SOUTH WEST AUSTRALIA
After a year anchored in Somo with the reform of the Cantabrian School of Surf and having spent an intense season, Capi and I decided to go to the Canaries during the month of December to train, to disconnect and to surf as much as possible. Once there, inspired by the heat and the Canarian waves, I began to think about returning to Australia. Having traveled the entire East Coast for years, on a journey that left an indelible mark on my head and heart, it was a wonderful time to return. We returned home from Christmas to enjoy the family and soon saw myself at the computer looking at maps, waves and deciding my route. Capi had already made the decision to return to Costa Rica and Puerto Rico with his girl Shatana.
I, other times I hesitated until the last moment of the destiny of my trip, more than anything because there are so many places that attract me to visit, but this time I was quite clear that I wanted to return to Australia, although I was still not clear to which area to go .
During these last years many Australian instructors have passed by the school, which has helped to the growth and professionalization of the same; People like Ben, Andrew, Nick, Oliver, Aaron, Bratt, Mez … and many of them had always talked to me about the quality of the waves in the west and south of Australia, where there was much more size and less people than on the east coast . That had always sounded right in my ears and it was clear that the madness of the East was not the kind of trip I wanted to do again.
Traveling alone for two months, looking at maps and guides, I decided that the best option was to attack the Indian Ocean, the south west coast of Australia. I bought a quick ticket to Perth and looking at maps at the last moment I felt an indescribable desire to change route and go towards the Northwest coast of Australia, where many of the longest and most perfect left of the world reside, but many recommended me that traveling alone, Without a good 4 × 4 and a very good preparation was crazy. So the trip across the Batavia coast, Geraldton (with its wonderful waves, Drummonds, Sunset Beach, Hell’s Gate, Tarcoala …) Kalibarri (with Blue Hotels, Jackes …) to where I really dreamed surfing, Which is the area of the coast of Gnaraloo, with Turtles, the Bluff and all those waves that we see in the videos of Ry Crayke and cia. will have to wait. After all, keep thinking of the bigger state, with less population and with some, but the best left of the world for a goofie, is a pretty dream to conserve. Although crossing one of the harshest climates of the Australian continent and possibly the world, with the Gibson desert and the great Sandy desert, I brake this last-minute irrational urge and mark my fate in red “Decided, I’m going to South West Australia “
A few days before, Pablo Gutierrez “Guti” spoke to me about the wonders of the Southwest coast of Australia and he said “you’re going to freak out”.
One of the last calls he made before taking the plane was to Gorka Yarritu, who knew that he had been several times, since his son Ibon, a crack, lived there seasons with his mother. Gorka gave me some advice and said, “Nachete, it’s a paradise, you’ll enjoy it and remember me when you’re surrounded by flies”
With renewed enthusiasm, knowing that my fate was good and still with doubts in my head if I try the “excursion” to the north, I find myself on the plane thinking:
What did Gorka mean about the flies? “
I think naming, surfing and surfing all the waves of this coast would take a lifetime, but during these last two months my only mission has been surfing the whole area and I hope that this “little” story, entertain you and help a little more Know the southwestern coast of Australia to all those who are thinking of realizing the surftrip. And to those who do not, encourage and invite you to meet him one day. See you on the water.
CHAPTER 1. PERTH, FEELINGS FOUND
I’ve never been to big cities. My attraction to ” concrete jungle ” has never awakened in me and I have always felt like a fish out of the water. I feel that my heart rate and my head do not go to the desired rhythm in these places.
Living in a place as quiet as Somo, where I spent most of the year barefoot and asalvajado, my visits to the big cities are like those of Paco Martinez Soria to Madrid. However, without having known other cities like Adelaide or Melbourne, Sydney left me a great memory and so has Perth.
After two days caged inside the metallic bird, airports, etc. I arrived in Perth, the best way to get into Western Australia. I quickly arrived at the address where I had to pick up my jargo. My new casita with wheels made me feel like my new home in an instant and although Perth is a nice and quiet city, easy to handle, that day I left the hustle, not without before losing myself several times in my way and messing with the driving through The opposite lane.
The beaches are about 20 minutes from the city, but I must admit that neither the orientation nor the driving nor the maps are my forte. Once on the beach, with the smell of saltpeter, the sun scorching my bald, my pulse and heart returned to their normal state and I felt that this is where my surftrip really started. The beaches of Perth are long, with fine white sand, well maintained, lively places, where everyone sports, but do not reach the chaos of the beaches of Bondi or Manly in the east.
After a long night where the dreams and imaginations of this surftrip intermingled with the own tiredness and jet-lag of the trip I woke up in Main Beach. After a quick swim on the beach to wake up and check the water temperature – ” God I’m in paradise ” I went in search of surf shops to get me a good quiver for the trip. In Scarborough I found a shop, The Board Room, where I got two pinchos, an intermediate board and surprise- “What do you have there half hidden? For Mick – come on, are you in the mood? “A Puzzle made for Mick Fanning in 350AUS semi-new and with an incredible look; A concave in the bottom of the board from the middle to the central keel and a feeling of “Nachete take me with you ” … and with me went, along with 3 other gems, making me leave the surfshop happier than a butcher with new knives. Also the shop owner told me that Trigg Point, the best wave in the area was breaking that morning. So, with the pulse racing, the smile on my face and my new waxed Mick arrive at the parking lot at Trigg Point, where all that rush fell on the floor at the sight of the wave – And this is the best wave in Perth? I thought. Ummmmm. Trigg Point is a short, intense right, with section of tube, which breaks on a slab of stones. He always has a troop, although he patiently scratches some wave. I have seen photos and with immense swells is a pipe. 1st trip bundle to loosen muscles always comes in handy, but the 1st impression of the Perth waves really was a little disappointing. To the north of T-Point there are some waves mainly for Superos and Longboarders.
Towards the south, Scarborough is a beautiful village where to load the piles before the trip, with brutal houses, parkings by foot of beach, surfshops, beautiful beaches, like Brighton beach (I have not seen an ugly beach), although without a good swell there Little or nothing to scratch
Follow Highway 71 which takes you all the way south and you will reach Floreat Groyne, with several peaks and few people in the water, due to the reputation it has of shark attacks. City Beach a few kms. Then have more surfers and a jetty in front of the rescue club, where you’ll see people flying in waves of laughter, while everyone is sporting the beach. In Cottlesloe there are several waves, like in Main beach, but like in the rest it needs a lot of sea, for that reason they created in the zone an artificial reef called cable Station Reef. The Cottlesloe beaches are beautiful, but apart from the quirkiness of having two beaches that are paradise for dogs, Mosman and Dog beach, I would not highlight much else. Dogs in Australia are happy, I have never seen so many beaches and dog areas in my life.
Highway 71 connects to the 5 that takes you to Fremantle, a full-fledged city, depending on where you come in or you will disappoint. The beaches here are glued to a huge harbor, so although they are nice, the views leave you wanting. Surfing refers to few waves.
Perth is a particularly windy area, ideal for kite, sup, relax on beaches, which are very pretty and where there are some schools and beaches such as the Observatory area, Scarborough beach, Brighton, Floreat and City beach which are good for Learn to surf. The whole area of Perth has good reefs and lots of potential with a mega swell, but do not have high expectations. Explode it, enjoy it, but I’ll give you a few waves and lots of troops.
Leaving from Frementle to the south, the city of Rockingham, although industrial, has an amazing beach. To the small town of Mandurah you will not find anything remarkable except for beautiful beaches, as the Penguin island blocks the sea. On this island there are waves, just like on Rottnest Island, where there are good ones and is certainly a good surftrip.
Road south, direction Australind and Bunbury along the old coast road 1, worth a stop on two beaches Myalup and Binningup beach, where the 4 × 4 are the owners of the beaches and you will see pivots in the middle of the beach. Access to certain areas. Australind and Bunbury are two beautiful cities, but there are rarely any waves and being so close to the good you’ll want to pass it fast, direction to Busselton Bay, spectacular, then detour to Dunsborough, a very pretty village, an amazing place with a An immense sandy beach bordered by millionaire houses, with a Quik Boardriders from the mythical Jake “the snake” Paterson and where you will have to make the “difficult” decision whether to head for Margaret River, go to Yallingup, or on the contrary, Throw the adventure in search of two lesser known waves, but that are worth exploring, as they are Rocky Point and Windmills.
Tip- Although you will want to surf and explore, be patient and unless you arrive with a mega swell, do not waste much time in the area of Perth and surroundings.
CHAPTER 2. SEARCHING FOR ROCKY POINT
After 4 days of mediocre sessions and lots of searching, I knew that I was in the ante room of the little paradise that are the 40kms of surf spots that exist between Yallingup and Margaret River, undoubtedly the area with the highest potential for surfing and wave quality Of the entire Australian South West coast. But before, studying the map, I had seen a peninsula and two surf spots, Rocky Point and Windmills, which had caught my eye.
I got up early in Dunsborough and decided to find 1st Rocky Point (RP). It is located between Bunker Bay and Eagle Bay. It does not come signposted, so you’ll have to ask, but the best way to get there is from the Eagle parking, look for a trail and follow it leaving the sea on your right for 2kms. The walk is worth it and if you triumph it can be one of the experiences of your life and highlights of the trip. It needs a lot of sea and the rest is out of date. On this side of the peninsula there are several waves to learn, beaches and wonderful corners, so I recommend at least try. Also, if there are no waves here on the other side of the peninsula is where the fun really begins.
After RP, in Bunker Bay you will find on the right Bone Yards (the locals call it The Farm) and to the left of Sheley Beach, The Quarries, just like RP needs a lot of sea.
RP is an impressive lefthand, but it needs a huge SO-O swell. The place is amazing and throughout this area I have seen some of the most luxurious mansions I have ever seen. The TV program ” Who lives there ?” Would have several programs to record here.
After hours of hot weather I decided to take a little dip in RP, and then head to the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse, where a local had told me that underneath there were several waves, The Lighthouse, The Channels, The Deck … surfing alone and say it is The best place to see whales, but I did not see any and all I saw were seals, haunting shadows in the water and some fun waves. But only in the water the truth that I felt like shark food, something that later would discover that it was not very far from the reality. Returning to the van, I lost myself, for a change, on one of the trails; I had seen a snake before and I knew that it was not the best place to get lost. When despair began to glimpse my most rational thoughts, I saw a backpacker with the face of “What the hell are you doing here in the middle of nowhere with a surfboard ?” I explained the story and with a smile he said ” “I’m telling you that there are a lot of white sharks and there is not usually any surfing there.
Already in the van, in the darkness of the night, I thought that those shadows had been very close and between nightmares and the tension of the day I got rest, thinking that this was going to be all my experience in RP and that the next day I would try better luck On the other side of the peninsula, starting with Windmills.
CHAPTER 3. THE TIBURON ATTACK IN WINDMILLS
” Today has to be my day ” – I thought … and almost is.
On the other side of the Cape Naturaliste peninsula there are several waves, although many need a 4 × 4 to access, I already avoid the agony. When I arrived in Windmills I did not see anyone in the water and I did not want another day of nerves like the previous one in RP. Shortly there appeared a 4 × 4 and a surfer greet and entered resolutely to the water. After sitting for a while observing him, I decided to accompany him in his session. I ended up being a new Zealander surfer who was also traveling and we enjoyed a day of surfing alone, with waves right tubes and I started to think that this is what I had come looking for on the other side of the world. Windmills had fun waves that day, but apparently starting at 2mph usually close.
The kiwi told me that if we wanted we could go in their 4 × 4 to check other waves like Sugarloaf and The Other side of the Moon, to the left of the lighthouse. There were also no people in the water, I asked the kiwi if that was normal and he replied that the day before I had surfed with 8 people in the water. ” It must be our day, ” I thought.
After a brutal day of surfing in good company with Billy, the good surfer NZ, I approached my van in Windmills. The fact of leaving my van with all my things in the middle of nowhere, I had not been seduced, but the desire to surf did the rest. Upon reaching the jargon I saw a 4 × 4 of the rangers stuck to my van and thought ” Brown “.
I grabbed my suit and my 4x4 tables of Billy and as we said goodbye appeared a mad-looking ranger and few friends (walkie-talkie in hand) ” You idiots !!” ” What’s wrong? What have we done? “Billy hastened to reply, as it should not have seemed the best way to greet him on the part of the mad ranger. “Billy and I were looking at each other and the ranger told us that some fishermen had seen a white shark that morning had eaten a seal a few yards away. ” The beaches are closed, ” shouted the mad ranger.
I do not know what face I would put, but if it was half as expressive as Billy’s, I can imagine.
That explained our surfing day alone. The shark attacks there run like gunpowder among surfers and except for Billy and I, the rest knew that it was not a safe day to get into the water.
The poor ranger had been looking at the sea for a while, sensing that some unsuspecting man might have been the next victim of the shark, and when he saw me reaching the van I could read in his eyes the urge to smack me, but at the same time the Relief to see that it was in one piece.
That night among mosquitoes, flies (will have their own chapter) and nightmares with sharks, I will not forget.
Tip: Both RP and Windmills are decent waves, but talk to locals and make sure there is a good swell. Much effort, little reward and the reality of the sharks here is possibly greater than in any other area of the coast.
A reality that is more effective than ever ….
CHAPTER 4. SHARKS
I never think about bad things when I travel, on the contrary I always visualize everything positive that can happen to me. Knowing that I am alone and can happen to me is not in my mind. I have been surfing in many places like South Africa, Hawaii, Jamaica, Senegal, Ghana … where I know there are attacks. Especially in South Africa with my cousin Raul and Big Roy, in a place called Breeze Point, in the middle of the Transkei desert, I felt something strange in the water and a feeling that a very large shadow hit me just before Jumping several dolphins around me. Then seeing it on video I had the feeling that these dolphins had prevented a shark from attacking me.
Again in Hawaii, in Marihuanas, on the North Shore of Oahu, I saw several sharks pass beneath. Shadows and sensations I have felt and experienced many times. I would deceive you if I told you that I am not afraid of sharks and that many times in the water I contemplate that possibility, especially in destinations where I am alone in the water.
If these thoughts were greater than my desire to surf, I would not enter the water much less alone, as I have been doing in many spots of this surftrip.
However, I am more afraid of being able to have a car accident, running over a kangaroo at night … etc.
But, unlike the other trip along the east coast, this time in the South West theme shark if you have accompanied me throughout the trip and it is true that I have had another feeling.
A friend who lived a live shark attack in Australia told me that just prior to the attack, he felt as if everything had stopped, as if everything had turned black and marine life had disappeared, just before the attack. That sign has been in my head this trip.
I have seen many dolphins, some seals, fins and shark shadows very close. Two shark fin calls at the lineup, one at Yallingup and one at Gracetown. I’ve seen everyone row for their lives, as the beaches are closed, signs indicating ” Shark activity ” ” Shark Attack ” …
All this, coupled with my experience at Rocky Point and Windmills I was quickly alerted and made aware that the sharks here are a great reality.
Such is the current psychosis because of the increase in shark attacks that have occurred in recent months, that the government has launched a mega campaign to reduce the number of attacks. Right now, I had been listening on the radio yesterday to the capture of 69 white sharks, tigers … It’s about networking, how far those nets should be offshore. It is in all the means and is subject of conversation in the parkings and in the water. With more than 7 deadly attacks in recent months, the last one less than a month ago in the bay of Cowaranup, where I have surfed often, is not to be taken lightly.
There is a great controversy, with detractors and people in favor. There is a campaign that surely you have seen where a shark appears and next to a diver and the advertisement says that there is a killer, who kills so many a year … and in the end the killer is the man.
When you talk to fishermen and divers always say the same-
” Skarks? Yeahhh mate, there’re many out there, really close from shore, is full of sharks, but they have plenty of food, and they are not on their menu, so nothing to worry about it bro “
There are helicopters crossing the lineups while surfing, pure propaganda. There is no telephone number. On all the beaches to warn you when you see a shark and among the most veteran surfers there is a feeling that an unparalleled social alarm is being created that they had never lived before.
I’ve seen a lot of surfers lift their legs, raise their arms, flaunt themselves with something they’ve seen, or have passed under, even screams shark !! When in fact what they had seen was a dolphin.
That there are sharks is clear, but if it touches you, I think it’s your destiny and even being a cruel destiny, it will happen to you doing what you like most in this life, or almost what more …
If I lose an arm or a leg I see myself at the door of the school telling the same story over and over again lol
Of course, if you think about sharks, I would never advise you of this destination.
CHAPTER 5. THE THREE BEARS
Continuing south towards Yallingup by the Caves Road, you will see a sign indicating Biddles Road, without a 4 × 4 or try it, I already did it for you. After a dirt track this road will take you to Three Bears. Throughout the trip I only had the opportunity to surf it 3 days, much less than I would have liked. Always using the same technique, leaving the van at the beginning of the track and waiting with the table and the suit to have some 4 × 4 roll up and approach me. That the access is bad it avoids the masses and is that the 3 bears is a very sweet spot. The one who put the name did not break his head, but at the same time defines very well what you are going to find.
Papa Bears is the 1st reef, with a powerful and critical take off, throws a tubazo and at times almost goes dry. Mama Bears is another good left but more noble and maneuverable, while Baby Bears is a candy. There are locals, but surfers have very good waves. I have triumphed the 3 days that I have gone and I have been surfing all day until I faint. Definitely one of my favorite spots, do not go without going. Between 3 Bears and Yallingup there are a couple more waves, one I think is called Shivery Rocks, but without a local and a good 4 × 4 or try.
CHAPTER 6. YALLINGUP: A SURF OASIS
There is a before and after on the surftrip until you reach Yallingup. After driving on dirt tracks and doing miles. With more effort than reward, you will come to this small oasis of peace, tranquility and good surfing, which every time you go, it will be difficult to get away. Small town, surfing reservation and magic place, definitely one of my favorite spots of the whole trip. The main Yallingup breakwater is easy to find, as you will see it in front of the parking lot. There is a playground with the replica of a tube, which when you hit a button comes out as if it were a sifonazo and where the children play and imitate the tubes of his local hero Mr. Taj Burrow. Next to the park you will see a statue, monument to the surfer, where in the plate you will read the importance that this place has in the surfing in Australia, a pioneer place in WA and by extension in the whole world. If this is mecca, this place smells 100% surfing.
Anyone who has ever been in Australia is aware of how well they are careful about everything, in that we have much to learn. From any of the viewpoints you will have a good view of everything and between session and session you will listen to the local surfers, comment the waves, the winds and tides … that does not change anywhere in the world and that always makes you feel at home. If you look ahead, pinch yourself but you are not dreaming, your eyes will light up when you see a reef that seems to be cut by a knife by the hand of God. This reef creates behind it, towards the shore, a natural swimming pool, where the water is that color that the postcards have and where children and bathers go easy on the beach. Once past this 1st reef begins the good. The beak runs right and left, the right being more technical and fast; Beware of the last maneuver because it stays dry. Meanwhile, the left is picking up depth as you move along the canal, but not before you have gone adrenaline, seeing the amount of rocky mushrooms that appear in your path, especially the smaller days. It is a wave marvel, very good sessions and a highly recommended spot.
There is a great surf culture, you can breathe surfing on all sides and inside and out of the water there are mythical immensity per square meter. There is no Meco, Lolis here … there are 80 in the water and surf hard. Each session is a blast and this place is a must in your surfari. Small days are filled with myths with longs and sups.
Also, think that from Yallingup to Margaret River there are about 45 min. By car and is a good place of reference, good indicator of the sea that you will find you on the way. Usually a little less sea comes in than in Margaret River.
To the left of the beach there is a flat reef, Rabbits, where good leaves come out, often with tubazos. There is also another Shallows wave, which flips right and left peaks over the rock slab.
Leaving the parking lot of Yallingup there is a viewpoint and in front breaks a dry left that throws very good tubes and is hilarious. Against bigger bigger, because the sea take off away from the rocks. A little further on there is another viewpoint to the right, from where you will see Smith Beach and the tubular right of Supertubes if you take a path of about 3min.
From Smith Beach there is also a track of about 5 min. That takes you to Supertubes. Smith Beach reminds France a little, left bank and left and right banks, being the best peak to the right of the beach. The big days in the left corner leave a lefty stuck to the rocks very funny.
All this in about 10-15min. Walking, so it’s no wonder Pros of world-class Taj and other great surfers have inherited this surf culture and come out of the crib by surfing and almost with a written destination.
A wonderful place, with very good waves and a great surfing story behind. But in case it was not enough, from here to Margaret River the thing does not stop.
CHAPTER 7 INJIDUP: THE SECRET OF TOM CURREN
Take the Wyadup Road exit and follow it to the end where you will reach the parking lot and you will find two brutal reefs, the Injidup and beyond Pea Break. Of the powerful olones, only for the brave ones . They are two adrenaline waves, but at the same time perfect, especially the big days, that do not go so much on the rocks. If you break your board, or the invention, you are quite annoying. There are baths that either go victorious or you will go out by the rocks.
In many of the videos of Taj Burrow and Tom Curren comes this wave. In fact, I recently read an interview where Curren said it was his favorite surf spot in Australia.
Injidup reminds me of many Portuguese waves. Turning the road back to Injidup reef, there is a road, Cape Clairault, which borders the coast and you will reach a parking lot. From the viewpoint you will see on the left Injidup Point, a very good left-hand pointbreak, with pipes and dry sections. Meanwhile, on the beach there are two picazos that break on a bottom of reef and sand, that good days is a pure pipe of rights. Super fun and usually protected from the wind. Fun waves. Recommended.
After Injidup there are a couple of Wildcat waves and The Window, then Moses Rock and then look at a road that runs Juniper Road. This road will take you to Gallows (lehdon), Guillotines and Hangmans, two hard reefs of complicated rights, but where you surf alone or with very few people because the access is complicated.
Throughout this area there are several tracks that lead you to good waves, but without a local or a good 4 × 4 you will lose the time and I recommend following road towards the next bay.
CHAPTER 8. COWARANUP BAY: THE PARK OF ATTRACTIONS
Gracetown, on Cowaranup Bay, is an incredible little town, within a postcard bay. It is halfway between Yallingup and Margaret River, about 25 min and if there is sea, it is a real amusement park for any surfer. Windy days and lots of sea is one of the best options, because it is very protected.
As you arrive there is a viewpoint of land to the right where you will have the best panoramic view of the entire bay. If you are on fire, you will be thankful to be there. Underneath, in the boat ramp it breaks a right, North Point. On the first day the small surfing and anticipated the potential of the wave, but with the biggest swell of the trip, when I returned, I could not imagine nor in my best dreams that the wave could be like this. When this big is a show and you will see the biggest tubes almost of the trip. Nothing to envy to Indo and barrels where a bus enters, or yourself tucked into one of the biggest gaps of your life. When it’s all outdated, Gracetown is the option, so it fills up with troops and the right of North Point makes it especially of bugueros, jet skies and surfing it of back-side, is so fast that the usual thing is that you eat and you of The beating of your life, not without having slipped a few meters for a dream barrel. The truth is that the wave is very jarta, pure tube and also at the end of the wave forms an elbow and remains totally dry. There are days, like in Hawaii, that you will enter with 2 meters and in a matter of hours, will enter series of 3 or 4 that will explode you with violence in the head. Only for the brave ones . It is a hard wave and consequences, where my only advice is to rewind the waves as if your life depended on it, take a good line inside the tube and pray. It is a wave spectacle, inside the water nobody gives anything away and you breathe tension, especially when you see lineups of more than 10 waves on the horizon that you know will creak you. Complicated catch waves with so many bugueros, but if it breaks or you do not think. From the outside it seems a thing, but when you are inside and you see the cylinders you will change your face and if you rub your eyes well … they are tubazos what you see.
If you want to make it quiet you can paddle from the boat ramp, but from the rocks choose the timing well and see that there is no series or you will have complicated.
To the left of North Point there is a reef that when this big is full of surprises and following the road to the left on the other side of the bay there are waves less hardcore than North Point. In front of the parking lot you will see a wave that breaks over reef and sand called Hussers and that on the small days it is full of children, longs and supers, where you surf funny waves of left and right. In the background you will see the left of South Point. This wave reminds me of the fortress, in Cantabria, but more technical. The descent is a heart attack as the wave is collected super close to the rocks and the locals know well where to put, so study their movements, but my advice is to wait underneath the one that escapes, or better yet, go for The big ones of the series. You will go on a foam slime, cutback, do not recreate much or you will get into the rocks, take a good line and possibly throw a relatively comfortable pipe. When you leave, you will have an eternal cutback, carveale well, stick back to the rocks and hook another section of tube, then recreate carving and cutbacks until almost reach the shore. Super fun and very good wave. Recommended.
From the parking there is a track that takes you almost to the tip to jump off the rocks and you avoid the paddling from the shore. The left is much more relaxed than the right and if you want to remove the buitreo from the brigades of North Point and the tension on the right I recommend it.
This bay is hilarious, has given me very good sessions and when it is small left of the bay, follow the road, you will find an immense beach with very good peaks and fun sessions. The last shark attack had occurred here less than a month ago, but as I said, that danger will exist throughout the surftrip.
CHAPTER 9. THE LONELINESS OF ELLENSBROOK
Just 15 mins from Margaret in the north there are several waves and reefs on the left and right of high quality with good tubes and very few people like Lefthanders, Big Rock, Cobblestones, Noiseys … but I would definitely highlight Ellensbrook. There are very good waves, I have had sessions alone, or with very few people and if you want to relax and surf it’s just the point before you get to Margaret River. Recommended.
CHAPTER 10. MARGARET RIVER and THE LORD OF THE FLIES
Before arriving at Margaret River (MR) all your instincts have already awakened. The road is beautiful, with trees on the sides creating a natural tunnel, vineyards of grapes and kangaroos everywhere, who welcome you. The village is beautiful, with skate parks and some nightlife, with Settlers as a point of reference for seeing concerts and having a beer. There are caves, excursions, lovely houses and a quality of life still higher than the Australian average which in general is already high in itself. The waves are 6 km from the village and it is normal that with the waves and flights to Indo for less than 100 AUS the ozzys surf and tubeen as they do.
Few things knew before going to South West Australia, but MR certainly was one of those known sites. The place breathes surfing around all the corners and is a very comfortable and dreamy place for a surfer.
One of the best things is to see the water level, especially watching the older ones, with their zztop beards and their military helmets on their heads, look like they came out of a movie. Great surfing culture and great surf spot.
I recognize that at the beginning of arriving at Margies, as locals call it, I felt a little overwhelmed, so many reefs breaking outside, the wind, the flies … but soon you are controlled the wind, the spots, the tides and you quickly understand that You are in a real paradise. Waves everywhere, the closest thing to the Hawaiian north shore I’ve met and you, a surfer, wanting to improve and prove to yourself that you’re prepared to catch these bombs, launch you into the wildest take offs of your life, carvear Some of the most powerful waves and entering caverns, not knowing very well where the exit is. Because, in the end, this would sum up very well what Margies is. They are hard waves, where you have to paddle and throw yourself decisively or you will be lost. Take some good skewers, because the big days you will need them. It moves a lot of water and is one of the most consistent surf spots in the world, with waves throughout the year. Hawaii seemed to me much more quality, but the strength of the waves, the descents and certain sessions yes that resemble.
I will start the MR wave tour through Surfers Point, better known as The Point, the central parking lot and the amphitheater of this great show. I think it’s where I’ve spent most of the trip and where else I’ve surfed. Perhaps it is the wave where more people are, but the big days become a natural selection, in addition the locals, the zztops and the mythical ones of the helmets are made to respect, reason why traveling alone and respecting, you will not have problems. The point is a comfortable place to surf; The parking gives you a formidable view, has its showers, barbeques and when you go down for the first time, you see the plates reminding the dead, reminding you that just like in Yallingup, you are in a SHARE / RESPECT / PROTECT protected nature reserve. You go down the stairs, you see the bank dedicated to all those who took their last wave, before you saw the monument with the girl skating in the entrance of the parking, but now your gaze stops at the plaques that are glued on the stairs that give access to the beach. You begin to read the names of the winners of the mythical and prestigious MR Pro, until you step on the sand, then your pulse accelerates, you begin to row by the small natural channel that makes the reef and you know that you are entering a historical cultural spot of Surfing
All these thoughts and feelings dissipate quickly because you see the 1st set of waves rising on the horizon and although you know that for a 1st bath in Margies with 2 meters you find yourself comfortable, you have already seen how the reef is entering and of course you do not want Make yourself some porridge there in the 1st bathroom. There are in the water ZzTop and all the military green helmets. You stand politely in the lineup, you’ve already seen a bomb drop and you’ve experienced the strength of the sea with your 1st duckdives. Suddenly, you see that wave that bears your name, is the 3rd wave of the series and you see many more behind, so you do not want to fail. Remas with force, as if your life was in it, with a skewer under the chest, you still do not know very well how it will react and there awaits you; That eternal take off, that seems to stop time, your tongue tense like that of a reptile, the heart that seems to come out of your mouth and your eyes about to get out of orbit. Once down, you know that you have achieved the worst ” God this is !” You make a broad and saving buttom. I have always thought that there are two types of surfers, those who close their buttom well to stick strong to the lip and back straight down and those who do a broad buttom to escape the critical part of the wave and stay safe on the wall of the wave. Undoubtedly, in tenths of a second, my head gives the order to my body that it is not the moment to try to nail the reentrazo of my life in the 1st wave at The Point, so I opt for the 2nd option.
Even so, you were wrong if you thought it was over, because the wave has made its own decision and while you opted for the buttom turn sure, she had other plans for you. A huge, thick, tubular wall is right in front of you. How can that be ? “” You think.
Your options are closed to merely two; Or throw yourself off the boat and start eating the session, knowing also that behind the waves come more wanting to mistreat you, or go inside yes or yes. Tenths of a second separate many decisions in life to hit or miss, but a tube in the first wave and already in the salvation of the channel, knew immediately that this wave and I were going to get along, very well.
The left at The Point many days is pure adrenaline that we like. Bajadón, tube with luck, a precious cutback, a twist, some carving and a couple of more cutbacks, until the wave catches depth in the channel. However, the right is really where the ” nougat ” is. Faster, more powerful at times and although it ends in dry and the left has more fame, to me personally I think better wave. In fact not only me, almost all people try to leave right and when they come every year the pros to the left answer practically neither look at it. In any case, it is an olon and it occupies a wonderful central place in all this coliseo of waves.
From the parking lot of The Point on your right you are watching The Box, you can also see it from Rivermouth Beach, where Josh Palmeteers, a mythical surfer of the area (I think next to Dave Macaulay are those who have won more times the MR Pro) Has a surf school. It is a very nice beach, with the Margaret River at its feet and has fun days, especially when the wind blows to the other sides is a good option, although it is usually a hick, or fast right with some back wash. To get wet is good for many days. From here you can see The Box. We all know this wave, a slab of rights that in the photos and posters of house is nickel-plated, but live impresses. I’ve surfed two little days and it’s almost more dangerous. Another big day I have put myself in the channel and I have seen 5 bugueros make some tubazos like castles. Open in the channel, watching it changes the perspective of the wave. It also does not cool, because knowing that in the Margies area there have been 7 deadly shark attacks in the last 3 years, it is best to get into the reef. A crazy wave, will have its days, but I mainly have seen bugueros and two of the biggest days if I have flipped with the wave.
To the left of The Box there are more reefs, but nothing remarkable and they are very hard reefs.
Returning to Surfers Point, to your left this Southside. Same reef as The Point, but its orientation is different. Good right, infernal downs, but I’m left with the left, it seems that nobody wants because it ends in dry, connecting with the right of The Point, but to me it has seemed an olón. Small days are a lot of fun. Big days is a shuttle, and throws good tubes. Suicidal call her.
As if all this was not enough, to the left of South Point is The Bombie, to my taste the hardest wave of all, especially after tasting it live. I had several sessions at The Point and I always saw The Bombie on the right with similar waves, at least in that distance and a lot less people. Not that The Point is overcrowded, it has many days with very few people, but I saw that other lonely olon. One day I decided to stick the patch and go see it. There were 4 guys in the water and they were getting some of the wildest drops I had seen on the whole trip. Loaded with motivation I decided to throw myself on my 1st wave, but fly from above, fall on the reef and have me under water just in time to be able to surface and take a breath of air, before hunt me the series back , Was not in my plans. ” God that forces and that fury has this wave ” – I thought.
Still overlapping the wipeout of the trip and not knowing very well whether to leave with pride touched to the shore or what to do, I decided to give it a 2nd chance. I realized that everyone was throwing their drops from a safer area than the one I had opened. I went back 3 masucos, my confidence came back to me, but maybe I should never return, because in the fourth wave I ate even more richly than in the 1st beat.
After almost letting me die underwater, Neptune had to take pity on me and decided that the lesson for that day was more than learned. ” This is The Bombie champion, now go and pick up your board .” Throughout the stir I had felt how my leash had been reduced to the fineness of a spaghetti, until I stopped feeling it. I had enough to fight for my life, to worry about my board, with his GoPro on the tip, which immortalized so beautiful moment of my life, just in case I could forget this massive wipeout (top 3 of my life). Shaking the adrenaline of my body, I realized that floating in the middle of nowhere in those waters, not knowing where my table was, nor my GoPro was not something nice. When I started swimming in search of my lifeguard, still a little flashed by the hum of the humble, my hero appeared, a smiley ozzy who carried my board, included GoPro and who had seen the whole play.
” G’mate. Are you ok? That was radical ! “” Yeahhh, sweet, Thank U brother, “I replied resignedly, as I climbed onto my table and rowed away from a wave with which from that day on I maintained a love-hate relationship, with some fun session, but Mostly wipeouts for framing.
Escaping from The Bombie are all the reefs of the beautiful Prevelly Park. They are very good waves and with very few people, which I really recommend. Fun sessions, where you can choose your wave well and enjoy a relaxed session. In the background there is a wave I heard that is very good, Boat Ramps, right next to Gnarabup Beach, but the paddling has never motivated me to meet her. Gnarabup Beach is a magical place, with a little beach of crystal clear water and where it went every evening, when the wind came, or the heat was not so suffocating, to swim, to dive and to fish. There is a sup school and has a very handsome track that is attached to the beach and reaches Surfers Point, ideal for running. The whole area is amazing, but this place has something special.
Knowing the waves of Margaret and exploring them is easy, just follow the road that goes close to the coast. After Gnarabup take a detour to Ocean View, from where you will see the most amazing sunsets and you will have a vision of everything you leave behind, spectacular.
Then you will see a detour that leads to Breeze Point, which will take you to the Grunters slope and from there you will see the Gas Bay and Boodijup beach.
Grunters is a small thing, where it is full of Longboarders, children and superos while in big changes radically and is a wave of consequences. I loved it and many days it is somewhat more protected from the wind and has fewer people.
Gas Bay has its days, it is a right that breaks on rock and sand. Usually there is a troop, so if you want more relaxation you have the whole beach of Boodijup for you alone. When you are down this beach and Rivermouth are two of the best options.
When you are big and you see roar and pump MR, you will not know where to start, you will feel small in the range of possibilities and you will understand why many speak of this area as the Australian North Shore.
The sun is killer throughout the trip and always go encremado and refreshed. One day you do not do it, you will pay it and more than the sharks, the sun is the real danger in Australia.
A CLASSIC DAY AT MARGIES- Get up early, go to Surfers Point, check the best option from there. If there is luck and there is no wind surfing The Point and the reefs until the wind blows and you seek refuge in Gnarabup Beach, where you fish, dive, swim and train until dusk. Dine, go to town, rest and wish another day like this.
Tip- If you get up and Margies is out of the water or windy, go quickly to Gracetown where you will have good waves. Yallingup is probably just as outdated, but Injidup’s beaches and rights will be on fire. Also Smith beach. It is 40 min drive between Yallingup and Margaret. Take advantage of each session because the wind is quite unpredictable.
The wind is something that will accompany you throughout the trip and in some areas can get you upset. In Margies in the evenings the wind usually goes out and as the evening progresses it goes to more, even at night it is powerful. Many mornings mornings at 6am and it is best to almost wait at 8am which starts to lose. It is curious and different from the way the wind has to act here, with respect to our beaches. It is a paradise for kites, windsurfers and wind enthusiasts. Surfers Point, The Point, is an intense place, where surfers, kites and windsurfers are relieved and one of the spots that more juice is removed. The truth is that if I lived here, I think I would end up doing surfing and kiting, because it is a paradise for both sports. So if you want to surf, get up early is the solution and pray it is not one of those windy days.
The Flies – Wind and Flies should be the title of the trip. At this point in the journey, Gorka Yarritu’s words ” Nachete remember me when you were surrounded by flies ” had already made sense. The heat certainly helps, but I always thought the wind and the flies did not get along … how wrong it was.
There are moments that you find yourself laughing only at the situation of seeing you with 15-20 flies on you, shaking you and the second having the same or more. If it is true that they last 24 hours, many have spent half life with me and others have come to name them and take them until sweetheart. The buzzing is constant and after 2 months of life with the flies, on my pen there is now one, I have come to this interesting theory. MR stands out for the vineyards, the flies must love the wine and they become very heavy and flamenco, in the vineyards they are fired by the wind, aimlessly, until they find human flesh, an oasis to rest of their flight and with Wanting to share their drunkenness and desire to march, they will believe that they are funny and that they have a handsome punch, but in fact they are heavier than the brother-in-law of Rocky. It’s not a scientific theory, but it’s the only explanation I’ve found lol
CHAPTER 11 REDGATE, CONTO SPRING AND ODISEA BORANUP
Getting out of MR will cost you, but if you head south, towards Augusta there is a 15-minute detour that takes you to Redgate, a wonderful little beach with glitters, clear water and an intimidating sign at the entrance to Danger Sharks beach. The place is worth it and has great fun waves as well as being a beautiful place. Further south on the road to Augusta you will find the road to Conto Springs. It is a track of mud and sand, but if it has not rained it is easy to get there and in the end there is a reward. Look, there are incredible beaches and places on this side of the coast, but Tale is sure to be one of the medals. Also, surfing alone. Take everything if you do not want to die of heat. Head to Augusta again, next stop is Boranup Beach. Honestly I do not recommend taking a beating on the mud track, they are over 30 min each way and although the site is amazing and surfing alone, too much effort, for little reward. My advice of these 3 options I would stay by order of quality of the waves and accessibility with Redgate, Conto and Boranup in that order.
CHAPTER 12 IN HAMMELIN BAY THERE IS NO FLUTIST AND IN AUGUSTA?
On the way to Augusta you will find the beautiful Bay of Hamelin Bay, where the flute player unfortunately does not follow the waves. Where there are waves is in Augusta, a beautiful town, with the river sheltered from the wind, where tourists and locals bathe, while the huge beach and some reefs, although they have potential, are ruined by the strong wind. Another paradise for wind lovers
CHAPTER 14 WALPOLE AND ITS INFERNAL TRACKS
Following the route to Walpole, the journey becomes long and tedious, with the only company of heavy-duty trucks, the macabre game of counting the dead kangaroos on the roadsides and the relaxing wrapping of the great redwoods that surround the road On both sides and without whose shadow you would die. It’s a nice trip, but once you get to Mandalay Beach, about 30 km from Walpole, all you want to do is get in the water and refresh yourself. For this, you had to pass a track of infernal land of more than 6 km, although you see that they begin to prepare it to asphalt, inside the national park, where kangaroos, alive this time, constantly cross in front of your car. When you arrive at the beach you can not believe it, what a beauty, what a beauty and the best of everything, it has cost you, but you surf without a doubt alone, perhaps with the company of some shark.
Site wonder, fun waves, but watch out for the currents, no joke. A little further south, this sandy beach, a long, narrow and picturesque beach, but I doubt it has waves. There is a track of about 3 km and a very good campground next to the river. Recommendable.
Walpole is a very pretty village that is located within a natural park that gives it its name and life on both sides of the river. Very cool.
The next beach is Coalmine. There are no waves, but a campsite where you can stay.
In addition to these beaches you will also find Hush Hush, Circus and Lost, super nice, but little waves. Where you do have olitas is in Conspicious Beach and Peaceful Bay, where there is a right-handed pointbreak, which despite the heavy track of land, along with Mandalay are the two options that I recommend most in the area of Walpole / Nornalup.
CHAPTER 15 MONGE TAK DK. THE RETURN TO HOME AND ITS SECRETS
About 20 km from Denmark (DK), direction Albany is a super nice place, where you will also be left on the beach bus, Parrys Beach, something complicated during the trip, where you will have to be playing all day Cat and mouse, since when being treated almost all of beaches within natural parks is very protected.
In this zone the wind is so strong that many nights you will feel that you are sleeping in a cradle rocker. Unfortunately, that wind ruined surfing all day long.
Parrys is a beautiful, lush white sand beach, crystal clear water, good peaks all along the beach on the left and right. I recommend staying here for a couple of days and charging batteries.
Going south, direction DK the next stop I recommend is William Bay, where there are amazing beaches for swimming and snorkeling, such as Green Pool, Elephant Rock, Madfish Bay and Waterfall Bay. Transparent water and good point to refresh yourself and follow the route. Spectacular.
Having lived a year in Denmark for years, every time I saw on the map that was approaching the Australian Denmark brought me very good memories. As you enter DK, a very cool town, to the right you will see the Ocean Beach sign, take it and then you will be directed to Lights Beach, an amazing place with a small islet with waves and huge beach on one side and a natural pool on the other. Good surfing alone, I would not mind living here the truth. It is within the William Bay Nature Park. Recommended.
Ocean Beach is for me the best place in this area. It’s the beach of DK, there’s a school and surf club, surfing atmosphere and funny waves all over the beach, immense, left and right. Nice place, spectacular beach and olitas. From the top you have a viewpoint from where you can see everything.
Recommended. You will see hundreds of kangaroos along the way, as in many places, especially at dusk and at night, crossing the road. In fact, you have to be careful with this.
DK has some olitas and some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The truth that this site has flipped me and both the going and the return, I have stopped and enjoyed some good solo sessions. Vi ses DK Mange Tak.
CHAPTER 16 ALBANY 2 POINTS
All this area, Walpole, DK and Albany, are almost all beaches with peaks on both sides, within natural parks, whose beauty is difficult to express on paper. It is not the highest quality, but as I say surfing alone and is a good surftrip, if there are no waves in the area of Yallingup and MR, or if there is strong south. Because, let’s not fool ourselves, the quality of South West Australia is those 40 km from Y-MR.
Continuing along the way and leaving in sorrow Ocean Beach to the south, there are several beaches, such as Robinson, Goat Boat Beach, Lowlands and Mutton Bird beach, pretty but very exposed to the wind and as far as surfing is concerned nothing special to scratch .
Following the South Coast Highway to the south, about 50 km from DK, you will find the picturesque city of Albany, where modernity mixes in the most Yankee-Australian style, with British-Australian ancient history. It is a very beautiful city with several very cool bays, such as the Frenchman, a river where to bathe and some remarkable waves like Middleton Beach, the city beach, kilometer, but very exposed to the wind, except to the right of the whole, Right where the salvage building, where you can take some fun bath and there is a surf school. Thus everything, the island opposite block the sea. In the Frenchman Bay, San Patch Road there is a wave that fishermen say is surfing, but the truth is that it does not invite much to surfing … Sharky place.
CAP 17 CHEYNE BEACH, HOPE AND DREAMS OF THE FUTURE
Leaving Albany my intention was to reach Hopetoun and Esperanza, but when I read the poster of “Next Esperanza station 476km” I thought twice. What little he had read and researched was that the water was colder and that it was sea of great white sharks. Few surfers and seeing the map ” 476km more for this ?” For nothing of the world wanted to miss the swell that arrived in 3 days at MR. Then studying the map I saw a last option before the road was lost in the interior, a place that by its location and sure that there had to be good waves and was only about 50 km south of Albany, Cheyne Beach, with that name in Australia, had to be a good point.
From the South Highway take direction to Many Peaks and then you will see the sign that indicates Cheyne Beach to 19 km. As you arrive from the top of the road you are impressed with the magnitude of the beach, the color of the sand, the water and … hope that’s it, you wonder while you rub your eyes, because you still do not give credit what you’re watching. “Is that a right point break ? In the east of the bay you will see it clear and if you explore a little more you will find Point Anne and Point Charles, but almost I leave you the pleasure to do it. That place, bathrooms alone, two or three maximum in the water and a full olon. I would highly recommend this hotel and if you want to continue your adventure to Southeast Australia then head to Adelaide, Melbourne …. make sure you bring a good 4 × 4, go well equipped and dream about the waves of Cactus Bay, Caves, etc.
For me a trip represents not only the trip itself, but a trip to oneself and in that sense this destination is unbeatable, because apart from surfing, there are few more things that can be done. I needed a trip like that for a long time. Traveling alone is always a challenge, but at the same time a stimulus. Long time only helps you to know yourself, to reflect on many things and to think about those that you have done well / badly, that you want to improve in your life and motivate you in new projects and courses that you want to take in your life. Charge the batteries and return with different vibrations to those that you left of origin.
Two months only give for many experiences and although I love traveling with my brother Capi, family, friends, the last few years traveling alone have taught me much and I love it. That intensity is generated, knowing that you can not fail, but at the same time that peace you receive after an intense season of school. Be alone with your head, your thoughts and your heart, for good and for bad.
I’m on the plane, on my way home, thinking about everything I leave behind, the feeling you have when you finish a trip, the uncertainty of knowing if you will return, or if, on the contrary, you are leaving behind many spectacular places that you may never Come back Meanwhile, you think of what is known and what comes to you, realizing that there are many things I will miss, such as Yallingup, MR, especially the parking of Surfers Point with its sunrises and dusk, those Australian sunsets that improve every day To the previous one. The heat and the scorching sun during the day that give way to the nocturnal cold. The skies, the stars, the incredible moons and again a day of sun and heat; A heat and a sun that blind you as you drive along endless roadways covered with wildlife, vegetation and animals that cross your path, or just greet you as you go; Others, alas, will never again greet anyone in this life, lying on the hot asphalt. The wildlife. Animals, infinite flora and fauna, forests and natural parks. The nature, the landscapes, the incredible beaches and postcard bays. Get up and sleep with noises and surrounded by kangaroos. I admit that I am passionate about kangaroos, watching them every day became a wonderful routine. Peace and tranquility, the journey itself. Surf to drop. The amount of surfing sessions alone, in amazing places that will remain recorded forever. The beauty of the beaches, some endless walking, such as Walpole, Albany and especially Denmark. The touch and color of sand and sea water. Diving, fishing and strolling through dream spots. The nerves inside the water, the shadows, the constant shark that is constant, the dolphins jumping and sharing some waves … the trip itself, even after so many weeks may even end up missing, although I doubt it much, in the wind And the flies, the flies, the flies … What good are flies?
Australians have a quality and high standard of living, taking the best of the States and Europe and doing it in their own way. We have a lot to learn from Australians, how they care for beaches, nature, the love they feel for animals, the dogs’ movements on the beaches, the beach facilities they have, the baths, the bins, the Cult to the sport … although we are not deceived, they have a problemón with the alcohol and they have no idea of what a good party is. The people in general are rolled up, some local mamon … But where there are not any?
Many times we see ourselves living times past or future, but I think the good thing about surfing is that it makes you live the present. Seeing so many older people surfing the water during this trip, especially in Yallingup and MR I have understood what surfing is and means for so many people, in which I include myself.
Having learned to surf being so small, I think surfing unites all the stages of our life and especially our current state with our childhood. It makes us feel like when we took those first waves and give up surfing, it would somehow have to cut that umbilical cord with our favorite game, which are the waves and surfing. It is what gives us peace and harmony. To let the saltpetre out of our veins at this height of our lives would be like renouncing our most personal self, everything that we have grown up with.
We can not forget all that surf has given us, contributed and taught during all these years. Watch the excitement of a man of 60 years when lowering a wave and feel the same as when he was a child. Hold on to those longed for youth, who even knowing he will not return, is surfing, something as simple as that which keeps us young and alive. When I see that 60-year-old man and look him in the eye, I do not know the thousand and one battles he will have had in his life, but I know he feels young when he surfs, like a child and I think- ” I also want to be a Child at 60 “
As the great Mr. Pipeline says, Gerry Lopez ” The best surfer on the water is the one who has the best “
Many times we give more importance to surf than we should, when in reality it is pure and simply that, fun and connection with nature.
Not wanting to grow, knowing that your problems stay out of the water.
The things you see inside the water are extrapolable to the real world outside, on the shore. You see things, attitudes, personalities … we should all strive, in and out of the water and make this world something better, more solidary and human.
A child does not have evil and the little he can have is imitated by seeing him in adults. Surfing is not evil, it’s the problems and attitudes outside that splash our waters.
Many times that ” bravado ” that we all have, I also include myself, surfing better or worse, being this or that, should make us think and reconsider that we are nothing and no one else than the left or right, that is right now In the water, next to you … and that, like you, feels like a child.
I have always thought that a journey is much more than the journey itself, it is also a journey into oneself, towards your thoughts and your feelings, towards your heart and your head. I am aware that every time I do a surfari, especially alone, I miss many attractive, cultural and historical things of that country. It’s something I take for granted when I travel to surf. There are a thousand Australias within Australia and this account of my trip has not had more pretension that, in many moments to give coherence to my thoughts and my solitude, not to lose the head, but mainly to help to all those who are planning this surftrip and the No, motivate you to do it one day, wish you a good trip and encourage you to continue being and feeling like children. Keep on surfing. Whatever happens in your life, keep paddling. Peace