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May 11, 2009

Costa Rica: Exploring the Tamarindo River

One morning, rather than sitting around drinking cheap beer and waiting for the surf to roll in, we hired this dude to take six of us on a real life jungle cruise of the Tamarindo River (Disneyland is for amateurs).

Where the river meets the ocean

He took us through some very narrow and shallow areas of the river to get a closer look at the wildlife living on the riverbank. The humidity became incredibly oppressive, much like what I imagine the swamps of Florida feel like.

Crazy trees

Announcing that he knew where some monkeys were located, he moored the boat and we scrambled up the muddy riverbank and began walking through the forest.

We also kinda scrambled over this barbed wire fence. We were like “Ehhhh…” but our guide didn’t seem too concerned. (“Venga, venga!”)

After walking on a “trail” for a few minutes we came across this group of sleeping monkeys.

Our guide, of course, would have none of this sleeping business and decided to wake them up by making various monkey noises. Some woke up, and some didn’t. And while I can’t say I am an expert in deciphering monkey howls, the ones who woke up were definitely not happy. So we decided to leave the area before we were attacked by the monkeys or shot by an angry property owner. On the trip back, we also saw a crocodile but I wasn’t fast enough with the camera.

Back to camp

May 8, 2009

Costa Rica: Pura Vida

A few shots of surfers enjoying an afternoon/evening session at Playa Tamarindo.

Carlos, a WRSC instructor

I love this dog. He belonged to one of the WRSC instructors and whenever his owner went out to surf he would sit on the beach and wait for him to come in.

May 4, 2009

Costa Rica: The food. Oh, the food.

As a warning, you probably shouldn’t view this post if you are extremely hungry due to all the gratuitous food photos.

I can’t recall having a single bad meal in Costa Rica. We ate a lot of meat, seafood, plantains, guacamole, rice and beans (I never thought of rice and beans as a breakfast dish, but it was surprisingly good), and grilled veggies. And, of course, drank a lot of beer. Luckily, we met some fellow WRSC guests who had been to WRSC the previous year and took us to some great (and cheap) restaurants in Tamarindo.

Pick your steak from the counter display and these guys grill it for you. Biggest filet mignon I’ve ever had.

Stuffed. We also had the entire restaurant to ourselves.

The next place we went to was Pedro’s, a small shack located on the beach (my previous post had a photo of it during the daytime). I opted for the jumbo shrimp, caught that day, and then breaded.

Rian’s seafood platter

Another meal at El Sabor de la Vida, across the street from WRSC:

I had the shrimp plate (by now you have already figured out that I love shrimp) and it was probably around $5.

The next day, Andrew bought some fish and shrimp from fishermen while he was out on a surf trip. He dropped them off at El Sabor de la Vida and the woman there grilled them, made ceviche, and put on an amazing spread with sides of guacamole, chips, plantains, and rice. For all of this, she charged us about $4 per person. Needless to say, we gave her a very nice tip.

May 3, 2009

Costa Rica: Playa Tamarindo

I arrived back in DC last night. I’m covered in various scrapes and bruises, one of my toes is probably sprained, and my neck is killing me. But man, was that a fun trip. Costa Rica is amazing. Met a lot of great people, ate a ton of excellent food, surfed a lot, and am already planning a trip back there next year. I’m currently in the process of sorting through all my photos and acquiring others from my friends. Here are a few of Playa Tamarindo that I took while on an early morning walk.

The area directly in front of our hotel. Not a bad location, eh?

Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, our hotel and playground for the week (more on WRSC later).

My favorite trees 🙂

Tamarindo rivermouth


Pedro’s…serves amazing seafood caught that day!

April 24, 2009

Off to Costa Rica

Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Costa Rica and will be there for a week. I’m meeting my friend Rian (from GWU) down there. Yes, this will be a normal vacation with a beach, surfing, etc. There will be no landmines, tours of nuclear disaster sites, or heavily armed police escorts. Admittedly, this feels kinda strange.