Nils grins in his garage. A German who become a local in Spain with the aim to live a life surfing. Hope that is going to work out for him one day!
Everything started 2005 when Nils decided that Germany is a pretty nonsense country for surfers. He took his chance, packed his stuff into a 1980-something T3 VW-Bus and took the road to the west in order to spend a semester abroad in San Vicente de Barquera, a village among the most pristine places along the north shore of Spain. In between these green rolling hills and the Cantabrian sandy beaches, there must have been the day on which he thought that traveling down the coast in a “Bulli” – the German nickname for the VW-buses – was the way the coast was meant to be travelled. And that he might not be the only one who would think so.
He went back to Germany, finished education, took all of his money and the old bus to hit the road towards Spain for one more time. This time – that was the plan – for good and with a business plan in mind. He settled down, got to know some people, like Louis the mechanic who was as into the furgonetas called T3 as Nils himself, and started to rent them to some surfing friends. Obviously he then named his little empresa surf-cars.com.
Seems like they were bastante excited: Out of a handful of buses, Nils built up a small rental company with already 12 buses. Many have traveled in a “convenient, real and true” way since then. To travel in a VW Bus and to surf produces a certain stoke one can only understand once you’ve parked your bus right next to the break of a beautiful beach to stay there as long as you feel like, letting the days pass, just caring for surf and tides. To be honest: As long as you don’t leave your trash on the beach and take care to leave the places where you park unspoiled, it can be a rewarding intense way of travelling. And outside peak season you can park pretty much everywhere without getting in trouble…
A surf car in its habitat: Close to the ocean.
“It’s freedom, it’s simplicity, it’s an adventurous yet easy going time in your life.”, and Nils continues: “We are not a big car rental company though. If you want to have your super-new motorhome for a two week vacation – go ahead and get it elsewhere. Of course that comes with a price tag. We on the other hand offer the adventure to travel with an old VW T3 Bus: just enough room for 4 people, a little kitchen and lots of style when cruising around in a cult automobile… For me it’s unlike any other form to travel the coast!” he says and adds: “These cars are old and each one of them has character. Each surf car is unique – and I guess that’s part of their charm.”
We, the OYS-crew, were travelling along the coast for full 8 weeks in two surf cars last spring and were really stoked – so we beg you pardon if the text above sounds to you like some shitty, cheesy ad text. You know what the truth looks like: We now own our own VW T3 out of conviction – and we agree when Juan Giriber states: “Once you have been travelling with a camping bus, there is no going back. You want more of that freedom – and nothing is like it.”
So we finally thank Nils for supporting us, helping to find the good places for camping in Spain, opening ears and just about everything he has done to make our project “The Old, the Young & the Sea” happen. And we hope his efforts were not in vain and he gets to surf a wave or two… He’s just always so busy, no!?