Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Costa Rica - Day Five

First off, Little Miss N cannot hold her liquor. What a cheap date. My foodie self demanded some kind of tasty cuisine on Tuesday night so we took Tattoo Guy's suggestion and went to the gringo place Pasatiempo. While we were bouncing along in the van for an hour and a half (after bouncing along in the boat for an hour and 45 minutes) back from Ollie's and Witch's, Tattoo Guy described a brilliant macadamia nut encrusted tuna with mango salsa. I had to go. I was on vacation.

Funny thing happens in Costa Rica. Since dining is so comparatively cheap to dining in the U.S., your scale gets skewed. All of a sudden $12 for an entree seems outlandish and unseemly and you opt for the $5 entree place instead. But if you were to really think about it, the $12 I spent on macadamia nut encrusted tuna was a steal compared to what it would have cost me in the United States. It's like going to a garage sale when all of a sudden 25 cents makes or breaks a deal.

At Pasatiempo that evening, I taught a stray cat how to sit and lay down on command, and Miss N forgot how to walk at the end of the evening after her second mojito. This would go unremarked except that we had asked for a dawn patrol to Playa Langosta the next morning and Miss N woke up with her head still spinning.

Wednesday, December 21, 5:30am
It's still dark at 5:30am in December. I kinda felt bad for requesting such an early call time, making the poor driver Calin wake up with us crazy surfers, especially if there was nothing there and we'd make him turn around and take us back. But then, we pulled up at Playa Langosta in the pre-dawn light and trundled along the narrow path to the beach. We peered across the rivermouth to find shoulder-head high waves, and we couldn't get back to the van fast enough to unload our boards.

I'd decided the day before, after lots of paddling to get into waist-high waves, that I was on VACATION and that meant I shouldn't work so hard to get my waves. That meant I was borrowing boards from the surf camp for the remainder of the trip and today I was back on the 9'2" plastic board.

I cannot describe what a great morning I had. For the first 20 minutes, it was just Miss N and me out with the semi-consistent sets as the sun started to peak over the mountains. There was no wind, and the water was warm, so after my first three waves and paddling the long distance back to the peak, I was feverish in my short-sleeve rashguard and the sun wasn't even overhead yet!

Langosta is not a nose-walking wave and I'm not particularly good at that anyway, but I am pretty good at long carves on a longboard and this wave was perfect for that. Good power on the take-off that stayed evenly through the shoulder. I kicked out of nearly every wave until I decided I would hang on just a little longer on one wave. I realized I was right in listening to my instincts to kick-out all the previous waves because I was met on the inside with a good thumping... but that was fun, too!

We were joined by a newbie on a too-short funboard. I don't think he got a single ride. Then two cutie-pie twenty-year-old Canadians came out with their shortboards and they ripped up those waves and made some impressive attempts at catching air and doing 360s. For another 20 minutes or so, it was the four of us trading waves. Then an army of surfers started to paddle across the rivermouth. I knew I would be looking for my last wave soon, because I didn't want to ruin my stellar session with grumbling. Langosta at dawn was the highlight of my surfing.

I did nothing else that day except laze around on a hammock, shop, check my email (and saw the crazy waves of Big Wednesday in SoCal), drink beer... and I finished that Geisha book. There was a small bookcase for book exchanges at the surf camp, so I traded. Instead of going for the easy Danielle Steele novel, I thought I'd try Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. (Really great, poignant, and strangely hilarious book. I finished it by the end of the week, too, that's how much of a vacation I had. I can't remember the last time I finished reading something in a week let alone two novels.)

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