Surf Truck

Ever fancied staying in a hotel that moves every few days so you wake up most mornings to a different view and sometimes in a different country? Eduardo Ribeiro and Daniela Carneiro have created a way that you can do just that by converting a Mercedes truck into a Truck Surf Hotel. We spoke to them.

Please tell us about yourselves.
Eduardo, is a Portuguese surfer and longboarder athlete, an adventurer who loves traveling and practicing water sports. He is a kitesurf instructor and has over eight years experience working as a surf instructor and head coach. He grew up in Espinho, Portugal and started surfing when he was nine. Daniela is also a Portuguese surfer from Porto. She used to work as an environmental engineer when she discovered her passion for photography during a trip to Indonesia,Hawaii, Mexico and Brazil in 2013. Since then she started working in the tourism industry as a photographer and a surf instructor.

What is the Surf Truck Hotel?
It is a comfortable and unique hotel ‘on wheels’ that travels between Portugal and Morocco to provide surf, adventure and cultural experiences. This mobile accommodation offers the flexibility to explore different places and different surf spots. The hotel is a transformed 12 metre long Mercedes Truck, with two floors, five double rooms on the upper floor, for 10 people, and a kitchen, living room, toilet, shower, the team room and a lounge terrace on the down floor.

When did you set it up and why?
We have been traveling for many years in a campervan through Europe and Africa, exploring different cultures, surf spots, making new friends, with the freedom to live each adventure as one. We wanted to create something different to share this lifestyle and offer people the flexibility to travel with comfort and the best outdoor experiences. So in July 2017 we created the Truck Surf Hotel that gives the opportunity to explore uncrowded surf spots with the best waves, different natural parks and mountains, live different cultures with a luxurious hotel on wheels that goes everywhere. Our commitment to the local culture and environment spreads with us to our destinations. This project is all about sharing travel experiences, making new friends and connecting with each other, combining surf, nature and adventure in a new way of traveling. A unique experience you will never forget!

How does it work?
The Truck Surf Hotel does weekly trips along the west coast of Portugal, during the summer (between Sines and Lagos from May to August and between Viana do Castelo and Aveiro between August and October), and the west coast of Morocco during the winter time (between Essaouira and Agadir from Dec-Mar). The places we normally park in the Algarve are S. Torpes, Aljezur, Vila do Bispo and Lagos. Every week we will plan the activities programme with our guests according to their expectations, either surfing at different beaches, cycling, riding horses, doing yoga retreats among many other options.

For the surf lessons our school provides quality surf teaching with certificated instructors that will guide the surfers (beginners or experts) through the best surf spots. During each trip we move the truck every two days and explore the areas around in our van where we transport the guests and the surf equipment.

In terms of sustainability, what are the hotel’s sustainable, eco-friendly features?
The truck was designed with energy conservation in mind, we coated the walls with materials that conserve the temperature inside, LED lights to reduce the electric consumed and all the household appliance are energy efficiency (AA+). Our toilet is a normal toilet that flushes with water only, without any chemists.

Although we have a 500 litre tank we ask our guests to save as much water as possible. We have wooden walls to synchronize with mother nature, and large glassy windows, which allows in plenty of natural light during the day.

We try to make our footprint as low as possible by using natural cleaning products, waste recycling, promote local food and fresh food markets, and always after a surf session we ask our guests to pick one piece of garbage from the beach – ‘one per session’.

What reaction do you get to the truck?
People get very surprised when they see the truck and realise how spacious and comfortable it is. When they join us on a trip they really love the experience once we take them to the surf spots where the waves are perfect on uncrowded beaches, and also for all the connections people make in the group and with the local communities we travel through. Most of the time when they finish a week aboard the Truck Surf Hotel they want to book the next trip with makes us feel really happy and thrilled to do what we do.

What are your ambitions for the future?
We have a new vision already to spread the Truck Surf Hotel concept. Keep up to date for our next steps.

When you are in the Algarve where do you base yourselves and why?
In 2019 we will be at Algarve and Alentejo (between Sines and Lagos every week) from May until August. We park in campsites, private lands and rural tourism farms close to the ocean. The places we normally park are in: S. Torpes, Aljezur, Vila do Bispo and Lagos.

Any funny stories? What is the best things about it?
There are many good things about living this experience, from waking up in front of the sea and in contact with nature, to being able to travel everyday and explore new places, new cultures and new waves. Now it feels awkward when we stay in a normal house that doesn’t move. It’s totally addictive this lifestyle and we just want to keep on traveling.

This article was originally posted in the March 2019 edition.


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