Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Costa Rica - Day One

Friday, Dec. 16, 11:00pm PST
Little Miss N and I stood in no less than six lines from the moment Mr. Me dropped us off at LAX. It would be seven lines if you counted how long we taxied on the tarmac.

Saturday, Dec. 17, 8:00am CST
We hired a porter to help us with our boards and baggage to walk from the shiny new San Jose International Airport around the corner to the smaller regional airport. Tourists, pilots, porters lounged in the warm morning air like there was nowhere else they had to be. Flying in the prop plane was fun. The landing in Tamarindo, on a short gravel strip, next to a field with grazing cows, was more fun.

12:00pm CST
The van rambled on a dusty road (one of the better ones I was soon to find out) to town where Little Miss N introduced me to the people of They gave us an orientation and I got a beer (first of many). I heard Miss N's name called out and we turned to find Joe - the owner of the program. Miss N's done this thing four times before.

3:00pm CST
After a nap and a walk, we gathered at the Surf Camp for our first trip. They boated us out to Playa Grande, which was only a 10 minute boat ride northward from Tamarindo. I chose a 9'2" epoxy from the camp. I've never boated into a break from behind. What this does is completely mess up your idea of how big a wave might be. We found choppy waters, but there was enough power for shoulder-head high stuff that popped out of rough waters. I enjoyed taking steep drops that would mush into a shoulder with the heavy 9'2" board.

Evidently there's a bunch of locals at the main peak of Playa Grande who don't take kindly to tourists. An Italian developer bought a bunch of land there and sells units only to other Italians, so if you find yourself being cursed in the water, it's going to be in Italian.

Along with our guide Flash and boat driver Chilo, we had three other people in our group: Maryland Dad and Son, and Tan Girl who might have benefited from a lesson or two. She ended up with a fat lip when her board smacked her in her face.

7:00pm CST
Dinner. In search of Costa Rican cuisine. Started to realize that Costa Rican cuisine is kinda bland. I like rice and beans (the dish is called gallo pinto), but I also like spices with my rice and beans. So, I ordered another beer.

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