Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Costa Rica - Day Two

Sunday, December 18, 8:00am CST
Since I had thirty minutes before my call time to get on the van to Marbella (south of Tamarindo), I decided to get desayuno (my Spanish was surprisingly not gone from 12 years of non-use) at the Witch's Rock Surf Camp grill since it was included in our tour package. Gallo pinto was much better -- I think because of the spices and the bacon on the side. The order took longer than I thought it would so I smacked the bacon inside two pieces of toast and wandered to the cage where I left my 7'0" Okazaki board...

8:30am CST
It's nice to have fiberglass under hand. It's so light when you're helping to heave it up on top of the van. Personnel: Javier, surf guide; Ulises, driver. Surfers: Faux British guy, Guy who knew Miss N from a previous trip (obviously the camp has a following), Tattoo Guy, and Maryland Dad and Son. Luckily, I was sitting backwards so I couldn't see the streams we were crossing until after we had crossed them. Unfortunately, I was sitting facing Miss N so I would see her eyes widen in panic when she saw what was coming up. Never sit facing Little Miss N.


Okay, maybe it was more like an hour and 45 minutes, but with the bumpy and the dusty and the facing five stoic men who don't know each other, it felt more like three hours...

We arrive at this stand of trees that looks out onto a wide stretch of beach. We share the piece of shade with a scantily clad young couple lounging beneath a sheet hung between two trees. On the sheet was a pirate's skull and crossbones. They'd been there for a while, as evidenced by a trash pile, some unused rations, and a firepit that looked like it had been lit and put out several times. Oh, and there was a fierce little Jack Russell terrier that guarded it all like it was his own. Javier shook hands with the young man and we milled about, looking at the waves chopped up by the onshores at 10:30am.

The tide was supposed to come up more, maybe make it better. Miss N and I wandered up the beach, not a surfer in sight for five hundred yards. One spot was working. Choppy, but there was something to surf. Instead of waiting, we were antsy to get in, so we headed back to the van. The boys had the same idea and had already brought our boards down. Bonus on carrying a 7'0" five hundred yards down a beach? It's lighter than a longboard.

I can't say that I had the best rides of my life at Marbella, but I was happy to have no problems taking off and the infrequent head high set waves were chopped up by the wind so they were mushy and I had absolutely no fear. This made me rather kamikaze on my wave selection, but I figured if there's not going to be clean waves with shoulders, you might as well take bigger waves with steep drops. The beautiful thing about this break is, well, the beauty. A beachy shoreline ended in a thicket of lush green. It was almost empty of people so even the sound of victory at sea was quiet and peaceful.

We were supposed to stay there all day and surf a second session because the camp had packed lunches for us, but nobody thought it was going to get better so we trucked it back to Tamarindo.

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