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16 October 2014
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Dentist and Catman relax in a warm pool!

A Fist Full Of Euros

Aug 2004 surf trip exploring Northern Spain featuring - Catman, Sven, Sun, Wilky, The Dentist & Richie...

Avilles and the surrounding area are definitely best avoided. The water here is described as polluted in most guide books and it was depressing to say the least. Everywhere you looked, 'Simpsonesque' style factories and heavy industry were pouring out thick black smoke into the atmosphere, frighteningly close to local housing. The walls of the high rised flats and houses in town were all coated with thick, black gunk so we did our best to escape quickly. Naturally we got lost but made it out eventually!

En route many of the well known spots were either too small or simply not working which was a real shame, as we'd hoped to put in an appearance at 'Rhodilles' where a mystical right hander breaks perfectly off a rivermouth...Maybe next time. Driving the coast road, the potential of the place was obvious, with miles and miles of beaches, coves, point breaks and reef.

Misty view @ DawnThe scenery was breath taking with mountains, beaches and lakes everywhere you looked and old bridges and ancient houses around every corner. Even with Sven's 'Play Station' driving and gear changes from 5th to 2nd at 120 km/ph! It was hard not to be impressed by the scenery flying past the window. We later nicknamed him 'Maureen' from the TV show 'Driving School'.

Tuesday - Late afternoon and we made our first break through. After some seriously windy mountain roads we found a gem of a spot called Verdicio. A small right hander was peeling perfectly into a small cove with increasing consistency at around 2ft. We could imagine how it must look at 6ft! We stopped for a coffee at a little bar over looking the break and willed it to get bigger. It didn't. Cafe view of break at Verdicio

After a quick check of the map and the surfer's bible - 'The Stormrider Guide' - we decided to check the next break which apparently held a good small swell and vowed to return if it wasn't any better. The description was spot on!

Playa De Xago - Pulling into the car park we were greeted with perfect 3ft mechanical barrels breaking in shallow water onto sand. It was one of the fastest wetsuit changes in history as we ran off towards the sea at full pelt. More amazing was the fact that no-one else was surfing! The six of us had the place to ourselves! Son got into it like a man on a mission and scored a couple of nice barrelling rights early on.

Son, lining up for a lip bashEveryone was frantically paddling around in circles not knowing which perfect wave to take next! In all the excitement, The Dentist managed to run over Richie's board, leaving a gaping hole in the underside deck and a large panel of cloth flapping in the breeze.

He subsequently became known as 'Carnage' due to his ability to reek havoc on both land and water! After a quick gaffa tape repair, Richie was back into it.

This was our first proper surf in decent waves so morale was high with everybody hooting each other into waves. It wasn't long before a few locals joined us and after lunch we hit it again and surfed ourselves into the ground. Wilky quickly got to work on a peak over on the right and we shared it with three local amigos.

The cafe here became our favourite refuelling depot over the next couple of days as the food was exceptional and cheap to boot! You can eat like a king in this region of Spain for very little. A platter of delicious local food, costs around £3 including a drink so we couldn't fault it. The traditional Tortilla's were a firm favourite and were a cross between an omlette and a quiche.

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