Waiting for the fog to clear
Luarca, Spain – After arriving in Luarca, I lapped the town’s one way roads four times before finally finding the narrow street the fishing house is on.
It’s so narrow it requires a three point turn at each switchback. God forbid if a car comes the opposite way. I hope your reversing skills are up to scratch. Mine are (now).
I had to do it all again after dumping my stuff and heading back out onto the road to find some waves. It was 6pm, but in this part of the world it doesn’t get dark until after 10pm, so I had a few hours up my sleeve.
Either side of the motorway the landscape is flat and agricultural. The smell of cow shit drifts on the breeze. Low-roofed sidrerias serve the golden-hued local cider (more on that later). The small churches that make up this part of the Camino Santiago pilgrim trail stand tall and proud. All of it set to a backdrop of the baize-green mountains that stretch away into the clouds.
Turn down one of the many roads to the coast and things get interesting. Pine trees line the very edge of the cliffs. Almost every beach has a rivermouth of some sort, carrying the run-off from the rain-drenched mountains. The sunlight filters weakly through the thick sea fog. Deep gullies are filled with gum trees. Sometimes it feels like I’m back home in Western Australia.
It’s also this fog that is making my search for surf pretty difficult. On that first afternoon I wasn’t able to see beyond the shorebreak, let alone make out any surfable waves.
Since then, I’ve checked a couple different beaches to the west of Luarca. It might be sunny and warm on the highway, but down on the beaches among the cliffs and valleys, visibility is down to metres.
Unwilling to spend hours smoking joints and waiting for it to clear, like the band of surfers in the maroon hatchback at one beach, I usually push on and do some sightseeing inland instead, vowing to strike for the beach as soon as the fog lifts.