find I had been invited to spend the weekend with 2 chileans from Santiago at a remote picture perfect beach named Puertocillo. Puertocillo is a renowned left point break 2 hours north of Pichilemu and until recently was only accessible by 4wd, the original road into the beach below the cliffs has claimed many lives in the past.I caught a bus to the nearby village of Litueche and met the girls there on there way through from the city. Whilst sitting at the bus stop I hear a voice yell ‘Schymo!’ out a van window, It was my friend Simon from Byron Bay and hes building a house here in Pichilemu! It truly is a small world. After some small talk I arrange to meet him later in the week.
We arrived at Puertocillo late that night expecting some fun reeling lines down the point in the morning. I jumped in the car at first light and sped off down the sandy track…Bummer!! Its 1ft slop and the Billabong Diamond Series surf contest was on! O well theres no waves for me this weekend, guess we’ll have to chill and sip beers in the sun. The event happened to be sponsored by Corona so we pulled up bean bags on the black sand where we were served free beers and listened to group bust out on the Ukulele and classic guitars. It really was from where you’d rather be…
With One more week of Spanish classes booked I was staying in Pichilemu, the surf once again had been pumping everyday so I was super keen to stick around, I scored La Puntilla and Lobos in all its glory copping some of the heaviest and longest hold downs of my life, the ocean here is fierce and deserves respect. I rocked up to Punta de Lobos on Saturday, a peaking 4m+ swell and thought id tackle it on my 6’4”. The smallest board i saw as we drove into the carpark was an 8’5”! It was totally pulsing and my thruster looked like a toothpick compared to these guns. Admitting defeat I started shooting off the point, capturing some of the insanity that went down.
I gave Simon a call and we decided to take off down South for 2 weeks, an extraordinary piece of coastline along the ‘Ruta del Mar’ (route of the ocean) which is scattered with multiple sand bottom left points for the picking. I’d been tipped off by a few locals that we where in for ruler edge, uncrowded waves. Greeting us in fashionable style it was on! 4ft Tubes, smackable walls and bowlie end sections where on offer.
After surfing for 3 days and an expected northerly change on the way we thought we’d head to the Andes Mountains, home to the largest peak in the southern hemisphere, bubbling volcanoes and most of all, boiling thermal pools.
We spent a freezing night camping (-3 celsius ) in a dry river bed 10mins downhill of the Termas De Chillan, after scraping the ice from the inside of the van windows it was time for a dip. With 4 pools including ‘the incubator’ (the thing was steaming over 40 celsius), a pool side bar and nobody under 60 its the place to be haha.
Im sure everyone will agree that speaking another language confidently comes more naturally when theres a few drinks involved. So after a few Pisco Sours we had made friends with all the staff and guests at the pools and where busy conversing and getting celebrity shots with the mature Chilean Women. One of the funniest days of my life!
The wind had calmed and we where itching for waves again so we headed back through Chillan to the coast for a few more sessions. This area was completely obliterated in the 2010 by an earthquake and Tsunami, the mass destruction the surge had caused was clearly evident. Every small village we passed through was barely half rebuilt, I can only imagine how the locals must feel, constantly knowing that at any moment havoc can wreak again. This country is incredibly active and it is not unusual to feel tremors on a regular basis.
So after 12 days without a shower and rocking the same clothes I sit here in a plush hotel suite in Santiago cleanly shaven and sprawled out, listening to the hustle and bustle of the street below. It makes me realise my distaste for cities, I’m ready for the bush again, ready for the next adventure.