Oldie but a Goodie: Tube Hunting in Peru

This is one of my favorite posts from my attempted South America travel blog. While I peacefully let that one go to make way for Gear Junkiez, I thought I would bring it back for a little memorandum in looking to travel and surf rich future. Enjoy this oldie but goodie and keep posted for more from myself and our ambassadors. Aloha!

Spot Check Lobitos
By Drew Farwell
(Original Story September 13, 2011, edit and repost 3/27/2014)

John Wayne was a bitch (bold). Ya he played a tough western badass in Hollyood but he never really lived it.

Welcome to Lobitos, Peru.

View of El Muelle

The Diamond in the Extra Rough, Los Muelles doing what it does best.

The surf town where you keep your board on one hip and the six shooter on the other. Lobitos was once the South American mecca for the Princesses of Europa; it held bragging rights to the first cinema in South America and land so oil rich, it would have had the Bushs speaking Spanish. Lobitos was a South American jewel built  by foreign interest. Sadly, it was an interest that was eventually shared with Peru’s military dictatorship and, well, sharing and military dictatorship are like oil and water. So the foreigners were run out, leaving glorious, thriving Lobitos to the people of Peru. VIVA LA PERU!

It’s a shame, nobody taught the new Peruvian management how to run our little desert oasis, so Lobitos slowly saw itself whittled and sanded away due to mal-maintenance, a little el niño and an ingenious economic stimulus package that involved deroofing houses; Obama are you taking notes?

Ha, well Lobitos today is best described as the bastard child of a post apocalyptic, Mad Max and True Grit smooshing. (sorry for the Jersey Shore reference I’ll step away from the computer to kick myself)

Lobitos aka Baghdad

Lobitos or Baghdad? The view from La Casa de Darwin/our home away from home/local board repair shop/anything else you want it to be.

The only reason people still populate this skeletal ghost town is to suck out the last little bit of oil and fish left on this earth (PS the ceviche is delicious) and oh ya…there are 6 firing surf breaks stuffed into the same 2km stretch of beach. 

lines and lines and LINES

Lines and lines and LINES! Lobitos proper, right off the point.

Thanks to the internet, Taylor Steele and every surfer’s natural instinct to find uncrowded surf, Lucho’s secret surf town has now inspired new life in the sands of Lobitos. Over the past 10 years, Lobitos has slowly seen a steady growth in surfers (primarily mean mugging Argentineans) and surf bungalows repopulating and reroofing this town back to life. With spots like Baterias, Los Muelles, Lobitos, El Hueco, Piscenes and more, this town is a Peruvian surf mecca.

You can spend weeks surfing and searching out spots with the smallest crowd or hollowest waves, I logged a few solo sessions that I thought only existed in dreams and ancient surf journals and a few loathing sessions cursing the Peruvian water treadmill.

No way out

Early birding at Los Muelles

Lobitos catches swell really well year round, from the heavy chilling Southern swells to the same Northwesterns that smash Hawaii in the summer. (our little secret) So, when everywhere else is flat, you can usually count on Lobitos to be rippling, and when it’s big, mamacita los olas son buenos. There’s crazy tubos all over and a variety of places to stay from surf hostels, local’s houses and there is even a crazy rasta surf camp feet from a fast hallowing left.

rasta camp

You should see the bathrooms….

We logged 10 days at the casa de Darwin who is the local board repair guy; extremely handy as I tend to destroy surfboards like Michael Bay destroys good childhood TV shows.

Just keep him away from Captain Planet and i’ll forgive Transformers.

love it

Photogenic scenery to make any surfer and photographer happy

Now, with Lobitos under the belt, it’s on to Lima for a little fiesta and big city surf, apparently that’s what’s trending these days with competitions in New York and San Francisco on this year’s tour (2011). So as this 16 hour bus ride gladly rumbles to an end, my biggest relief is not in the promise of blood flow to my ass and legs but to the end of the eye f@#king I just received at the hand of a bombardment of Spanish dubbed animated movies involving gnomes and owls. I’m tempted to walk right off the bus to the airport and head straight to Hollywood in order to personally neuter all those involved with these movies. You will thank me when their genes are not passed on to the next generation of Hollywood film makers.

Now that was nearly 3 years ago now but it was a trip that changed my life forever. I think about it often and have been using it as kindling for planning the next big adventure. 

For now, I’m just stoked to share my experience in Lobitos, Peru and would love to help anyone interested in getting down to this diamond in the rough and experience it for yourself. So, feel free to contact us at Gear Junkiez directly and check out my boy Cesar’s spot in Lobitos Town; there’s nobody who will take care of you better than El Gordo. Buen suerte amigos. 

(Here’s a little stoke to fuel your fire, filmed on location in Lobitos)

and a link to the boards I brought with me, but in all honesty I would probably do it a little differently next time around.