Busy as a beach bee
I am not going to lie to you, life has been pretty hectic. Not by choice, but by necessity. You see living in Costa Rica, according to what I have learned so far, is divided into 2 styles, minimalist and normal. Now the minimalist life means no car, no house, no air conditioning, very little comfort and very little concern. There is surfing, swimming, salty shorts, bus rides and perhaps the true meaning of Pura Vida. We have not chosen this style of life. Instead we went for the Ex-Pat style, this includes a bank account, a car, and a house, all of which lead to more red tape and procedures than a visit to the oval office. For some reason everything an ex-pat has to do requires an attorney and often an accountant, and most of all patience. I have met many people since we have been here and there are many tidbits of knowledge they have bestowed on me. One that really sticks in my brain is from a couple who have been here for 16 years, ” You will have to re-learn what patience is”. That is deep, and true, and turning out to be a lengthy process.
Time is relative, according to Einstein, perhaps he was trying to become a Costa Rican. Living here you quickly learn the practical application of this theory. Monday can be next Monday or maybe two Monday’s from now. 9 am usually means before 12, usually. Learning to live with it takes a lot more patience than I ever thought I had, but perhaps that’s Pura Vida.
Even with all the business, meeting workers, bankers, accountants, attorneys, teachers, shopping and more, we have worked hard to make sure and find time to hit the beaches, one thing there is not shortage of around us. As we visit the beaches we have come to learn that they each have their own personality. Some are dark some are light, some have surf others do not, some are crowded and others have nary another soul. It is our job and mission to visit them all and to see which fits our personality, which will become our favorite and our secret spot. This past week we hit a couple of beaches that we have been to several times. They are popular beaches with people vendors etc., but they are popular for a reason, they are good beaches.
Playa Conchal is about a 4 minute drive from our house; A white beach made of crushed shells. It is a little tricky to get to, but worth the trip. It is beautiful, warm with very small breakers if any at all. We chose this for a snorkel adventure. Although visibility was not as good as expected, there were a lot of fish to see and it was nothing if not relaxing. The beach is the front lawn of Reserva Conchal, a very nice resort area nearby. It is great for jet skis, snorkeling, tanning, swimming and picnics, but not a surfing hangout so the crowd tends to be family oriented, especially with ticos on the weekends.
Yesterday was a surf tournament sponsored by Christian Surfers at Tamarindo, and since there were people from our church competing, we thought it would be nice to attend. Now Tamarindo is an extremely popular beach and a very touristy location. It is littered with tourists shops and surfing stores. You can learn to surf from one of the hundreds of experts stationed all over town. They are usually very dark-skinned with dreadlocks, corn rows, Bob Marly surf boards and shorts to match. They all guarantee you will stand on the board before the end of you lesson or “NO PAY”!
There are way more people there than we tend to like, but it is known as a great place to learn to surf, and a great place for those who know how to surf. The culture is truly surf town and tourist town. But when we need to shop or find some different food options, it is Tamarindo we hit, a 25 minute drive from our house. Although we had no idea what we were watching, it was fun to attend a local event and get a feel for the culture. I can’t say the competition was fierce, because I couldn’t tell what was good or bad, and the announcers all spoke Spanish, but it was interesting. The food wasn’t half bad either.
We tend to time our beach visits with the sunset, arriving around 2-3 in the afternoon and staying until the sun goes down. I imagine, much like the moose and mountains back home, there will come a day when we won’t take a picture of every beautiful sunset. But until that day we will continue to share them on the blog with you; Perhaps you can get a sense of where we are finding our Pura Vida in the midst of the chaos.