Costa Rica in 3 weeks, Part 1: Border Hopping and Tamarindo

I’m finished most of my internship at the butterfly gardens and just had 3 weeks to travel before a two week volunteer stint at Cano p
Palma research station. I started by going to San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, then spent a week in Tamarindo surfing, climbed in Cachi, snorkelled in Uvita and spent a week at The Yoga Farm in Punta Banco. I’ve been a terrible blogger and haven’t been keeping up at all, so I’m going to write this in three parts, breaking it into:
1. Nicaragua and Tamarindo
2. Cachi
3.Punta Banco

Nicaragua and Tamarindo

San Juan del Sur is a very touristy town in Nicaragua so I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to learn I was sharing a room with 11 frat guys, or that one of them had shat on the floor the night before. The area surrounding the town is quite gorgeous though! I spent a bit of time on the beach my first day, then hiked around more on my second day, got a little bit lost, but figured it out and had a pretty great time overall.

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So this is what was taped to the bunk next to me when I arrived

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A nice beach, with a very large Jesus statue looking out over the town

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About a 45 minute walk from town, or a 2 hour walk if you’re me and accept a ride from someone who has no idea what you’re talking about when you say petroglyph and takes you to a suburb..but either way you can find a beautiful river with a large petroglyph.

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I don’t know very much about it, but it is amazing to look at!

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Hiked back to town then up to the Jesus statue where the view is amazing!

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Me and Jesus watching over the bay

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A few of the guys in my dorm went on a booze cruise, came back and promptly passed out after drawing on each other drew, then puked and peed their beds. Nice work gentlemen. My bunkmate let his friend who peed in his bed join him in his bed as long as he promised to “respect my bunkie, you’ve gotta be nice to my bunkie because she’s a marine biologist and I love her”. So that was funny.

After an early morning border crossing, which was mad hectic and involved a 2 hour line up in the dusty heat, I was en route to Tamarindo.

Tamarindo

I spent a week in Tamarindo at Witches Rock Surf Camp. When i arrived I barely had time to put my things in my room and throw my swimsuit on before my first lesson. The waves were pretty big on my first day, and i may have overstated my surfing experience en espanol, so my instructor kept chucking me on big waves. It was pretty sweet, I dropped in on a few pretty good ones and intimidated most of the guys in the camp. We had a 90 minute surf session everyday plus some type of tutorial like surf safety, surf etiquette, history of surf, science of waves, and a couple video analysis where we essentially watched the best bails and rides of the day from where we were secretly filmed in the bushes.

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So ready to surf

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An afternoon tide pool exploration turned into putting sea stars on our heads

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Check out the cute nudibranch!

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Surfing in the river mouth, the waves were kind of small after the first couple days but we still had a great time

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Coconut on the beach

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My roommate was into crossfit so we did WODs (workout of the days) in between surf sessions

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Barnacles!!! Yes I am 3 exclamation marks excited about barnacles. I got to show people tide pools and explain the joys of barnacles to them. Most people don’t realize that there is an animal in that little cone structure. Well, usually, unless a sea star or something has eaten them.

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A visitor at breakfast

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We had an infinity pool which was actually pretty nice to relax in. I’m normally against pools next to beaches, but I came to accept it as something pretty wonderful

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We were able to watch Robert August shape a custom surf board, he has done over 35,000 of them!

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Shaping that board

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Last day with my two favourite instructors, Axel and Maria

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Our surfer stances. My favourite lesson from Maria was how girls need to pop up slightly differently because we have “the boobies” and the booties.

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Some of the crew on our last night

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And i now have a surf diploma, pretty much going to frame it next to my BSc.

So surf camp was a pretty killer time. Worth it for sure, if anyone wants to go if I recommend you you get $50 off or something. I tried out my new surfing skills in Punta Banco and got smashed by the huge waves, but to be totally honest, I deserved that. The waves were really big.

Next up, Cachi Crags and Uvita!

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