Been a long time since I’ve written anything, or at least it feels like it, a lot has happened. But finally I had a thought that set my fingers on the keyboard again; I found a word for the weird feeling I always get when I fly: guilt. I cannot help to think how much they really burn fuel while hearing the sound of roaring engines accelerating a two hundred ton plane to speeds up to 900km/h. Let alone the amount of commercial flights made every day! By the way its around 28000 per day. Daunting.
Leevi showing a more sustainable way of flying in Madrid
I spent 5 days in Madrid, hanging out and rolling around with Leevi and some other random people. Went to see couple of really good documentaries on a film festival held in Legazpi. We ate really well, enjoyed the Madridian street culture as well as parks and bars plus of course had very interesting discussions about almost everything. I found a lot of good hills through internet to skate, just an hour bus trip away. Couldn’t do them now, I got my back jammed up quite bad, once again. Next time…
Half an hour away from Porto is Espinho, a nice small town on the beach with cool surf culture. Every Monday, a big outdoor market is put up by the locals where you can by anything from live chicken to flip-flops
After Madrid, I took a night bus to Porto on 4th and arrived on Monday the 5th. Met Anttu around 6-7am at his place, he hadn’t slept at all and just came from a portuguese Vappu party called Keimas. Same morning we woke up and went surfing straight away after breakfast. I took Lucas’ 7’2’’ which worked really well. You can imagine it felt absolutely heaven like to be back in the water, specially since it has been almost 2 years since I’ve done it the last time. The session itself went very well, I got washed the first try, and three or four after that were really good, long runs! Such a relieve to get it started this way. The same evening we started tracking the best places for good surf for the following week.
Anton having the “like-a-kid giggling-while-running”-moment at a secret (read. cannot remember the name) spot
Turned out that Galicia in NW spain seemed the best place since more swell would hit it from NW and less wind than Porto area. The coastline had more variables as well than the straight N to S beaches of Portugal. Tuesday 6th of May after morning and evening session at Espinho, we headed to the airport to pick up a rental car. We were supposed to get the car at 9pm and be on the way to Spain at 10pm, but once again nothing went as planned. After playing with credit cards and insurances we finally got the car. We were in La Lanzada, a nice south facing beach around 2am, put up tents straight away and went to sleep, eager to see how the conditions would be when the sun rose.
Rio Siera, probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve come by in Europe
Niki and Mark making sure there is no waves to be missed before we drive off to next spot
For our surprise we had picked up the most crowded place, near a big parking lot to put up our tents. No problemo, we packed up and got changed really quick and got in to the water. Which was super clean and turquoise like in Hawaii or Australia. Really nothing like I would’ve imagined of anywhere in Europe. Session was really fun and superb start for a road trip. We had another session that evening close to LaLz and drove one more hour north towards Santiago de Castellano for the next camping/surfing spot. There were me, Tonino (Antton), Niki (Nicholas), Mark from France and Marion from Germany, who unfortunately had to bail after 2 nights, too bad.
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Pretty ghost like spot it was, thinking of all the shit thats gone through before and since the place was abandoned in the first century. Like an add-on to the spookiness, there was a mysterious light shining from the fortress when we were walking away from it…
We camped for 4 nights on the beaches and surfed for 5 days. Spots like La Lanzada, Rio Siera aka Furnas, Praia do Louro and some hidden small clean beach near La Lanzada. Lucas, whom I just met the earlier day, had to leave back to Germany for some family issues and he was crazy generous to let me borrow his well used 6’2’’ fish for the road trip. Maybe it was better that he didn’t know me better, I’m not that good with material possessions. This time there was no problems, no dings, no accidents so it was all good! This board choice for this swell and these beaches were perfect and I scored some of the best waves I’ve got since Hawaii, maybe even since I started surfing in Brazil! Thanks brother, it would’ve been a struggle with any other board!
Tonino loosening up the mood to a level of “tropical-digestion”
This cove played as a huge amphitheatre for the orchestra of waves. Sometimes a huge set would brake somewhere far out in the night and the echo of the roar would fill up the place. After a minute or two, the sound of water and sand meeting would creep up the beach, suddenly waking me up to a thought “IT’S COMING IN!!”
The road trip was a huge success with the best people. We got back to Porto late on Saturday evening. Sunday was more or less a layday, and monday surf was ON again. Surfed three days in a row, 2-3 times a day and at the best 6-7 hours a day, what more can you ask for? Porto and the whole trip up and down the coastline had really positive vibe altogether and was almost without any unnecessary kuumotuksia, if you don’t take account the sketchy dealers in Espinho monday-market.
Porto sprucing up
Somehow after the surf trip we couldn’t manage to drop the Trangia. So we went out and cooked in the park.
On thursday 15th of May I packed up my bags, went to get olives, bananas and a one last Pastel de nata before I headed down to Oporto for my flight to Helsinki via London Gatwick. I ended up losing my board bag during the connection in London, but got to Helsinki and hey, at least I didn’t have to drag a huge 20kg trolley behind me from place to place. I struggled to get my bag back but it finally arrived at the airport on the last day of my stay in Helsinki, HUGE relieve! Helsinki days were really cool as well, it was the first well above +20 decrees days. I spent some time with Janne and Anna, went to see Maria in Kannelmäki, had a very nice coffee once again with Heidi at Caffi, took apart to an old military friend Hannu at his house warming party, met random familiar faces on the streets, skated, played hacky sack and Gubbe with Helsinki’s downhill maniacs Krissu and Janne.
I’m still not sure what’s the name of this game, nor how the rules go
Emily was training to do mini-ramp skating with us. She was a lot better than me…That’s my last two weeks in a nutshell. There has been so many memorable people and moments, back ache, dislocated shoulders, blood on the face, sticks in fingers, hungry mornings, sand in everyones buttcrack, a lot of pasta, girls, guys, cats and dogs, thirsty surfsesssions, laughs and shouting, beer and wine, metros, trains, thoughts and ideas. Nevertheless, it has been even more fun as I can ever make it sound. Thanks to all who have been any part of it, you’ve made it as it has been!
Now I’m sitting in a plane named after Icelands volcano Krafla, on the way to Vancouver. This 7 hour flight with amazing views over the never ending glaciers of Greenland is a good rest for my mind over the trivial everyday thoughts. Lately I’ve ended up spending most of the time around university and college students, and this has given me a good chance to find out how institutionalised and academic people construct their thoughts of the same issues I tend to ponder. Main subjects have been environmental issues, global warming, happiness and misery, humanitarian issues, and some never ending wondering of evolution. Really good and teaching talks have gone past, I’ve learned a lot and hopefully so has someone else too! (And sorry to the one guy in Teekkarisauna, I think I was too rough criticising your direction in life and job at Neste Oil Company, didn’t mean to mindfuck you and your believes.)
I booked a dorm bed from a hostel in Vancouver, I think it has been about 2 years since I stayed in a Hostel with Anttu and Jani in Lisbon, should be fun! We’ll see what happens and what kind of person I get to provoke next