Making Santa Teresa my temporary home

Published: April 9th 2008
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I took a taxi back to Nicoya on Monday and from there took a van with 3 other travelers to Mal Pais. I met two of the guys in the van, Joe and Mike from Seattle. Joe and Mike were headed to Monetzuma, a town close to Mal Pais, so I decided to go with them after reading about Montezuma in Joe’s Lonely Planet guide to Costa Rica. We checked into a big room with three beds at Hotel Aurora. Then we headed to the Montezuma Waterfall. After hiking thru the forest for about 20 minutes we arrived at a waterfall probably 60 ft high. We learned from some other people who were swimming in the pool of water below the waterfall that there was another one, better for jumping off of, above the first waterfall. So we continued our hike for another 15 minutes to the next waterfall. At the top of this 40 foot waterfall, there was a great pool of water for swimming with a rope swing. I jumped off the top of the waterfall a couple of times, and we all had some fun with the rope swing, then hiked back into town. Had pizza and cervezas for dinner. While eating and talking, a strange man came up to our table and asked for some salt. When Joe gave him the salt shaker, he took off with it…weird. We later learned that this crazy man was a Vietnam vet from Brooklyn, just living in Montezuma, freaking out tourists and Ticos alike.

The next day we all took a tour to Isla de Tortuga for snorkeling and hanging out on the island. Took a 45 minute boat ride to a pretty cool snorkeling spot and saw some colorful fish and coral. Then we headed to the island where our tour chef grilled fish and potatoes. The island had beautiful “mountains” all around, white sand, and big palms. We ate lunch, had some beers, and spent the rest of the day laying on the beach and cooling off in the water. Some highlights included climbing a bent over palm tree and cracking a coconut to drink the juice.

The ride back was a little rough. I needed to catch the last bus of the day to Cobano at 4pm and barely made it. I took a bus from Cobano through Mal Pais to Santa Teresa. Both Mal Pais and Santa Teresa are known for great surf, but Santa Teresa appealed to me more, and after visiting both towns, I’m glad I’m staying in Santa Teresa. I’m in Mal Pais right looking for a surf board to buy.

So…I arrived late in Santa Teresa, and had been informed at the waterfall by a guy from California that Casa Zen was a really cool place to stay. I walked up to Casa Zen and saw Brad, the guy from the waterfall, but Casa Zen didn’t have any rooms available, so I had to keep looking. Going wherever the wind blows me has led me to some good adventures so far, and this new gust proved to do the same. I ended up at a place called the Wavetrotter, a hostel owned by a couple of Italian guys, Giovanni and Julio. I walked into the huge, open, loft-like building and met Giovanni and Julio and a couple of Italian girls. Asked if they had a private room and they did for $24. He showed me the room and I agreed, but then I asked for the rate of the dormitory style room. He said it was $11 and I would be the only one staying in it , so I took the cheaper option. The building is a huge loft, shaped kinda like a barn. It has a couch, a kitchen, table, and a bunch of surf boards lining the walls. A hallway leads to the bathroom which has a couple of showers, sinks, and toilets. There are also some private bedrooms down the hallway. Out the back door, there is a porch with a table and several hammocks. Upstairs are 4 dorms with 3 bunk beds in each. I took the first one and a bottom bunk, but I think I’ll change it up tonight and try the top. Why not? I’ve got it all to myself. There is a balcony in front of the dorms, and a fireman’s pole to slide down to the lower level. There is another balcony outside the building on the other side of the dorms.

After talking with everyone at Wavetrotter and drinking a frozen mango with vodka drink, I headed down the street to find some food. This town is so cool. There are funkly little eateries, bars, and shops on the side of the main, dusty, dirt road. Suddenly, the lights went out throughout the town and I just ate at the pizza place I was standing next to because they had some candles lit. Good pizza, but I’ve had pizza the last 3 days in a row as there are pizza places everywhere in Costa Rica it seems. Walked back to Wavetrotter and had some more frozen mango and vodka drink with the Italianos. Woke up today around 7am to the sound of a howler monkey roaring and tropical birds chirping. The monkey sounded like he was right outside my door. Brushed my teeth, threw on my shorts, grabbed a surf board, and walked bare foot to the beach. The waves are no joke here. They weren’t that big this morning, but they were consistent and the Italians say there’s a swell coming in the next couple of days. Not sure if I’m ready for the big waves yet. After surfing until about 9:30, I took the board back and went to Casa Zen for some food. Casa Zen is a really nice place. They have dorms and private rooms, a restaurant and bar, and a gazebo with comfy couches. Ran into Brad again and talked to him for a few minutes. He invited me to go fishing, I told him I hate fishing…haha. I only hate fishing because I got so sick the first time I went out fishing while working on the yacht. I left Casa Zen and checked out some used boards at a couple of shops. Then I hopped on a bus down the road a few minutes to Playa Carmen and Mal Pais.
I talked to Jared and the flight to Malaysia is off. He might be going next month…so we’ll see. But as for now, I am loving Costa Rica, and would love to figure out a way to earn a pretty large sum of money and start some kind of business…maybe something like the Wavetrotter or Casa Zen. Any investors out there????


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