Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is there such a thing as too much free time?

An entire lovely month has now slipped away as we've been relaxing in our hexagonal cabina on Playa Negra, and we're finally going to leave. While we could easily stay here another month, we've decided to try our luck at a Playa Nosara, a beach about halfway down the Nicoya Peninsula. The surf is supposed to be good, and it looks like the living will be easy there as well. What have we been doing here for the last month though? Our days have been gorgeously occupied with surf sessions, home-cooked meals, friendly dogs, waxing surfboards, feeding semi-wild horses, ping pong tournaments, mustache growing, hand-washing laundry, pimping out our car, website development, lots of reading, and spear fishing. Turns out that in Costa Rica, life expands nicely to fill up available free time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Surfing success

Chris hanging out in the green room (not really)

While Chris has been ripping up the overhead waves on Playa Negra lately, I have been struggling in vain to understand this crazy sport we call surfing. I may not be the most coordinated person in the world, but never have I encountered a sport where the initial learning curve is so steep - almost vertical I think. I tried surfing a couple of times in Mexico and El Salvador, but never really put my mind to it, so I figured while we're living on the beach in Costa Rica for several weeks, I'll really give it a go. I borrowed an epoxy longboard from Bob, our friendly landlord, and vigilantly got in the water a couple of times a day for two weeks. During this time I only managed to thoroughly cleanse my sinuses with salt water, get frustrated and/or freaked out when I banged my feet on rocks, and feel close to tears when another wave heading towards me filled me with an overwhelming sense of dread. After a particularly frustrating morning with a huge foam board (the easiest to learn on) and baby waves still left me near tears, I was ready to give up forever. Chris convinced me to give it one more try, this last time with a teacher (besides him). And it was like a miracle. Friendly Walter of the Avellanas Surf School had me standing up on waves on about the third try, and after a couple of hours with Walter, I am now able to catch waves on my own. Granted, this is all on an 8-foot foam board, but surfing is now officially fun.

Kristin surfing a barreling waist-high killer wave

Friday, February 13, 2009

10,000 miles later

Somewhere on the drive between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, we hit a milestone for our trip. Since leaving our apartment in California, we have now driven 10,000 miles. As the crow flies, only 2,973 miles separates us from our former home in Mill Valley, USA to our temporary home on Playa Negra, Costa Rica, but we're definitely living a very different life. 7 months and 7 countries later, we've camped in apocalyptic downpours, blistering heat, and numbing cold, slept on beaches, mountains, and lakes, and driven across small rivers, over rocky mountainous passes, and through some car-swallowing potholes. Our faithful car has handled washboard roads at ridiculous grades and we've been grateful on a number of occasions for the 4WD. So, here it is, our greatest hits video of wacky road conditions:

As I said before, Mexican roads are like a box of chocolates. The same seems to hold true for Central America in general.