Brenda, the prize fighter.

Trip Start Nov 29, 2006
Trip End Dec 09, 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, December 7, 2006

Nick had turned me onto a website called Basically, you create a profile & either offer other members a place to stay or search for a place to stay. (you can simply meet for coffee too, if you prefer) I logged onto couchsurfing before the trip and noticed that there were 2 people living in the Nosara area. Nick E-mailed Brenda Lee & she responded saying we were welcome for a night or two. "When you pass the Cafe de Paris in Nosara, look for signs for the enchanted forest". Sometimes directions in a foreign country need not be more complex then that.
When we arrived in Nosara, we asked at a local ice cream shop about the enchanted forest. Was it a commune? Was it a neo-pagan surf cult? Would we be asked to donate a portion of our annual income to better the irrigation surrounding the 'memory garden'? "Oh Brenda, the prize fighter. She's just down the road." A sign brought us to a white stone path, through a gate past a clothing 'bazaar' to the enchanted world of Brenda Lee. A large open-air structure, with smooth, wide-planked flooring served as the training room. Brenda was teaching an exercise class to a group of Tico women, so we only stole a few minutes of her attention. Her father, a gentleman probably in his 70s, went to a small cabina in the back and prepared our accommodations. We had no idea that the enchanted forest was a guesthouse, but it was much more too. A full size boxing ring dominates a large portion of the lot. Three cabinas are spread out, connected by white stone pathways, cement bridges & a hodgepodge of wooden structures. Iguanas, armadillos & raccoons share the property along with Brenda's three dogs; Lalo, the dachshund, Terri the Chihuahua & Buster the boxer. Over the course of the day we settled in a bit and learned a little bit about Brenda & the enchanted forest.
On her first visit to Costa Rica, 7 years ago, she had a vision where a vortex opened up in the wall & the eyes of a hundred animals beckoned her to come. She found a piece of property and began to build. Brenda was indeed a prize fighter; she fought 21 matches, the last being a title match. That part of her story is the happy ending to Million Dollar baby. (She was 32 yr old when she started fighting) So fast forward 7 years, and now the enchanted forest is what it is. Brenda teaches several classes a day to the locals & tourists as well as training boxers from around the world & giving massages too. Meeting her was definitely our lucky find; you're just not gonna hear about places like this from "the book".
We finally took surf lessons on Tuesday. A 19 yr. old Tico rasta was my teacher & although I wasn't wholly impressed with him as a teacher, I did pick up a few helpful pointers. After 2 hours of surfing, we were exhausted and called it a day. The sunset was delicious, I could feel the curve of the earth pulling my gaze down towards the sinking sun. After a sleepless night for me (mosquitos, heat + insomnia) I slammed down a quick cup of coffee at 5am and we hit the beach for sunrise. The waves were much bigger & more powerful too. The sky continued its technicolor shift as we struggled with the waves. I felt pretty scared being out there, but after a while I started to ease up a bit. We actually got caught in a rip tide that pulled us down the shore about 1/4 of a mile. (luckily not out to sea) Honestly, I didn't notice till we got out of the water and began the hike back. After a 12:00pm circuit training class, Nick had a massage and I finally caught some sleep. We hit the beach again around 4pm and surfed till the sun dropped. I'm noticing an improvement in my ability, but have a long way to go before I'll be ready to try waves bigger then 8 feet.
Tomorrow we'll take a break from the beach and head north towards Ostional. Brenda told us about a commune of Israeli's living at a place called Pachamama under the spiritual guidance of a Guru called Tyohar. I think it'll prove to be a newsworthy adventure.
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Debbie Bishop on

Brenda is one of the most amazing people I have met in my life. We have shared stories about our lives, but she is by far the one person in my life who brought me out of the slumps

judy on

I totally agree with you -- definitely a top lady in my books!

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