Sometimes I feel like no one understands me. The amount of time and energy I spend thinking about kitesurfing. My friends all smile and nod when I tell them about a new trick I want to learn or a cool new film on youtube. In a sea of surfers, I stand alone. Constantly explaining to people how I would rather be 20 feet in the air then pinned to the bottom of the ocean or how I enjoy riding for hours at a time rather than sitting and waiting for a wave. I miss living in a place where at the end of a session we sit around and talk about what a great day we had. No matter how cool it is to be first person to make a kite surfing business in a country, it can be lonely. My only saving grace has been a couple kite obsessed junkies I’ve met in the last month and facebook. It’s given me an outlet to connect with other kiter’s and learn about other riding destinations.
This week I spent most of my time in the quaint little surfing village of playa Gigante. One of the biggest swell's of the year came Wednesday. I robbed the entire town of Bahia Salinas of their residents and we all headed up together. The lack of wind made it easy to convince everyone to tear themselves from the bay to surf. We came out on Monday when the waves were still manageable. Sijtze spent countless hours in the water practicing his style, while the rest of us took pictures, drank beer & watched the swell grow. By Wednesday the waves were so huge and choppy only a few brave souls entered the water. It was pretty cool to hear the power of the water crashing on the beach. We decided to leave Gigante Wednesday afternoon because the wind was going to start up again Thursday. I dropped my crew off at the Costa Rica border then went back to my home in San Juan del Sur.
When you decide to make the move away from your friends and family to a far away land, do you really know what you are getting into? We all have fairytale ideas of what it’s going to be like and for the most part it is but there is this underlying loneliness we all struggle with. Whether it’s for a partner, your children or family; when you live more then a simple phone call away it’s hard. At first when you arrive to the town in your country of choice you go out partying a lot. It’s a great way to meet people and numb the shock of what you have just done. During this courting period with your new home many different things can happen. If you are a younger girl more then likely will find yourself lured in by the local hot surfer boy type. For many this is a good way to learn the language, area and culture. For some it’s a way to get used, robbed or linked with the wrong crowd. This is a very risky way to enter your new world but in some cases it works out.
Setting up a kite business is a lot of work when there is nothing to work from. There are long days spent networking, brainstorming and exploring new areas. This past week my mom and I designed business cards to hand out at the Pitaya festival. www.earthshippitayafestival.com. I´m setting up my gear and a booth on the beach after the Quicksilver surf comp. It´s the biggest festival here in Nicaragua and I´m looking forward to promoting myself and my company. It´s important for people to put a face to the "some girl who kites". I want people to see that I´m a small girl who rides and not feel so intimidated by the sport. Hopefully the exposure will spread by word of mouth that I teach, guide and do safari tours.
Yesterday I discovered an epic riding area. I knew it existed but just hadn´t found it yet. The other day I was on my way to the border to pick up my mom and as I passed the wind farm I noticed the water levels of the lake dropped and a bit of beach emerged. The beach is part of an eco-community called La Joya. I spoke with the project manager Himat about wanting to kite from his beach and he was ok with it as long as we joined him for lunch. La Joya is just past the wind farm on the way to the Costa Rica border. The land has rivers on either side which created a nice sandy, shallow bottom. The wind comes clean across 3,089 sq mi of water and is south of the volcano so the wind is less turbulent. Yesterday was a great wind day and for most of it I rode my 7m in like 25knots. At one point the wind died down but I had my 12m ready to go and that worked fine. La Joya is a bump and jump area but the size of the waves make for good air time.
I'd been watching the website windguru all last week in anticipation of the upcoming wind this week. I made plans to go to San Jorge on Sunday and have Jason shoot some photos. He agreed to help me in making marketing material and trying to get a sponsor. Jason is an amazing photographer so I was pretty excited. Early Sunday morning we packed up and headed out just as a nice set of rain clouds were rolling in from off the volcano so we just sat, chilled out at Gato Negro and waited. Eventually they passed but I was feeling a little discouraged. San Jorge is packed on Sunday afternoons with local beach goers which makes for a tricky launch, especially when Jason has never lifted a kite before. He managed to do a really good job of launching my new 12m in only 12-15 knot winds with tones of cars and people around.
Still no wind but that sure has not stopped the fun. Yesterday the boys from "Life in Reverse", a few buddies and I headed out to Maderas beach to surf. We finally got our acts together by 1pm and headed out into a sea of people. I managed to find a spot where only 2 other guys were and managed to catch a few waves. We only had a bit of time to get in a surf before we had to be at paintball. The Surf Ranch has the best paintball course in San Juan. Luke and Travis who own the ranch are from my home town of Kelowna, BC. I met one of their business partners in September while I was working at Flight Centre in Kelowna. I booked him a flight to come down here and we got to talking. One thing lead to another (not like that) and I ended up moving here. I was going to work with the Surf Ranch directly but found it easier being right in town. Anyway, paintball was awesome in their jungle course.
This week the wind has died down to a weak 10 knots so I've decided to take on new adventures. I was walking down the street with my friend from back home who is here chillin with me when we were whisked away to Hotel Marsella for a party. They were having a pool side sushi party. We heading out to Marsella beach in 2 packed SUV's and a liter of beer to share between the 8 of us. The Hotel Marsella is beautiful; you can see it in the photo. The view from the deck is awesome, photo 3. We ended up meeting a couple guys who are doing a documentary film called Life in Reverse. http://www.thirdstorm.tv/life-in-reverse/