Day 15-Surf's up

Trip Start Jan 14, 2013
Trip End Apr 11, 2013

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What I did
Adrenalina Surf Shop
Basta Pasta

Flag of Costa Rica  , Puntarenas,
Monday, January 28, 2013

One of the more bizarre gifts we received this Christmas was a surfboard.  My brother Steve thought it hilarious to send a 6 foot surfboard to our home in Denver.  When you look at a map of the United States, you quickly realize that Denver is not only land-locked, it is void of almost any large body of water.  I think some people might kite surf at a nearby reservoir, but that is a different activity requiring different gear.  Our new surfboard is now safely ensconced in the rafters of our garage indefinitely.

But maybe not.  Today we got surf fever!

I strong armed Paul into taking a lesson with me.  We hadn't had very good luck at our single previous attempt surfing (we took a lesson during our honeymoon 5 years ago in California and both of us only just managed to stand up before immediately falling off).  It had been an amusing activity but overall a frustrating experience, and Paul wasn't keen to repeat it.  But here we find ourselves in a land that where it seems everybody either surfs or does yoga, so I persuaded him to give surfing one more try.  As usual, Jenny set us up with a surf instructor and childcare. How are we going to survive without Jenny?

We drove the bumpy road from Cabuyo to Mal Pais dodging iguanas and ATVs.  Mal Pais is a town that is 100% devoted to surfing.  Everybody looks like a surfer . . . lean, tan, barefoot.  We parked next to a vehicle that caught our attention because it boasted several bumper stickers reading "Ron Paul Revolution".  Only upon a second look did I realize it had Colorado license plates.  Heck, turns out, we could have had this person drive our surfboard down for us after all!

We met up with Manny, our French surf instructor.  Do they even have surfing in France?  He introduced us to the other fellow of our lesson, Peter, a fellow from England who was taking a third lesson.  Peter showed Manny an ugly-looking blister on his foot that he got during from the previous day's surf lessons.  Suddenly I felt nervous.

After being reassured there are no sharks in Costa Rica (actually there are, but I guess they are not prone to attacking surfers), we headed out to a beautiful beach to surf.

Manny was awesome.  He gave us a few pointers on the beach, but mostly we were in the water.  On his first try, Paul stood up and rode the wave all the way to the beach!  I was not as quick to pick it up, but before long, I managed to catch a few waves too.  Both Paul and I were elated and exhilerated.  We finally understood the appeal of surfing! (All surf photos are courtesy of Peter's wife, Charlotte.  Thanks again Charlotte--it was lovely meeting you and Peter).

Two and a half hours of surfing later, and we were knackered.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed back home to Cabuya.  On the way out of Mal Pais, we picked up a hitch hiker (a common practice here, although we can't oblige very often because we usually have two kids in car seats--there's not a lot of room to spare).  Turns out, this teenager works at the same surf shop as our surf instructor Manny.  He moved from Albuquerque to Cabuya when he was 6 years old, but his sister and grandparents live in Denver and Boulder respectively.  Amazing how we are all inter-connected. 

We finished the evening off having a delicious meal with our friends Russ, Tania and Leo at La Playa de Artistas, a restaurant right on the beach just outside of Montezuma.  The almost-full, peach-colored moon rose over the ocean horizon as a a beautiful bittern churred from a nearby tree.  
Tonight I sit here horribly sunburned (despite loads of sunscreen), I have managed to already lose my phone/wallet, I am covered with a weird rash from my surfboard, there is a very large, scary insect that lives in the overflow hole of our bathroom sink, and there was a live crab halfway up the on the wall of Vivian's bedroom tonight?!  But oddly, I am peace with it all.  I guess maybe some of the relaxed surfer attitude brushed off on me too.
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steph on

amazing all the connections you are making with people! what a small world it really is...

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