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Monday, May 10, 2010

Well, were still at the beach.

At least until tomorrow morning when we start the last of our travels to get back to Alajuela for the night before we fly back to the states. Yesterday we took at a boat away from Bahia Drake, up the river to Sierpe. We had a great time in Bahia Drake -- diving, relaxing, going to the beach, chatting with one of the managers who gave us lots of tips on places and things to check out in the twin cities, conversing with the only other guest at the hotel, a swiss lady who was a bit more high maintenance than we were. From Sierpe we made it back to Domenical via Palmar Norte.

As we could tell from our first night here, a little over a week ago, Domenical is a pretty small town that mostly caters to tourists and surfers. The roads are muddy and full of puddles and its a laid back place where you can get patacones or pizza without too much trouble. Overall, the town seems kind of empty, probably because it is the low season for tourists, or maybe because we have been getting up early and going to bed before everyone is out at the bars.

The beach here is pretty with lots of waves for surfing and plenty of sand for hanging out. Yesterday we decided to learn how to surf (well, Ray has surfed before but he needed more practice). So we took a beginner surfing lesson with Bob, formerly from Southern California. We practiced paddling and popping and hopping on the beach before we headed out into the waves. He led us through many attempts and some successes at surfing the small and breaking waves into the beach. It was fun, a good challenge. I never realized what good exercise surfing is!

First I struggle to make it out past all the tiny waves and the current that I feel like I can barely move through and then there's jumping onto the board, paddling, popping up with arm strength, hopping up with the legs, and using core muscles to balance. I always thought surfing just required balance, but it seems like its probably a good way to get into really good shape. After a while my arms stopped being able to push me up, which made me realize how tired I was. We also got really really thirsty. The water temperature is nearly 80 and I think the air is about the same or warmer. I was pretty much sweating while surfing and the water did nothing to cool me off.

Its fun to try to catch a wave and then to also be able to get up on the board and ride along the wave while balancing. We were able to borrow the boards today, too, so we got lots more practice in. We haven't been doing much else in Domenical except drinking cold drinks such as the delicious batidos which are fruit blended with water or milk, a lovely treat, and pipa which is a young coconut cut open so you can drink the water inside.

I keep thinking that in a few days we'll think back to this week along Costa Rica's Pacific coast and find it hard to believe that we were even here. Its been so wonderful to have a chance to travel and explore and have these adventures. We're both covered with bug bites, bruises, blisters, surf-board-burns and the occasional rash, small temporary scars of our time here. These marks will soon fade (and we are looking forward to being less sweaty and bug-bitten soon), but of course our time and adventures here will not be quickly forgotten.

I guess that's all from Costa Rica, we'll share more stories and pictures when we see you. Love,

Anna and Ray

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