Day 4-9, Tamarindo

Trip Start Jul 03, 2008
Trip End Sep 19, 2008

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Where I stayed
Familia Rosales

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday 6th July

Up at 6, managed to send an email home which made me feel less homesick. Got a six hour bus ride to Tamarindo on the Pacific coast. Some very dodgy roads and mud tracks. Met Elena from Stuttgart, Marcel from Zurich and another old lady from Tasmania, but originally from Zurich too (Ruth).

Arrived at Wayra School, seemed nice. Took a Spanish test and got a taxi to my new family's home in Villareal. They were all very nice but spoke no English. Mariana Rosales, two daughters Carina and Jenifer and a six year old granddaughter Alison
Walked half an hour to Playa de Tamarindo. Got fed up of being offered drugs
[must have looked like a tourist] so got a taxi home. Found somewhere to send emails from though.

I was very full up after finding food in Tamarindo but had to pretend to be hungry as the family had cooked for me. I met Alonso, Alison's father, who spoke a bit of English. Very nice family, the house was very comfortable but like a shanty town shack
[compared to what I was used to]. Lots of chickens in the street. [Later Jasmin threatened to buy all the chickens, valued at 10p each, for a BBQ to stop the 5am crowing].

Monday 7th July

Woke up early with the hour change and the noisy chickens. Caught the public bus into Tamarindo. Mariana and Alison came with me to make sure I found the school ok. I got put in the beginners class, which was a bit frustrating. My class was me, a Swiss man from Zurich (Marcel) and the teacher (Olga). The four hour lesson went very quickly as I had a 40 minute break to talk to Mum, Chris and Steph on the office phone. It seemed like a very long time since I left home so it was great to finally talk to them.

I talked to Alonso in Spanglish about football and music and stuff. His taste in music included Gloria Estevan, Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.

Tuesday 8th July

First surf lesson today. Went really well and managed to stand up lots, I was using a beginners float style board though [long board]. After being battered around by the waves I had many bruises and board rashes and sprained my wrist a bit, so the rest of the day was quite painful. The water is very warm and very salty.

The Spanish lessons were a bit boring as we learnt the alphabet and numbers, which I was already happy with. Although I didn't actually understand any of the words I managed to have long conversations with Mariana and Carina, somehow.

Wednesday 9th July

Got up at 9 and caught the public bus to Tamarindo at 10.30. It is very crowded with people hanging off the sides. Didn't have surfing today so my body could recover from the day before. New guy turned up for our lesson, Terje from Norway. After the lessons there was a free Costa Rican cooking course in the schools accommodation. Not as exciting as it sounded, we made fried cheese fritter things and went home. Met a lot of new people though. Went out to a Salsa night at one of Tamarindo's bars. The music was great and the Ticas were amazing dancers.

Thursday 10th July

Egg and bacon thing for breakfast which was nice. Caught early bus to Tamarindo and Skyped Steph! Found out later that the handover date for the house [Keble Street] was set for 29th July.

Met Alonso for lunch at El Pescador. Had some kind of diced Mahi Mahi with tomatoes
[seviche]. Found out there was a big Cocaine seizure up the coast. Alonso said lots of Ticos are out at sea trying to find the missing boxes of cocaine, each worth a fortune.

Got home and was very tired. As I was about to go to bed some people arrived with a big fish. After some time in the kitchen a man appeared with some tuna sushi. Didn't know if it would be ok but it would be rude to turn it down so I ate lots, and it was really good.

Friday 11th July

Third surfing lesson in the morning. Got to use a hard board for the first time. Found it more fun than the long boards but the waves were quite small. Ate a sandwich on the beach for lunch, saw a small island out at sea and we decided we would try and swim to it sometime.

Today was the last day in the beginners Spanish class. Massive lightning storm in the afternoon, got home covered in mud to pack for trip to Rio Celeste in the morning. Mariana is ill with some kind of cold or flu. The people that came over the night before came back. I think they are family. They have two sons and a ten month old baby called Joel who screams a lot.

Went to the club Crazy Monkey in Tamarindo in the evening. Had a good time but some Tico stole my phone damn it!

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Nick Matyas on

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