Hi honey I'm home! Yep after about 6 weeks I return to the scene of the crime, the place where it all started, the place where I had one of the best times in my life. I'm back in Playa Carmen near Mal Pais. Really didn't know what to expect as the month I spent here previously was just so awesome mainly due to the people I met, hung out with and surfed with morning, noon and night. At least it was nice to see a handful of familiar faces on my arrival like my roomie Zoë, Tamara who'd come here form Jaco and also be remembered by the locals.
As they say to get over a fear you have to face it head on and that's what I did by renting my old nemesis the 7.2 NSP surfboard that left pieces of itself embedded in my lip after hitting me.
You could still see the patch where those pieces should have been and I'm sure there were still some specs of blood embedded in the board.
The beach looked totally different from how I remembered it, it was worse actually, mainly because we were now in the rainy season so there was wood, leaves and all kinds of debris brought down my the new 'rivers' that had formed, all over the beach. The sea was a dirty muddy colour and the surf was very rough and mushy, not ideal at all.
Tamara got here first surf injury and I had to call the mobile doctor who came over on a quad bike which was surprisingly kitted out with everything from bandages to the machine that monitors your heart and is used to shock the old ticker if it stops. Luckily the diagnosis wasn't broken ribs but rather bruised ones so with the help of the mighty Lord Voltarol, the undisputed king of all anti-inflammatories, she's able to at least move around then get back surfing the day after.
She got rewarded for her determination by catching her first proper wave CONGRATS GIRL, trust me there's no turning back from here.
As for me I keep making progress catching more waves, paddling and learning to turtle roll (a technique to avoid getting pushed too far back by the who grab your board and roll 180 degrees so the wave passes over you then roll 180 degrees back) and slowly ticking off the 'How to be a Gnarly surfer' checklist.
Today's newest experience was having my first leash break on me leaving me with the pleasurable task of seeing my board riding a perfect wave onto the beach whilst I tired to keep afloat and swim to the beach. Being all at sea, and being constantly pounded by the breaking waves and white water you soon realise what a security blanket the big floaty surf board offers. Not being a very strong swimmer I'll admit to being slightly worried as I could have got caught in a rip and taken out to sea. Luckily with no rip, five minutes later I was glad to find an American surfer guarding my beached surfboard - its not uncommon for someone to steal your board whilst you're trying to swim back.