Robert Burns wrote “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley” such were Chris ‘Guts’ Griffiths plans for a winter holiday.
A Change of Plan!
February is classically a quiet time for surf shops. Cold weather and short days combined with the post Christmas spending reality check, customers are pretty thin on the ground.
February really is a good time to get away before it gets busy for Easter. So with this in mind, I started planning a surf trip to Portugal. With its consistent waves and warmer climate it is the perfect place for a cheap winter getaway.
I managed to organise a villa, car hire and flights for under £500 for a fortnight-brilliant!
However the one thing I didn’t check was the whereabouts of my passport. I hadn’t used it for a couple of years because I have been flat out getting my shop established so hadn’t been abroad. I assumed it was where I normally kept it – in my travel wallet. But, when I went to get it out a couple of days before we were due to go it was nowhere to be found. After spending the best part of a day hunting for the elusive travel document, I sadly conceded defeat and postponed the trip.
I decided to console myself in the short term with a trip within the UK. Having checked the wave charts, I decided on a few days in a cheap B & B just south of Newcastle. At first glance this seemed like a downgrade of monumental proportions (no villa with heated pool, no sun, freezing cold etc!) but what I ended getting in surf conditions made up for everything. I lucked into the best swell of the winter at one of the premier breaks in the country. The surf was perfect. At around 6 to 8 ft with light offshore winds creating the most exquisite barrels I have seen on many a foreign trip. I found myself in surfing Heaven !
Funny how things turn out – losing my passport ended up being one of the best things that has happened to me in a long time!