A bright orange-colour house at Hostel Venao Cove was my home-away home for this past April and May in such organic surroundings where birds, insects, crabs, reptiles and monkeys were abundant and there was no shortage of fresh herbs, coconuts and moringas. Moreover, Irene and Leaf - the owners of Hostal Venao Cove - were both great hosts as well as surfers. My very reason for spending nine and a half weeks was partly because of their warmest hospitality.
At the time of writing this article, I'm unfortunately back in steamy-hot Panama City and dodging waves of cars and people here. Therefore, my last day at Playa Venao was June 3rd (Tue) and my personal record was finally set at 66 consecutive days of surfing then. I could have kept on surfing even more, but I started to feel that it was time for me to move on as the rainy season was gradually creeping in and frequent downpours were transforming Playa Venao into a massive rippy wave-pool at times.
For the past two months Playa Venao wasn't the only spot I surfed. Leaf and I along with a few other guests at the hostel went surfing three other spots, two of which didn't even have any names to them - a beach-break and a river-mouth. The third spot was a reef-break in Cambutal as shown in the photo below.
Amongst these three spots, the most notable one is definitely the river-mouth. We went there before the rainy season kicked in, so there was neither too much water flowing out from the river nor was it too murky then. The photos below show the waves at the river-mouth on the day. The third photo shows Mr.Spinner Leaf who was taking off to set himself up for a tail spin.
This river-mouth was no secret as far as I know; you could easily spot it if you carefully pay your attention to the coastline in the south of Los Santos Province, but there was nothing around there except one long sandy beach next to the river. We walked quite a bit on the beach, almost 30 minutes, from where we parked our car to the river-mouth. It was really worth it in the end as we had these fun waves only to ourselves. And I'm 200% sure that there are hundreds more of these empty spots in this country.
While my stay at Venao Cove was only 66 days, my fond memory of this place and all the good waves I rode will live on timelessly. It feels like I've found my own surfers' paradise here in Panama.
The photo below shows (from right): Til, Irene, Leaf, Kai, Kathi (Au pair but soon to-be-doctor) and me.
!!!!! Note !!!!!
To Irene and Leaf: Thanks very very much for everything and I really hope to see you again somewhere on this planet and go surfing together, maybe with Kai and Til on their own grom sticks then :-)
To readers of this article: More details about Hostel Venao Cove can be found on their website here.