So, back to my Costa Rica trip, which I returned from over a month ago.
We stayed at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, a beachfront hotel run by surfers, for surfers. WRSC was founded by Joe Walsh, a Californian who decided to move to Costa Rica following his graduation from UCSD. He bought an old school bus, convinced some friends to accompany him on the trip, and eventually ended up in Costa Rica. Thus, Witch’s Rock Surf Camp was born.
The perfect location – right on the beach
I loved everything about WRSC. The staff members were incredibly helpful and the guests were laid back (Well, of course they would be. They are surfers, after all). The great thing about WRSC is that it caters to surfers of every skill level, from someone who has never been on a board in their life to a surfer who has been catching waves since he was a kid. All beginning and intermediate surfers receive daily lessons (in groups of 2-3 people) while the advanced surfers spend their days traveling by boat or van to different breaks in the region. Since I am not skilled enough to even think about surfing some of those breaks, I was content to take my daily lesson with the WRSC instructors, many of whom have surfed, or still surf professionally. I learned a great deal from these guys, who helped me break some of the bad habits I have managed to pick up over the years. I caught some great waves and also had some spectacular wipeouts that would make you grimace. I’ve always thought that if you’re not going to make the wave, you should at least go out in style.
“And today, we will work on your turns.”
My lesson group
The view from my room. The rooms at WRSC are very simple…bed, bathroom, chair, nightstand, and framed surf posters on the wall. If you are looking for a flat screen TV with on-demand movies, room service, and 1200 thread count sheets, then this is not the place for you. But if you could care less about all of that and just want to surf with a great group of people, then WRSC is where you want to be.
Best shower design ever
The view you enjoy while eating breakfast/lunch/dinner or just drinking beer. Another great thing about WRSC is the free breakfast at the camp’s restaurant, “Eat at Joe’s.” When I hear the phrase “free breakfast”, I generally think of the lackluster selection of pastries you typically encounter at an early morning business meeting. At WRSC, however, you can select any of the breakfast plates on the menu. I usually opted for the eggs, bacon, toast, and gallo pinto (rice and beans), drenched in salsa verde with a cup or two of coffee on the side. It was definitely a great meal to have after a 6am surf session.
This damn bird stole a piece of my bacon
Looking out towards the main street of Tamarindo
I love nachos. I really love a plate of nachos as big as your ass. When we weren’t eating dinner at a place down the street
, we were at Joe’s. You really couldn’t go wrong ordering something here. The nachos, tacos, burgers, sushi, and smoothies were all great, and the beer was always ice cold. Seriously, the WRSC crew should be incredibly proud of the food they are serving.
Entrance to WRSC/surf shop/board storage area. WRSC has a huge collection of surfboards, and if you are a student there you can check one out anytime. I mainly surfed a 9’2″ or 8’6″.
Rian and I
These guys were everywhere
Listening to Tico Hendrix.
No matter what time it was, you could always go downstairs to Joe’s and find someone to have a beer or nachos with.
For our last night, the WRSC staff threw a “graduation party” and served up a delicious feast.
Happy camper. Literally.
I had such an incredible time at WRSC and met a lot of great people there. I think about it often while I am sitting at my desk here in DC, working on spreadsheets or whatever. I have a feeling I’ll be back there sometime next year.