Chapter Three: Cantabrian Relaxation
Laredo is a classic example for the Cantabrian habit to contradict extreme natural beauty with seventies-style buildings of doubtable beauty. In this case it is the Ria de Treto with its wetlands and the surrounding mountainous coastal parts that culminate in the peninsula de Santona.
The western sandbank of the river mouth is plastered with blocks of apartment houses and hotels in pure socialistic style – roads are aptly named “Avenida los Derechos Humanos” (Humand Rights Boulevard) or “Avenida de la Libertad” - that stretch for about 2 kilometres from the tip of the sandy peninsula to the historic part of the town of Laredo. The quarter on the sandbank has three wide roads running parallel to the beach and the blocks are divided by more wide roads crossing in perfect right angles. The whole quarter is a seventies architect wet dream.
But I didn’t come for the architectural oddities; I came for the beach. The beach is facing west and large northwest swells bend around the northern peninsula to meet a couple of good shaped sandbars. The wind forecast for the day was a light southwest to west, turning north to north-east later in the day. I felt the need to surf myself after that day of watching.
I had been here almost exactly a year ago (check this story) and had found some excellent longboard waves so my expectations were quite high.