A swell had come in, making the waves double the usual size. I knew I wanted to go to Playa Colorado.
6 am came way too fast, half dead and rolling out of bed with the scent of the night before, it was one for the books yet again. I knew we would be leaving when the sun was making its first appearance, but that didn’t stop me from a night full of rum and bad decisions.
Let’s back up here a minute and go back to the day before. I had one mission – make it to Playa Colorado. After some light convincing, I rallied a few local kids whom I had been shooting with the previous weeks. We had one problem, lack of transportation for the 2 hour trek north. After a few hours of searching for a ride, I managed to convince a Dutch guy to use his old pathfinder. He had bought the truck in Chile and was working his way north and eventually hoping to end up in Alaska. By the time of the night we had consumed quite a lot of Rum, I had just met him and he offered me his truck to use. Keep in mind we are in a foreign country, I’ve known the guy for only a few hours, and I had never driven in Nicaragua before and he just handed over his keys to me like we’d been best mates.
Alright, back in the morning.
Bloodshot eyes, a truck I’ve never used, a country I wasn’t familiar with driving in, three incredible surfers and myself and just like that we were on our way to one of the most famous waves in Nicaragua.
Thirty minutes into the drive was a military checkpoint, I was in a truck with Chile license plates, no passport or I.D and had forgotten to grab the papers from David. The night before had wrecked me, and I looked in rough shape. I know next to no Spanish , so Axel and Tito had to convince the guards we were heading north to check out a wave, a few nervous minutes passed and we were back on our way.
When you get to where Playa Colorado is, you need to get through a heavily guarded gate. The area is full of amazing homes on beat up dirt roads, surrounded by jungle and a lush green landscape. After a few unsuccessful attempts at getting through the gate (the security guards were taking their job far too seriously), Tito pulled some strings and we made it through. The day itself felt like a dream, luxury living in a huge house right on the beach for a couple of surf bums and a photographer kid living out of a backpack.
Looking back, that day had stood out the most for me. Maybe it was the wonderful company of new and old friend, a wave that didn’t stop pumping all day, the natural beauty of the white sand and blue water. Maybe it was the energy of everyone, but all I know is that we were happy and ready for life.
One word for Nicaragua is excitement. I went into this trip with an open mind looking for adventure, and eagerness to learn while expanding my photography in new ways. I came out of it with one hell of an experience full of smiling and passionate faces, reckless night parties followed by endless days in the sun. Days filled with Rum and Tona, sunburnt skin, and the endless grinning faces from all over the globe will bring me back someday again. What now? An entire journey awaits me on the other side of the world.