I’m way behind on posts but I have some good pictures from surf camp that I want to share.
I went to Witch’s Rock in Costa Rica two years ago and had a great time. I actually had such a good time, I was a little nervous about going back. What if it didn’t live up to round one? It turns out I had no need to worry. I loved it. Again.
This time I flew into a closer airport, so I didn’t have to take the four or five hour bus ride to the camp. It costs a little more to fly into Liberia, but now that I’ve done it both ways, I think it’s worth it. Last time I made it to camp just in time to fall into bed. This time I arrived around 1p and got to surf my first day!
Let’s be clear about something. I am not a great surfer. I’m not even decent. But I was able to build a little on what I learned last time, and this time they took me out into the deeper water.
Not that I was excited about that initially…. while we were paddling out I kept telling the instructor, “Ok, this is good. Let’s stop here.”
“Keep paddling,” he said. (I swear, this is what surf instructors say more than anything else. Paddle, paddle, paddle…)
We paddled a little farther and I said, “Ok, this is good. Far enough for me!” and he shook his head.
Once he explained what he was doing it made sense. We were going past where the waves were breaking, into the green water. It really wasn’t that far, and when we got there the water was calm and we could sit on our boards, our legs dangling in the water, and wait for the perfect wave.
My instructor would spot something in the distance that had yet to become a wave and say, “Ok, now… this one, Robyn, this one…” and I’d turn around and get ready to… you guessed it…. paddle.
Yes, I did get clobbered quite a few times, but I quickly learned that if I followed my instructor’s words to relax and let the ocean do its thing… they call it the washing machine… then the wave would go back and I would be able to swim to the surface.
Plus, a lot of the time I wasn’t in over my head once the wave subsided, so that helped me not be a wuss.
Here I am about to pop up on a little wave. It looks like I’m grabbing the rails (sides of the board) which is a no-no. You are supposed to have your hands in a push up position, on the board, not on the sides.
But I got up anyway. Yay!
Just a girl, and her surfboard… and a surf instructor’s head in the background.
… and some boats.
After the lessons I was usually hungry, and would get something to eat at Joe’s – the restaurant also owned by the owner of the surf camp. It’s where all the campers hang out and discuss their lessons and plan what they’re doing the rest of the day.
This is what you see when you’re eating at Joe’s. The food is good, but I think most of us came for the view.
I made friends right away. The lesson times varied according to the tide…
Oh, good.. I can sleep in! There were some mornings I had a lesson at 6am. I woke up about halfway through it.
If we had free time, we could grab a friend and go sight-seeing in town.
We might also get some supplies at the local grocery store, the Super 2001.
They will sell you granola bars and sunscreen, but they won’t accept your Kroger plus card.
For the guests who enjoy some nautical creativity, a water dancing routine is always and option… see earlier post for the video… but here’s my partner in crime Kylie and I recreating one of our most famous poses.
Shane, Andres (instructor), me and Ben. This was my “class” – just a couple people to each instructor to make sure we get the attention we need.
Ben is French and had a little bit of trouble with the language barrier. Andres was trying to tell him he was paddling too much (wasn’t my issue for sure) and was shouting to him, “Easy, easy” but Ben paddled harder and came over to us.
“What are you doing?” Andres asked. “I said easy. Easy means like lightly, slower, not so hard.”
“Oh! I thought you were saying ‘ici! ici!’ ” That means “here” in French, so he paddled right over.
Just like last time, there were dogs everywhere… on the beach, hanging out at restaurants… this dog sat nicely by our table and waited for me to drop some fries.
That’s intensity. She really liked fries.
In addition to the surf lessons in the water, they also have nightly seminars. Here you see Isaac demonstrating the proper position on the board.
My room. I stayed at their sister location this time, just a five minute walk down the road.
Yes, I stayed at the “Cocodrilo” – named for the group of crocodiles that used to hang out in the back. “That was a long time ago,” the manager assured me.
I never did see a croc, but I spotted several of their distant cousins hanging out by the pool.
Bottom line, there’s really no place like it. Some of the people I met this trip had been there three or four times. I know it seems funny to go back to the same vacation spot when there are so many other options, but I love it there.
Hold that thought, Tamarindo… I’ll be back.