Dogs Run in Packs


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Published: May 7th 2008
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Time for an update. Let me see if I can remember the last week and a half...when I go more than a week without adding an entry, the memories get fuzzy.

The dogs in Central America are loco, but also really cool. They are not like American, pampered, wimpy dogs. They usually belong to a pack of 3 or 4 dogs. The pack has a terriorty consisting of a small distance, length wise, but their territory runs from the beach to the main street of town and to whereever their owners live. When dogs from outside of the pack enter the territory of another pack, the foreign dogs are immediately approached and run off by the barking and sometimes biting. If the intruders do not leave, its time for a brawl. Dogs have no problem with pedestrians, cars, quads, or motorcyles, but they do not like bikes. I was being chased on my bike by a pit bull one night and almost ran into an oncoming motorcyle. Truthfully, the dog was not a pit, but a little jack russel-chiuaua mix...hahaha...little devils they are.

I have spent a number of days hanging out at Shaka Surf Camp with Greg, Gretal, and Albert who all work there, Chris Moi, the Hawaiian who owns the place and his family, and the other owner, Frank, from Florida/Colorado, and his buddy Danny. Its at least 3 miles north of where I stay to their camp in Hermosa, but I like to ride my $40 mountain bike down there to surf with them every few days. We usually surf in the am, then head back to the camp for waffles or gallo pinto. Greg and Gretal have been working on their from scratch pizza making skills...I tried their first pies ever which were not bad, but after 2 or 3 more pizza parties, they´ve got it down...riquisimo!!

The camp´s dogs are the hippie dog pack. They are the best little dogs. Theres little Lady, Tisa, and Vida...the female, hippie, dog pack...they are all about peace and love...no violence. And they allow other dogs to join their crew when one swings by to hang out. Ownership of dogs is very different here. Someone might own the dog, but the dog will rome from family to family. Andrea´s golden retriever, Kamui, is not actually his. Kamui just followed him home one day and the real owner is cool with it. Kamui is an awesome dog...very protective of Andrea and anyone staying at his cabinas. Everytime we hop in Andrea´s jeep to go surf, Kamui is with us in the back and watches our stuff on the beach and watches us while we surf. He gets excited when you ride a wave in close to the beach, and runs up to us in the shallow water.


I was already progressing in surfing, but decided to take a lesson from Greg one day. The man is amazing to watch in the water. Always knows where to be 5 minutes before everyone else. Watching him surf has really helped me. I´ve learned to paddle up to the wave and turn around to catch it or to paddle into it, depending on where its breaking in relation to my position in the water when I see it coming. The day of the lesson, we surfed at the point break in Hermosa. We had to be very vigilant of the rocks to our left as the current kept pushing us into them. I had dropped my board on the bike ride over that day and put a ding in it that I didnt want to get wet, so I borrowed Greg´s 6´4". It was harder to catch waves than on my thick little 5´11", but once I finally caught a really good one, I surfed it all the way in and made some nice turns along the way. It was the greatest feeling to ride that wave. I sold my board and bag to a shop for $350. I paid about $450 for the board and bag...not bad, I used it for three weeks I think. The $100 loss is a lot cheaper than renting. Now I´m renting a 6´4" from Ian, the Kiwi owner of Kina Surf, who bought my board. It is exactly what I needed. I have been surfing so well the last couple of days. Last night was my best session yet...from 4 30pm to 6 15, when the sun went down. Today, Ian is letting me ride his 6´4" Webber....sweet board. I´ve been looking at the 6´2" Webber in his shop for $600, but it doesnt make sense to buy it here and pay to bring it with me on the plane...especially when I dont know how often I will be able to surf in the States.

My neighbor, who I share an open-air kitchen, a patio, and a bathroom with, is a "Rasta-Tico", named Dennis. He´s funny...he has dark blonde-redish-brown dreads. He sells many drugs and hand made jewlery...an entrepreneur and a really good surfer. Lately I have been surfing a few times with Andrea who is really good on his longboard and a guy named Rob from Virginia Beach who is living in the cabina above me, while he and Andrea finish constructing it. Rob is fun to surf with...he´s always hooting and whistling when he sees one of his friends catch a nice wave.

I forgot to mention something in the last entry of great importance. While on the way from Bocas to Tortuguero with Cochisse, Cesar, and Max, late in the evening, Cochisse slammed on the breaks of the Suzuki and threw it in reverse. When the car stopped, we hopped out a saw a rare and incredible sight. A brown and white sloth was scaling a telephone wire. We took pictures and I filmed him on my video camera bc I broke my photo camera within the first 2 weeks here. To see a sloth is rare, to see one moving is incredibly rare...it was fantastic.

Candace will be arrivng to San Jose tomorrow. I cant wait...miss her so much. I am catching the 5 30am bus to meet her at the airport at 1 when she arrives. We have to make it to the bus station by 2 30 to catch the bus back here....its gonna be tough, but I think we´ll make it.

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