Of monkeys and surf
Mal Pais Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
The guidebooks and surf camp reviews warn of the howler monkeys that wake and howl at the crack of dawn. Well, the monkeys do indeed howl, right on cue, waking me up around 6 AM. Boy, are they ever noisy! I'm not bothered, however. I lie in bed, listening to the sounds of the rainforest waking around me, insects chirping, birds singing, monkeys howling and shuffling in the trees. The other guys and gals sharing the rancho with me are fast asleep. They must be heavy sleepers if they cannot hear those monkeys!
After awhile, I hear a scampering and look up in time to watch a little black howler monkey walk across a branch to sit on the top of the wall of the rancho, across from me. The rancho is open and the little one could come in but doesn't, content to just sit on top of the wall and look around for a few moments before scooting off.
I roll out of bed to get dressed and go for a walk around 6:30 AM. It's still cool but I can tell it will be another scorching hot day. There are a few clouds in the sky but they will clear. The main restaurant area is quiet, the staff slowly trickling in to get the kitchen ready for breakfast. The hardcore surfers at camp are already awake to catch an early ride before the sun gets too hot to bear.
I walk down the path toward the entrance of the camp complex and cross the street to find the dirt path that reaches the beach. I stop for a few moments, seeing horses along the path and I admire their beauty and grace. Perhaps I'll see about sunset horseback riding.
Down by the beach, the tide is very low and there's no one around. Mal Pais beach is incredibly rocky during low tide. Further down the beach toward Playa Carmen, there are a few surfers in the waters but the beach from Mal Pais to Playa Carmen is empty for the most part. I take the opportunity to explore and walk down Mal Pais beach, taking pictures along the way. The sun is warm and the sound of waves crashing is soothing.
Forty minutes later, I am back at camp, picking up my bag and heading off to Artemis Café for breakfast and internet time. I have a 10 AM surf lesson with Teal and 3 other travellers on exchange from the US and going to school in San Jose. I can't wait to grab a board and get out there.
The surf is just awesome! It's like riding a bike. I haven't forgotten and am able to pop-up. I get quite a few good rides but I'm still a beginner riding white water back to shore. Progress is slow but it's not like I have ocean back home to regularly practice. I'm not worried, however, content to ride the waves as best I can.
The trek back to camp seems very long carrying two longboards with one of the girls. We have one board under each arm and we are exhausted by the time we return. I'll have to practice more so I can progress and start using shorter boards. My arms can't take the long ones! I settle in, relax, grab my backpack and head out for lunch at Artemis to upload pics.
In the afternoon, when the tide comes back in, I head back to the beach to just veg and relax. I swim, sunbathe, watch the surfers and enjoy Paradise until sunset. I heard sunset is quite spectacular and I am determined to see for myself. It certainly does not disappoint!