When I was considering my options for this trip, one of the things I had to consider was which beach town would be the best for me to stay. The two main options close to the well-known wavesailing area are Matanzas and Pichilemu. They are about 1.5 - 2 hours apart driving distance. The way I understand it, Matanzas gets more consistent windsurfing conditions and Pichilemu, in general, is a bit lacking for wind. On the other hand, Pichilemu has way more options for surfing and boasts two really nice left point breaks that work nearly every day. Matanzas seems to have some waves that work less consistently (maybe due to the wind many times), and often times they are the type of waves that barrel most days making them above my "level".
The other thing I took into consideration, other than my aquatic needs, were my chances of improving my Spanish. Matanzas is a very, very sleepy town. There are a handful of high-end cabanas and resort type lodges, but outside of that there just aren't many people milling about. Most of the tourists in this area seem to be from Europe, so Spanish is a distant second or 3rd language for many of them. In comparison, Pichilemu is very vibrant and full of energy (and full of people who don't speak a lick of English). I would still describe it as a sleepy surfing town, but it certainly has a pulse.
When Juan was in town we scored a couple of days of laid-back chest high surf at Punta de Lobos, considered one of the best left breaking waves in this hemisphere. Initially I was very intimidated to surf there since I had seen all the videos of the triple overhead+ days there, but fortunately there are many days that are reasonable for a surfer of my (pathetic) skill level. A good representation of the wave can be seen in the first picture of the blog. I don't think it is a really fast wave on small days like this, but it's a little steeper in the pocket than a lot of the waves I've surfed. Some of the good guys manage to get barreled in some sections.
I decided to bring only my point-and-shoot camera, which I'm somewhat regretting. Many of the spots beg for a bit longer lens. The good news is that if I make the effort I can get some nice shots from the water. The bad news is all of the pictures I take from the beach are absolute crap. Such is life!
Fun fact: Pichilemu is a Mapuche word (the predominant native community of Chile). It means "small forest".