive heat in between.
I haven’t written this blog for weeks now, caught up in a variety of projects, articles, plots and schemes, whilst also becoming snagged on the snaggle-toothed edge of a writer’s block. I just couldn’t get motivated to sit down and write, and I’ve got plenty to be getting on with – an article for the Sunday Telegraph, a piece for a surf mag, some business plans… So what happened? What dragged me from the mire? What hauled me from my stupour? What prised me from my lethargy? Waves. Pure and simple, the waves returned.