Monday, October 04, 2010

Surf Camp: Day 3

Three things happened on my third day at Ribeira Surf Camp.

#1: The Injury.
Since my little project started, I've incurred a few minor injuries—sadly, injuries with zero street cred. I skydived and got my tush back on the ground without getting a single scratch. The next day I ran into an open CD-ROM tray in my work cube and got a bloody gash on my shin. I did steep hikes with sheer drops at the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. My only injury? A stubbed toe while walking to the car to get matches. At the surf camp in Ribeira d'Ilhas, where I was getting hammered by waves and walking on an ocean floor dotted with rocks and sea urchins on a daily basis, I ended up with a painful blister underneath my big toenail. The cause of this gnarly injury? Walking into the breakfast area half asleep and forcefully stubbing my toe on a shallow step. So that was how my day started out. By incurring a painful but terribly unexciting injury. The rest of the morning was pretty unexciting. Eduardo changed my board and I just couldn't seem to find my balance all morning (yes, I choose to blame the board). For the most part, I drank lots of saltwater and got some practice paddling. Before the end of the session though, I did get to ride one gorgeous wave. I rode it to the cheers of Philip, another instructor, and the beginners class he was teaching. The high was enough to keep me smiling all afternoon and lure me back into the water the next day, bum toe bedamned.

#2: Playing Tourist.
That afternoon Rolf, Melli and I decided to take a break from surfing to tour Sintra, a lovely little town near Ericeira and Lisbon, declared "the most beautiful in the world" by Lord Byron. The entire town is a UNESCO Heritage Site, and makes you feel like you've walked into a fairytale storybook with it's beautifully preserved Romantic architecture. It was one of my favorite places in Portugal. We went into Pal├ício Nacional de Sintra, the summer palace of Portugal's kings, to gawk at the lavish furniture and intricate azulejos all over the interiors. The spot I loved the most, however, was the Castelo dos Mouros, which was high up on a hill with stunning views of the Old Town. The castle itself was like a compact Great Wall of China. Just gorgeous.
It was a great afternoon. But by the end of it, I was itching to get back in the water again. Proof that a surfing addiction had indeed begun ...

#3: The Impromptu Dance Party.
It was Melli and Magda's last evening at the surf camp, and it seemed like it would be a calm one. I should've known that these two Austrian firecrackers were bound to go out with a bang. Stuffed from the delicious octopus dinner whipped up by the camp's amazing surfer/cook Luca, we were chatting over caipirinhas and Sangre beers at the bar when out of nowhere, the girls got up, started blasting dance music, and tearing it up! I looked worriedly at the bartender, who had already started cleaning up and thought, oh no, he's gonna be pissed. Except he wasn't. He leaves the bar and starts dancing too! And then I saw Tiago look in to see what all the ruckus what and thought, oh, he's gonna shut this down. Except he didn't! He just started closing up the doors and windows, grabbed a beer, sat down, and let the dancing continue. Rolf and I looked at each other stunned at how things had gone from one extreme to another in five minutes.

"Should we join them?" Rolf asked.

"I guess so," I answered. And the rest was history.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...