Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Costa Rica Day 6

We signed up with a small surfing company recommended by a few on trip advisor.  Basically it's one to two instructors and no more than 8 students.  Since it's off-season, we were the only two signed up for the day.  Matt picked us up from the hotel and drove us to Playa Grande, a good area for surfers, especially beginner surfers.  Playa Grande is one of those nice small beaches that are mostly used by locals so it isn't crowded at all, apparently even during the busy season.

Matt brought two 9 foot surfboards and one 11 foot board; obviously the bigger the board, the more stable and easier it is to learn to surf.  We did some practice on the beach for a little while then headed into the surf.  It's funny how small the waves look from the beach, but they sure seem to get a lot bigger when we're actually in the water.

Instead of riding the boards out to where Matt was waiting, we walked the boards in since it's a little faster and easier.  We'd then get on the board, he'd guide us into position, and when an appropriate wave came, we would paddle like mad while he gave us one big push.  While Kathie was the first to get up and ride a wave successfully, Mike had the longest runs, a couple all the way to shore.  We weren't good enough to move to the next stage where we actually ride the boards out to the right wave and surf in, so we spent the time walking the board out to the surf each time we finished. 

Surfing is exhausting!  It took a fair bit out of us to fight the waves to go back out, then try to stay on the board.  Even though it was tiring, both Mike and Kathie immensely enjoyed the lessons.  Both of us had some good runs and both had some serious wipe-outs.

After 1 hr 40 min both of us were exhausted and called it a day after we were both happy with our last runs.  We came back to the hotel, washed off and headed off to find some lunch.  While we really love avoiding crowds and going on vacation during the off-season, we've discovered that Playa Flamingo goes really off-season and a fair number of places are closed until December, including a highly rated restaurant we wanted to try.  So we went to a nearby restaurant that was opened and ate there.  The prices were a little higher than most places we ate at, and the food was much more Americanized.  We're going to try to go a little further out tomorrow to find better eatings tomorrow.

After lunch, we came back to relax some more in the room (yes, we enjoy just vegetating and reading while on vacation too), then Kathie couldn't resist getting a facial through the resort.  Spa services were 20% off which made it a really nice deal.  The facial was really well done and Kathie looked a bit dazed after her facial. While Kat was being pampered, Mike got back in touch with civilization via the ipad and the free Wi-Fi in the hotel's open-air lobby next to the pool.

It was a great day.

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