Surf's up in Tamarindo

Trip Start Apr 26, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Friday, May 12, 2006

It took 10 hours, 4 buses (La Fortuna to Tilaran, Tilaran to Canas, Canas to Liberia and Liberia to Tamarindo) and three hours of the world's worst potholes and unfinished roads but we finally made it to Tamarindo.
The goal: to learn how to surf. And this was the place to do it. Sue did some research for us in the morning and managed to find a place that gave us a two hour lesson with afternoon rental of the boards for $25 so we trooped down and met our instructor, Raoul and headed to the beach. First he gave us on-sand tips for the proper way to stand up on the board, how to paddle and what to do when you're actually "riding" the wave. Yes, we felt a little dorky, all four of us in our bright yellow t-shirts laying down in the sand on our boards and pretend paddling in the sand then jumping up and pretending to surf. (Some of the locals found us a laugh too as they walked by and stared at the funny gringos).
We ended up spending 4 hours in the lesson, Raoul in the water with us, first teaching us to get up on whitewash then graduating us to the green, 45 waves a bit farther out. While Shane rode almost every wave that came in like an expert (although he'd be modest about that of course), Jay, Sue and I were tumbled, crashed and thrown by the waves. At the end of the morning, however, we had all managed to get up and successfully rode some waves! We were sore and tired but felt a great sense of accomplishment. Jay and Shane even went out in the afternoon until sundown to practice a bit more.
At night in Tamarindo, make sure you keep an eye on the side of the road coming into the main town. Thousands upon thousands of fireflies hang out right next to the street and flicker and flash like the northern lights at knee level.
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