Feliz dos mil ocho – Happy 2008! This year my resolution was to spend more time in Costa Rica. There is so much happening there and I feel that when I’m not at the 9 degree latitude line, I am missing waves, concerts, and waterfalls. So of course I’ve got my ticket to go by the end of the month.
The ticket I found online through the Martin Air website. Martin Air won’t be flying from Orlando anymore, but they have great deals from Miami and they fly up to two boards free. A little closer to central Florida is Spirit Air with $8 flights each way, but don’t forget about the $60 in taxes and $50 in board fees and their problem of losing boards in transit. Another option with free boards service from Miami is TACA. Of American, Continental, and US Airways all fly to San Jose and Liberia, but it ain’t too cheap and you might as well pack body parts in your boardbag because it costs an arm and a leg to fly boards down.
So what is there to do in January? Plenty. The Mal Pais Manifesto Gathering is from Jan. 18th to the 23rd. Go to www.manifestogathering.com for more information about this fun musical event in the southern Nicoya Peninsula. Also, the Costa-Bazooka festival – 7 Days of Music in Costa Rica. Two days with eight bands in San Jose on the 7th and 8th. Then five more days in Quepos on the 9th – 12th. Then the big finale at Rancho Allegre Saturday Jan. 12, 2008. The cost is $15 and you can go to www.costa-bazooka.com for more info.
For surf contests, on January 12th and 13th is the OP Pro behind the Backyard Bar in Playa Hermosa. This is the second stop of Costa Rica’s national surf circuit, which is producing some WQS contenders like Frederico Pilurzo of Tamarindo (see photo) and hundreds of local surf groms who get better with each contest. They compete again in Tamarindo behind Witchs Rock Surf Camp on February 2nd and 3rd.
And if you’re up in Tamarindo, why not check out the local Surfrider chapter meeting? They gather the last Thursday of each month at Surf Club Sports Bar in Playa Hermosa. So often we take back good times and memories from each visit, and so few times we give back. Costa Rica is having some major water quality and beach access problems, and that is what Surfrider is trying to help solve locally. It would terrible to return to a favorite beach, only to find it inaccessible or too polluted to surf.
This worst case scenario is happening right now on the Caribbean Coast. Developers want to put a marina in Puerto Viejo, right next to the Salsa Brava reef break. Not only may that destroy the wave, but the runoff could cause irreparable harm to the live reefs just a few kilometers north and south. Back on the Pacific, did you know that Costa Rica is the sole place in the world where the two populations of humpback whales, those from the northern and the southern hemispheres, coincide to mate and give birth to their calves? If you want to help Surfrider or need help planning your next trip, contact me at email@example.com.