Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Costa Rica Day 5-7 Surfin’ Safari

Posted by evankessler on June 21, 2005

Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Let’s go surfin’ now, Evan Kessler’s learnin’ how. Come on and Safari with me. I had my first surf lesson today. More on that later.

When I last left you I was gearing up for my last evening in Santa Elena. After my blog session I headed back to the hostel where I ran into my new British friends Louise and Jess, from the Snake and Frog museums the day before. They invited me to join them for dinner and I did. We went out to a high class joint (well high class for such a small town like Santa Elena) called Morphos. We each had a plate of Casados, which is a traditional Costa Rican meal with rice, vegetables, black beans, and plantains plus the meat or vegetable of your choice. We even got a nice bottle of Argentinian red wine and toasted to Santa Elena. It was a nice way to end my time there and I enjoyed the company of my new Brit friends.

Brit Sisters Jess and Louise

Afterwards we headed back to the hostel and Jess and Louise headed to bed and just as I was about to head back to my room, I ran into a guy from Santa Cruz, CA, named Joe who I had met with his girlfriend earlier in the day. Joe had told me that he was going to get a beer at the town bar so I said I’d join him. When we got to Bar Amigos the party had already started. The diversity of the patrons truly ran the gamut of townsfolk. Everyone from 15-year-olds to tour guides to farmers to American tourists were there. Everyone was dancing with their ladies and drinking Cerveza Imperial and having a good time. It was quite the difference from most NYC bars (that’s an obvious statement) where each bar caters towards a specific interest. This is the only game in town so everyone goes here. Joe and I stayed for a couple of drinks then turned in.

The next morning I woke up, got some breakfast and read my book while I waited for my bus to Tamarindo from Santa Elena. The bus came 10 minutes early and there were only 2 other people aboard. The bus drove about 5 miles an hour the entire first hour of the trip down the windy mountainous roads leading down from the Monteverde/Santa Elena area to the Pan-American highway, where we would transfer buses. The rest of the trip seemed to fly by and I was in Tamarindo by about 2pm if not earlier.

I told the bus driver to drop me off at Hostal La Botella de Leche. He told me there were two and then he said something in Spanish to imply that one was worse than the other. Since he was using words outside my knowledge of the Spanish language I was left to guess which one to go to. I think I picked the one he said was worse but I’m not sure.

When I got to the hostel it seemed pretty cool to me. Nobody was there, just a dude on a couch watching MTV. He introduced himself as Wences and booked me in a room for 3 nights. The space seemed clean and had a nice setup. It was basically a big living room with bean bag chairs and a tv that seemed to be rotating between MTV and soccer. Wences asked if I was a surfer to which I responded, “No, but I want to take a lesson.” He told me he would take me for a lesson the next day (today) and that he’d give me a cheaper deal. SWEET!

I spent the next couple of hours sitting on the beach, eating lunch, writing in my journal and reading. I was just kicking back and enjoying the smell of the Pacific Ocean. I went back to the hostel after a bit and hung out the rest of the day. The hostel was actually kind of weird. There’s really no one like me there. Everyone is a surfer from somewhere, walking around shirtless and talking about the waves. I felt so out of place, but it’s sort of interesting to be in the middle of. I don’t even think I’ve really learned anyone’s name. I’m not lonely or anything though, I’m just sort of observing. For what I can tell the basic surfer schedule involves waking up early, surfing for a couple of hours and then watching TV and eating snacks. Later on, I made my own dinner and watched The Incredible Hulk Movie on HBO and went to bed.

This morning I woke up at 8:15 am and ate breakfast in preparation for my surfing lesson with Wences. I walked over to his surf shop at 9:50am got a wetsuit shirt and went out with Wences, 2 girls from Mississippi or somewhere, and an old guy to catch some waves. At first it was pretty hard to get up. I was having problems getting my foot around in the right position so I would have balance on the board, but after a few tries and Wences helping me catch the waves, I managed to put together a few good rides. The waves were pretty big today too and I managed to take some big hits as well. It’s fun to get smacked around by the ocean. I’ll take that over a day at the office any time. I can’t believe some people get paid for that. Outstanding. I think I’m going to take out a board for a half-day tomorrow to try on my own. We’ll see.

Surfers on Playa Tamarindo

After the lesson, I got some Ice Cream, and sat on the beach with a tropical drink reading a book. This is the life.

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