Watching Mundaka, you can ask simply how this magical wave is possible? We arrived on the day of a predicted 7-11ft swell. But the waves were certainly a bit bigger than that.
Watching this wave break is phenomenal. It can be so big, so seemingly unruly, yet as soon as it hits the sand banks it just lines up and reels off. One wave can be surfed for an age across the entire estuary. There are multiple barrelling sections and the river current can carry you out into the line up.
It wasn't particularly easy to surf on a 5'8 surfboard. The only way into these waves was to take really late drops. To have the courage to sit on the inside, when everyone else is scrambling for the horizon, took some getting used to. The line up was busy but ultra respectful. There was a handful of guys getting the best, most critical waves but there were still plenty of wide sets and inside runners available for all.
Some of the hold downs weren't particularly pleasant. There were broken boards galore and a few people needing help getting out the water.
When you were confronted with a good one, just making the wave was reward enough. But a few cutbacks at high speed were pretty fun.
Having only previously surfed Mundaka when it was just a couple of feet, this was a different experience. Once you caught a wave there wasn't necessarily a way back to the line up by duck diving. The currents were so strong and so much water was moving around that paddling through it was folly. Luckily Mundaka has a beautifully beneficial rip. But even so, a lot of paddling stamina was required.
There are no official camper van spots in Mundaka but neighbouring Bermeo has one. We shared it with local carpark crews aspiring to a star role in Need For Speed.
For three days the waves were awesome but reluctantly it was time to catch a ferry home. We travelled from Bilboa to Portsmouth and experienced land sickness for the first time.