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Kel&Cez’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 11 Mar 2006

Location: Croyde, UK

MapSurf Trip to Croyde.

Tour Members:
- Blighty
- Mado (Junior)
- Cezza
- Doodle

- Depart London 0600h Arrive Croyde 1130h
- Surf 45 mins
- Lunch 1330h
- Depart Croyde 1400h Arrive London via Stone Henge 1930h

Having left my driver's licence at Wimbledon when Tim and I were collecting the hire car, poor Timmy was left as the sole driver for the whole trip! He's a good lad and safe driver though so it was probably in everyone's best interest that this happened!

Fully kitted out in tracksuits, beanies and uggies, we left London whilst still dark with the hope of tucking into a couple of pits five or so hours down the track. A quick toilet and snack stop about halfway down left us feeling refreshed and starting to wake up. Even though Tom-Tom navigated us down some dodgy-looking back country lanes, we safely arrived in Croyde chomping at the bit to get amongst it. We headed straight to the headland where some great lines were coming through. You beauty! Swell! Next stop - surf shop to get the rubber on.

After the four of us were all geared up for the 7 degree water (full steamers, booties, gloves and hood) and ready to walk to the beach, Nick realised he had hired two left hand gloves - can't take him anywhere. He and Timmy drove back through the town in their rubber and met Benny and I down at the beach, this time with the 'right' gear. Tim and I had our own boards but Nick and Ben had hired a couple of very, very short (under 5ft) foam boards. I was a little concerned for them as the surf was a decent size and quite powerful (we had decided to hit the open beach as it looked to be barrelling and only had a few people out). Well, I needn't have worried, as the foam-boys beat us out the back! Poor old Timmy got hammered by a freak number of sets in a row and didn't make it out (bloody tiring with all that gear on and getting an ice-cream headache each time you duck-dive!). After what would have been at least 15 minutes paddling, Nick, Ben and I were sitting out the back re-gathering our breath when a bomb appeared from nowhere. Barely getting under it, Nick and I breathed a sigh of relief, only to find no Ben! The poor fella was only a couple of metres behind us but copped the lip and got dragged right back into shore!

With only two of us left, Nick and I gave the surf our best shot but the waves were really full before they jacked up on a bank and were quite difficult to catch. So much so that Nick and I both fell on our first waves and then only caaught one more each as it was impossible to make it back out! What a successful session! With a starting group of four, one didn't make it out, one got pumped duck diving and didn't catch a wave and two only successfully caught one wave each! Just as well we didn't tell anyone we grew up on the Gold Coast and have been surfing for years!

Exhausted and very cold but totally thrilled with having had my first cold water surfing experience, we bundled ourselves back into the car (after Nick had made sure his hair looked pretty - see photos), grabbed some lunch and left for the big trip back to sunny London. We did make a detour on the way back though and stopped to have a look at Stone Henge which was pretty impressive.

All in all, a great day out with the boys but the fun didn't stop there, it was off to Sophie's Steak House to meet the girls for dinner (mmmm...steak) and drinks as soon as we hit London!

Speak soon,