Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Surfing in Pavones

Well, we had a nice trip to Pavones. The bus ride was an adventure, and it was nice visiting with Nathalie and Shawn, and their two cute kids.

The bus ride out to Pavones did indeed take 2 1/2 hours. It left promptly from the 'bus terminal' in Golfito, across from the hospital, at 10am. It goes right past Land n Sea, somewhere around 10:15am. As of January 2009, it is a tan bus 'Pavones' on the front. A typical old school bus.

The ferry trip was a blast. Dave loved the old 3-cylinder Lister engine that ran the ferry (a rusty old barge) back and forth. Dave says the engine was probably salvaged out of an old tractor. They hand-cranked it to start it.

We stopped at the crossroads in a little town called Comte to wait for another bus coming from Zancudo. But we arrived at Nathalie's house, in Cocal Amarillo, a little outside of Pavones, at about 12:20.

Though Nat and Shawn have bought a house up on a hill, for now they are renting a small place right on the beach. This house is right next to a school and a small store, and they can literally surf in their backyard.

The View from Nathalie's House

In the afternoon, they loaned us their "quad" and we went roaming around the heights around Pavones, looking for a great view, and then down into Pavones. It's a cute little surfing town with about 3 restaurant/bars, one surf shop, and 6 or 8 places to stay. Our friends from another boat stayed in place called Las Perlas, and paid $50 US per night, but it was a brand new place with A/C and a small fridge. We hear you can rent a place on a monthly basis for about $200-$300/mo.

Though it is high season in Costa Rica now, tourist-wise, it is low season on the surfing scene. High season starts in March when the good waves roll in, and again in Sep-Oct. So Pavones was pretty quiet. We only saw a couple of people surfing. But Shawn says that in high season there might be a hundred people out trying to catch one of those long rides around the point in Pavones.

Dave on the Quad

After our dusty ride on the quad, Dave went for a swim in the fresh water stream down the beach from Nathalie's house. Nat assured us there were no crocodiles there. (But the next day, on the way to town, we saw a guy who had just killed a venomous snake near one of the streams... they come down from the hills for water during dry season).

We went for dinner into town to one of the less touristy places to eat, and had a full-up Mahi Mahi dinner for $6, which is about the best price we've had for a meal in Costa Rica.

Nat and Shawn shipped a nice pickup truck back from the States this fall, with room for all us adults and the kids inside. But the kids like to ride in the back of the truck. So Nat and I rode in back with them. The only problem is, all the roads are dirt/gravel roads, and with no rain in a week, it's very dusty when another car goes by. Fortunately, that doesn't happen very often.

Kids Surfin' in the Back of the Truck

We had wanted to take the boat back from Zancudo for the return trip, just for the experience. But the boat leaves Zancudo at 7am, so we would have had to leave their house about 6am. We opted to take the bus back, and go surfing in the morning.

Even though the surf wasn't much, both Dave and I got a shot at a good wave. And little Zoe got a ride with Mama too.

We caught the bus back to Golfito from the road in front of Nathalie's at about 1pm, and were back in Golfito at about 3:30pm.

If you're interested in some reasonably-priced real estate in southern Costa Rica, Nathalie is one of the few scrupulously honest realtors I know. So check out Point Break Realty if you ever get to Pavones.

And Shawn does surfing lessons and kitesurfing lessons on the beach behind their house. Costa Rica Surf and Kite

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