Costa Rica: Surf and Stoners


My original plan for our fourth day in Costa Rica was to spend it spelunking in Barra Honda National Park (which is only about twenty minutes down the road from Nicoya, where we were staying). We'd had a great night's sleep at the bishop's house--I still can't get over how lucky we were to have ran into him the night before. Nicoya is a cute town during the daytime, but at night it looked a little sketch.

What's more, the city was preparing for a huge celebration the following week. On July 25, 1824 the region of Nicoya decided to annex to Costa Rica instead of Nicaragua. Every year, they have a week-long festival celebrating that annexation--and according to the the bishop, thieves come out in droves for it. Violent crime is extremely  rare in Costa Rica, but it's very common for tourists to have the contents of their car raided. So not only was I happy to spend the night inside a safe, comfortable house, I was happy that our car was locked inside a gated yard with a psycho  dog guarding it. (More on the bishop's dog later . . . but seriously, that thing was messed up.)

We woke up early and ate breakfast at the small restaurant owned by the bishop and his family. They were so kind to us and so fun to talk to! The bishop's older brother was particularly hilarious.

Gallo pinto, fresh OJ, cheese, fried eggs, and chorreadas--pancakes made out of corn.

You can faintly see Brock in the door of their restaurant.

After breakfast, we had a mini-adventure back at the bishop's house involving car alarms and a Walk of Terror past his demented dog (whom we lovingly referred to as The Beast a la The Sandlot). But it wasn't long before we were on the road to las cavernas!

Our day came to a screeching halt when, at Barra Honda, we discovered that only one of the three caves was open, and that you had to be accompanied by a guide to go down it. To the tune of $65/hour. In 'Merika, that's what we call A JOKE.

Several Costa Ricans have told us that tourism is really suffering down there--partly because of the global recession, and partly because Costa Ricans are shameless price-gougers. The thing is, if you are offering a service in a foreign country that caters to predominantly Canadians and Americans, maybe  it would be a good idea to find out what the equivalent cost of that service is in Canada and the US. A four-second Google search reveals that a 3-4 hour tour in the Carlsbad Caverns costs a mere $40/couple. So Barra Honda was charging 60% more for three hours less in a cave that, lo siento,  doesn't hold a candle to Carlsbad. And they wonder why we left.

Instead, we went the opposite direction to Tamarindo, where we rented two surfboards all day for $20.  (Kelly's Surf Shop--if you're ever in Tamarindo, hit this place up. Kelly is the man!) The waves were incredible that day--nothing big, but just easy and fun and rolling. Brock said it was the best surfing day of his life. I'm still learning, but I managed to get up on my own a couple times :) If anything, I was grateful for warm water and a soft, sandy ocean floor!

Funny story. Just as we were about to hit the water, I decided to go get something out of the car. So I'm running back to the car, on the beach, in a bikini, feeling mighhhhhhty  "Baywatch" when FA-POOM. I eat it FACE FIRST in the sand. In front of everyone.  It was so funny that I started laughing out loud, which I'm sure made me look like an even BIGGER idiot, but I mean, what else are you going to do in that situation?! I'm so sad Brock didn't see it! Funny moments like that are a shame if nobody films them, but they're a total WASTE if nobody sees them! (Well, at least nobody you know.) But guys, f'real. If I had been able to put this on YouTube, it would've become the next "Charlie Bit My Finger."

After a few hours of surfing we decided to explore some of the neighboring beaches around Tamarindo.

Playa Grande

You put the lime in the coconut . . .
We grabbed a quick bite to eat at a beachside taco stand in Playa Grande. That's when this happened.

Two minutes later, as we're leaving the parking lot, some drunk guy comes up to us and is all "HEY. It costs two dollars to park here." And Brock is like "There's no sign that says that. Where is your identification?" The man says "Here!" and points to his hat which has "SEGURIDAD" printed on it. Totally legit. Brock pulled his car out and drove away, with Mr. Borracho giving us all kinds of lovely hand signs in the rearview mirror.

Estuary into the ocean at Playa Avellanas

Behind where I took this picture was a small house--this estuary ran in front of it. Can you imagine looking out your kitchen as seeing this  every day?!

After goofing around, we went back to Tamarindo for dinner at a place called FT's. Is there anything better than tropical smoothies and hot wings after a day of surfing? Well, maybe. But that was still freaking good. We had a great time chatting it up with the young Canadian couple next to us. Tamarindo was definitely the most touristy place we went to, but that was kind of nice for a day.

You'd think a super touristy place like Tamarindo would have a gas station. WRONG. Our tank was on empty, and the nearest station was a good ten miles away. Single gallons of gas were sold at little soda shops along the road, but of course they gouge like mad ($8/gallon or more). We decided to take our chances and go look for "cheap" gas--only $5.30 at regular stations!

Naturally, it makes sense to put a gas station at the top of a HUGE-A hill. Brock and I were so paranoid that we'd run out while going up!

But we made it! Thank goodness. After an hour-long drive back to Nicoya, we both passed out in bed within fifteen minutes. What a day!


Post a Comment

© Raesevelt All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger