Excerpt from Al Mackinnon and my adventures in ‘Conquistadors of the Useless’ featured in issue 189 Carve Magazine

'Behind me I can see waves wedging off down the beach and beyond. Miles into the haze more waves coming down towards me. I wonder what difference the walk makes? The same above, the same below. I walk nonetheless, past the numerous markers that me and Al have placed on the beach to mark choice sections and provide some sense of place on our frequent journeys down the stretch. A sand castle with a glass bottle perched on top, a craggy piece of driftwood where Al scored an epic bodysurf ride an afternoon ago.’


Coming back from that place felt strange. The conquistadors of the useless, reunited with reality. A binge with the inevitable comedown.

‘With the adrenaline running thin over hours in transit and the cogs firmly in motion, I remembered that we are all only a couple of flights and a tweaked night spent under the brash LED lights of an airport from feeling like a wild beast. Eyes closed I listen to a pre-recorded message continually warn travellers of getting stuck in the escalator whilst a Nigerian family fierily argue about who has to pay the excess luggage fee to transport a TV back home. I tried to focus on the details of the ‘wave’ that Al had described to me with fervour: Miles of sand banked at a 45 degree angle to the prevailing swell, replenished constantly by a dune system some way up the coast. I continue to worry about the things I had left behind in search of Shangri-la - Guilt and an airport flat white for breakfast.’

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