Pitch black and sweaty

I had no set plans today so I was a true wanderluster. After some time on the beach, I decided I needed some food and a coffee. While sitting at Zwarf Cafe, I ran into some of my Shaka friends who were walking around town. Of course, I tagged along with them because I missed them already! Eventually they dropped me back off at my hostel where I met my roommate.

IMG_5579
Tiko breakfast at The Bakery
IMG_5763
Platanos and Guac
IMG_5533.jpg
Man o’ war (don’t step on it!)

We were on our way to meet up with a guy from Minnesota who was on her plane, but stopped at the Super Ronny for a canned mojito first. While inside, it began to storm like crazy. Then, everything went black. It was clear there would be no beach hangout, so instead, we ran to a nearby pizza joint hoping their stoves were wood fire and not gas. It was our lucky day and the ovens were working. We ordered pizza and wine and sat in the dark. Occasionally the electricity would go back on for 5 seconds and the whole place would cheer. However, it turned off 5 seconds after that and everyone would “awwww”. It went on like that the rest of the night.

We arrived back to the hostel, no lights, no A/C, no Wifi and no way to charge our phones. While it was a bit stressful, it was kind of funny and ironic. The rest of the night was spent in true sleepover mode. We stayed up talking about anything and everything, with the occasionally pause to cheer when the lights came back on temporarily. They went off for good around 10pm and didn’t go back on until 7am. Even the cell towers were down so if anyone was trying to reach us, it wasn’t happening.

On my last full day, I decided to join Helina for an afternoon surf. She had an instructor, but I decided to try it solo since I was on the same beach as last week, Playa Hermosa.  It was my first time ever going surfing alone but I felt confident. The waves were still very choppy from the storm last night, coming from every which direction. The white water was pretty fun since it was so choppy but it was hard to surf a clean wave. Then, there was a sudden opening out to the green waves so I decided to take it. I paddled out and only minutes after getting out there a wave was coming my way. I took it and caught it! I rode just a short distance before it closed out on me and I came crashing down. It was then I realized I was very far out and in very deep water (low tide). The waves were so unpredictable that I got a little scared and ended up going back to shore.

I finished my last night with sushi, spicy margaritas, live music and of course laying in bed praying for the A/C to turn back on (power went out again).

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

I was pretty lucky that my quad dorm was empty, so I had first choice of bed (bottom bunk, duh).  Although, I wouldn’t have minded having one other person in the room to socialize with. After settling in, I walked down the road and grabbed dinner at Burger Rancho (didn’t get a burger, but chicken tacos and they were great), then came back to go to sleep. My neighbors were singing ballads until Midnight, so it was pretty loud, but it wasn’t so bad.

I’m used to getting up at 5:30am to surf, so even with my little sleep, I was still up early and headed to the beach to check out the surf. I decided I wanted to hit the waves today so I rented a board and went out with a group. I’ve been riding an 8’ 6” board, but on my last day at Shaka I went down to an 8’ 2” board. For giggles, I decided to grab a 7’ 6” board today. I made it out to the green waves (much easier on a small board) and after 6 or so failed attempts, I finally felt comfortable on the new size and was able to pop up and ride. The shorter board takes longer to catch the wave, but once it does, it goes fast!! It was a lot of fun, and afterwards I enjoyed fresh coconut water and cantaloupe.

I spent the next part of the day walking around looking for a new rash guard. I didn’t have any luck, but I did find a really good smoothie. I also spent some more time tanning and reading on the beach with a fresh coconut. Then, after watching sunset I went back to my room to discover that I had a roommate!!

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
Tan and happy 🙂
IMG_5566.jpg
Outdoor Seating at Earth Cafe
IMG_5570
Centaur on the beach

She is from Jersey and very nice. We met up with two guys from Florida at this beachfront bar where we had a few drinks, played some pool (with pool sticks that didn’t have tips) and then headed home since the guys had to catch a 4am ferry. On the way back Helena and I were talking about how it was nice that we had a four person room to ourselves, but of course when we got back around 11pm, there were two other people in there so our luck ran out! The good news was, at 11pm it was already quiet. The karaoke travelers must have gone to bed early, or left.

Surf and Sushi.

This morning was the final surf for most of us. The waves weren’t as good as yesterday, but what I loved was that it was storming. The sky looked ominous and eventually it started raining. There is nothing better than getting caught in the rain when you’re already wet. I caught a couple good waves today, but I also swallowed a fair share of salt water! Another fun and successful morning.

The rest of the day was spent literally doing nothing mixed in with a little reading, some hammock action, and a bit of packing. Around 5pm a few of us were having some pre-dinner drinks. Amongst the stories told, there was one about portals and UFOs nearby. I swear I saw a UFO last time I was in Costa Rica.. we figured it was just a comet with a fire tail…but now it has me wondering again…

We all went out for dinner tonight, to a really great Sushi place. The atmosphere was perfect with the outside tables, cafe lights and live chill music. The sushi was killer and it was a great last supper for our crew. We had already lost Jon and Jennifer earlier today, but two new people joined tonight. Saying goodbye is a sad ritual, we all  know approximately when someone is leaving so we hang out in the common area and when their cab pulls up we all give hugs and say goodbye.

The next morning it was my dad’s turn, and that was the most sad! I’m going to miss his company. My turn followed shortly after, although I really wasn’t going that far.. I hopped into a cab with Simone and Klaus and headed to Santa Teresa where I checked into my hostel. Let the solo times roll..

Shred and Tread

Shred and Tread

Today’s tide allowed for both me and my dad to surf in the morning. Mine was at 6am and his at 8am. I had another great time and I think my best waves yet. Although, I’m really starting to feel sore in my arms, but luckily my coach today, Danny, gave me a tow so I could catch one last wave. I never turn down a free tow out to the green, but I tried to keep it low key so the others wouldn’t get jealous LOL. Since our afternoon was free, we booked ATVs to ride to Montezuma.

It was a dusty ride, but the views were worth it! We drove through the town and then along the coast and eventually through the jungle. There was endless vegetation, animals, and beautiful ocean to look at. Although, I feel horrible because the Halloween crabs are starting to come out now that it’s beginning to rain and while I tried my best to avoid them, I ran over two :(((((

DD223AB6-EA9A-4A4A-A7C9-74E1329A120E.JPG

1BDFB085-FABC-4F08-A8A3-EFD2FE43A10C.JPG

58CDB28F-E902-4BAB-ACE6-D1ED44A51823.JPG

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

We arrived and hiked to the water fall where we went for a swim. It felt great to get all of the dust off. Then, walked around town for a bit before heading back and stopping at the cutest bakery where we bought très leche cake (quattro leche since we washed it down with milk). The plan was to stop at a beach bar on the way back, but we passed by some kids selling coconuts and I always support lemonade/coconut stands since I know the hustle very well. That, plus the cake made us too full so we just kept riding.

30BDDD5C-1F0E-4663-A89A-7F44448CB0F1.JPG

32314AC8-AD93-44FB-8C6D-0BE3922096AB.JPG

We returned in time to shower and make the daily sunset drinks at Pranamar Villas. Back at Shaka, they were playing 80s music so a dance party began with the featured groove, the backpack kid dance. I tried not to eat too many of our favorite chips, Gina’s, because it was pizza night. Then….the pizza came out! We ate our weight in pizza only to learn that John and Jennifer brought ice cream sandwiches for everyone, so we ate some more. The brand of ice cream is called Trits, which turned into a game of using the ice cream name in exchange for something that sounds similar (think about it). You can probably guess who went to bed first.

Shaka Shred

Shaka Shred

To my delight, the first day of surf was at 2pm, meaning I was able to sleep in. After a morning yoga session focused on shoulders I indulged in a delicious breakfast and then lounged around until it was time to get ready to surf. Admittedly, I felt the need to perform well to show I’ve actually improved since I was last here in 2016.

I had my same surf instructor as last time, Mike. I enjoy joking around with him, but I tried my best to stay focused for my dad’s sake. I’m happy to report that we both fared well in the waves…me a bit further back 😉 It was so much fun to get out there again. I just love the waves at this beach. Since today was a success for me, I was given the option to do the morning surf tomorrow behind the break. At first I said no, but with some encouragement from the others who went out this morning I committed.

B35B62AD-689E-465D-9612-6FF296F97951.JPG

Continue reading “Shaka Shred”

Off to the land of Pura Vida.

Off to the land of Pura Vida.

Today was an early wake up call. I was at the airport at 3:45am. I didn’t sleep the night before but mostly because I was just so excited to be starting my journey again. That said, I wasn’t the least bit tired. Due to de-icing and low fuel levels our plane took off 60 minutes late. Oh yea, our. The first leg of the trip I’m not traveling solo, but with my dad! I’m excited to show him the place that opened my eyes to solo travel.

It was a bit ironic that our flight was so delayed because we had just dealt with cancelled flights a week before. The airline we were using from San Jose to the small airport near our lodging was shut down. Luckily, were able to get on a flight with the only other airline that makes that route.

Continue reading “Off to the land of Pura Vida.”