Surf Roadtrips and Cabana Carnage, Welcome to Ecuador!
This weekend I worked overtime. An entire days overtime. For free.
To the average person in their average job in the average office this would be hell, it would be borderline slave labour, it would probably even involve trade unions and court cases.
But I’m not the average person, my job isn’t average and my office is far from so.
I work on the beach.
The sea is my office.
My clients are hungover backpackers.
For my free days overtime I ran a surf trip up the coast to a lush surf spot called Las Tunas.
The Morning After The Night Before
Now Saturday in Montanita is a pretty big night out. The bars are packed, cocktail alley is a mash of drunken dreadlocked backpacker mayhem and the music is pumping.
Everyone is getting messed up and making bad decisions.
Needless to say at 9am on a Saturday everyone that got up for the surf trip was moy chuchaki…or if you’re not Spanish – VERY hungover …including myself!
So after sculling heaps of ice tea and loading about 15 boards on the roof we headed north along the beautiful Ecuadorian coast.
I napped most of the way amongst being mocked by the other 2 staff in the cab but after about 40 minutes we arrived.
We parked the 4×4 on the beach.
An empty beach.
An empty beach with 4 foot waves rolling in.
An empty beach with 4 foot waves rolling in and Cabanas with hammocks overlooking it.
That first duck dive into the lineup washed away my hangover and I was soon joined out back by fellow instructor Luis and a whole heap of our students.
The sun was out in full force too – so we bobbed around out back, topping up our tans, shouting each other into waves and trading stories about the previous nights chaos between sets.
Needless to say heaps of smiles was the order of the day!
After 3 hours in the water and the midday heat beating down some serious hammock time was needed. We all stocked up on some sugar with watermelon, pineapple, mango and all sort of fruity treats being served up.
Consider it a mini detox!
After taking some time out Scottish John – with his monumental sideburns – decided to bust out his slackline.
For those of you not familiar with slacklining it’s essentially a portable tightrope used to practice balance. The usual is to secure both ends to a solid object – such as a tree or pillar.
But lacking those objects he decided to use the bamboo struts on the cabanas we we’re chilling under.
They seemed solid enough…
But with everyone monging out, in hammocks and around the place the next thing we heard was an almighty crack followed by a crashing sound – yup, John had succesfully torn one of the structures down – on top of a heap of surfboards and including one of us!
Me and Luis ran to support it whilst our buddy escaped (thankfully unharmed!) but a couple of the surfboards weren’t so lucky!
Overall though the entire predicament was hilarious – especially considering the last words we heard muttered by one of the group was “are you sure it’ll hold” followed by Johns response “we’ll soon find out”!
Even more so when the angry owner of the restaurant and huts came running out shouting in Spanish!
All was good after some heated but civil negociation – except for the $170 bill John now had to pay to build a new one!
It didn’t distract from an epic day on the beach though – and proved a rather amusing reference over the last few days, now if anyone sees anything nice it’s followed by “John do you want to tear it down”!
For the rest of the day we enjoyed heaps of beach football (although it kinda sucked when I ripped my toenail in half!), an epic meal, some ice cold beers and heaps more waves with my buddies.
Another hard day in the office – it sucks when I’m forced to work unpaid overtime!