Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quicksilver Pro France 2008 Video

After spending a day wandering around San Sebastian I was in touch with Duncan in South Africa and he was asking why I wasn't up in Hossegor for the Quicksilver Pro....

Good bloody question.

I'm ashamed to admit, but I thought the title had been surfed and won already and Mundaka was the next one to go.

I got back to the car park and chatted with some of my neighbours, two Austrian's and two Germans.  We talked about the waves and the weather, they were all sleeping in their cars as well and I was very close to just kicking back for the night with them and some beers and the guitar.

But no!  There was a surf competition on and I had to see it.  

I passed on my number in case they were heading back up there and set off on the road to Hossegor and the Quicksilver Pro France 2008.

On arriving I could see loads of cars, campers and drunks, but continued further up the road to where I assumed the competition was to be held.

The car park was deserted, well nearly, with only three cars.  I pulled up and went out to the beach.  Sure enough, tents, judging platform, big screen tv........ I had found my Mecca.

But what was everyone doing in town?  I decided to head back and check it out and then return.

When I got back I realised that the same exact set up I just saw was back in the town!  Surely that's why all the cars were here.  I pulled up and got some shut eye very excited about the next day.

When the day rolled around I strolled out to the beach, at 7am, to find there were no waves.  I was bloody cold as well so I headed back to bed for a few hours.  When I awoke I realised that most of the cars had pulled out and left........... which probably meant that the competition was on at the other beach.

Sure enough the car park was packed, and for a few km's back as well.  Fortunately I found a camper to park behind (they weren't going anywhere anyway) and I was off to the beach just in time to see Mick Campbell's heat, Pancho Sullivan's heat, Kelly Slater's heat (last two waves got him through) and then Taj Burrows heat.  

About that time the battery was low, the tape was near the end and my mates from Darwin, Chook and Marty, were on the beach in search of me.  Enough for today, it's off to the bar to have a few beers with some old friends.

I've just cut together a small bit of footage for the day highlighting Kelly's waves........ it's uploading to at the moment but I'm having trouble with the uploads on the free internet service here at St Malo's closed information centre.  


The video is there now, you can get to it from the surf the dream homepage.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Surfing Sopelana in Spain

Yesterday we went down to the beach at Sopelana. It's a beautiful place which "looks" like it would be a great place to surf if the swell would just pick up a little.

Ibon was chatting to the guy that runs the bar and this weekend has an International Surfing competition on. We're off to check it out this morning so fingers crossed the swell picks up a bit.

Photo's to come.........

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is simply amazing.

A single piece of work that has taken over 100 years to build, and it is not due to be finished any time soon.  Estimates are that, should the funding and work be maintained at the current rate, it will be finished by 2030........... some 100 years after the death of the buildings architect, Antoni Gaudi.

On my first visit to Barcelona I saw the work from the top of the tourist bus, and this time I covered every inch of the place that the public could step and took over 200 photographs.

For now time is short so I won't go into detail just yet, but there will be more pictures along with an explanation on those and the one's already uploaded here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Surfing Portugal

Well it´s been a while but I´m back in front of a computer again.

When the Alyce, Glen & Meagan clan left the trip they accidently collected my electricity converter which has left me without power for the laptop, which means no blogging.

I have been writing a bit, taking lots of notes about the places I´ve been (especially the great surfing venues in Portugal) and since Sintra I´ve even been able to start taking some photo´s again. That´s right, another Canon Ixus has joined the party (I´ve gone back to the Ixus 70 seeing as I´ve now spent about $900.00 on the camara´s just to wind up with the same camera I started with).

From Sintra I headed up north towards Peniche, which to be fair to the town isn´t the best place I´ve been on the trip so far. It is a must stop though, as just down the road is Baleal which is an awesome little spot for waves for all levels of surfer.

The main break, from memory is Ajeed but I´ll confirm in a post just for that, is a great left hander that breaks over rock. Most surfers were getting 2-3 turns on the crappy waves, more on the good set waves.

To the left of that is Baleal beach which offers some great beginner waves, and as you go further down the beach they begin to pitch a little earlier and on a big day I imagine would offer some small barrelling sections.

I´ll be posting a few photo´s soon (charging the camera battery at the internet place at the moment) and a video of the Baleal break.

I´m in figura de foz at the moment and staying in a car park at Buarcos which seems to have some nice waves just outside of a fairly shallow and rocky paddle out. Again, I´ll be back with some pictures and hopefully some water footage in the next couple of days.