Winter can get monotonous… especially on the east coast. Yea, the surf gets good when the wintry south swells start to pump up the coast. But, sometimes these swells pop up for a solitary day of waves and Jersey surfers are left with another week-long flat spell until the next winter storm is conceived.
A good surf trip can really break up the monotony that Jersey surfers suffer from. This January it was Costa…
The crew rolled out just a few days after Christmas. The lavish holiday lights and tall Tannenbaum came down and far-away family members were told to rather come visit for Easter.
The destination was the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. For those that don’t know, Costa is a mountainous and tropical locale for surfers looking to escape wintry weather. During this time, the surf is good, but not the best it gets (Spring season sees the biggest swells and most consistent waves). However, there is plenty to do if there is an absence of waves–but we’ll get to that…
Fortunately for our band of travelers, we rocked up to the spot on the first day and were graced with surf in the shoulder to head high range accompanied by offshore conditions. The days that followed dropped in size, but offered the same offshore wind in the morning, with sideshore in the afternoons and evenings as the sun set over the beautiful Pacific.
Mid-trip, the swell dropped off and it was time to explore other options.
First on the list, Imperial. As tourists, it is proper to do as the locals do. In our situation, we figured our best bet would be to drink like a local. Our group allowed Imperial tall-boys and duty-free liquor to guide the way in this endeavor.
Interesting wildlife is abundant in Costa Rica. If you are as lucky as we were, you’ll hear the nocturnal monkeys and coatis ransacking the roof of your rental (or maybe not–depending on how many Imperials you drink before bed).
In the daytime, there is no shortage of animal life either. Iguanas sunbathe as they please, spiders crawl into places you’d never want them to and stray cats and dogs lumber awkwardly around until a gracious or unaware hand offers food.
Tip: Try not to let the stray animals in your house… We had even received this tip prior to arriving in Costa and still could not keep it from happening. A certain Mr. Cat (or maybe Ms.) took to our house quite affectionately after we’d grilled burgers and chicken on our first night… Couldn’t shake the cute scavenger for the rest of the trip.
When we were not drinking or getting lost along the winding and bumpy Rican roads, we had our fun hiking, snorkeling and fishing in the area around our humble headquarters.
As our trip neared termination, the waves picked back up. We surfed a point break-esque spot for most of the trip and even made the hike up a mountain and down across the rivermouth to surf on the other side…
Warning: crossing a rivermouth in Costa Rica is definitely dangerous. Fast-moving water is not the biggest of your concerns. Crocodiles love to frequent the river’s mouth and do not take kindly to people in their home (especially gringos!).
Either way, crossing the river is an experience and what’s on the other side is even more so…