Sunday, December 27, 2009

Surfing Bermejo


Unless you have wheels you can pretty much forget surfing Bermejo. If you do have wheels it’s been done in a car but a 4WD is definately recommended. Bermejo is situated north of Barranca and south of Huarmey. There are three track turn offs between Kilometre 220 and 225 on the Pan America Norte. The turnings co inside with a series of battery farms instantly noticeable by the corrugated iron roofs. The most southerly is not recommended. The easiest is next to the smattering of restaurants on the side of the road that appear to do absolutely no trade at all and seldom have people actually in them apart from when the surf brings people. The second track is more direct but seems to be eroding fast and there is a very real danger of toppling, stick to the turn between the restaurants you can see the wave clearly and just follow your nose. You can park on the beach or off to the side. There is some sign about private property but there was a choice of right or left along the river bed, so I figured it was which ever way I wasn't going.

You will need to bring everything you need, don’t forget lots of water, sunscreen and if you’re a car a tow rope would be handy if you can find another vehicle just in case. If you are in a car it is worth walking any parts of the track you are unsure about before driving it, most of the sand is hard packed but there is one bit I was never sure if I was going to leave my car there forever. Don’t count on the restaurants having food, a cook, water etc, rather consider it a bonus if it happens.

A medium or bigger swell from the south west, too southerly is not ideal but apparently Bermejo does pick  up North Swell.. When you drive down to the wave, the best section of the wave is actually around the corner where there is a small back beach dominated by a big rock sticking out that is impressive and unmissable. If the swell is big enough it will break well out from the rocks spitting until it tapers right round to the second beach, it has many sections and should keep you well entertained. On smaller swells keep your eyes on the rocks or shift around to the second beach that is sand bottomed with no lurking nasties but a lesser wave quality.

The ocean is quite alive with fish, seals, dolphins and birds and if you do see anyone it is likely to be a fisherman. Although they seemed relatively friendly the toilet door may give off another impression. (carajo = arsehole).

Camping is your only option otherwise you have a sizeable drive back to Barranca or on to Huarmey or further north. The next main surf district north is Huanchaco a good 2.5 hours or Centinela south may be 1.5 hours south or Lima 2.5 hours. There is one lesser known break in the area but after a story about a guy being blind folded by his best mates, I think I best keep stum on that one.

Bermejo is pretty out there, few people from the area surf it, rather Limenos driving up to the north for a swell or the summer will stop in on the way. It’s a great wave but it’s an effort.

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