Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pura vida!

So last night I got home from my fantastic spring break adventure learning to surf in Costa Rica. What a trip! I need another week to relax before I go back to school, but alas, Chicago GSB only gives us one week. Oh well, at least I don't have class until Wednesday so I have a couple of days to sleep in my own bed, catch up on house chores, buy my books, get back to normal, etc.

I went on the trip with 5 other GSB chicks and we headed down to Dominical, Costa Rica, last Sunday.




Just getting there was quite the trek. We got a cab to O'Hare at 4 am, caught the 6 am flight to Houston and connected through to San Jose, arriving about 2 pm. It was nice because we didn't even change time zones. However, we were still a bumpy 5 hour drive from our final destination of the Green Iguana Surf Camp at Diuwak Hotel in Dominical. It was dark when we arrived so we didn't get to explore too much...we were just happy to be off the road, out of the van, and getting a meal in our bellies.

Day 1 was pretty mellow. Our first surf lesson wasn't until later in the afternoon, so we had time to walk through town, get some breakfast, and go check out a local waterfall before we tried to catch some waves.

The waterfall



The Chicago GSB Ladies Surf Team



At around 2 pm, we met our coaches and headed down to our local beach, Playa Dominical.
We first spent some time on the sand going over ocean basics and practicing our pop-ups, then it was time to hit the water and give it a go. I had taken a 2 day surf lesson at Surf Diva a couple years ago when I first moved to San Diego, so I remembered much of the basic info in my head, but my body had forgotten about it. We all took some tumbles, got a bunch of salt water up our noses (which would come out randomly later...hello, surf drip!) but by the end of day one, most of us had at least gotten our feet underneath us a few times and there were a few short but successful actual moments of surfing.

Day 2 was a late afternoon to sunset session at Playa Hermosa, a few miles to the south of Dominical. Gorgeous! The other chicks felt Hermosa got the best of them (bigger, more frequent waves combined with sore bodies), but I felt like I had a pretty good session getting to my feet more consistently and starting to find my balance. Plus, the setting was just too perfect. Beautiful beach, nobody but us on it, no man made structures in sight, surfing right up til sunset. I was pinching myself.

By Day 3, we had nicknamed all of our coaches and some of our fellow surfers...Mowgli, ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Shaggy, The Bod, Handlebars. We hit Playa Ventanas, a few more miles south of Hermosa and so named because of the caves that create windows/ventanas from the beach to the ocean. The waves were even bigger than the day before and I was starting to feel the fatigue, so the day was a bit of a struggle for me and I ended up a little sunburnt. I was glad to get off the beach and into the shade. The great thing about Ventanas is that the access is through private property. The property owners charge for access but that charge includes a refreshing pipa fria to end the day. (Pipa fria = chilled coconut with a straw....yum!)

Day 4 found us back at Ventanas. My usual board was claimed by someone else so I spent most of the time trying to get my bearings on a new board. Same length, but twice as heavy, so my balance was a little off and I felt like I had to paddle a lot more to get into a wave. However, once I got it figured out I got a little brave and went on an adventure to "the outside" (beyond where the waves were breaking). We had just been surfing on the whitewater, but real surfing happens from the outside. I was scared (just a little bit) and didn't actually take off on anything, but it was nice to float out there, see how waves develop, and practice paddling into waves from the outside a bit.

We went back to Playa Hermosa for our 5th and final day of surfing. It was by far my best day, even though my body had pretty much had enough. Because my body was saying uncle, I was climbing up more than popping up...also known as cheating and something you can only get away with in the whitewater, but that's neither here nor there... I was actually riding waves, feeling confident in my balance, going down the line, turning a bit, and generally having a blast! And everybody, ALL 6 OF US, had successfully caught a wave, popped up, and SURFED...what can I say but... GSB women kick ass!



In our rash guards & boardshorts, we look like pros already, don't we? I don't have any pics of us actually surfing yet, we are waiting to develop a waterproof disposable camera and the camp should be sending us the pics they took on our last day sometime soon. I promise to post them when I get them.

All in all, it was a great week. As they say in Costa Rica, "PURA VIDA!" Dominical is a funky little town. Our accommodations were what I would call rustic, but nice, and we did have air conditioning, a pool, great ceviche, and some interesting resident wildlife:

Q, our favorite monkey, right Megha?



The iguana in Green Iguana Surf Camp


17 comments:

KV said...

Looks like you guys had a blast and some warm water. Isn’t surfing the greatest thing ever?

Wakechick said...

Love it!!

meghaks said...

Great summary! I'm going to have to link it from my page since I'm too lazy to go into so much detail. Looking forward to getting the pics from the Bod. And yes, thank you for the lovely reminder of our monkey mascot, Cube.

Ah, I miss the surf...

Sportsbook said...

Wow its a lot of fun Costa Rica I love to surf especially Jaco there is a good night life I like the casinos in jaco see online casino for more info. There is a good surfing school in Jaco only for girls.
Take Care
Louis
castellon3@gmail.com

Kely said...

Hello I want to congratulate to you. This site is fantastic, looks like entertained and very good to me it elaborated. I invite them to that they explore a little on my site of the Web
Our real estate listing includes great opportunities on Costa Rica Central Valley’s provinces such as San Jose, our Capital, with remarkable cities as Escazu at the west, or Curridabat at the east, experiencing a great development on both commercial and residential properties, making their real estate pricing highly attractive to investors; on other hand, Alajuela city gathers places with a very special warm weather such as Grecia, La Garita and Atenas, or beautiful farms for agricultural, cattle or nature preservation purposes as those located on San Carlos or Sarapiqui. We also offer land properties in Guanacaste, which is the province, along with Puntarenas, with the most beautiful tropical beaches on the Pacific Coast such as Tamarindo, Playa Grande, El Coco, Playa Hermosa, Nosara, Samara, Herradura, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and Golfito, where the real estate business occupies the first place as the local economic activity.
Great investment opportunity at Costa Rica Pacific Coast, Preconstruction condos in costa rica
Condo sales in costa rica, Retirement property in costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costa-ricarealestate.com/

Celia said...

These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!! Do you want to know something more? Read it...: Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: jaco beach real estate, map jaco beach, hotel in jaco beach costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.jaco-bay.com/

kimberly sayer said...

On the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica is one of the country's most beautiful uncut gems, Dominical. From its turquoise green water to its fiery red and gold sunsets, the natural beauty of the area is second to none. The town sits on the Pacific ocean bordered to the north by the Rio Baru, on the east by three thousand foot high mountains and to the south by dark,costa rica fishingcoffee brown, beaches and coves. One of the most striking features of Dominical can be found while swimming in the water, the town simply disappears. All you see are the tall beach palms and mangroves surrounded by verdant green hills reaching up into the mountains.
http://www.fishingcostaricaexperts.com

britney sayers said...

These include the White-headed Capuchin, the Mantled Howler and the endangered Geoffroy's Spider Monkey.They also include the Central American Squirrel Monkey,Costa rica tourswhich is found only on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and a small part of Panama, and was considered endangered until 2008 when its status was upgraded to vulnerable.
http://www.kingtours.com

kiara said...

Pura Vida Tours is real Costa Rican company, with wide experience, and local knowledge of Costa Rica.
We aim to provide excellent service, quality and comfort in a personalized environment, committed to achieve our main goal: full customer satisfaction.
We are proud to count on a capacitated and fun working team, with experience on operating local and country wide tours. We also count on certified bilingual guides, modern and comfortable transportation, and a conveniently located office at down town Fortuna, complying with all the requirements of the Costa Rica Institute of Tourism. costa rica tours, shopping online, costa rica fishing, jaco fishing charters, costa rica whale watching, costa rica dolphin watching, costa rica party boat, panama fishing, fishing costa rica los suenos, los suenos fishing charters, costa rica fishing los suenos, los suenos costa rica fishing, costa rica los suenos fishing, fishing costa rica los suenos, los suenos fishing charters, costa rica fishing los suenos, los suenos costa rica fishing charters, costa rica los suenos fishing,
http://www.kingtours.com/.

kiara said...

costa rica tours,

costa rica fishing,

jaco costa rica fishing,

fishing costa rica los suenos,

los suenos fishing,

costa rica fishing los suenos,

tarpon fishing costa rica,

costa rica fishing package,

fishing boat costa rica,

costa rica fishing reports,

fishing videos,

fishing boats,

fishing boat,

fishing spots,

costa rica fishing pictures,

los suenos costa rica fishing,

kiara said...

costa rica tours,

costa rica fishing,

jaco costa rica fishing,

fishing costa rica los suenos,

los suenos fishing,

costa rica fishing los suenos,

tarpon fishing costa rica,

costa rica fishing package,

fishing boat costa rica,

costa rica fishing reports,

fishing videos,

fishing boats,

fishing boat,

fishing spots,

costa rica fishing pictures,

los suenos costa rica fishing,

costa rica rafting,

britney sayers said...

Whale Watching Costa Rica

http://www.dominicalcostaricatours.com/

jeka bernot said...

http://www.thekingcatamaran.com/   

Costa Rica DMC Incentives

elizabeth bernot said...

Costa Rica Rafting

World Rafting Championships

Frank said...

Hey,
Loving your blog, awesome tips on blog you have here. I
would just like to ask you some questions privately, mindMobile prices In pakistan,IDM Free Download,function venues geelong,la Fitness locations

Costa Rica Weddings said...

Costa
Rica Fishing Packages
, Costa
Rica Fishing Boats
, Costa Rica Fishing,
Costa Rica Sport
Fishing Packages
, Costa Rica
Fishing
, Costa Rica
Fishing Packages All Inclusive
, Fishing Trips Costa Rica,
Los Suenos Costa Rica Fishing,
Los Suenos Costa Rica Fishing Charters
, Costa Rica Fishing Vacation Packages,
Costa Rica Fishing Packages All
Inclusive
, Costa Rica Fishing
Trips
, Costa Rica Fishing Trips
All Inclusive
, Sport Fishing
Costa Rica
, Costa Rica Sport
Fishing Charters
, Sportfishing
In Costa Rica
, Jaco Costa Rica
Fishing Charters
, Jaco Costa
Rica Fishing Packages
, Jaco
Costa Rica Sport Fishing

Costa Rica Weddings said...

Costa Rica
Weddings
, Costa Rica
Wedding Packages
, Costa
Rica Weddings All Inclusive
,Wedding In Jaco Costa Rica,
Costa Rica Beach Weddings,
Los Suenos Wedding,
Jaco Costa Rica Wedding,
Jaco Wedding Planner,
Costa Rica Married,
Wedding Planning Costa Rica,
Costa Rica Wedding Locations,
Costa Rica Wedding Venues,
Costa Rica Wedding Packages All
Inclusive
, Costa Rica
Wedding Planner
, Getting
Married Costa Rica
, Costa
Rica Destination Weddings


Los Suenos Costa Rica,
Los Suenos Costa Rica Condos For Rent,
Los Suenos Costa Rica Vacation Rentals,
Los Suenos Condos For Rent,
Los Suenos Vacation Rentals,
Los Suenos Condominiums,
Los Suenos Condo Rental