Star date, captain’s log:
The time. . . . 9:29pm. My mental state. . . compromised. Tonight for dinner the hostel provided an authentic Portuguese meal consisting of a seriously spicy chicken recipe and maximum strength sangria. The latter is taking its affect right now so bear with me. And now, today’s entry!
A tremendous surf report got me out of bed early this morning and by 8:40am, I had eaten my fill of cereal, eggs, and toast and was on my way to the bus station. I had just missed the 8:30 bus to Peniche (pronounced Pen-eesh, not Pen-ee-chay like a stupid tourist - me) and was forced to wait until 10am until the next departure. This was the first point that I wished I would have brought my Ipod with me. I got on the bus and after 45 minutes, hopped off and tried to go to the beach. Not long after I was told by first by a local and then by the bus information lady that I had gotten off my bus about an hour too early. Shitters. The next express bus was not for and hour and a half. That was the second point I wished I had my Ipod. I chopped the hour and a half wait into thirty minutes by coughing up 3.80 euro more and taking a slightly slower local bus to my destination. Finally, at 1pm, I touched down in the elusive town of Peniche. It was awesome. Never had I experienced a place that oozed such welcoming and small town beach vibe. And it was cheap cheap cheap. My initial mission was to locate and survey the Peniche Hostel which had received very high praise from my guidebook, but on my way there I got snagged by another hostel called the Geeko hostel. They gave me a tour and I concluded that this place was the hostel of all hostel’s. I mean the double rooms were nicer than most hotels and the whole complex was brand spanking new. Turns out they had only been open for a month and were eager for customers. So, I made a deal with them and booked a room for Sunday and Monday when, according to Surfline, a new humongous swell was supposed to fill in. As I did so, two fellow surf enthusiasts hustled past me on their way to their car and a beach. I left my bag with reception and quickly followed on the invitation that one of them through out as he jogged by. Within 15 minutes, I had a wetsuit and a board and was on the road to surf heaven. The first spot we checked was cranking and I did a superman quick change into my wetsuit before charging the moderate waters of the unknown break. The first wave broke my leash. The good news was I got plenty of time to reorient myself to the ocean thanks to the paddle out, swim to shore, paddle out combo. From there on out I enjoyed to the fullest my first surf in 5 months (even though I sucked). Ahhhhhhh. When we finally got out, the apple and banana I had substituted for a real lunch were long gone and a trip to the store was necessary. I bought a pound of lunch meats, 3 slices of cheese, a fresh baked baguette, a pear and a Coke Zero. When the checker pointed at the 2.42 euro total on her display, I knew that the Mini-Precio and I were going to be real good friends. I played some guitar – again for the first time in 5 months – with one of the dudes I had surfed with and then caught the bus back to Lisboa, this time careful to avoid premature debusculation. I walked in the door to Traveler’s around 7:45pm and by 9:00pm was stuffing my face with pieces of chicken from the “Super hot” and “To hell!” plates and washing it down with some killer sangria. Next stop, bed.