We have been in Pichilemu for just over a week now and we are getting to know the place a bit better. We stayed at the beautiful cabaño (cabin) that Alejandro owns with him, Karen and Maximo for a few days and then moved into a guy called Eduardo's house next door. He taught us a bit of Spanish, we taught him some English and we had a bed, wifi, safe parking, laundry facilities and a kitchen. We cleaned all of the windows in his little cabaño park to say thanks. It was cool to stay with Eduardo for a few days but I think the time had come that we needed a bit of time and space to ourselves. We weren’t feeling very sociable, we just wanted to cruise around, surf, take photos, read, cook, drink wine, listen to music and enjoy each other’s company. We felt like Eduardo was looking for something more from us than we could give at this point. We have only had one night in private accommodation since we flew to Chile on October 25th, though this has saved us huge amounts financially and introduced us to some amazing people we were now ready for a bit of solitude. A huge thanks to the life savers (again) that are Karin and Alejandro, they left us with the key to their place. As we wake up to sun streaming through the windows after a good nights sleep on the spare bed and drink coffee and eat our morning porridge in peace and quiet in this beautiful place, we know this is probably as good as it is going to get. Decent wine is £2 a bottle and fresh veg is in abundance, we are eating, drinking and living well.
We are about a 5 minute ride from Punta De Lobos and have been surfing there a fair bit over the past week. It is one of the worlds premiere big wave spots and it can handle huge swells, pretty much anything the South Pacific can throw at it. The weather is really consistent and predictable; some days are a little colder than others but the wind blows from the south, not really affecting the wave which rolls down behind the big cliffs. We had one big day where we didn't surf but just watched and took photos.
It's actually a pretty relaxing wave, almost too fat to catch unless you take off pretty much under the white water, once you are up you have a big face to play with, almost like a reverse Jeffries Bay; a big wall of water that requires long, drawn out turns that you have to think about carefully so when you reach the two inside sections, you are in place to set up for the tube or at least ready to race the section if you are scared of the rocks which stick out threateningly maybe two metres in front of you. The whole time the current drags you down the point towards the beach. A surf at Punta De Lobos from our experience is a terrifying jump off the rocks, paddling nearly constantly to stay in place, and if your lucky, a 400 metre ride of your life until you fall off or kick out, then you sit there and get pulled towards the beach, maybe get another inside wave which are good too and then walk the Kilometre back to the rocks and do it again. One surf session might mean 4 waves. I've been thinking of pre-paying for a coffee before I go in (theres a great coffee shop as mentioned on the point).
There seem to be a few different ways to get out to the point, however the safest and most sensible option with the current is to jump of Los Morros, the two big rocks at the top of the point. This basically involves a pretty horrific looking paddle through a channel to the rocks which are on an island, the paddle is only about 8-10 metres and not that bad but it looks pretty intimidating. Then you walk around the rocks, climbing over some pretty dodgy gaps, surrounded by sea birds in nests screaming and the power of the ocean unloading onto the outside of the island. When you are on the outside of the rocks there is a clear path to jump from and only about a 10 metre paddle to safety. The only thing is there are huge walls of water hitting the exact bit you jump from. You have to wait for a lull in the sets on a high piece of rock and when your sure its safe, run down the path, trying to not to slip over and jump off and paddle for your life. After a few times, it becomes a bit more clear when is and when isn't the safe time to go and you have a little more confidence your going to judge it correctly.
The first day we went out somewhere else down the point and I hit my fin on a rock and pierced a huge hole in my board, the guys at Cabezas surfboards did a great job of fixing it up and after a week of borrowing a 6’3” we are re-united and very happy together. On the second day Sally slightly mistimed the jump off the rock; you have to jump as the water is rising so your on top of it and clear of the edge, she left it half a second too late and the water was falling and she lost her fin from hitting the rock. Her repair wasn’t quite as serious but she had lost a brand new Mark Richards twin fin. Anyone who knows about surfboards knows that they aren’t exactly the type of fin you walk into any shop to buy. We were starting to worry about what to do, we tried every surf shop in town and nobody had any twin fins at all. One guy said he could order them for about £40 for plastics, £80 for glass, we weren’t sure how long they’d take. At the last weird little surf shop we found in town that we pulled into as a bit of a long-shot, we found two pairs. One glass, one plastic. £20 each pair; we bought them both.
Somewhere in between of all this, I think I broke a rib surfing, I went over the falls on the inside and immediately felt a shooting pain. I’ve had a few days off and been taking it easy but I’ll try to heal properly when we aren’t by a world famous point break.
We have been shooting lots of photos, we have some amazing shots of people surfing the point that we want to try to sell to them for a few thousand Pesos, we are talking to people and giving out cards and directing them to the Surfline page but we haven’t had any internet to upload photos yet. We are about to go and make ourselves at home, again, in a posh restaurant to try to steal enough Wifi to upload them and this blog, drinking cheap coffees.