Assignment: Describe Surfing in THREE Words

“Fun, Not Fun, So Fun!”

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This was my assignment for a group of students who spent a busy March week with us here in Nosara. Group coordinator Jason Roderick, an administrator and school counselor at Providence County Day School in Rhode Island brought 15 lucky students on his annual ‘Spring Break Surf/Yoga Retreat’ at Safari Surf School. This was Roderick’s SEVENTH annual trip!
Jason believes that surfing can offer students a positive alternative stress reliever and explains, “as the PCD Wellness Coordinator, my goal is to offer students the opportunity to experience healthy and organic ways to reduce and manage stress. Furthermore I want kids to push themselves (in a safe environment) to experience a different place and people; to respect the local community and culture, and to learn self-sufficiency, as important tools to be utilized throughout high school, college and the rest of their lives”.
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This year’s Surf/Yoga group was kept busy with surf lessons, zip-lining adventures, daily yoga and meditation sessions, a beach walk clean-up, and a spirited soccer game verse the Safari Surf instructors on the village soccer field. At the end of the day sleep came easily!
Needless to say everyone had a solid time…but, it wouldn’t be school without an assignment, right?
So we decided to come up with one…
Without exception surfing has a profound impact on one’s psyche – it’s fast and beautiful and fluid and dangerous all in one. A good time to register the impact surfing can imprint on someone’s demeanor is to catch them immediately upon exiting the ocean. This is when we asked students to pause and describe surfing in three words. The answers were awesome…here are some responses:
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Whenever I meet a new guest I give them the ‘Safari Surf School Guarantee’:
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Bring Your Own Crowd!

picture1 (Chrysalis Therapeutic Boarding School Group enjoying surf lessons this November)

Safari Surf School recently enjoyed hosting an engaging group of 25 students, parents, and teachers from the Chrysalis Therapeutic Boarding School in Montana for a one week long Surf-Yoga-Service “cultural immersion adventure trip”.
Take a look at this photo. Imagine being the photographer trying to organize this classic image. Imagine producing 25 surfboards, leashes, bars of wax, and sufficient skilled instructors to handle this awesome mob! We were able to organize housing, feeding, and transporting this gang to daily yoga sessions, service activities, recreational treks, and, of course, dinners out on the town. Talk about bringing your own crowd!
The Chrysalis Therapeutic Boarding School is a small private residential boarding school for adolescent girls ages 13-18. The school provides high quality therapeutic services, education, and experiential opportunities to adolescents and their families. Opportunities for creative expression are provided through various classes and workshops, as well as adventure field trips to local and faraway destinations. Executive Director Corey Hickman explained “Our goals for these types of excursions is threefold; cultural immersion, service, and high adventure. We want to teach kids how to have fun in healthy ways. The phrase ‘high on life’ may be overdone, but that’s exactly how we want the girls to feel when they depart. Oh yeah, and we keep them very busy!” I shared with Corey one of my favorite quotes on surfing “There are a million ways to surf, and as long as you’re smiling you’re doing it right.” Corey smiled back and said “so far so good!”.

Chrysalis Group Warm-up(Chrysalis Group Warmup!)

Although surfing was surely a highlight, as mentioned, the kids were busy busy busy with many other activities! Each day included a different community service event. Over the week long trip, the group planted trees with Costas Verdes Reforestation Association, assisted in painting the local elementary school and then enjoyed lunch with the kids, completed the sustainability tour at the Olas Verdes Hotel (the lovely home of Safari Surf), and visited the Nosara Refuge for Wildlife. Of course, we also had to get in some zip lining, a waterfall tour, turtle watching in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, yoga classes (thanks to in-house instructor, Kimber Kinley), and a soccer game with local students (which they won!).

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-6-50-29-pm (Reforesting the coastal ecosystem with Costas Verdes Conservation Association)

(Painting and lunch at the local elementary school)

From the ‘behind the scenes’ perspective, accommodating this massive group was a welcomed and completely rewarding undertaking. The Safari Team, headed up by general manager Jeffrey Baltodano, worked long hours keeping things rolling smoothly. Chef Maritza and her mother provided fantastic ‘tipico ’ cuisine using all fresh and local authentic ingredients. Kimber Kinley took time from her busy global travel schedule to spend the week teaching surfing, yoga, and helping with every detail. And of course, the entire team of Safari Instructors were masterful at keeping everyone wet and salty! School Director Corey enlisted the capable assistance of Emily Philips, a Nosara devotee and director of her own private boarding school program called ‘Echo Springs’ in Idaho.

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screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-6-58-14-pm (Safari Surf staff doing what they do BEST!)

Corey told me that the Chrysalis School takes two ‘travel abroad’ trips a year. Over the years they have visited 24 different countries. I told Corey that when you come to Safari Surf School in Nosara we guarantee “you will get hot, dirty, wet, change colors, and be renewed”. On their last day I asked Corey how it all went. Smiling he replied “so far, so good”.
Thanks for coming guys, we had a blast!

Safari Surf Goes Surfing!

INSIDE PEAK– May 2016

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“Team Building, as defined by Wikipedia, is the use of different types of team experiences and activities that are aimed at enhancing social relations and clarifying team members’ roles, as well as solving tasks, achieving results, meeting goals, and improving performance”.
I was surprised not to see the word motivation used in any of the team building definitions I read as I researched this subject. Safari Surfs’ recent trip to Nicaragua certainly motivated me in relation to doing my best. Safari owners Tim and Marsi Marsh have wanted to take the gang on a little ‘employee appreciation’ surf trip for some time. Everything aligned at the end of May, and we were finally able to slip away together for a few days. Our destination was the recently finished La Jolla de Guasacate resort in the wave-rich Popoyo region of southern Nicaragua. Safari Surf School recently launched a new learn-to-surf package in this spectacular location and we were all excited to see it. “La Jolla” means JEWEL, and man does the place ever live up to that description! I do not know if Tim and Marsi ever considered this getaway to be a team building experience, but from my viewpoint this little trip put fresh wind in all of our sails. As we prepare to move into the brand spanking new Olas Verdes Sustainable Surfing Resort next month, Safari Surf has never been more optimistic and stoked!

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An Empty Left and the beautiful La Jolla Guasacaste

The Crew

                                                                      PETER                                       JEFFRY                                    TIM
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              ALI  AND MARITZA                                                                                      PIO                                                                             JORDANI
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Luis, Helberth, Erick, Kevin
Luis, Helberth, Erick, Kevin

Midnight Express

The plan was to leave at midnight, get to the border crossing at 4am, and be in the water at 8am. Tim and I had both flown in from the states the same day and we knew we would be a more than a little fuzzy. I arrived ten minutes late at 12:10 am and the crew was all there amping to get underway. The boards were all loaded on top and we jammed into the very capable Safari van. Weird things happen when you have no sleep, you begin to “see things”. But we were adrenalized by the good vibes and energy surrounding the trip.

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DSCN9166La Frontera (the border)

“One thing you learn here is patience” – Tim Marsh

Timmy’s wise words reverberated in my head as we approached the Nicaraguan border. I had visited Nicaragua before, but never entered this way (I’d flown into Managua).  The first thing we learned was that the border crossing offices did not open until 6am. We watched as a line formed at the checkpoint. When we saw a crowded bus unload its passengers into the growing mob we realized we should be in line, not slouched out in the van. We were planning to lock down the van in a guarded parking area and Bob (La Jolla owner/operator) would meet us on the other side. The scene was chaotic and confusing, but we managed to park the van and join the line for the two hour wait.
It was about at this point that Luis discovered he did not have his passport. There was no way to sugar coat this dilemma; he had to take a bus back to Nosara. He called his girlfriend Laura to tell her the news and she responding by saying “no worries, I will bring it up to you”!    DSCN9173 DSCN9144
One of the fascinating things about living here is people watching. I am amazed at the women I meet who are traveling through Central America solo, carrying only a backpack. They speak multiple languages and seem to navigate what I call the ‘third world follies ‘with determination and no fear. Laura is from Australia and she does not speak Spanish, but somehow she threaded together three bus rides to reach the border, and she and Luis made it to La Jolla by 5pm – happy hour! The rest of our merry group trudged through the arduous and hectic border crossing routine and were met by Bob who had arranged for a large van to take us to the hotel.

Made It!
Made It!

NICARAGUA                

I’d been to Nicaragua twice before, my last visit was in 2000. I was anxious to see what had changed in fifteen years. Nicaragua and Costa Rica share the Pacific Ocean and Spanish language, but that’s about it. I was astonished at the differences. The Pan American Highway is in excellent condition. The southern portion of Nicaragua is bordered by Lake Nicaragua which is huge, almost like a small ocean. The strategic positioning of the lake creates steady offshore winds which blow all day long.

Rendezvous with Bob Eason in Nica
Rendezvous with Bob Eason in Nica

Huge modern windmills dot the countryside, taking advantage of the gusty winds to create electricity. The cost of living is significantly lower than in Costa Rica; the price of land, goods, and services are a fraction of what we pay in Nosara. We turned off the paved highway and proceeded west on a good dirt road. Once we approached the beach region it was apparent how much it had changed. Dozens of private homes, beach hotels and surf camps, dot the coastline and hillsides. “Surf Colonization” had begun invading the surf zones about 12 years ago. The number of quality surf spots and cheap cost of living began to pull investors away from Costa Rica. In Nicaragua there is no discernable middle class; the rich and the poor coexist under the same sun. The Popoyo region is loaded with great surf spots, many accessible only by boat. Add in the round-the-clock offshore winds and you’ve got surf fever!

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Stunning wave-rich coastline = Surf Colonization

La Jolla de Guasacate

The La Jolla resort is the brainchild of Tim Siviter, who also maintains some beautiful rental homes in Playa Guiones. After about a year Tim brought in a partner, Bob Eason, who runs the hotel along with his lovely wife Ditmara. I had a captivating talk with Bob about his experiences over the years in Central America. At one time Bob owned the very successful surfwear brand called Picante, but his heart was in Nicaragua and he eventually sold everything and returned to the simple life he loved. The La Jolla Resort occupies 50 acres of prime ocean view land. There are currently 11 fully appointed rooms with another 12 on the way. There is also a large, beautifully furnished private home that can be rented for groups and families.  Additionally there are 114 lots for sale within an exclusive gated community, but hurry – 70 have already sold! The furnishings and amenities are modern and upscale. After our all-night jaunt and chaotic border crossing, we were all swept away by the special beauty and comfort of the place. Bobs heart has always been ‘for the people’ and he is very focused on taking care of the locals. “For 30 years these people have lived at subsistence level with no assistance from the government” Bob points out, “but they still have huge smiles on their faces”. The hotel website: http://www.lajollahotelnica.com.
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blog-5               Owner/Operators Bob & Ditmara Eason

The Surf

Nicaragua has abundant, incredible surf. The coastline is punctuated with numerous points, coves, reefs, river mouths, and sandbars producing a variety of surfing conditions suited to all ability levels. Many of these spots are only accessible by boat. Each morning our ‘A Team’ explored by boat, while Laura and I set out in search of softer breaks where Safari Surf guests are taken for their lessons. Everyone came back stoked.

Learning Friendly Waves at Magnifient Rock
Learning Friendly Waves at Magnifient Rock

 
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MAG ROCK! Note person walking at base…………………………and……………………Popoyo Flexing!                                                    

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Empty Left………………………………………………and……………………Outside Reef Beginning to Show

The Boyz

The A-Team in action at Colorados

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Safari Nicaragua

Nicaragua offers a unique cultural experience in a wave-saturated ocean playground.  The food, service, and cushy comfort level of La Jolla is off the charts. Non-surfing activities include golf, horseback riding, stand-up paddling, volcanoes, fishing, kayaking, and other custom tours. Grenada is a great day trip for exploring classic colonial architecture, sightseeing, shopping and dining. Bob and Ditmara are wonderful hosts and tend to every detail to insure your comfort and stoke level.

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Ali on Horseback at the Salt Flats…………and………………………local wildlife

Hasta Pronto!

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Safari Surfs ‘Nica 2015’ trip brought us closer together and filled us with inspiration.

When is the last time you sat around a table with family or friends sharing good food, talking story, and laughing out loud? Hats off and big thanks to Tim and Marsi Marsh for such a marvelous experience. As Tim said “when it comes right down to it we are a family” Life’s a trip, better pack your bags! We look forward to your visit.

timmy marsi

 

Surfing for Life

INSIDE PEAK-May 15, 2015

In 2001 a remarkable entertaining and inspirational video documentary called Surfing for Life was released,  detailing the fascinating lives of nine heroic role models who are “following their bliss” through actively surfing into their seventh, eighth and ninth decades. “SURFING FOR LIFE not only challenges ageism, it also weaves a tapestry of unforgettable stories that embody many universal aspects of the human experience. The surfers’ tales reveal, among many lessons, courage in the face of adversity, the power of the human spirit and a celebration of values and relationships that contribute to rich, meaningful, well-spent lives.” From the videos press release: “Older surfers provide a great metaphor for how our society is struggling to redefine what it means to grow older. Similar to the Civil rights and Women’s movements, this age wave is tantamount to a movement and involves new behaviors – with new attitudes trying to catch-up. Could it be that “staying young” doesn’t need to be the goal after all, and that “staying well” – physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally – becomes the goal? It’s possible if the term “OLD” can shed some of its unnecessary connotations and stereotypes. The new attitude that is emerging – and supported by lots of medical and psycho-social research – is a view of our later years not dominated by sickness and decline. Rather, the later years can be very vital, satisfying and meaningful periods of our lives.”
Nosara has been described as a “wellness town”, with yoga, healthy food, and surfing leading the way to increased vitality and longevity. We welcome surf enthusiasts of all ages at Safari  Surf. When is the best age to start surfing? Whenever you take that first step and paddle out. In this edition of Inside Peak we talk with a few of Nosara’s resident older surfers whom serve to dispel the myth that surfing is just for kids!
 

OLD GUYS RULE!

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The growth in the surfing senior citizen population started with the shift back to longer surfboards following the pivotal “shortboard revolution” of 1967-1970. Older surfers found themselves wanting equipment with better flotation and glide. A new boom in “retro” longboards took hold and mid-range “fun shapes” became popular for their user friendly qualities. Many who had stopped surfing got back on board. Fathers and mothers were surfing with their sons and daughters. Surfing was just too good to leave behind. Here in Nosara we have a healthy population of older surfers. The frequently mellow waves of Playa Guiones invites all to get involved. One look at that gorgeous blue sparkling water is all it takes – how could you not go in?!
 

Coconut Harry

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Harry Heinke is a well known icon in Playa Guiones. He is often referred to as “The Mayor”.
With his fit, tanned frame and long blond hair and perpetual big smile, he is easy to spot.
This guy is almost 65 years old?
“I first tried surfing in 1967 on a 9’6″ Gordon & Smith longboard – Virginia Beach, VA – no leashes back then, so a LOT of swimming. “Surfaried” to Cocoa Beach, FL the next year with 2 high school buddies in a VW bug and 3 longboards – slept in a state park until the park rangers ran us off. Went to college in western part of VA (Va. Tech) and worked summers to put myself through school and then got a ‘real’ job, so did not take up surfing again until mid-80’s. Started going to Hawaii – made 7 trips – heard about Costa Rica via Surfing magazine and came to CR in 1992 – found Nosara in 1994 after somebody in Tamarindo told me about it – a ‘secret spot’ he said, “don’t tell anybody”!  Although I don’t rip it up like the 20-somethings we have here at Guiones, I feel good and still have fun at my age – will be on Medicare in 3 more months…
Vaya con Dios” …..
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“THE MAYOR” AT THE OFFICE

LuLu Wiegers

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At 67 years young Lulu radiates boundless positivity, aloha, and stoke. “ I love love love surfing” she beams, “its my life, what I want to do forever! I started when I was 14 years old in Manhatten Beach, California. I took a 20 year detour with marriage and some bad choices, but
Thank God I got back into it and never looked back. Everything I do; eating, exercise, yoga, swimming, biking, etc. – I do to keep in shape for surfing. I live in Guiones 10 months out of the year and love the warm water, wave consistency, and positive vibes in the water. Back when I started there weren’t so many girls surfing and I felt like one of the guys. Now there are so many good woman surfers here, it’s so great. I plan to continue surfing forever! Age is just a number! Get out there with us!”
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“VIDRIO AZUL” – BLUE GLASS…..

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LULU IS EASY TO SPOT IN HER DARK GLARE-REDUCING ‘SEA SPECS’
 

John McGovern

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Pictured above, John is a dedicated “North End” surfer (along with me!).“I began surfing at age 16 on Long Island at a beach called Gilgo Beach.  So I have been surfing about 50 years in the summers.  Now summer is all year long since retirement 12 years ago.  I still work as a lifeguard supervisor in the summers at Tobay Beach on the south shore of Long Island so when there is surf I am on it. I am beginning my 48th year working on the beach in the summer so other than not surfing in the winters I have always surfed May thru September.    As far as surfing into old age, I have never lost my desire to get in the water whenever I can.  I think being active keeps you young to a certain extent and surfing is my favorite all time sports activity.  Hope I can continue for many years to come”

‘JOHNNY-MAC’ GIVING THE NORTH END A WORKING OVER

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Peter Lewis

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DSCN8952 (2)THE WAY WE WERE …………………………….   AND NOW AT 63

“I started surfing in Ocean City, New Jersey back in the early 60’s. We would surf year-round in inferior wetsuits where we taped the seams with masking tape to try to stop the freezing water from getting in. When the ‘Summer of Love’ rolled into town in 1967 everything changed. Surfing back then was more aligned with the counter-culture than the high school football team, pep rallies, and cheerleaders. By the end of that summer I had grown a sun bleached peach-fuzz mustache and sideburns, a burgeoning hipster! We were the original gang of Baby-Boomer surfers in Ocean City. There are only two of us left from that original group who never quit surfing, me and Monk. Everything I did in my life reflected my need for ‘water time’ – where I went to college, career choices, relationships, marriage – all focused on being near an ocean.  In 2008 I moved to Nosara with my wife, ‘looking for the seventies’, I like to say. It didn’t take long for me to find my way to Safari Surf, and I have worked there for the last 6 years. Guests seem to get a kick out of this old fossil still stoked and in the water every day. Safari is one of the best things to happen for me here. My wife Emily retired from 35 years of critical care nursing and now makes carrot cake! In two weeks my daughter Amber and granddaughter Jaida are moving here, bringing the family back together again. Pura Vida.

BODY-SURFING WITH DAD AT PLAYA PELADA

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MY THREE SURFER GIRLS!

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THE ORIGINAL SURFING FOR LIFE CREW (AGES 59-89)

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For more on the Surfing for Life documentary: http://www.surfingforlife.com

old guys rule

The Bermuda-Costa Rica Connection

INSIDE PEAK April 10, 2015

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Playa Guiones
What comes to mind when one thinks about Bermuda? For sure the Bermuda Triangle pops up, but anything else? I venture that most of us (like myself) knows very little about this fascinating island.
Bermuda is the most northerly group of coral islands in the world, lying just beyond the Gulf Stream some 650 miles off the coast of the Carolinas. Although very small and isolated in its part of the ocean, it offers a wide variety of places to see, people to meet, and things to do. With an economy based on tourism and international business, Bermudians enjoy a high standard of living with almost no unemployment, no national debt, and no income tax. Sounds like paradise to me! Google Bermuda and your senses are bombarded by a panorama of dreamy blue seascapes – every shade of blue imaginable! One of the great joys of living in Nosara and working at Safari Surf is that it opens a portal to the big wide world we live in. The Bermuda-Nosara connection was spawned five years ago by long time Bermudians the Hammond family. “We were looking for a vacation where the boys could learn to surf, at least stand up” Sharon Hammond reflects. “Richard did a lot of research on the internet and found Safari Surf and signed us up”. “Everything about that first trip just resonated, says Richard, we all loved it; the waves, the food, the spirited people, and we kept returning for more”. As is likely to happen, it’s hard to keep a good secret, and as the Hammonds relayed their surf stories to close friends, the connection grew. “I reckon we are now up to around thirty-five fellow Bermudians that love the place and return every year”. And you have never met more affable, gentle, lovely slice humanity anywhere. It dawned on me that this is how Nosara continues to grow, with these kinds of good hearted, fun-loving families tuning into the Pura Vida. It’s magical, really!

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Meet the Hammonds – Richard, Rudi, Louie, Sharon

 We always love when Team Bermuda is in da house! Talk about energy, they are all buzzing with stoke and can’t wait to get wet. I reflect on my past trips here when we lived in Florida. I was absolutely rabid to catch as many waves as possible, and bottle it all up to get me through the flat spells. The beauty of this place is that there are always waves breaking out there, it is a constant, a defining gift that Nosara proudly offers. Bermuda is ringed by a coral barrier reef which results in beautiful calm swimming beaches, but also prevents consistent rideable surfing waves from forming. Nosara’s ever-reliable consistency can take care of our surf-starved friends in no time!

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Bermudas Barrier Reefs “consume” Incoming Wave Energy

Here a kite surfer rides the wind!

Rudi and Louie

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Serious Q & A with my new bros

Over the years I have watched Rudi (12) and Louie (11) not just become better surfers, but also turn into solid people. Surfing does that, it immerses you in something larger and very powerful, what I like to call Big Blue. They are easy going and fun-loving. They love the food here and are always hungry! “Fish, plantains, and Britt chocolates” the lads enthusiastically exclaim. They already have monikers or nicknames, perhaps to keep in pace with instructors Chumi, Gato, Hellboy, and Pio!

‘Tsumani Rudi Gabas’ on a Screamer!

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‘Big Wave Louie’ Sets up a nice Bottom Turn

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Richard and Sharon

It is interesting how many doctors come to Safari Surf. Richard and Sharon are M.D.s in Bermuda.
I asked them what fuels the economy there: “tourism has been overtaking by the reinsurance industry” explains Richard. What is that I asked? “Reinsurance is insurance issued for Insurance Companies, and Bermuda is a leading hub for this”. When asked about Bermudas beaches, Sharon says “oh we have many lovely beaches here, perfect for snorkeling and swimming, but few waves”.

 Richard Backdoors a Nice Section

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Sharon Pulling in at the Boca

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Beautiful Seascapes but No Waves!

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The Bermuda Triangle

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The real Bermuda Triangle in my book is the connection to Nosara spawned by the Hammonds’ sharing with their friends via the Coconut Telegraph. Richard says “we would come back after these fabulous surfing vacations and spread the word to our best friends. They would look at the photos of the whole family surfing together and one by one more families joined the next trip.” “Let’s see” says Sharon, “We have the Pecketts, Outerbridges, Skinners, Betts, Kendalls, and Wojo’s, that’s nearly 40 people!”.  Many thanks to all of our Bermuda families for coming – our house is yours!

Sharon and Rudi spending Quality Time

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Our House is Your House

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 Team Bermuda – April 2015

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Nosara News- New Stuff!- Inside Peak

Nosara News

INSIDE PEAK- March 17, 2015

 Nosara News- New Stuff!

New Stuff in Nosara!

Every season here in Nosara ushers in a wave of new businesses and this year is no exception. So from us to you, here is Nosara News- New Stuff!
From restaurants, to retail, to recreation, Nosara is continuing to grow in support of our already well established active/surf/wellness reputation. Despite this inevitable growth Nosara still retains its charm and “mom/pop” feeling. This I attribute to the enormous impact of our beachfront protection, which has steered big time developers and chain hotels further north.  Here is a sampling of some of Nosara’s new offerings this season.

Food and Beverage

Every new season brings a new wave of eateries to town. Some “make it’, but others disappear once the rainy season arrives. This season has seen quite a few new eateries. We haven’t tried them all, but did seek some reviews from visitors.

Nosara News- New Stuff!Al Chile

Located in the former Casa Tucan restaurant (Safari’s old digs), Al Chile opened at the end of July with a menu of tacos and burritos. All ingredients are fresh and prepared to order, including the corn tortillas used for tacos and the wheat tortillas used for burritos. Jeffrey loves the place!

tibidaboTibidabo

Mediterranean restaurant with a chef from Barcelona offers authentic tapas, montaditos, paellas, sangria and desserts. Very positive reviews on Facebook page – looks worth a try!  Tim is stoked about this one!

 fusion 2Fusion

Located within the 506 Townhome community, Fusion is upscale, serving  cuisine from celebrated Chef Jairo “specializing in the fusion of culinary tastes”. The Wednesday “Sushi Night” gets great reviews.

solo bueno Solo Bueno

Converted from an old surf hostel, Solo Bueno is a restaurant/water park featuring inside and outside dining,  an 8 jet jacuzzi for adults and a small step in pool for children. There are 4 pools in total, on 4 different levels, overlooking 3 patios, 8 waterfalls, and a multitude of exotic gardens. The menu varies from salads, burgers, and wraps on the pool deck to gourmet dinner entrées and custom cocktails.

go juiceGo Juice Smoothie and Juice Bar

All natural fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, fresh pressed juice, iced coffee, fresh ceviche, poke, and nutritious snacks. Super healthy juice concoctions such as ‘beetnick’ (for detox), hydro blast (for hydration),‘ginger kale’ (for blood circulation’, and ‘Eye Opener’ (for immune system), had me totally perplexed! My daughter loves this place.

El ChivoEl Chivo

Located in Playa Pelada on the site of the former Panchos, El Chivo is a beautiful new restaurant with made from scratch Mexican cuisine and specialty margaritas. The burritos are amazing. Thumbs up!
 

luna brunchLa Luna Breakfast/Brunch

Super popular and trendy beachfront restaurant La Luna in Playa Pelada now serves daily breakfast. The very interesting and eclectic international menu features such specialties as the mediterranean feast, breakfast pizza, shakshuka, balkan, full English breakfast, and muesli. Their brand new espresso machine rocks!

pipa (2)Pipa Fria

Undoubtedly the hottest ticket in town these days is ‘Pipa Fria’, or chilled coconut water served in the shell.  Vendors have popped up on every corner this season, and there is nothing better than grabbing a cold pipa right after surfing – plus it’s just plain hip, everyone’s doing it!

Retail

love nosara (2)Love Nosara

Open air women’s clothing boutique created by Susanna and Manolo. Offering distinctive and original clothing, jewelry, and leather goods sourced from small independent artisan clothing manufacturers. May not be open on rainy days as they are completely exposed to the elements!

Tamale (2)Hot Tamale

New recycled and vintage fashion located on main street Guiones.

Recreation

tennisTennis Club Colibri

Beautiful red clay tennis courts on main street Guiones

climbClimb Nosara

A unique freestanding climbing wall offering 36 roped routes and other bouldering options. Designer/climber Steve Way proclaims “Climbing helps to build confidence, with great lessons in teamwork, trust and leadership skills.  It also helps to develop core strength, balance & co-ordination, and develops muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition and flexibility!”

skate parkEskina Skate Park

Skate Park – Skate Pool – Hostel – Skate Shop – Skate School – Bar – Restaurant – Event Center. Eskina Skate Park.  Open daily to the public and available for private bookings, birthdays, etc. On-site full service Yums  Restaurant overlooks the skating action. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for the latest events and promotions including live music, fashion shows, and professional exhibitions.

ad boardCheap Advertising – Nosara Style!

Safari Photos

As some of you may know, Jeffrey added to his plate this year by agreeing to take on the photography aspect of Safari.  Initially, he was met with some challenges: lenses breaking, computer not uploading, basic learning curves… but, he has overcome and is taking some superb photos of our guests!  We have also hired local photographer, Bryan Espinoza, to come in on his off hours to take some additional photos for us and give Jeffrey some pointers. Between the 2 of them, we are adding some fantastic shots to our growing gallery.

Newest Photos from Jeffrey

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Newest Photos from Bryan

Wow! friend Nosara News- New Stuff!

Inside Peak- Join Our Family

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JOIN OUR FAMILY

Safari Surf recently had the privilege of welcoming Stan and Olga into our family. They stayed with us for a month, and the idea was that they would trade out breakfast and room at the Safari House in exchange for a couple of promo videos, to be posted on the Safari Surf website, Facebook page, and other social media sites. Stan and Olga are from Germany, where it is very, very cold right now so, they were happy to take a break from the cold in Nosara.  Their “assignment” was to soak up the “Safari Vibe” and translate this to video. Having founded the adventure travel blog website http://www.epiclist.com, they were no strangers to “extreme adrenaline sports”, and were familiar with surfing, but in their time here, they fully embraced the essence of surfing and pura vida, which is captured brilliantly in their video creations. At the end of their 1st published video they encourage us to “join the family”, which is exactly what we are. I feel like we are in the 1970’s again! Check it out here: https://vimeo.com/119782826.

Stay tuned to Safari Surf for more from Stan and Olga. And  muchas gracias for the stoke lift you two!

Stan Olga

Stan and Olga at work

 

Family Vacations at Safari Surf

Traveling to Costa Rica with your family is an enriching experience for everyone. You will be immersed in a culture and adventure that takes place outside of your iPhone! When I fly Northbound from San Jose to Orlando, Florida to visit my daughter, the planes are full of excited Costa Rican families heading to Disney World; but the Southbound flights are full of Americanos headed to paradise for surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, fishing, zip lining, and  yoga. Surfing brings people together and creates a memorable bonding experience for families.  Meal times are generally long, leisurely affairs around a happy table where people actually talk to one another. It is definitely quality time!
family

Strong Family Unit

curleys

Bill Curley and family love surfing so much that they bought a vacation home here

 

One Big Happy Family

Whether you come as a single solo-traveler or bring your husband/wife and kiddos along, everyone becomes part of the family. You surf together, zipline, kayak, ride horses……you get to know everyone in town.

Safari welcomes a huge amount of return clients, we call them our alumni.

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Family Horseback Tour

family zipline

Families that Zipline together, stay together!

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Sam & Jeff Chandler – football bonding

Around the Table

Safari Surf guests share breakfast and dinners together every day. The conversation is lively and spirited and the television is turned off!
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Sam’s Birthday Celebration!

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Three Generations of Lewis Girls!

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The Wagner Family dining under the stars

JOIN THE SAFARI FAMILY TODAY!

Sure it sounds like the old cliché, but down here ‘Lo Que Hay’ (it is what it is!).

Come on down to Safari Surf for Spring break, its way better than Ft. Lauderdale!

Guilford college

Student group from Guilford College in North Carolina

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All-Girls Surf Clinic for Local Nosara Families

 

Inside Peak- The Germany- Costa Connection

Safari Surf’s German Connection

marlon smile
I have always been fascinated by the depth of Marlon Illig. For example, he speaks fluent German. For a lad raised in rural Nosara, this strikes me as interesting and unusual. Marlon is one of the New Breed of Safari instructors that joined us this season. Safari hosts a fair amount of Europeans this time of year and many happen to be German. Imagine coming to Costa Rica from Germany to a surf school and finding that your instructor speaks German! Marlon is educated, informed, and quite worldly. I was intrigued the other day when I overheard him talking movies and critiquing actors and directors with some guests. Oh yeah, he also speaks fluent English! I sat down with Marlon to get the skinny.
PL: Everyone knows you as Jeffrey’s brother, but he doesn’t speak German?
Marlon: Well it’s a long story, but I was adopted!
PL: So explain the Germany connection.
Marlon: I was born in Germany and am a German citizen as well as Costa Rican. At 2 yrs old mom moved us to Nosara. She had been there before and longed to return. So Nosara is where I grew up.
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All Men are Brothers!

PL: When did you start surfing?
Marlon: I started 4 years ago. Since I starting teaching with Safari this season I had a kind of “rebirth” and fell in love with surfing all over again. I can’t get enough now!
PL: You are a great with people and seem to have found the perfect fit with surf instruction. What do you like about it?
Marlon: The best part is watching the transformation that people go through here. When they arrive they are all white and pasty and stressed from their busy lives. After a few days they are totally transformed, physically, mentally, and spiritually. They develop a new self confidence and inner stoke. It is such a priceless thing to observe and be part of!


marlon carrie
Carrie Learns Proper Waxing Technique



 
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Kids at Play

marlon cutback
marlon boardPL: You recently turned 18. What are your future plans?
Marlon: I am going back to Germany in two months, after high season. My dream is to become a pilot and I am looking to enroll in flight school there. I plan to return next high season (Dec-April) to work at Safari, save money, and continue my schooling in Germany.
PL: Wow what a great goal. Viel Glück an euch mein Bruder! (Best of luck to you my brother).
instructors

                             “The New Breed” (Kevin, Marlon, fan, Jordani)

Plus Erich!

erich

For more on Marlon check out Safari’s new instructor video here:
https://vimeo.com/119782826

Inside Peak- Higher Learning Through Surfing

Higher Learning through Surfing at Safari Surf School

SurfU
“Study Abroad” – the phrase conjures up images of earnest students absorbed in esoteric topics enhanced by their unique surrounds – English Lit studies at Oxford, Italian culture and language studies in Rome, Ancient Greek civilization studies in Athens – but surfing in Costa Rica?? In January Safari Surf hosted a group of students from Guilford College in North Carolina lured by the enticing title: Surfing Centuries: An interdisciplinary introduction to riding waves, past and present. In the intro syllabus Professor Maia Dery, an avid surfer, describes the course as follows: “You all “surf” almost every day. Surfing became the runaway metaphor to describe the freedom and possibilities of the internet. How did that metaphor come into being? How did surfing, a fully embodied indigenous pastime, become such a powerful cultural trope?”
I was hooked!  “College courses have come a long way since my graduation from Cal Western University San Diego in 1973” I mused. Maia is a stoked and dedicated surfer of many years. Was this just a clever way to go on a surf trip? One glimpse at the 16 page syllabus would dispel that shallow notion. This was a bonafide heavy-duty full credit academic assignment fraught with multiple texts books and several evaluation criteria. The group spent 18 days with us and became like family. With the opening of Olas Verdes Sustainable Surfing resort this summer, we look forward to more study abroad groups, as we collectively expand our horizons together through surfing.
group

Required Reading

For emphasis on my “how times have changed” reflection, I draw your attention to the textbooks for this course. Five texts and several articles were required to pass this course. But wait a second, take a look at some of these titles: Surfer Girls in the New World Order, Waves of Resistance, Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing. These are deeply academic compendiums with complex concepts and big words!
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Student Blogs

Professor Dery was kind enough to share some of the student’s blogs with me which reveal the “seriousness” of how they viewed their assignment. There was no surfspeak “killer tasty tubes dude”, but rather acutely insightful and sensitive reflections on their Nosara experiences. Here are a few examples:
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CHARLOTTE

“Today our rowdy group of twelve returns to volunteer at La Escuelita de Verano, a summer school that offers a space of creative, artistic and physical engagement for children in elementary and middle school. The playful joy of the children is contagious, and rejuvenating in every essence of the word. These encounters complicate and deepen my process of distilling my time here; this presents for me questions of how personal relationships motivate us in our actions and aspirations. Our experience on earth is comprised of overlapping, unpredictable relationships with ourselves and the people and places that surround us. Relationship entails emotional awakeness; a mindfulness of your own needs and those that surround you. A willingness to give, receive, compromise, reciprocate. The quality of relationship determines the extent to which we defy the logic of self-preservation–it determines a turning point in which giving to others can be self-gratifying as well. I would propose from all of the love I have encountered the last couple of days, impassioned people offer parts of themselves for a greater need because they are emotionally guided towards something bigger. And the result is a form of gratification that expands and nourishes in all directions.” 
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NATE

Sandland
“What if you were a piece of sand? The beach is your world. Ocean waves the only force, besides feet, controlling your life. A sand hierarchy exists in your world; those below you are not seen. Those above you get all the credit for the great beach you all have created. Without waves, your place in the social sand hierarchy is fixed. You cannot make your way to the top of the beach, or be brought deeper.”

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ROSE

“Moving into this experience I am finding myself most interested in the media canon of surf culture and the way it effects cultural inertia. The Endless Summer has undoubtedly had a profound impact on surfer culture, but how far reaching is it? How have the escapist fantasy ideals laid out in The Endless Summer impacted the activistic ambivalence that all of our readings have condemned. Does this have anything to do with how it’s the ‘outsider groups’ -the surfer girls and surfers of color- that are creating surfing spaces that are being held up as sustainable and culturally aware models of surf culture? My personal lexicon of surf media and culture is too small to even start ball-parking answers to questions like this, but they’re the sort of questions that I have been taught by my theater studies to ask about media: what does this piece of popular media say about the culture it comes from? What is this piece of media doing to the culture it comes from? I have said several times over the course of these last few days that all media is political, and it could even be argued that everything is political (or that everything is media), leading me to ask these questions of just about every text we’ve been introduced to.”
 

PROFESSOR MAIA DERY

“My goal in offering this study abroad experience was to inspire and facilitate an atmosphere we call informed engagement. Surfing has been a personal passion for me over the last 8 years. My vision is to construct creative ways to incorporate surfing into academic studies to invigorate students’ curiosity. Our experiences in Nosara were profound and life-changing. I most certainly will try to return next year!
maia smile (2)maia2
Does your professor surf this good? Maia Dery – doin’ her homework!

FAMILY

Having a group of energetic and motivated college students with us for nearly three weeks was nourishing for all of us. For one thing, college students eat a lot! Safari’s amazing kitchen duo Maritiza and Alycia created and served magnificent meals, incorporating local flavors of Tico ‘tipico’ cuisine. The kids helped with food prep and dishes. Their field trips to the local summer school fostered authentic culture interactions. We thank you all for coming and wish you the very best – Hasta Pronto!
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Alma Mater

Cal West

Back in the day, my college graduation in 1973.

English major, what else!

 

Inside Peak – Feliz Navidad from Nosara

Happy Holidays from Safari Surf School!

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Safari Surf Senior Instructor Extraordinaire Helberth Ruiz

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Beautiful empty tube photo by Graham Swindell

The Holiday Season is upon us in Nosara with perfect sunny days and all-day offshore winds. It is amazing how dependable these conditions are in our dry season. Safari Surf School looks forward to welcoming our new guests and immersing them in Aloha and Pura Vida! We meet lovely folks from around the world here all seeking the same spirit and joy we find through surfing. Here are a few of their Christmas stories….

Christmas in Nosara Costa Rica

martiza-alicia
Maritza and Alycia of Safari Surf
“Our ‘Tradiciones de Navidad’ are centered around a large family gathering on Christmas Eve. Parents and grandparents, brothers & sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins all gather at papa’s house. At 8pm we all go to La Iglesia (church) for Mass, and then return to papa’s for bocas (appetizers) and drinks. At midnight on Christmas Eve we have a big dinner of chicken and pork tamales, and a bebida dulce (sweet drink) called chicheme – made from pulpo de maiz morado (purple corn pulp – yummie!). Afterwards we gather around the Christmas tree and open gifts. On Christmas Day we look forward to working at Safari Surf!!!”

Christmas in Holland and the United Kingdom

ellen
Safari Alumni Ellen
“I am originally from Holland but have been living in England for many years!
In Holland the big holiday is celebrated on December 5th when Sinterklass (St. Nicholas) visits. The children leave their clogs by the fireplace hoping that Sinterklaas will fill them with presents.
In the UK they go all out with heaps of decorations, parties, and lots of presents delivered by Father Christmas. It has become quite commercial, very similar to the United States actually. On Christmas Day the entire population eats turkey and Christmas (or plum) Pudding.”

Christmas in Finland

tina
Tina
“Well everyone knows that Finland is the home of Santa Claus right?!! This means that he will stop there first to deliver his presents! On Christmas Eve families celebrate with a big early supper of pork, potatoes, and rice pudding. Then Santa comes around 7pm to deliver presents and sing with the children. Gifts are opened around the tree and everyone plays with them late into the night. Of course I will celebrate in Nosara with my novio Luis and his lovely family!”

Christmas in the United States

jaida
Jaida (my granddaughter!)
“On Christmas Eve we go to church and everyone holds candles and sings Silent Night. Then we go home and go to bed early so Santa can come and leave presents. On Christmas morning we open our stockings and lots of presents and play play play! Then in February I get to come to Nosara to celebrate my 4th birthday with my pa-pa, ma-ma, and my mommie!”

A Rustico Christmas in Nosara Village!

rustic-xmas
FELIZ NAVIDAD & PROSPERO ANO NUEVO
FROM ALL OF US AT SAFARI SURF!
sss-group
“COME ON DOWN AND CATCH A WAVE WITH US!”
santa-surf

Inside Peak – Nosara Restaurant Guide

nosara-restaurant-guide

SAFARI SURF SCHOOLS’ RESTAURANT GUIDE

surf food
With all of the great restaurant choices in Nosara, Safari Surf School management has decided to make Sundays an “Open Meal Day”, providing guests with an opportunity to eat at establishments of their choosing. To assist we have created a restaurant guide comprised of eateries we recommend. Nosara has an impressive assortment of restaurant offerings. With each new season we see at least 3-4 new places open; some survive, some don’t. Most restaurants here these days accept Visa and MasterCard as well as U.S. currency. Be prepared for a mandatory 13% sales tax and 10% service charge to be added to your check. I usually leave another 10% for the server if service is good. There are a few “mainstays” you can always count on: For Romantic go to Dolce Vita, for ocean front dining La Luna. IL Basilico makes awesome pizza, and for burgers the newly opened Burgers and Beers is the ticket. Rancho Tico is the place to go for excellent local ‘tipico’ cuisine and Harmony is popular for excellent sushi. It is rare to get a bad meal in Nosara as everything is generally prepared from scratch. Table service has improved vastly from the old days, but remember that ‘cooked to order’ still takes longer, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the Pura Vida. Make sure to call in advance to verify hours, etc. And don’t hesitate to talk to fellow travelers and ask for their restaurant recommendations. Provecho!


Harbor Reef
Harbor Reef
*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
On-site at Harbor Reef Surf Resort is a pool-side restaurant known for local fare from farm and sea, a fully stocked bar with swim-up access , live music and a roof-top smoothie bar. The Reef Restaurant menu is updated daily to reflect the freshest, finest ingredients available; also featuring desserts by Ems Yums.
Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$20
Phone: 2682-1000
Web: http://www.harborreef.com

Rosie’s Soda Tica
Rosie’s Soda Tica
*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch
Rosie’s Soda Tica serves authentic traditional fare at very reasonable prices. New location next to tennis courts on Main Street Guiones.
Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$10
Phone: 2682-0728

Harmony Hotel Bar and Restaurant
Harmony Hotel Bar and Restaurant
*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
The Harmony’s restaurant showcases the bounty of the Nosara area. We use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible and work with producers who share our sustainable values. We also source produce from our very own nearby farm. We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner (including an amazing sushi menu). Full bar and wine list.
Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$30
Phone: 2682-4114
Web: http://www.harmonynosara.com

Bagelmens
Bagelmens
*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch
Bagelmens features breakfast specialties, wraps, salads, soups, desserts and a variety of bagels baked fresh daily. Indoor and outdoor patio dining. Bagelmens opens daily at 7am for that early coffee wake-up.
Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$15
Phone: 2682-5448
web: http://www.bagelmenscr.com

Robin's Ice Cream
Robin’s Ice Cream
*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch
Known for amazing home-made ice cream and sorbets, Robins also features breakfast selections, sandwiches, salads, wraps, crepes, coffee drinks, smoothies, and milkshakes
Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$15
Phone: 2682-1607
Web: http://www.robinsicecream.com

Café de Paris Bakery
Café de Paris Bakery
*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch
Excellent freshly baked goodies; homemade sandwiches, croissants, deserts, baguettes, celebration cakes, pies and more. Good take-out option for tour excursions, fishing trips, etc.
Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$10
Phone: 2682-0087
Web: http://www.cafedeparis.net

Marlin Bills
Marlin Bills
*Recommended for Dinner
American styles steakhouse menu featuring steak, chicken, fresh fish, burgers, pastas, and salads. Full bar menu.
Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $7-$25
Phone: 2682-0458
Web: https://www.facebook.com/Marlin Bills

IL Basilico
IL Basilico
*Recommended for Dinner
Il Basilico is a locally owned talian restaurant. The ambiance is rustic, with incredible food at affordable prices. Il Basilico offers everything from pizzas, to specialty salads, pasta, seafood, and much more. Several nights a week live music can be enjoyed. Come join us for a wonderful evening!
Location: South Guiones/taxi from town
Price Range: $6-$15
Phone: 2682-1472
Web: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurante-IL-Basilico

Kaya Sol
Kaya Sol
*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Extensive menu, all meals. Fresh seafood, free-range steaks, pasta, burgers, salads by popular Chef Jorge. Full bar and wine list.
Location: North Guiones /taxi from town
Price Range: $5-$20
Phone: 2682-1459
Web: http://www.kayasolsurfhotel.com

Gilded Iguana
Gilded Iguana
*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
A Nosara landmark since 1986. In November (2014) former owners of popular seafood restaurant Pacifico Azul assumed management of the Gilded Iguana hotel and restaurant.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a wide variety of fresh selections with an emphasis on seafood. Full bar. Live music Tuesday and Friday nights.
Location: North Guiones/taxi from town
Price Range: $5-$20
Phone: 2682-0259
Web: http://thegildediguana.com

Burgers and Beers
Burgers and Beers
*Recommended Lunch and Dinner
Monster burgers and hand cut fries. Excellent handcrafted beers.
One visit will you keep coming back for more!
Location: North Guiones/taxi from town
Price Range: $10-$15
Phone: 2682-5558
Web: http://www.facebook.com/burgersandbeerscr/info

La Luna
La Luna
*Recommended for Lunch and Dinner
Ocean front restaurant, great for sunsets and special occasions.
The eclectic menu has Asian and Mediterranean flourishes; excellent wood-fired pizza. Deserts by Ems Yums.
Full bar and wine list. Call ahead for reservations.
Location: Playa Pelada/taxi from town
Price Range: $7-$25
Phone: 2682-0122
Web: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LA-LUNA

La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita
*Recommended for Dinner
Upscale Italian cuisine in romantic setting. Proprietor/Host Roberto DeSilvio proudly oversees every detail and table nightly. Good wine list.
Location: South Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$40
Phone: 2682-0107

Rancho Tico
Rancho Tico
*Recommended for Dinner
Located in Nosara Centro, Rancho Tico is great for tipico food:
Casados, Lomito jalapeno, and fresh seafood. Full bar.
Location: Nosara Centro/taxi from town
Price Range: $6-$20
Phone: 2682-0006
Web: https://www.facebook.com/RanchoTicoNosara

nosara-restaurant-guide

Inside Peak – New Season Starts for 2015!

Safari’s New Season Off and Running!

New-Safari
Safari Surf Schools 2014-2015 season opened with a bang as an early season cold front ushered in fresh offshore winds, sunny skies, and super fun surf. It is always a challenge emerging from the rain soaked months of “Septober” where flooded roads, stormy skies, and choppy surf keeps visitors away and locals holed up in their homes. Although the El Nino weather phenomenon did result in a “less intense” rainy season, from my perspective it stayed pretty darned wet and soggy around these parts. Most sources predict an early end to this year’s rainy season which has been evident in two successive northern hemisphere cold fronts already in the books. Around town merchants are painting, cleaning, and readying their businesses for the busy high season ahead. Safari welcomed a good number of new and “alumni” guests this week, so I thought a little recap of our 1st week would be fun.
summer

Hot and Glassy & nobody out – get down here!

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Safari Manager Jeffrey with ‘El Jefe’ Tim Marsh

We’ve been stoked to have Safari President Tim Marsh here this week to help us kick off the new season. I sat down with Tim to get his thoughts on the upcoming season and the “New Safari Surf”.
PL: Welcome back Tim, fresh from Indonesia, where did you go?
Tim: I was in the Mentawai Islands boating from break to break.
PL: Well here we are, a brand new season. What’s new for Safari this year?
Tim: We are very excited about this new season. We have trimmed down to our “core staff” and are focused on making our surf lesson teaching system the best in the business. We interview all guests as to their experience and
ability levels and structure their equipment and instruction according to a new multi-level rating system. This way we can focus appropriate attention on each student. No longer will a complete beginner be paired with an experienced rider. We are also investing in our instructors training and personal development towards attaining their Level 2 International Surfing Association coaching and instruction certification. In December we will take delivery of 35 new surfboards made specifically for Safari Surf School. We have just opened a new branch of Safari Surf in Nicaragua and look forward to growing that program, and of course we have the ongoing development of Olas Verdes Sustainable Surfing Resort right next store. Our new website will launch soon so stay tuned to http://www.safarisurfschool.com for all the latest safari Surf news!
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Olas Verdes

The Week in Pictures

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Surfer Town comes to Life

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Safari Guests

Kate-and-Charlie
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Kate & Charlie                                                                                                                                                            Helberth, Mary, & Catherine
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Catherine from Dallas
Mary-UK
Mary from UK
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Jessica from NYC
Alejandra-Canada
Alejandra from Canada
Skye-NYC
Skye from NYC
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Tim Marsh in Indonesia

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PURA VIDA – see you soon!

I would like to dedicate this blog to my dad, William Lewis, who left this earth last Monday. Dad loved the ocean and instilled in me a love for the water and waves that lives on today.

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bodysurf-Log

Inside Peak – Equinox

book your costa rica surf vacation

Spring has Sprung! (sort of!)

summer-break (2)
On Monday, September 22, 2014, autumn began astronomically in the Northern Hemisphere. This also marked the start of spring in the southern half of the globe. The September equinox is the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator heading southward. At the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. In the Northern Hemisphere the southward equinox is known as the autumnal equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere it is known as the vernal or spring equinox. Even though Costa Rica is located at 9 degrees north in the northern hemisphere, the names of the seasons are commonly flip-flopped and the September equinox is referred to down here as ‘spring’, and ‘summer’ starts late in November. From what I can determine this is based on local folklore and tradition, not science! What does this all mean for us optimistic surfers? Spring is here in Nosara! Summer is coming! In November we begin to usher in the dreamy offshore wind season. As the Southern Hemisphere winter winds down, we begin to see our surf “source” spawning from singular primary directions, drop in size a bit, and become more spaced apart, lined up, and very clean. Our dry season begins “sometime in November”. This year, due to the El Nino weather phenomenon, there is a good probability that our rains will taper off early in the month and sunny days, starry nights, and offshore winds return!

Up North

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pumpkins
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winter
shovel
footie
xmas

wetsuit (2)

Down South

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sunset
yoga
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Safari Surf School’s New Season Starts November 1st!

Take advantage of predicted early summer conditions, less crowds, learn to surf in paradise.
We’ll be waiting for you, “hasta pronto” – (see you soon)!
~Pura Vida~

Inside Peak – Surfers Who Stayed: Emily

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Camilla---final

Name: Emily Lewis
Status: Year-round since 2008
Business: Owner of Ems Yums deserts/Dog Rescuer

The Road Less Traveled

One of greatest things about our beach here is that it seems to pull you into the water. The gradual sloping descent of the ocean floor creates numerous fun zones where the white water regenerates into smaller/mellow new waves. I believe this is one reason Nosara seems to appeal to a “slightly older” demographic interested in learning and experiencing surfing. Look and you will see this; healthy, tan, and active folks that ain’t kids anymore. Look closer and you will see a number of surfing senior citizens out there catching waves and surfing well. Nosara has one of the oldest and well established expatriate communities in Costa Rica. I married Emily 31 years ago in San Diego. Our life compass has taken us to many shores, all water places. In 2008, we sold everything we had, and moved from Florida to Nosara. I guess these days this may not seem such a big deal, but for two baby boomers in their mid fifties, uprooting from an American Life and moving to Costa Rica was definitely The Road Less Traveled…at least for us! Here is Ems story:

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school-cookies

“The Cake Lady” baking at home                                                          Spreading the love at local school fundraiser
 

Emily’s Story

“In 2004, long after my prime years of nursing had passed and “burn out” set in; we had an opportunity to run the “hotel on the point” (Hotel Playas de Nosara). Our daughter and a friend rented our house and cared for our two dogs and off we went! By June 2005 we knew that our parental responsibilities were not over and we returned to Florida to work and pay the bills. Peter worked for Surf Express, a travel company that arranged surfing trips to Costa Rica. This enabled us to explore the country extensively. Once we saw Nosara, well it sort changed everything for us, it was like finding Shangri-La, an earthly paradise! Finally, at the end of 2007, Peter flew to Nosara to meet with our builder and plan out our house design. Nine months later we arrived at the Miami airport with 3 dogs in kennels and 4 suitcases. We had sold all of our possessions and were starting over, “looking for the seventies” as Peter puts it. We’ve had many adventures and ‘misadventures’ in the six years we’ve lived here, all valuable learning experiences.”

Starting Ems Yums

“I have always loved baking for special occasions, etc. and have accumulated some great original recipes over the years. The owner of La Luna Restaurant (Angelina) asked me if I could come up with some “special desserts” for the restaurant.  My longtime favorite Carrot Cake and newly created Mocha Chocolate Chip Cake filled that niche well. Newly arriving Safari guests are treated to a ‘Welcome (carrot) Cake’ which is a nice touch. Currently my cakes are available at la Luna, Harbor Reef, and Robbie’s Guiones mini-market. I receive quite a few private birthday cake orders as well. I also bake muffins, cheesecake, cookies, fudge-nut brownies, and pumpkin pie. I think I give away more that I sell! It’s a labor of love for me; it’s worth it to see the smiles of happy customers.”
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Dog Rescuer/Animal Advocate
“When we moved here my goal was to be retired and do volunteer work with local stray animals. I was immediately drawn to the number of malnourished dogs in Nosara. I assembled a ‘road kit’ with food and medicines, and stopped wherever I saw an emaciated dog(s). Over time my profits from Ems Yums were used to buy bags of dog food which I donated to local families who couldn’t afford to feed their pets. Realizing the immediacy of slowing the population growth of these unwanted/neglected dogs, I became involved with Nosara Animal Care, and took as many strays as possible to be spayed and neutered. The most rewarding part is when I am able to find new homes for these animals. An offshoot of this work was the creation of ‘Dog Tales’, an educational outreach project involving local schools. The kids would write cute stories about their pets in both Spanish and English, and share them with their fellow students and friends, fostering awareness and pride in their care of pets and local animals.”

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   Dog Mobile                                                     My dog Blinky                   Hungry Beach Strays “Still Surfin” After all these Years
There is no feeling like catching a wave and riding it to the beach. I still go surfing occasionally; as much as my busy schedule allows. I admit to being a small wave whitewater surfer and just love being out in the ocean.

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Jaco Beach 1999                                                                                                                                                         Playa Guiones 2007

Family

“People are generally fascinated that we were able to uproot and move here. We seemed to have less “anchors” in the ground holding us back so we just went for it. We have great support from our family members and they visit here as much as possible.”
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A Changing Nosara

“Nosara life can only get better in the future. In our six years here, we have seen a proper full service gas station and national bank open, and the government is taking a more active interest in Nosara. Last year a major dike was constructed in the Nosara River to prevent flooding, and the recent visit here by the new president left us all with high hopes that our roads really will be paved. Nosara has more year-round residents and services than in past years, and the activist community here strives to keep things clean and green and limit development. The growing number of “healthy lifestyle” businesses here attracts good people and inspires everyone to seek ‘wellness.’ We came looking for “a more interesting life” and certainly found that here!”
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The vigilant Nosara Civic Association………………..keeps high rise development away

Inside Peak – Surfers Who Stayed: Robbie Vickers

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SURFERS WHO STAYED
Name:Robbie Vickers
Status: Year-round since 2005
Business:Owner: Mini Super Guiones

“When Irish Eyes are Smiling”

It seems most folks are drawn to the melodic ‘Irish Lilt’. My friend Robbie Vickers has one; he was born and raised in Ireland. Ireland is a beautiful country with lots of open green spaces, and heaps of waves of all descriptions. One wonders how he came to call Nosara home. Robbie and his wife Nella own and operate the Guiones Mini Supermarket. If you’ve been in Guiones in the last couple of years it’s very likely you been in their store. It’s centrally located in the middle of “Main Street Guiones”, adjacent to Surfing Nosara and next to Robins Ice Cream. Last year they totally renovated the store and property, expanding the markets shelf space and building two very stylish upscale rental flats upstairs. Robbie and Nella have two beautiful daughters, Sophia (15) and Isabella (4) and are expecting a third girl, Camilla, in September. They are both widely known and loved in town.
Robbie’s story is original and inspiring, and we are lucky to have this lovely family here!
 

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  Nella, Isabella, Robbie (with Camilla in oven!)                                           Mom and Sophia

Robbie’s Story

“I was born and raised in Ireland. It was great as a kid growing up. I remember we used to get long beautiful summers with lots of rain the rest of the year. I used to travel to the west coast with my dad almost every weekend – he would fly fish the rivermouths for salmon and I would go surfing. If there were no waves I would fish with him. I left Ireland when I was 19 years old to attend my friend’s wedding in Montauk New York. I fell in love with the surfing and fishing scene there and decided to stay. One of my first jobs was working on a commercial fishing boat, which I did for two years. Fishing allowed me to save enough money to travel and surf in the winter months. I spent a lot of time in Puerto Rico back then. The waves were great but it just got too crowded for my liking. I began to focus on saving enough money to start my own business. My painting company Robbie Vickers Custom interiors employed 28 people at one time and we painted mansions on eastern long Island in a place know as The Hamptons. Being self-employed allowed me to take some cool surf trips. I spent two months in Indonesia and experienced the best waves I’ve ever surfed. But it was on an extended trip to Central America where I first saw Nosara.  I arrived at the beach and looked out upon perfect blue-green waves peeling off up and down the beach that did it for me.I wanted to be somewhere where the surf was more consistent and the water was warm and Nosara offers that. I returned to New York and realized that after twelve years it was time for a change. I got very lucky and sold both my house and business two days before the collapse of Bear Stearns financial empire. I moved to Costa Rica 2 months later and built my house in Nosara. I met Nella three years ago at the Nosara Fiesta and it was truly love at first sight”.
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Nella and Robbie – Stop in and say hi
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Luck of the Irish! Robbie likes the power, punch, and hollows of Playa Ostional and also surfs Guiones regularly. Here he exits the pit with full beard commitment! When not surfing or running he’s at the store taking care of business. The recent expansion of the market has enabled him and Nella to increase the product line with an emphasis on quality and diversity. Healthy/organic selections and varied ethnic items are available as well as fresh produce, fine wines and beers.
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With a major renovation/expansion last year, Mini Super Guiones is has grown with the town.
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Plus two Uber-Chic New Apartments!

Inside Peak – Surfers Who Stayed: Richard Jordan

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If you have visited Nosara there’s a good chance you liked it so much you found yourself fantasizing about living here.

Wanderlust, escapism, dreamscaping – it’s a natural part of the travel experience. End of the road places always seem to have memorable distinct characters, expats and the like, who took the road less traveled and moved to paradise. The lure of living in a surfing paradise has drawn many such colorful folks to Nosara. Some are snowbirds escaping cold weather months in the north, others stick it out until the end of August, and still others come to call Nosara home year-round. In this post I begin a series of profiles on select surfers who stayed, and how they contribute to the Safari Surf experience.
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PARADISE AWAITS

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Richard Jordan

Name: Richard Jordan
Status: Year-round since 2001
Business: Heart of Guiones Wellness Center

Richard is the classic California expat, tall, tanned, and super fit. He comes from San Diego California, a classic surf town. Richard is a registered Holistic Health Practitioner and has been a bodywork and movement educator for 30 years. Richard discovered Nosara on a surf trip 15 years ago. He loved the town and waves here but it was the chance encounter with Nosara Yoga Institute founders Don and Amba Stapleton during a teacher training seminar that sealed the deal. Upon learning of Richard’s background and qualifications they enthusiastically offered him a job…..and he eagerly accepted. He embraced the jungle, ocean, and people here and decided to make Nosara his permanent home. With quality year round surf and a yoga teaching job in hand, he loaded his 1989 Ford diesel pick-up with surfboards, massage tables, Russian Kettlebells, and a Gyrotonic Transformer fitness machine, and left California behind, making the drive in nine days. In 2002 he opened Nosara Workout Beach Gym, focusing on general fitness training for his mainly surfer clientele and local residents. In 2003 he taught six Nosara women the art of massage, free of charge, and Tica Massage was born. Richard’s prime location across from Harmony Hotel on main street Guiones has become a well know landmark in the area, and Casa Tucan (Safari Surfs former home for 13 years) was just steps away. Richard’s first sign is iconic in Nosara, which I still remember today. Upon turning into the cul-de-sac servicing Casa Tucan and Richard’s facility you are immediately overwhelmed by the image of a huge blue hollow wave with Richard slotted in the sweet spot. “Is that here?” everyone would say, and Yes it was here, captured right out front by the legendary photographer Soul Arch Matt.

“DUDE – IS THAT HERE?”
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tica-massage-signThe convenience of having a workout studio and massage spa located right next door led to a business relationship with Safari Surf which still exists today. Safari guests could take fitness and yoga classes and get a massage right after surfing all day, it was ideal. As Nosara grew into The Surfing and Yoga capital of Costa Rica, Richard added new structures and fitness programs and changed the name to Heart of Guiones Wellness Center, which encompasses Tica Massage, Studio Guiones, and Pilates Nosara. “Being a Health Practitioner myself I’ve always had my finger on the pulse of the growing trend of wellness in Nosara, and I’ve made adjustments to accommodate this blossoming “industry”. Safari Surf looks forward to working with Richard and his excellent facility in the future!
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Pilates Nosara packs ‘em In!

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  – SAMPLE SCHEDULE –

(Your Safari Yoga-Pass good for all classes!)

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Richard exclusively rides big surfboards shaped by legendary California craftsman Tommy Lewis. He likes big, clean and hollow waves and is a standout in the lineup to this day.
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     Family Car Outing with Kids Mey, Travis, and Maggie-Dog