As a keen and experienced SCUBA diver, learner surfer and all round lover of the ocean, it’s been a dream to visit the Maldives. All the travel brochures flashing the same cliches and photos of Tropical Island Paradise. Sparkling warm oceans, great visibility, teeming with abundant marine life, clean white beaches, colourful coral and bountiful pelagics. Snorkel, dive, fish and surf till the sun sets for cocktail hour. It’s packaged and shrink wrapped bliss. Honeymooners mingle with the Rich and/or Famous, beautiful people all round, the holiday of your lifetime. Some wise old codger once said – “If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is”. Read the rest of this entry
Mention the word “Cokes” to any surfer and it’s not the fizzy Cola variety that springs to mind, but the famous surf break on the island Thulusdhoo, situated in the North Male Atoll of the Maldives. It’s one of the most talked about and popular surf breaks in the Maldives. Read the rest of this entry
While the wind gusts relentlessly across Arugam Bay, most surfers, wannabes and instructors have gone into hiding while the kiteboarders come out to play.
Main Point saw a few die-hard, desperate surfers try in vain to get a decent rideable wave, which popped up infrequently as the small swell was flattened into submission by the wind.
As they bobbed around, wistfully staring at the horizon trying to will a set into action, their frustration was further aggravated, as the kitesurfers cruised around them in the line up, snatching a few waves beyond their reach. One crashing his kite into a batch of unimpressed surfers. Oh well, “What to do ? “. Pack away the board, slip on the party shoes and sip on a coconut arrack, as the one thing the wind will not be putting a dampener on, is the regular Friday night Party at Sababa’s, Whiskey Point or The Nest, Arugam Bay! 😉
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Main Point Arugam Bay – A world class break they say. Many learner surfers stare longingly at the “hardcore” surfers at The Point, hoping that they too will one day progress to the level of capability to venture across the reefy bottom from Baby Point to Main Point.
But having counted around 65 surfers in the line up one sunset evening with a small swell, it held as much appeal to me as attending a packed shopping mall on Christmas eve, with a hangover. And 20 screaming kids in tow. And no bar in site. While the turkeys and gammons are all sold out. Get the picture?
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Arugam Bay Surf Contest
In order to get some inspiration to tackle a new (in fact any) adventure, we find it essential to carefully observe, take notes and learn a few tricks before storming head first into a potentially life threatening exercise. Of course it also helps if there are a few cold beverages on hand, bikinis, palm trees and good tunes. Thus, we set out in the blazing sun to watch and learn from the masters of the art, in order to pick up some of the lost surfing “skills” from last year, before foolishly rushing in to confront the masses in the beginner’s line up, armed to the teeth with boards and bodies of immense proportions and shapes. This is how we found ourselves parked off under a palm tree for 3 days, watching the sun, surf, bikinis and surf talent do their thing. It’s not easy I tell you! Read the rest of this entry
Its unlike ChillieandRum to visit a place twice in a space of almost less than a year. Simply because I feel there are still so many places to get to on this fast changing planet of ours that unfortunately we often tend to whizz though and past places hastily trying to see as much of it as possible in order to get a feel and flavour of a place. But sometimes something about a country or place just gets under your skin and it’s a bit like a scratchy, drying on your ass, wetsuit itch that won’t leave you, until you either get out of your suit or get back in the water. In a good way of course. So when a mate, questioned our momentary lapse of reasoning, thinking the rum had finally soaked through, I knew there was only one way of dealing with this itch – go back. Besides, sometimes its ok to just go back and chill at a place to soak up the vibe, meet the real people and let it get under your skin. Also people tend to treat you differently when they realize you are a little less transient than most.
But yet, landing in Sri Lanka I still had doubts about our choices buzzing through my mind – Should we be landing somewhere different? Will I be bored? Am I going to enjoy it as much as last time? Ah well. What to do?
But all the doubts were shunted out the back door when arriving near midnight on an already late and delayed flight from Bangkok wondering if the airport shuttle we requested weeks ago would be forgotten, only to be met with the broadest smile, on a friendly face with the words “Ayubowan, welcome to Sri Lanka. No worries you are late, we waited.” It felt like home. But warmer. Read the rest of this entry
Doing what we do best….
ChillieandRum have been quiet of late. Not because we have tired of travel, planted a veg garden and stopped watching cricket, or that we have not not been up to any mischief, quite the opposite really, but somehow stuff got in the way of blogging and any semblance of sharing anything from mindless ramblings and dodgy cocktail recipes to anything remotely enlightening, went out the window. That of course along with my natural inclination to avoid all things computer related does not bode well for a would be blogster who has a bit of a love hate relationship with social media. I loathe the fact that people are more transfixed with 30 second interval updates of their social status, detailing their mundane dietary intake, totally oblivious to the fact that a tribe of lesser spotted twin headed yetis may have just strolled past. Not to mention the fact that it elicites a response from a 100 “friends”. I dont even know that many people. Why would they care what your *@£$*^! banana pancake looks like in Thailand? But thats just me. Clearly a billion people cant be wrong. Well actually I think they can. But then again….. Read the rest of this entry
An article in a local newspaper recently highlighted an age old incident of surf rage, something that seems to be on the increase. What’s causing all this aggro attitude in the water? Does it boil down to so called “tribalism”, locals who think they own a spot and lay claim to it above everyone else? Is it overcrowding due to the growing popularity of the sport? Or are we simply becoming a selfish, goal driven, generation of greedy humans? Read the rest of this entry
Bafana Bafana lost 1-0 in a friendly match against Norway on Tuesday night. The match is part of the teams preparation for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations starting on the 19th of January.
Despite the great weather and a large crowd turnout, the boys in green and gold could not get the ball across the line on the day and lost their friendly Pre-AFCON match against Norway 1-0. But then many predicted Bafana would be crushed by the young Nordic Vikings. It was always going to be tough for Bafana who have gone through difficult times, with media and fans alike not sparing any punches in criticizing the players, tactics, team selection and general attitude. Bafana are ranked 87th in the world and have not covered themselves in much glory. Facing up to Norway at 24th was never going to be easy. It’s a bit like having Bolt race against Forrest Gump. It should be a no brainer, but we live in eternal hope that our National side will perform miracles. Read the rest of this entry
After 10 weeks traveling around Sri Lanka with it’s beautiful beaches, warm water, gentle surf, tropical climes, great spicy food on every street corner and bustling markets, (not to mention coconut cocktails), we’re finding it near impossible to adjust to life back in Cape Town. Lets face it – it’s not entirely a shabby place to come home to, great beaches, “the mountain”, vibey bars, warm weather.
BUT the water is 10C, the surf zones are either packed, sharky (if you’re in England then read “man-eating, shark infested waters” ), or you’re going to snap your board (or at my age your neck), the wind can howl for days on end until your last sanity cell fuses and you scream at everything living or not, and also you should mortgage your house if you’re in the mood for a sundowner cocktail or 6 along the sunset strip of trendy Camps Bay. Sadly, spice is not the order of the day and you are often met with bemused stares from your waiter when asking for fresh chilli to perk up a bland meal. Along with that, unfortunately we seemed to have developed a fast food, supermarket culture that provides anything and everything pre-cooked, packed, wrapped and ready to eat. Read the rest of this entry