I’ve just returned from a week in Costa Rica and wanted to get my thoughts down while the pura vida vibes were still fresh (rather than wait weeks or months, which is my usual modus operandi). First off, the trip was incredible and I can see why so many of the people we met down there return again and again. A week was clearly not long enough and I’m already looking down the line for an opportunity to return.
The trip, and my fond memories of it, are especially sweet because it almost didn’t happen.
Anastasia (my lovely girlfriend) and I were looking for a place to meet up at the end of one of her multi-week work stints – the catalyst for many of our adventures – and the proximity of El Salvador to where she was working, deep in the jungles of a neighbouring country, put it atop of the list of convenient rendezvous locales. However, after some guidebook reading, the promise of easily accessible surf, off-season crowds (or lack thereof) and regular, reasonably priced flights tipped the scales towards Costa Rica. The choice turned out to be a happy accident that didn’t become apparent until we’d set off for the Nicoya Peninsula the night after landing in the San Jose.
The journey to the coast took about three-and-a-half hours, mostly as a result of poor signage, narrow motorways, crazy intersections, seemingly random tolls and the general road chaos typical of developing countries. In retrospect, it all adds to rural Costa Rica’s charm, although Anastasia might disagree. (This also happened to be my first crack at driving stick so she, sensibly, shouldered most of the critical driving).
The trip was also a reunion with Stas, Anastasia’s older brother. He and I share an obsession with surfing (we’d shared waves once before on a trip to Hawaii) and this time, unlike the trip to the islands that involved diving of the sky and SCUBA varieties, surfing was the primary objective. Stas, had landed in Tamarindo, where he attended the famed Witches Rock surf camp, a week prior and was already well acquainted with the local breaks by the time we showed up.