Inside Peak – Foodies!

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Safari Surf’s Dynamic “foodie” Duo!

safari-foodies-(2)

Foodie: A foodie, as defined by Wikipedia, is a gourmet or a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. While gourmet and epicurean can be used as synonyms they have fallen out of favor and bring to mind a stodgy or snobbish attitude.Simply stated, a foodie is a person keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking. I am not sure this descriptive has been adopted into Costa Rican culinary culture yet, but if there ever were two avid foodies in Nosara, they are Safari Surfs Maritza Sanchez and Alicia Matamoros. They have worked together in local foodservice establishments for 11 years, including five years at Casa Tucan, Safari Surfs original home. Maritza wears the chef’s hat while Alicia is a top-shelf bartender and food server. Together they really are a dynamic duo! As the construction of the Olas Verdes Sustainable Surf Resort moves full speed ahead, we look to these two talented ladies to play significant roles in the development of the resorts restaurant and bar. They are both brimming with excitement and chock full of ideas for both the food and bar service operations. Here’s an inside peek – provecho!

maritza-tortilla
ali-shrimp-(2)

Chef Maritza Sanchez                                                                                                         Server/Bartender Alicia Matamoros

 

Alicia and Maritza are very familiar faces around Safari Surf. This past year as we adjusted to conducting business in the “Safari House”, they have been the ultimate food team. Maritza’s wonderful cooking and Alicia’s seamless service just seem to complement each other. I have seen these girls in action when 25 ravenous Safari Surf students were awaiting dinner. The barbeque was cranking and all burners on the stove blazing away. When dinner was ready everyone sat down and was treated to one amazing multi-course dinner. The timing was just incredible as Alicia and Maritza orchestrated the cooking/serving with precision coordination. They are used to working in small cramped spaces so the move to Olas Verdes is like a dream come true to them.

inside-peak-foodies-feat-2
dindin

Alicia’s special touches                                                                                                        Nobody leaves hungry

marg1
shrimp cocktail
pina colada
salad
mojito 2
tuna slice

We spent a couple of hours together chatting about the exciting things to come:

 

PL: Well ladies what do you think about this new opportunity at Ola Verdes?

Alicia:It is like a dream come true, something I have always hoped for.

Maritza:All of my past cooking experiences have been in preparation for an opportunity like this, a place where I can express myself in my cooking, recipes, and flavors.

 

PL:You two have worked together a combined total of 11 years. What do you consider your strong points?

Maritza:I love to cook; I guess you can call me a chef! I incorporate a number of different styles, flavors, and influences into my cooking, from Italian, French, Mediterranean, and local “tipico” recipes; I think this is called “fusion”.

Alicia:My background is in bartending and food service. I love to work with the public. Safari Surfs guests are always wonderful people; I want to make them feel welcome and to have a great vacation here. Also – I make amazing cocktails!

 

PL:What kind of menu will Olas Verdes feature?

Maritza:Everything fresh, fresh, fresh. We will be a green and sustainable resort and our food will reflect that: salads, fruits, and lots of fresh seafood. One specialty will be our Ceviche, made fresh daily. I want to have a variety of daily fresh fish selections. I will also feature local ‘tipico’ favorites such as lomito jalapeño (filet mignon in jalapeño sauce), and arroz con pollo.

Alicia:I will create a bar menu using only fresh fruits and juices. Our mojito will be made with fresh yerba buena (mint), margaritas will be created with fresh hand-squeezed lime juice, and daiquiris will come in many flavors: mango, pineapple, banana, strawberry, and passion fruit.

food1
food2
food3
food4

foodie spread
The restaurant at Olas Verdes will feature indoor and outdoor dining. The facility is adjacent to the wildlife refuge, providing a green and serene atmosphere. There will be outdoor patio dining overlooking the pool and jungle. Keep tuning into the Safari Surf website and Facebook page for updates and previews!

restaurant
Ola Verdes – Restaurant & Deck Dining

team
inside-peak-foodies-feat

Dream Team: Jeffrey, Alicia, & Maritza

Inside Peak – Meet The Chandler Family

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

The Chandlers (L to R: Kerry, Tess, Sam, Jeff)

The Chandlers (L to R: Kerry, Tess, Sam, Jeff)

It’s been a great week here at Safari, highlighted by the visit of The Chandler Family and their guests. I pondered scripting a splashy and profound title for this blog; “Genesis of a Dream” or “Jersey Angels” or how about “Olas Verdes First Family Revealed”. The truth is, the Chandlers are such gentle, lovely, “salt of the earth” folks that none seemed appropriate or necessary. The Chandler’s have been loyal Safari Alumni for the past nine years. They come from Sandy Hook New Jersey, which makes me smile, since Jersey is my birthplace as well. There must be something about the New Jersey Atlantic salt air that gets in your soul and points you to the beach. My family devotedly spent those three precious summer months (June, July, August) on the beach for countless years. Come Labor Day the whole place would shut down and saltwater depression would set in. Same with the Chandler family. In those long, cold, dreary New Jersey winters we would dream of perfect waves in warm water, sunny skies, with palm trees on the beach……..seek and ye shall find. That we all have discovered Nosara is no coincidence – its serendipity! When Casa Tucan sold last year, Safari embarked on a new adventure. Tim and Tyler reached out to faithful alumni who might be interested in helping grow and expand the dream. Jeff and Kerry Chandler answered that call, and a partnership was formed to develop a one-of-a-kind sustainable upscale surfing resort called Olas Verdes.

A week with the Chandlers

One of the coolest things about the Chandlers is that when they come back to Nosara each year (sometimes twice) they come to Safari and enroll in the full program, lessons, meals, the works. Many folks return to Nosara determined to do it on a budget, which is fine, but the Chandlers seek the camaraderie and fellowship, the relationships, cultivated with Safari’s instructors and staff years ago. It is a true pleasure to have them here and kind of sad when they leave. Usually their kids Sam and Tess come with friends, and on this trip they each brought their 3 best friends in kind of a belated birthday trip. Sam and Tess celebrated their actual 16th birthday in January (yes, they are twins!). So here come the Chanders, 10 strong, extended family, instant atmosphere!
image01

Here Come the Chandlers!
image11
Extended Family
image14
I sat down with Kerry and we chatted about life, kids, New Jersey, and of course Olas Verdes.

PL: Welcome back Kerry! When and how did you folks find Nosara and Safari Surf?
Kerry: We wanted to have a family surfing vacation and I knew Costa Rica was a cool place to visit. So I went on the internet to do research, typing in the search box ‘Surfing in Costa Rica’ and that’s where I learned about Safari. That was about nine years ago and we’ve been coming back to Safari every year.
(Kerry was actually in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica in 1985-87. Destiny!

PL: I was stoked to hear you are from New Jersey. I was born in Atlantic City, and learned to surf there. I spent the Summer of Love in Ocean City! Do you guys go to the beach in Sandy Hook?
Kerry: Oh yes, my family tree is full of beach people! Learning how to surf with Safari has led to us being year-round surfers in New Jersey.

PL: I am impressed that each time your family visits here, you enroll in the full Safari package rather than setting out on your own.
Kerry: Always! We feel so comfortable here. Our kids grew up with the instructors and they keep in touch. The meals together are a special time as well. Back home it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time – well you remember!

PL: Let’s talk about Olas Verdes. How did you come to be involved?
Kerry: We had heard that Casa Tucan was sold and Safari was in the process of reinventing itself. We had recently received a prospectus from Tim Marsh (Safari president/co-owner) seeking private investors interested in creating a partnership to expand the operation. Somehow it just resonated with us on many levels and we came aboard. The project is now full steam ahead. We will have 17 rooms, a restaurant, clubhouse, pool, and all the trimmings. Safari Surf School will be an integral part of the overall operation. Olas Verdes will be a sustainable surf resort!

PL: How do you envision the hospitality, theme, and creature comfort standard of the new resort?
Kerry: Olas Verdes will be upscale and very family-friendly. We have designed the accommodations as mini apartments with either a wet bar or full kitchen. Single units can be conjoined to form two and three bedroom suites. We are committed to making the facility as sustainable as possible following the LEED certification process. The resort will be a model of sustainability. There will be an educational component to this and we will conduct tours, identify all plant species with signs, and lots more. Most importantly, we want to capture the heart, spirit, camaraderie, and joy of Pura Vida that we have experienced so deeply on all of our trips with Safari.
PL: Any idea on the grand opening date?
Kerry: We are optimistically hoping for March 2015. And what’s this I hear about Donavon Frankenreiter performing at the grand opening?
PL: Confirmed! I was there when Tim asked him. He will most likely be here simultaneously with a Billabong ‘Surf with a Pro’ camp. The resort will be crawling with surfers!
PL: In parting I must say it has been a true pleasure getting to know you all better.
We are all very excited about Olas Verdes. Take good care and we’ll see ya at Christmas.
image15

Kerry and Jeff Chandler

A chat with Sam and Tess

Sam and Tess Chandler are some of the nicest kids I’ve ever met. On this trip they each brought down three of their best friends, all wonderful people. They both turned 16 in January and belatedly celebrated the occasion here with family and friends.

image16
image17

Tess                                                                                                                                                                               Sam

PL: What do you guys think of this amazing place being built?
Sam: So stoked, Costa Rica here I come!
Tess: It is truly a dream come true to have a house here one block from the waves (the Chandlers are also building a home near the resort)

PL: What do you see yourselves doing in five years?
Sam: I’ll be living here working at the surf school!
Tess: Oh wow, let’s see, in college?

PL: What is your “must have” on the Olas Verdes breakfast menu? Dinner?
Sam: Breakfast: granola with yogurt and fruit. Dinner: large selection of seafood.
Tess: Breakfast: French toast. Dinner: arroz con pollo.

PL: TV’s in the rooms, yes or no?
Sam: No TV’s. The entertainment here comes from natural sources. I don’t think we’ve ever turned on a TV in all of our trips here.
Tess: Yes and No. It might be nice for families with kids, but personally I won’t watch it!

PL: Thanks guys, it has been great getting to know you and your friends. See you at Christmas and keep surfing in New Jersey.
Sam/Tess: (in unison) PURA VIDA!

image18
sweet-16

Sam with his “Awesome Surf Mom”                                                                                                                                                  Sweet 16

image19
image02

Winter in New Jersey                                                                                                                                                  Tess and Kerry
inside-peak-chandlers-feat
December 2013 trip

Surf Photos

I found it interesting that I couldn’t find many surfing photos of the Chandlers. Truth is that they are having so much fun that they don’t really care! They are avid surfers who will be a presence in the Guiones lineups for many years to come. More photos to come!

image04
image05

Jeff                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kerry

sam
image06

Sam                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tess
image07

COWABUNGA! Papa Jeff leads the charge

image08

Symphony of the Sea

image09

With conductor Alonso

image10

Tyler Marsh admires the new Safari Clubhouse at Olas Verdes

image12

A wave shaped pool – very cool!

Inside Peak – Little Summer

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

EL VERANILLO de SAN JUAN

“Little Summer”

image00

We have been experiencing a long stretch of beautiful dry sunny weather and all day offshore winds this month, more so than in past years. The locals refer to these dry spells as the “veranillo”, which means ‘little summer’. I have read in various guide books that the actual name of this phenomenon is ‘El Veranillo de San Juan’. Being a surfer/ armchair meteorologist (and also the son of a real life one), I like to probe a little deeper into these things and learn a little more about what makes this place tick. I never did find out who San Juan is/was and what he has to do with this weather trend, but I reckon surfers owe him a debt of gratitude for these awesome off-season surfing conditions.

image01
image11

El Niño

Most likely we all have heard by now that scientists are confirming that another El Niño is developing. El Niño means The Little Boy, or Christ Child in Spanish. El Niño was originally recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America in the 1600s, with the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The name was chosen based on the time of year (around December, i.e. The Christ Child) during which these warm water events tended to occur. The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. Typical El Niño effects are likely to develop over North America during the upcoming winter season. Those include warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada, and over the western and northern United States. Wetter-than-average conditions are likely over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, while drier-than-average conditions can be expected in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest. For Costa Rica the implications point to a dry rainy season.
image12
          El Niño: warmer than average waters in the Eastern equatorial Pacific ( in orange, affects weather around the world.

The real concern in Central America of course is severe drought and water shortages. For surfers lucky enough to be here, it all feels like a tropical fantasy.

image13Another interesting factor contributing to these little summer periods is the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a large band of clouds, usually thunderstorms, that circle the globe near the equator. Its location is affected by many things, most noteably landmasses and ocean currents. A deflection of the ITCZ northward past Costa Rica in July enhances the creation of offshore wind and dry weather.

Disclaimer: the world’s weather is changing. As much as we try to understand it all scientifically don’t be surprised when another weather surprise springs up – like last night, in the midst of a seven day dry spell the thunderstorm from hell dropped six inches of rain in one hour!  As Saturday Night Lives’ residence weather man Father Guido Sarducci proclaimed: “It all depends on the weather”.

Enough science! Now the photos tell the story…

 El Veranillo – the Goods and Bads

image14
image15
image16

MUCHO POLVO – DUST!

image17
image18

Dry river mouths = new sandbar formation and pristine beaches

image02
image03

Sand Factory

image04
Jennifer planned to stay with us  a week – it turned into a month and counting!

 

image05
image06
image07

Edyie                                                                                                                 Scott                                                                                                                    Anya

 

image08
image09

      Next Bay Over

image10
“It all depends on the weather”
The skies open for 6 inches of rain!

Inside Peak – Surf Forecasting

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

surf-forecasting-feat

This past week the entire west coast of Costa Rica (and Central America) was slammed by a massive “Southern Hemi”. That’s surf speak indicating a swell born on the poles and charging up from the Southern Hemisphere. In this era of technological advancements and wizardry, these swells are now predicted well in advance of the event, and delivered to the world via numerous websites. Now any of you fellow baby-boomer surfers out there can remember a time when getting a surf report meant driving to the beach and looking at the ocean to see how the waves were. Surfers by nature become armchair meteorologists, tuning into wind directions, tides, seasons, and the like. The phenomenon of computer model forecasting has only been around for a decade or so. This issue of Inside Peak will focus on some of the basics of modern day surf forecasting, including the monster swell we had last week.

big-guione-(2)
DSCN8558

What Makes Waves?

Waves are created as wind blows over the ocean, transferring its energy into the water. The size of the swell is affected by three variables: the velocity of the wind, its duration, and its fetch (distance the wind blows in a specific direction). There are two different types of swells that influence the surfing conditions.

  1. Groundswell- waves that are generated a long distance away, far off the coast. This can be thousands of miles!
  2. Wind Swell – waves that are formed from local winds.

In general groundswells produce better surfing conditions. Wind swells are usually smaller, choppy, and more of a challenge to surf. Although both types of swells are normal at most surf spots, groundswells create more powerful, lined up surf. Groundswells will tend to dominate, reducing the influence of local wind waves. This occurs because groundswells originate far from the shore and have more time to organized and groomed.

groundswell
windswell

       Ground Swell                                                                                                                                         Wind Swell

 

Swell Data

In order to forecast surf conditions important data needs to be analyzed:

    • Swell Height – the height of the swell in deep water.
    • Swell Direction – the direction from which the swell is coming, measured in degrees.
    • Swell Period – the swell period is a measurement of the time between successive waves in seconds. Waves travel in groups (called sets when they approach shore, as in “Big Set Outside”! In general waves will be referred to as either short period or long period. A long period indicates a wave born on a storm far out to sea making its way to shore. As waves travel they pick up velocity and amplitude. If there is a swell of significant height and swell period heading your way, you are probably in for good surf.

Our swell last week was forecast to be 6 feet of deep water swell with a period of 25 seconds. This would indicate a gigante swell. As these waves reach shallow reef or sand they stand up and heave, throwing out huge caverns of Pacific Ocean energy. Interesting to note is that a 6 foot deep water swell at 25 seconds is capable of generating breaking waves with faces up to 20 feet!
bombie-#2-(2)
Big swells can light up offshore spots that are dormant under normal surf conditions

 

Bathymetry

Bathymetry is the study of the depth of the Ocean floor. Its land based equivalent is topography. Waves will always turn and refract towards shallower water and meets a variety of surfaces; sand, reef, piers, jetties, etc. The shape of the ocean floor greatly affects a wave’s mood, shape, and size. A gradual sloping ocean floor like we have here in Guiones generally results in a slower crumbling wave, great for learning how to surf. However with a swell the size of last week’s event, the whole ocean can come crashing down on you all at once. There are many more factors including land contours, tides, local winds, etc. I don’t want to get anymore technical here than this, but I think this gives you a good idea on wave formation.

DSCN8596
DSCN8601

Perfection through the arches of Hotel Nosara

DSCN8632

       Rumbling giant heading for the impact zone      

 

Surf Forecasting Websites

There are numerous websites that offer wave forecasts, many with a great degree of detail, photos, and weather charts.

For Nosara my favorite is: http://www.globalsurfreports.com/p/central-america.html

Many of the local like this one: http://www.magicseaweed.com/Nosara-Surf-Report/445/

The original pioneer: http://www.surfline.com

Pavones

In Southern Costa Rica, pavones is one of the true wonders of the surfing world. Pavones focuses Southern Hemisphere energy into perfect peeling freight train lefthanders that wrap into the Golfo Dulces many perfect points. It is said to handle waves up to twenty feet!

pavones-lines
pavones-swell

Sequence: local womens legend JESSIE on the wave of the day!

Cover Shot

garza
The breathtaking lead photo was taken by local master photographer Graham Swindell.
Graham hosts a popular website called Nosara Shack. Graham focuses on surfing as an artistic expression, which you can see in his brilliant compositions. He and surf buddy Scott McDowell set off on a reconnaissance mission to witness how this monster swell behaved at the multitude of coastal nooks and crannies to our south. Check it out at:

http://www.nosarashack.com/wavehunt-during-a-massive-south/

Inside Peak – Driving in Costa Rica

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Road Trip!

Costa Rica is a wonderful place to explore by rental car. In my early years as a travel agent for Surf Express Travel in Florida, the majority of our bookings were fly/drive packages, facilitating adventurous minded surfers to roam the country looking for perfect, uncrowded surf. Renting a car in Costa Rica has the potential to create a very unique trip for travelers. You can seek out little-known places, stop when you want, and craft your own adventure from scratch. However, driving in Costa Rica is serious. Road conditions can be difficult, signs are spotty, and driving times can be long. Before getting behind the wheel, think about what it requires and how you want your trip to unfold. Costa Rica has more than 20,000 miles of roads, yet fewer than 25% of them are paved. Many are so poorly maintained that driving on gravel surfaces is the better option. The road system infrastructure in Costa Rica is incomplete but somehow gets you there if you persevere.
car-water

City Driving

Driving in San Jose can be harrowing, especially during rush hours. Tico’s tend to drive offensively and assume they always have the right of way.  Fortunately the airport is on the outskirts of San Jose; point your car west and go prepared for anything! Road signs out of San Jose are good, but become less and less so as you get out in the country. Seat belts must be worn and are strictly enforced by the Transit Police. Always carry a copy of your passport with you. Distance and speed limits are in kilometers (1 kilometer is equivalent to 0.6214miles). Avoid night driving! As you depart the city, the scenery becomes breathtaking. Plan to have a leisurely drive and enjoy the experience. There are some great roadside restaurants, and plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

rush-hour
night-drive

Avoid rush hour!                                                                                                                                Don’t drive at night!

 

Country Driving

The real fun of driving is when you get out of the city and into the country. Once  of the you exit the mountains you can cruise to your beach destination. You will encounter big trucks that appear to be taking up the entire road. Pass only if you are on a clear straightaway and can see oncoming traffic. It is more likely that the trucks will pass you, on a blind curve in the fog! Two lane roads often narrow into single lanes over bridges. Some roads lack guardrails and have steep drops along either side. Rainy season driving can wreak havoc on Costa Rica’s roads – landslides, flooding, dangerous erosion, and horrendous gaping huecos (pot holes). In spite of all these hazards and deterants, driving is a great adventure and gives you a sense of achievement.

Dirt Roads

One of my favorite sayings is “Dirt Roads bring good people, paved roads bring all kinds of people”. Many great beach destinations are end of the road places. The driving is slow and sometimes sketchy with river crossings, cows and horses on the road, and unbelieveable potholes. On one of our trips we got behind a big funeral procession where  mourners  were carrying a coffin to it’s burial site. This created a huge traffic back-up, but was cool  to see.

 

grande junc
mud

                                         GRANDE JUECOS – THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!

onelanebridge
collapsed-road

            RICKETY ONE-LANE BRIDGES                                                                                                          COLLAPSED ROAD – YIKES!

treedown
mud2
mtnmist

        TREE DOWN!                                                                                                 MUD                                                                                      MOUNTAIN MIST

4wheel
true-country

4-wheel Drive Mandatory!                                                                                                                                                         True country
ferry
Ferry to Tambor

River Crossings

When driving in the rainy season (May to November) you will surely encounter a few rivers. Always get out of your car and walk through to the other side to test the water depth and river bottom (mud, sand, rock). Drive across slowly but with determination!
rivercrossing
Rocky Bottom and Shallow – GO!

 

Getting Around in Nosara

Most Safari Surf guests arrive from the airports (San Jose or Liberia) via shuttle van. Because of Nosara’s beach protection, no roads are permitted within the maritime zone. Most of the hotels are within walking distance to Safari Surf. Some folks rent golf carts and “quads” to tool around. Bicycles have become increasingly popular and there is a fully equipped bike shop on main street Guiones. It is also possible to rent a small car for use in Nosara.

walking
quad
golf-cart

Walking!                                                                                                                    Quad fun                                                                                  Golf Cart

True Story – my near disaster!

We live up on a mountain north of the Nosara River. In dry season, crossing the river saves fifteen  minutes from going the ‘long way’. Once the rains start the river fills, but this year there has been a tremendous build-up of small round river rocks that have formed a natural corridor across the river. I’ve made successful crossings up until the other day. As I neared the far side I wasn’t  paying attention and nudged closer to the bank than I should have. Suddenly the left side of my quad sunk down and threw me off into the water. As I surfaced I saw the quad  still there idling away, so I got up and little by little pushed it to safety. (Remember, dark water indicates deep, lighter colors means shallower water).  All I lost was my cheap cell phone, it could have been much worse. Gracias a Dios.

peter-atv-1
peter-atv-2

  Smooth Sailing.                                                                                                                                                                              Avoid the bank!
dirtroads
“DIRT ROADS BRING GOOD PEOPLE, PAVED ROADS BRING ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE”

Inside Peak – Soccer Madness!

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Soccer Madness Captures Nosara!

soccer-feat

The 20th edition of the World Cup of soccer kicked off on June 12 in host country Brazil.

Not being a big team sports fan, I was converted on last Friday when Costa Rica won their game 1-0 against highly favored Italy. This happened as I was driving to the beach. As I passed by the Rancho Tico restaurant I was amazed to see cars parked everywhere up and down both sides of the street as far as I could see. I decided to stop and take a look, and what I encountered was actually shocking – 300 revved up fans celebrating and partying like there was no tomorrow. The win puts Costa Rica in the top 16. It has been 24 years since Costa Rica advanced this far, and Costa Ricans everywhere are on fire. Today Costa Rica faces England but this time “Los Ticos” are favored to win. I am told that soccer has become very popular in the states now. The game last night between the U.S. and Portugal was a heartbreaker for the American team ending in Portugal’s last second tying goal. The following gallery of photos tells the tale of spirit, loyalty, and national confidence.

fifa
ticos
fifa

ticos-win
‘Los Ticos’ team and Fans celebrate after Friday’s victory over Italy
ticos-celebrate
carnival
Carnival Atmosphere prevails in Nosara!
barn
Camilla and Sebastian  in team colors waiting for start of game
camilla-esteban
 
espiritu
Espiritu!!
tailgate
Tailgate Party at Safari House!
brazil-stadiums
Brazil’s Stadiums are Out of this World

Inside Peak – Meet The Marsh Family (The Kids!)

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

BLONDE AMBITION

We are stoked to have the Tim Marsh Family here for their annual summer vacation!

marsh-family-dolphin

Tim, Marsi, and Tyler Marsh own and operate Safari Surf. Tim and Marsi live in Southern California and operate the corporate offices, and Tyler lives in Nosara and oversees the surf school operation. I have grown very close to them and especially love the kids. This week I will introduce the kiddos to you and next week’s blog will feature interviews with Tim and Marsi. The Marshes are a very tight-knit unit. They always seem to be together and one easily gets the sense that they adore each other. They love people, animals, and the ocean. I marveled at the five of them in the pool together tossing a football and having so much fun. Camille, at 15 doesn’t strike me as being the stereotypical moody angst-ridden teenager. She is quiet, sensitive, and intelligent, and she sings in a voice as smooth as honey. Zane and Liana are 10 year old twins. They are smart, clever, and fun loving grommets and they are an ambitious lot, always scheming up some new creative endeavor. The Marshes have traveled together as a family since the kids were toddlers and they all have that beautiful bushy-bushy blonde hair for life!

twins

The Twins

Zane and Liana Marsh were born within one minute of each other, Zane 1st, and then Liana. There has been a lot written about twins; they are unique and special.I have had the pleasure of knowing these two for four years or so and it is so great to see them every summer. I love to hang out with them individually or together, we always have a blast. I know without a doubt that these kids are going somewhere. They may figure largely into future incarnations of Safari Surf, or maybe not. But they will always be an integral part of Safari’s soul and spirit. I thought it would be fun to ask them some questions and see what’s on their agendas.

 

Zane

PL:                   Hey Welcome back Zane-Brain, howz it going?

Zane:              Solo Bueno, that means really good right?

 

PL:                   Yes and it shows because you always have a huge smile on your face.

Zane:              (Smiling) Yeah I like it here.

 

PL:                  Cool beans. You get to come every year and see your cousins, go surfing, dig for clams, play at the waterfall, and visit the monkeys. How long have you been coming down to Nosara?

Zane:             I think for like 7 years, since we were babies.

 

PL:                  When did you 1st go surfing?

Zane:             I was three and my dad took me out on a soft board.

 

PL:                  You got pretty good! Do you like big waves?

Zane:             Yeah I do, but not too big. The biggest I surfed was three feet over my head.

PL:                  Dude, I’ve seen some pictures of you on some mackers!

zane
zane-peter

Zane – Starting Early                                                                            Tough questions for Zane-o
zane-surf-1
BIG WAVE ZANE!
zane-surf-2
PL:                  What’s your favorite subject in school?

Zane:             Math

PL:                  What do you want to be when you grow up?

Zane:             I want to be a soccer star/surfer/artist combination.

 

PL:                  Wow now that’s original! I can see why you like it here!

Zane:             Here everyone loves soccer.

 

PL:                  Favorite food?

Zane:             In the US its ravioli, here its ceviche.

 

PL:                  Music?

Zane:             Classic Rock. My favorite group is Queen.

PL:                  OK now I see where the artist comes from!

 

Liana

liana-maddox
Liana with cousin Maddox

PL:                  Nickernutt! It’s so great to see you! Watcha been doing?

Liana:            I have been over at Uncle Tyler’s playing with my cousins.

 

PL:                  That’s so cool, they just love you!

Liana:            I know, I’m hoping to be their babysitter.

 

PL:                  So last year you told me you were going to be a surgeon one day.

Liana:            Well I changed my mind! I now want to be a forensic scientist or personal chef.

 

PL:                  Wow! You still love writing I hope.

Liana:            Oh Yeah, still do. I love writing stories and making up characters.

 

PL:                  Still surfing?

Liana:            Always! I love the warm water here.

 

PL:                  What are your favorite foods?

Liana:            Back home: artichoke. Here: mangoes

 

PL:                  Favorite Music and Band?

Liana:            Alternative; One Republic. I love to sing too. I even recorded a song!

 

PL:                  Interesting. Hey do you know  Zane’s favorite group?

Liana:            Queen, he’s a Queen freak!

 

PL:                  Hey let’s write a story together for the blog

Liana:            OK Cool
tandem-helberth
Tandem with Helberth

liana-recording

              Liana making a record!

Camille

I am getting to know Camille better and had the distinct pleasure of hearing her perform during the brunch at Harbor Reef Lodge. Her singing is amazing, “a sound blend of Jewel and Natalie Merchant” I said – but I don’t think she know their music. No matter – at 15 this kid is poised for greatness. She is focused and disciplined and has a beautiful lilting voice.

camille-style
camille-surf
camille-performing

     Camille – Oozing with Style!                             Smooth   Surfin’                        Performing in Nosara

 

PL:                  (During Break) Wow Camille, that was amazing!

Camille:         Thanks for coming!

 

PL:                  When did you discover you were “musical?”

Camille:         I sang in my 3rd grade talent show and liked it.

 

PL:                  What instruments do you play?

Camille:         Guitar, piano, trumpet, ukulele, drums. I’m learning the banjo now.

 

PL:                  Do you write your own songs?

Camille:         I have written 5 so far. I know more will come.

 

PL:                  What about school?

Camille:         I like school and want to go to college.

 

PL:                  Where have you performed?

Camille:         I play at the wineries around here (Temecula, CA) and go to open-mic nights              where I can find them.

 

PL:                  So what’s ahead for you?

Camille:         I want to be a singer or a teacher.

 

PL:                  Keep singing Camille, the world will be better for it!
karaoke
Karaoke duet with Sister Liana
turtles
Nosara summer vacation – the early years
summer
Summer 2014 at Safari House (with Zane hamming!)

Next week I’ll be interviewing Señor y Señorita Marsh!

Pura vida!

Peter

Inside Peak – Safari Surf Culinary Tour

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

“EAT, SURF, SLEEP, REPEAT”…

is a much ballyhooed mantra heard around Nosara. Surfing is great exercise that sets all of your senses pulsating. There is something about the salt water that brings on hunger! Fortunately Nosara has excellent restaurants featuring a variety of fresh and delicious cuisine. I thought it would be helpful to describe Safari Surfs food programs. When planning your Safari vacation you have an assortment of meal plans. Most folks seem to select the (prepaid) breakfast and dinner plan. Others choose the daily breakfast and keep the dinners open to explore individually. And still others leave their eating options totally open and make it up as they go along. Regardless of which food plan you select, you can always join the Safari group for breakfast and dinner and just pay as you go!

lobster
tyler-pizza

   Fresh Pacific Lobster!                                     Tyler Marsh’s “everything” pizza!

alicia
hungry-surfers
jeffrey-stoked

Carina and Alicia | Hungry Surfers! | Jeffrey super-stoked!

Breakfast

Prior to the morning surf lesson we set out trays of fresh tropical fruits; something light before surfing.

After the lesson a ‘proper’ breakfast is served in the Safari House. Breakfast choices are Banana pancakes, Tico breakfast (scrambled eggs, sausage, rice & beans), huevos rancheros, French toast, granola & yogurt with fresh fruit, eggs any style, and Costa Rican coffee and juices.

Dinner

Safari Dinner guests gather at the Safari House on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for our legendary hosted dinners. Your ‘host’ for the evening festivities could be Tyler and/or Jeffrey, or one of Safari’s affable instructors. Menus vary with the season and include fresh fish, shrimp, or lobster, Tyler’s “free-range” organic chicken, Lomito (filet mignon), pasta, pizza fresh from our oven, salads, veggies, and Safari’s famous Carrot Cake. Dinners include two beers or one wine, and mixed drinks can be purchased ala cart.

Staff: We are fortunate to have two of Nosara’s best ‘foodies’ on staff to serve you: Maritza is our very talented chef, and Alicia, the worlds’ best server. We can accommodate vegetarian or specialty diets. On occasion we have guests who rent a private house and our culinary duo cooks and serves specialty dinners on site. One night per week we feature ‘Ems Yums’ amazing carrot or mocha chocolate chip cake for dessert.

Martiza and Alicia
Martiza and Alicia (The A Team!)
Din Din with host Tyler
Din Din with host Tyler
Dessert Night- Carrot Cake!
Dessert Night: Carrot Cake!

OUT ON THE TOWN

A favorite time-honored tradition at Safari Surf is loading up the van and visiting Nosara’s finest local restaurants. Currently our out to dinner nights fall on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We have chosen to dine at our four favorite restaurants – Harbor Reef, Kaya Sol, Rancho Tico, and IL Basillica.

Pre-paid dinner guests can order anything they desire off the menu and two beers or one glass of wine is included. We always welcome non-meal-plan guests to join us on a pay as you go basis. Meet at Safari House at 6:30 pm or we will pick you up at your hotel!

HARBOR REEF

The Harbor Reef Surf Lodge and Restaurant are well established mainstays in Nosara. Taco Tuesdays there have become so popular that reservations are required. The tacos are made fresh and tasty and they just keep coming! This is also a great people watching night. You will encounter folks you met on the zipline or our surfing, and the atmosphere is upbeat and happy happy!

Jeffrey’s Favorite: Tacos and more Tacos

Tyler’s Favorite: Tacos and Beer

harbor-reef
all-you-can-eat

                       Harbor Reef Restaurant                                     All you can eat Tacos!

 

KAYA SOL

Kaya Sol Surf Hotel and Restaurant are a weekly stop on Safari’s restaurant tour. Chef Jorge Diaz is well known around Nosara. Jorge spent many years at Harbor Reef Restaurant (as did our chef Maritza), and is well known for his creativity and generous portions. Kaya Sol’s diverse menu features market fresh meats and seafood as well as pastas and local ‘tipico’ dishes.

Jeffrey’s favorite: chicken nachos supremo

Tyler’s favorite: steak with portabello mushrooms

kaya-sol-1
kaya-sol-2
kaya-sol-3

*Kaya Sol Menu Download:  http://www.kayasolsurfhotel.com/#/menu/4567305391

RANCHO TICO

Rancho Tico is a true local Tico spot that’s a bit off the beaten path in the Pueblo. Specializing in Casados (meaning married), this dish combines meat, chicken, or fresh fish with rice, black beans, salad, plantains, and veggies. There are many other items on the menu that are terrific, such as typical Costa Rican Sopa de Mariscos, Ceviche and Camarones a la Milenesa. Famous for huge portions, great prices and a fun, friendly traditional Tico atmosphere, Rancho Tico remains a weekly Safari favorite.

Jeffreys favorite: lomito jalapeno

Tylers favorite: fish casado

Rancho Tico – made from scratch tipico cuisine under the huge open air rancho

rancho-tico-1
rancho-tico-2
rancho-tico-3

 

IL Basillica

The hands down favorite for pizza and Italian specialties in Nosara, IL Basillico is the creation of local a local surfer known as Chandy. Chandy spent years learning the art of Italian cooking in various local establishments, and was the kitchen manager for 6 years at Pomodoro, a very popular Italian restaurant in San Jose. One of the most popular selections at Il Basilico is the Pizza Il Basilico; a house specialty featuring ham, pepperoni, salami, mushrooms, chili, onion, garlic & olives. The authentic menu also features a full range of traditional pastas, as well as seafood & meat specials.

Jeffrey’s favorite: pesto pizza

Tyler’s favorite: seafood pasta

IL Basillica-1
IL Basillica-2
IL Basillica-3

Chandy´s IL Basillico: Out of this world pizza, and Italian delights

 

Safari Kids Camps

Snacks and lunch at the Safari House are included in our half and full day kids camps!
kids-camp

 

**Special Requests**

Safari will gladly help plan and arrange birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasion. Please let us know!

How about a sunset horseback ride on the beach and dinner at La Luna – we can do that!
la-luna
La Luna Restaurant

 

Hope to see you grubbing down here soon!

Pura vida,

Peter 

Inside Peak – Surf Rides

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

image00

Welcome to August! It was a quiet “news week” here in Nosara so for this week’s edition I thought it would be fun to take a look at surfing rides – the vehicles used by surfers to get to the beach. I’ll make sure to cover transportation options available here in Nosara as well. Surfing really caught on in California in the early 60’s and spread like wildfire to the Gulf and East Coasts. Surfers were becoming a distinct “demographic” with their own culture; music, clothing, lingo, hair styles, and surf vehicles. I remember my very first surf vehicle – it was a 1960 hand-me-down Valiant station wagon with pushbutton transmission. Mom make curtains for the back windows, and I had an 8 track tape deck blasting the latest Iron Butterfly album- a sure-fire chick magnet. Wood paneled station wagons or ‘Woodies’ were all the rage back in the day, and many woody clubs are going strong in the USA. The venerable Volkswagen Bus was the surf ride de rigueur back in my surf hippie days. Seeing them always sparks a tinge of nostalgia. Nowadays big SUV’s dominate the beach lots, but creativity is still in charge when it comes to finding a ride to the beach in style.

image01
image12

My 1st car – 1960 Valiant                                                                                         The legendary VW Bus
Back in the 60’s we had a word for someone who talked a good surf but never actually paddled out: HODAD. A hodad would bleach his hair blond, wear baggies and sandals, and drive around with a board strapped on his car to impress the girls. In later years these characters still existed and were called many things: poser, greaser, glam, wannabe, pretender, etc.
image23

Perfect Hodad Car!

Surfing Safari

‘Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how, come on and Safari with me’ – The Beach Boys
Tim and Tyler had it right when they chose the name Safari Surf. Perhaps based on the African wildlife expedition concept, a surfing safari is the search for waves by vehicle.

image32
image33
image34

Camping

Most surfing safaris became camping trips, and over the years I’ve seen some amazing vehicles customized for a long stay at the beach.

image35
image36

The Woody

Very popular in the 50’s, the woody is a wood paneled station wagon. It became the perfect surf vehicle. There are many thriving woody car clubs that won’t let go!

image37
image02

VW Bus

If there ever was a classic timepiece of 1970’s surfing it was the coveted VW Bus!

image03
image04

Different Rides for Different Tribes

image05
image06
image07

Horsepower to the surf zone – (just keep an eye on your board)!

image08
image09
image10

Helicopter Entry                                                                              Fine Car Transport                                                                                Pedal Power

image11
image13

Camel Taxis are booming in the bustling Morocco surf scene!

image14
image15

Indonesia Luxury Charter                                                                                                                                                                              Cruising south of San Francisco

image16
image17

Hearses were great surf vehicles!

image18
image19
image20

Where there’s a will, there’s a way…….
image21
What the???

Getting Around Nosara

Playa Guiones in Nosara is the front yard of a mellow little surf community. Hotels, restaurants, a market, and bank all lay within easy walking distance. For those looking to explore a bit there are several options available: rental car, bicycle, golf cart, and ATV’s.
My favorite is the quad or ATV (all terrain vehicle). Quads are economical and easy to drive.
The best thing about the quad is you feel part of everything you see since you are outside.
Quads handle our rough dirt roads and seem tailor-made for this kind of place. Answering to demand, most quad rental businesses equip them with surf racks.

image22
image24

Customized Quads – ideal for surf exploration!

image25
image26

Tinis & Ricardo’s surf ride                                                                                                                                                  Helberth’s clan off to the beach

image27
image28

Fun Mobile!

True Story: This group of guys has been coming to Nosara every year for 20 years. In the early days they would charter a private plane that would remove the seats to be able to load all the boards on. The hotel owner would meet them at the airport and drive them to the hotel in his dump truck!
image29
And don’t forget good ole’ walking – Go Surfing!
PURA VIDA!
image30

image31

The Inside Peak – A Look into Safari’s new HQ: Olas Verdes

Posted by & filed under Sustainability, The Inside Peak.

Part 1 – “Sultan of Sustainability”

carl

We are stoked to have Carl Kish with us this week! Carl is Safari Surf’s Director of Sustainability. Carl exudes a laid back confident stoke that is catching.  We are hearing more and more these days about this word “sustainability”.  I was finally able to learn from the man himself about this intriguing new direction Safari Surf School and surf tourism is headed. Originally from San Francisco, Carl graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Management. As an intern for the Center for Surf Research at SDSU, Carl helped the Center’s director Dr. Jess Ponting develop the Sustainable Surf Tourism Certification Program and acted as a sustainability consultant for Tavarua Island Resort and the Hotel Casa Tucan (Safari’s former home). As Sustainability Director, Carl is developing Safari Surf’s Sustainability Management System which encompasses all aspects of our business: environmental impact mitigation, interpretation, wildlife conservation, cultural preservation, supply chain management, and community development. Carl is also the Affiliate Program Manager, contacting surf schools all over the world to form new partnerships and establish various opportunities for more people to discover the paradise that is Nosara. Costa Rica has long embodied a healthy attitude towards all things environmental. With over one quarter of its land mass preserved in wildlife refuges, reserves, and parks, the country is poised to embrace this new wave of sustainable tourism concepts. Carl serves as an ambassador and liaison in advancing this new culture with innovative practices.

costa-rica

Costa Rica’s Vast Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity are World Renown

Q & A:

PL: Welcome back Carl! I remember when you first came on the scene here a couple of years ago, working with Dr. Jess Ponting on benchmarking the Casa Tucan Hotel for sustainability. Tell us how it all started.
Carl: I began my college education at San Diego State University in 2008. I was interested in working in surf tourism in some capacity. I enrolled in the school’s hotel management program, figuring this was the logical starting point. At the end of my freshman year I caught wind of a new major being offered in Sustainable Tourism and Recreation. This caught my interest so I investigated.

PL: Is this where you met Dr. Ponting?
Carl: Yes. Dr. Jess (Ponting)is from Australia and is now an Associate Professor (recent promotion) at SDSU! His vast travels in surf tourism zones around the world have revealed that without proper planning and management, severe environmental damage in the form of erosion, deforestation, and pollution were inevitable. Not to mention exploitation of the local communities which inhabit these surfing areas. Jess felt certain that carefully planned and managed sustainable surf tourism could be the driver to bring conservation and community development to thousands of coastal communities in the less developed world.

surf pollution

[Damage to Coral Reefs | Pollution in the lineup]

PL: And thus the Center for Surf Research was born?
Carl: Correct! Dr. Ponting went on to earn the world’s 1st PhD in sustainable tourism management and in 2010 began the Center for Surf Research, a nonprofit educational facility housed in the school of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University.

PL: Wow, so this was exactly what you were looking for!
Carl: Yeah it all kind of fell into place. I changed majors end of Freshman year and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Management.

PL: What does the CSR do?
Carl: Many things! We offer field-based courses in sustainable tourism management and provide opportunities for internships, study abroad, volunteering, and research. We foster partnerships with governments, the surf industry, and tourism developers and the development of an accurate and viable sustainability reporting process.

jess
outreach

Education & Outreach!

groundswell

Study Abroad Trips!

PL: This is all so fascinating and cutting edge. Great work Carl and press on!
Carl: See you back in Nosara soon!

carl-biodiesel
carl-tavarua

¨Carlito¨You’ll never meet a more positive human!

csr

 

Part 2: An inside look at Olas Verdes Surf Resort!

olas-verdes-feat

Starting on the 2nd Level of the Clubhouse!

The highly anticipated Olas Verdes Surf Resort is expected to open in April 2015. The facility will feature 17 upscale rooms with a large clubhouse and pool. The clubhouse will accommodate the hotel reception office and Safari Surf Schools office/operations center. The most impressive aspect of this project is the dedication to sustainability in all areas of the operation. “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Under the direction of Olas Verdes’ Project Manager, Carl Kish, the project endeavors to become the first LEED Platinum Certified Hotel in Costa Rica. In the United States and several other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for sustainable design and construction. The LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) green building rating system is developed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of the building process. LEED standards measure all aspects of sustainable building sites: water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, landscaping, and indoor environmental quality. Carl took me on a tour of the Olas Verdes construction site and pointed out several of the sustainable innovations required for LEED certification.

Carl (middle) with LEED consultants Fabricio and Federico from SPHERA.

Carl (middle) with LEED consultants Fabricio and Federico from SPHERA.

Olas Verdes Sustainability Initiatives

The Olas Verdes Surf Resort is being constructed by Guanacaste Builders of Nosara. This will be their first LEED certified project to date, and serve as a model of sustainable building practices throughout Costa Rica. The building will be earthquake proof and will include two 7,000 liter rainwater collection tanks recycling water from natural precipitation and air conditioning units. There are three waste water treatment tanks that will convert black water to treated greywater for reuse through the resorts irrigation system and toilets. Only native vegetation will be planted, and interpretive signs will identify all plant and tree species in the landscapes. The resort will maintain an organic garden and compost all biodegradable matter. There will be solar water heaters and solar panels throughout the resort, which will result in 20% of the resorts total energy being supplied by solar. All construction waste is identified, sorted, and disposed of in LEEDS approved recycling facilities. There are many more sustainability initiatives in all facets of the construction, resulting in a state-of-the art surf resort.

Carl explaining the new pool design that will blow your mind, but you'll just have to wait!

Carl explaining the new pool design that will blow your mind, but you’ll just have to wait!

Guanacaste Builder's worker stoked on the on-site recycling center.

Guanacaste Builder’s worker stoked on the on-site recycling center.

Rocks at both entrances catch any mud or pollutants on the truck's tires before entering public roads.

Rocks at both entrances catch any mud or pollutants on the truck’s tires before entering public roads.

Sedimentation barrier to protect the stream from runoff on the construction site.

Sedimentation barrier to protect the stream from runoff on the construction site.

*STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER UPDATES ON THIS INCREDIBLE PROJECT!
**NEXT WEEK – MEET THE MARSH FAMILY!