The first week has been a blast seeing everyone start as eight strangers and quickly become close friends. Our first day in San Jose helped to break the ice. The day began with language classes where Laura was able to show her Spanish skills, muy bien! The second half of the Spanish classes were a little more interactive. Claire and Graham enjoyed learning how to cook delicious cheese and bean empanadas. Meanwhile, Ian and Thaddeus learned how to dance the salsa and merengue. I am quite confident that they could win Costa Rican “So You Think You Can Dance”, they are naturals! We learned just enough during our classes to leave San Jose feeling ready to take on the rest of Costa Rica.
Our first stop was the beach of Uvita. Once we arrived at our treehouse hostel, everyone was eager to surf. The instructors gave us quick on land lessons and we practiced our “pop ups” until we felt ready to take on the waves. Amelia immediately took to the ocean and caught some big waves! The surf instructors were very impressed that everyone stood up the first day. Laura and Amelia were even able to hold hands while surfing. While Maddie wasn’t in the ocean, she made some great friends on land. You could always count on Maddie running to play with the nearest dog or search for hermit crabs. On the third day surfing, Lucas caught an “unbroken” waveband rode the rail like a professional. The instructors were not only impressed with the skill level of everybody but also the positive attitudes, even at our 6:30 am sessions.
To cap off our nights at the beach, we head to Playa Tortuga and patrol for sea turtles coming inland to lay eggs. Our presence on the beach is important to fend off poachers and other predators to the turtles.
Well, we just finished lunch and it is time for our second surf session of the day. In fact, it is our last surf session in Uvita. Tomorrow we leave for Diamante Caverns where we will be sleeping behind a waterfall in a cave!