We were sitting on the beach, around 10am, waiting for our surf lesson to begin. In front of us went one, then another, and finally a third before our lesson started. The first two fishermen were carrying barracuda, apparently safe to eat here, the third was carrying something else equally large that we could not identify.
Over the cosrse of our days in Tofo we were able to literally follow the entire process beginning with what I just described on the beach. The fishermen would return from the morning with their catch, we even passed them as we set off on our SCUBA trip. Then they’d walk the fish up the beach to the main market and parking area and sell the fish. Sometimes it would be placed on a combi, alongside a big bucket of the freshest jumbo prawns you’ve ever seen, and sent into town and other times the fisherman would just stand there with it on a table and slice of big steaks as people would walk up…it never sat there for long.
Other times it would just go into the neighboring restaurant….that’s where we ate it. The first time I had barracuda, the second it was a sailfish….at least I think that’s what the woman said. We sat down to a table at the only “local” establishment in the area which could best be described as Hell’s Kitchen on account of the stifling heat. We ordered, a couple of slightly cool cokes as well, and were joined by several “locals” enjoying their lunch as well.
The biggest disappointment to the sea’s bounty in Tofo was that it wasn’t accompanied by the other bounties that grow here…notably cashew nuts and pineapple. But given that my fresh fish and rice only put us back $2 each we could afford to pay an additional $1 for a pound of fresh cashews to snack on as we walked back to our campsite.