After my trip to Lanzarote last year I caught the bug for surfing, initially I was looking up options for Morocco but the flights were expensive so I ended up in Portugal. Portugal in November is not the best time of year! It’s quite cold, but then it will be sunny for an hour and you need to run out and get a tan!
I chose to go to Ericia and stay at Hostel 55 where I paid for a surfing and yoga combo. The hostel has a mix of dorms and private rooms, I stayed in a 6 bed mixed dorm with a shower / toilet attached. The hostel has a shared living room and kitchen, the living room is a good place for hanging out with the other guests and making new friends.
The hostel had a laid back and cool vibe, the staff were really friendly, when I was there Daggi from Germany was working in the hostel, shes lovely and will make sure you have a good stay.
When I visited the hostel provided a shuttle to and from the airport which was super handy.
I went surfing with the hostel every day that I stayed there, which is always fun by about day 3 when you can barely move!
You are picked up at the hostel, the guys decide when the best time for surfing is and your day revolves around that. You get kitted out with your equipment and then loaded up into the vehicles to go surfing. The waves were pretty crazy and there were quite a few times where I was stuck near the shore line with no energy to drag myself back out into the waves! The instructor would stand in the sea and wave at me calling me over, and I would be glaring at him and swearing at him in my head!
There was one day where I was so exhausted I couldn’t drag myself and my board out of the sea and had to have a friend come and help me! I believe there is an amusing photo of this somewhere.
All the surf instructors were great and the owner kindly called me out of the sea when the waves got to fierce! My personal favourite was Miguel!
I’d like to say by the end of the week I was a pro but unfortunately my surfing still needs a lot of work, I feel like it’s something I need to practice daily.
Yoga was in the town and not connected to the hostel, there were 2 yoga studios to choose from. I went to classes at both, both instructors were good. They were both about a 10 minute walk away, the studio with the male instructor had what I would call harder classes! I went to one of his classes and really enjoyed it but he pushed me hard and there were a few poses where I just looked at him like he was mad and refused to even try! But had I been there longer I would defiantly have gone back and tried to conquer those difficult poses.
Eating and Drinking
I cooked and ate at the hostel a lot of the time with my fellow guests, it was nice because it made it cheaper! We often stayed up late drinking wine and playing cards, my new Spanish friend was horrified that I was drinking wine with ice! My wine cost 1 Euro 60 so I needed the ice to make it taste better!
One of my last nights, I went to the Tikki bar which was cool, they had live music.
There is a large supermarket about 10 minutes from the hostel where you can buy food for cooking, it also had a pretty good gluten free range.
So important information! There are 2 Laundromats close to the hostel, the first is less than 5 minutes from the hostel, second is next to the Super market. It cost 6 Euros to wash and this includes soap. You can fit loads of stuff into the machine, it takes about an hour for a cycle.
The dryer takes 12 minutes, it has 4 heat settings, I put mine on the second highest as I was scared it would shrink but it didn’t all dry. My friend used the hot setting and it all dried and didn’t shrink. I returned to the hostel during the washing cycle and then hung about for the drying, but you could also pair it with a trip to the supermarket.
Best Bits About my Trip
Without a doubt the friends I made and continue to have 5 months later (yes I’ve been a tad slow with writing this post!). I went to visit one of my friends at her home in Switzerland in February and am hoping to see another friend when I return to Europe. All of them I would happily travel with again. Travelling is the best way for making new and like minded friends and because you live in close contact you end up making quite intense friendships in often a short period of time.
I really enjoyed my time at Hostel 55 and would go back without a doubt, but maybe in summer and not November! It’s also given me a new found love for Portugal, I’d like to go back and explore more of Portugal, Porto is high on the list for a weekend getaway!
After my surfing trip I went to Lisbon for a few days, see my Lisbon blog post here.
Slight low point of the trip!
I’ve been dithering about writing this but I try to be honest in my writing so I feel it’s right to tell you about how the leash got caught around my neck!!
That’s right the bloody surf board leash got caught around my neck and started to strangle me, not going to lie I was a bit traumatised!
Luckily I manged to grab it and pull it away from my neck bit it was very scary when it happened and my throat hurt for the next few days. I have no idea how it happened, and have had some confused looks from fellow surfers who say that it’s something that rarely happens as it’s quite hard for the leash to get caught on your neck! If it was going to happen to anyone it would be me!
After the trip I went to Lisbon for a few days, see my post here.