Rooted Ocean x Goodfin Co Road Trip.
The Plan was set. A four strong crew, Liam, Brad, Matty and myself, a VW T25 and a heap of surf craft. With the rough intention to head as far west as possible, sights being set on Pantin in Galicia, Spain, we pulled in to the dock at Plymouth.
As with any surf trip, especially on our recent form, you never really know what you’re going to find. Charts can be misleading, weather obdurate and cash, thin on the ground. We got straight into it off the Ferry. Playa de Meron, or Spanish Widdy as we named it! Warm water greeted us along with a couple feet of fairly mixed up low period swell. Not what we came for, but a great way to wash off the journey. As a side note, apart from the locals being less than approving of our crew, it’s a great spot to haul up in. Loads of shelter from variable conditions, a good location and fun! It lit up on the last day and got us pumped.
Days led one into the next. A mix of super smooth river mouths, beachies and reefs enabled us to really test our gear. A 10-board quiver from Chris at Bandwagon Custom Surfboards in Bude, kept us stoked. It also meant that as tides dropped, winds increased, rivers let out, we had something for the next session.
Our Second day saw us catch an early wave out front at Meron again before looking for something more. Rivermouth’s were calling us and we got straight on the road after a few morning pastries. Incidentally, the Pain aux chocolate in Spain (Or certainly the bit we were in) are insane! Massive. Stoked.
”It was a joy to watch the boys, from the line-up, scoring some really nice waves.Lee NewbyRooted Ocean
We took the winding coast road through the next 100km, a mix of Eucalyptus trees, Turquoise oceans and Brads Vape, kept the senses alive. We dropped into loads of potentially, on their day, epic spots. Some effected by the wind, others tucked more out the way. By Mid-Morning We were paddling out in a little rip bowl, just south of Rodiles. The rivermouth not quite working, the beach however, was fun. Lefts and rights unfolding and running across the sand bar. It was a joy to watch the boys, from the line-up, scoring some really nice waves. Personally, the vast amounts of fishing line, both drifting and snagged up on the peak, put a slight uneasy feel into the mix.
Our general plan was to hit Pantin by mid-week, we had tracked a swell since before the ferry and whilst it had shifted slightly, we figured it would still deliver, and didn’t want to miss it. We left the Rodiles area and pushed on. We had a few ideas and spots that were mentioned to us. Out of respect to the locals I won’t mention them here. But we continued to find small banks and rocky bays littered along the western peninsula. A real treat for any travelling surfer. The feel of exploring new zones and having to workout places for the first time always keeps things zingy.
The current ‘Vanlife’ vibe meant that many of the previously ‘unspoilt’ park-up spots have sadly been blocked or further still totally trashed. There’re still loads of options, but to be honest, over the years I’ve got more of an appreciation for supporting local camp spots and business, as opposed to hiding away in a back lane to save 10 euros. We did of course run into a couple of free camp spots which saved our tired eyes and on occasion, delivered us a super punchy, albeit, messy wave.
Arrival in Pantin was a day late due to some late-night dodgy fish, our own fault I’m hastened to add! The further west you go along the Spanish peninsular in to Galicia, the more foreboding the place becomes. You suddenly become a long way from everything, the sea returns to its colder (much colder) state, places more fickle and tracks much more unfinished. Except of course in Pantin, where you’ll find everyone! Most of them in Carparks in vans and trailers. There is a good reason for that of course, It holds various surf comps and is a world class set up, on its day!
We didn’t manage to catch the world class option, not on this trip. The swell we were tracking had really shifted. Whilst well-travelled, bought more onshore winds and a directional change that didn’t favour the number of breaks we searched. There are a good few too. More time and exploring would have no doubt sorted that issue.
A check of the charts and real time data saw us cut ties with Pantin sooner than predicted and heading back through Asturias, and into the Cantabrian Rivermouths. And we found some real gems. The quiver well and truly tested, our history of getting skunked on surf trips over and our stoke high we bought the trip to a close. Like all stories, blogs, journals whatever you want to call them, it’s the people that make it. This trip was no Exception. Cheers to the boys for waves, beers and smiles!
People talk of the journey and not the destination. In our case, 10 Days in North Spain was all journey. Never really stopping long enough to absorb the full feel of each place. And there is loads to soak up. The craggy coves and reefs, the untouched fishing villages and like all the best bits of travel, the people you meet. But, not getting it all done sits well with me, leaving something un-turned, a wonder of what if, and most certainly reasons to go back.
See you out there.