“My surfboard is a magic carpet”
– Jade Adele
It is magic, catching a wave and staying on top of it. Like catching flying dragons and riding them. You have to wait. They come all the time, running towards the beach, mad dragons who don’t even notice you. You will hate them and love them, you will talk to them, try to convince them to listen to you, you will drink them and breathe them, and only briefly you will become a part of them. Once this happens, there is no going back.
Cabarete is a small coastal town less than 100 km east of Luperon, with some of the nicest windiest beaches in the Dominican Republic.
Thousands of visitors from all over the world come here each year, but these are not regular tourists. The people who come to Cabarete come to surf. The town is the surfing mecca of the Caribbean and life here revolves around surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and paddle boarding. Surf competitions take place in Cabarete every year. There are surf-shops, surf-hotels, and surf-cafes. The surf vibe is incredible.
Not surprisingly, there is a large expat community of surf-maniacs who have moved to Cabarete from all corners of the world to make it their permanent home and thus be able to do what they love best all day, every day: surf. Like Jade and Gabriel.
We met them thanks to Kendall, a friend from Montreal. “Check out these guys”, Kendall wrote to me a few months ago and sent me a link to their blog.
Jade and Gabriel are „travel bloggers on an adventure to the most beautiful places on earth.“ In their blog you can read stories of travel and adventure, as reviews of places and food, see and purchase beautiful photography (Gabriel is a photographer), and of course find out all there is about surfing in Cabarete. We started following their journey through their travel diaries at WeTravelAndBlog.com
As soon as we arrived in Dominican Republic they invite us to Cabarete for a couple of days even though they are busy organizing a wedding. Their own wedding. We are thrilled.
Surfing is a lot of work: paddling all the way inside, trying to catch a wave and then keeping balance. After about one hour we are totally destroyed. Shoulders hurt from the paddling, ribs hurt from the board, eyes are red from the sun, salt water in the nose, sea urchins in the feet. But it’s all worth it the few seconds when we manage to stay up on that surf, sliding in front of the wave. We just want to go back in and do it again, longer and better this time.
In the afternoon we visit Kite Beach. We have never seen anything like it. Hundreds of kites and windsurfs riding the constant Trade Winds. It’s spectacular.
Then, we eat pollo al carbon, BBQ chicken, at a small local restaurant and go to sleep early, at Jade and Gabriel’s place. It is the coolest place we have ever seen. A big old wooden house with a porch and a huge yard, old trees, palms, and ferns everywhere, an outside shower in the back, and a Dharma Garden with herbs and vegetables populated by strange insects and little lizards.
Gabriel’s dad built the house years ago. Now a bunch of people live there. Gabriel’s aunt Maru , the coolest aunt in the world, has a room downstairs. She loves tango, artichokes and pear nectar, has 6 dogs, the favorite one is nicknamed Prosti, “Ex prostituta”, Maru explains. There is also a room rented to a friend who is the creator of the Dharma Garden. Jade and Gabby live upstairs.
The next day the waves are better, surfing is easier, and Maya gets pretty good at it. Alesandro, one of Jade and Gabriel’s friends and surfing instructor spends over an hour in the water with Maya helping her and teaching her to surf.
When Maya finally comes out of the water she announces: “I need a surfboard…”
Evo is also badly hooked to surfing and is getting the hang of it pretty quick. I am totally destroyed from the previous day, but would love to surf some more again. Viktor missed the whole thing as he decided to take a couple of days off (us) and stay on the boat by himself.
We return to Cabarete after two weeks to celebrate Jade and Gabriel’s wedding. The party is at Seahorse Ranch, a luxurious gated community and beach resort, many acres of prime land, with a restaurant perched on the rocks over the sea. It’s beautiful. We are absolutely honored and thrilled to be at the wedding party. There is live music, cotton candy, a bonfire near the sea under a full moon… Many of the surfers we met on the beach are there. Alesandro is there, Maru, even Kendall!
Surfing Cabarete Pictures