Sunday, February 3, 2013

CA Trek 2013 - San Juan Del Sur

Our arrival in San Juan Del Sur clearly marks the beginning of our sun and surf portion of the trip. Located just north of the Costa Rica - Nicaraguan border, the heart of the town is only four square blocks. People go to San Juan for just one thing: the beaches.

I shared a room with a small group at Pacha Mama, a cool little hostel popular with surfers located on the edge of the town center. The rest stayed at Casa Oro, a solid hostel that also arranges a lot of tours and transport. San Juan is right on the ocean and the beach is never more than a ten minute walk away, but there are much nicer beaches a few miles out of town. We made Maderas our go-to and took Casa Oro's shuttle out there both afternoons.

The actual beach at Maderas wasn't all that great, but the water was awesome. Refreshingly cool and clear enough to see your feet, it provided a constant supply of waves to ride. Ever since I was little, I've always loved jumping around in the waves and getting tossed about by the surf, so this was an absolute playground for me. Richard showed me some proper (?) bodyboarding technique that made it possible to ride a wave ridiculous distances and I spent most of my time in the wonderful loop of catching a wave, swimming back out, and repeating over and over. Combined with cold drinks from a beach shack, a book, and a chair, it was an awesome way to spend a day. Considering it cost almost nothing to do, I could completely understand how some surfer-types spend months and months in this kind of lifestyle.

The first evening, we were lucky enough to have a shuttle back to town that left at dusk, which allowed us to watch the sunset from the water. Without a cloud in the sky, it was nothing but beautiful colors smeared in an uninterrupted gradient and reflected perfectly back by the ocean. I'm a huge fan of sunsets and this was hands down the best one of the trip.

We spent our nights eating late dinners and drinking rum, a fantastic way to cap off the day. There was some pretty solid food available for a town so small, and our willingness to drink bottle after bottle of Flor de Cana rum never flagged.

As much as we all loved San Juan Del Sur, the luxurious stretch of our trip awaited us in Costa Rica, so we took off early to make our way down to the city of Manuel Antonio.

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