My Welsh buddies Nathan and Marc bought a Sprinter van and started driving south from the U.K. to hit surf breaks in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Joey Hall from North Carolina was in on it from the start and I flew over to join them in Morocco. The rig was tall and skinny with no windows and padlocks all over the doors. They added the locks to keep the bandits out.
We drove over 15,000 miles and used a ranking system for guests in the van. Criteria included personal hygiene, cooking skills, dish cleaning and of course surfing ability. The American boys excelled in the surf, but as for cooking, cleaning and washing, that was a work in progress.
Nathan and Marc are good cooks and the BBQ grill was the trip MVP. We cooked whatever was in the port we stopped in, like chorizos and pork chops. We’d hang around the grill and talk about the day. It became routine. We ended up passing the grill on to some New Zealanders.
Surfing was all we worried about. When I got there, the swell was 14 feet. I hadn’t paddled in a month so my first time out I was afraid for my life. The surf was pounding into this cliff face. Nathan was out for an hour by himself and had a couple of near misses. It’s definitely some of the best footage of the trip.
It was close quarters, but we got used to it. You never worried about the smell until you were out by yourself and whiffed some horrible dead-animal scent and realized it was you.
We never tired of playing pranks. Joey slept on the floor of the van, beneath the raised platform that Marc and I slept on. He didn’t figure out that the sand ‘accidentally’ falling off the bed and into his eyes every evening was coming from a little bucket we had stashed up there.
Morocco had influences from all the countries we traveled through, because over the centuries it had been invaded by all of them. Morocco had the best surf, too, and it’s where I finally realized the guys above were kicking sand on me. I always thought it was an accident.
Check out Joey Hall’s surf flick “Interference,” featuring Nathan Eades, Marc Holland, and Spencer Cooke. Interferencefilm.com