Playa Grande- Surf, siestas and sunsets

Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
Trip End Jul 31, 2014

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The girls had a few days off of school, so we decided to use it as an opportunity to see more of Costa Rica and headed for the beach! Playa Grande appealed to us because it is known as a laid back, quiet surf town with a great beach and waves big enough for learning to surf but also good for swimming. We hired our favorite cab driver Roy and headed down the mountain towards the Nicoya Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.

The change from our green mountain to the dry forest of the peninsula was almost shocking. The northern Peninsula de Nicoya is one of the driest climates in Costa Rica, and it was the height of the dry season where it hadn't rained for months. As we drove by totally brown fields and leafless trees we marveled that the whole place didn't go up in smoke. "Es normal" Roy assured us. The sun baked down on the parched earth and it was hot, hot, hot. When we arrived at our inn at the height of the afternoon the main street in town was empty. We soon learned that nobody was out at that time of day, it was siesta time and just too hot to be out.

After getting settled we headed for the beach and relished the cool breezes and refreshing water. The girls headed into the surf right away, and after a few times of getting pounded by the waves and saltwater up their nose, they quickly became more comfortable being in the ocean. The beach was huge (3 miles long), wide and almost empty. Pretty shells and coral soon filled our pockets, and the body surfing had all four of us whooping and hollering all afternoon.We stayed on the beach and enjoyed our first sunset as the sun sank into a fiery orange and red sky. Dinner was at the restaurant right next to our inn with the best wood fired brick oven pizza we had ever eaten. We all collapsed into bed early, excited for surfing lessons the next day!

We were up and out early and played all morning in the waves with rented boogie boards. Back to the inn for afternoon siesta and then off to our surfing lesson. We had a nice small group, and luckily, a dad with a daughter in the class who agreed to take photos for us. We quickly learned why surfers are also way into yoga. You need to be extremely nimble and quick to pop up on your board in time to catch the wave, and if your feet are not in exactly the right position, down you go! All four of us were able to get up on our boards and had enough successful rides to know what it felt like to get all of the timing right. Our teachers were great and the waves were perfect for learning. Overall a very fun new experience, but I don't think any of us are going to give up skiing for surfing yet!

One of the neat things about Playa Grande was that it was full of expats and interesting people from all over the world. One of our surfing teachers was from France who spent the winters in Costa Rica and headed back to France during the summer to work at her family's restaurant. The owner of our inn was from the US, had taught in Thailand for a while then later in Spain, where he met his wife who was from Colombia. The bar at our inn was also a gathering spot for many in the expat surfer crowd, and we had fun meeting other travelers. I loved that the girls were hearing the stories of people who had chosen all kinds of different paths for their lives, following their passions and doing what it took to make it work. 

Our last couple of days were filled with more beach time, boogie boarding and an interesting boat tour up a large estuary. We saw all kinds of birds, the top of a croc's head and a whole clan of Howler monkeys all sacked out in the trees for their siesta after eating all morning. 

When it was time to climb in the taxi to head back to Monteverde we were all spent from the sun the saltwater and the waves. It had been a great weekend, but we were all glad to head back up into the cool green hills.

 Coming up: visitors, trip to Arenal and another border run!

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pm on

very nice ! the look on the girls' faces says it all ! great job you guys.

Roxanne on

Omg! Fantastic photos! You guys look great and looks like you're having the time of Iyar life. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Holloway on

Howdy! Great photos!

Tracy Wygant on

Beautiful pictures. You all look great!

Karen on

Love hearing about all your new adventures! Enjoy a few waves for us!

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