We arrived exhausted in San José airport after iris scanning, fingerprint recording and some sub zero air conditioning temperature in Orlando Airport. It was April but it felt like August, with a warm wind and high humidity. A roaring group of taxi drivers were waiting outside the arrivals terminal and it felt slightly threatening, jetlagged and dazed as we were by the very long flight. Fortunately the lady from the hotel where we were staying suggested getting the red taxis, so we did and a silent man escorted us to his car (no number plate).
San José at night is not the most attractive of the cities but we were so knackered that even a room in Beirut would be welcome!
At breakfast we finally discover that we really are near the Tropics, with pineapples as big as a football, mangos to pick from trees and a cute table immersed in the tropical vegetation of the hotel's external gardens.
The city itself is nothing special, with the exception of the lovely theatre in the town centre and the rather chaotic and noisy fruit and veg market(with the heat the smells are quite suffocating…but the place is colourful and very lively nonetheless).
After 2 days of acclimatising we finally moved to our pilgrimage destination. A small (frighteningly small!!!!) plane took us up north, to a place calledTamarindo.
The views from the plane were absolutely amazing, with high mountains and a luxurious forest of coffee plants and tropical vegetation surrounding San José.
Tamarindo 'airport' runaway is scarily short and covered in gravel, with cows looking at us from the side of it. Landing is quite bumpy, but the relief of being alive is enough to make us forget everything! When the doors open, it feels like we've entered the inferno, with a temperature of around 35 degrees (we will get used to it!) welcoming us.
A van took us to the surf camp that I have dreamed of for the past 6 months and, 10 minutes after having put foot to the ground, I was in the water and all is like it was in my expectations. The water was warm (shorts only, plus a T-shirt to avoid grilling my back!), the waves were small but this is not the point… I am in Costa Rica, the land of the Endless Summer!
The camp was for us (my self and the wife, on a long delayed honeymoon) the best of the options: no surfboard to carry, beautiful accommodation and local expertise on surf breaks and swell. There were also lessons, but this was for me the only negative point of the set up, as these were aimed at less experienced people.