CarabinerosToday’s surf trip did not start very well. I had not gone more than a mile from the hostel before I had been pulled over by a motorcycle policeman.

It appears that the local carabineros took a dim view of me turning left into a one way street then proceeding to drive the length of it travelling in the wrong direction scattering pedestrians as I went, all of whom had understandably been looking the other way when they tried to cross the road. 

Naval Headquarters

The situation was not aided by me not being in possession of either my passport or driving license at the time, and because of this I thought it best not to explain that I had been taking this picture of the wonderful Chilean Naval Headquarters building during my erroneous manoeuvre!

The policeman then followed me back to my hostel, but after I produced the necessary paperwork he was good enough to let me off with a warning and the suggestion that I be more careful.  

Maintencillo 11On of the locals I have met had suggested I head for Maitencillo, as opposed to the two breaks which are available a short distance north of Valparaiso.

It was a glorious day and I was delighted to arrive and only see a handful of people in the water there, unlike the hundreds I had seen at the beginners beaches on the way past. 

DCIM100GOPRO

This was going to be my last surf in the Americas and I wanted to go out with a bang.

The waves were about chest high and although a bit cold the water was beautifully clear.

I caught loads in the late afternoon sun and this is probably the best picture of the day. 

Humbolt Penguin 1I was about to get out quite pleased with myself when the Americas provided one final surprise for me.

A Humbolt Penguin popped up next to me in the water. Now you know you must be quite far south when that happens!

The little bird then hung out with me in the line up for about five minutes. He was swimming around and underneath me, all the while checking me out, whilst I basically did the same in return. A wonderful experience that I suspect will never happen again in my surfing career!

Surf's UpI knew that no matter how good the waves were I would not top that, so caught a last wave in and got changed.

It was a fabulous way to end my time in the water on this side of the Pacific, and as I drove back to the hostel I couldn’t help thinking about the animated movie about surfing penguins ‘Surf’s Up’.

A quick pitstop to buy pizza and beer on the way home, and I then had a great evening  basking in the days events. I can admit to getting more than a bit wobbly from drinking the Stella Artois and some Jack Daniel’s supplied by Natalia who runs the hostel.

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