Nosara, Costa Rica in Four Days [35mm Film Travel Diary]


Morning started with 9am surfing lessons and a banana pancake breakfast at 10:30am, both with Safari Surf School. Surfing...clumsy but fun. Headed back to the beach Playa Guiones to watch a surf competition and met this fellow from Colorado whose straw hat inspired me to go hunt down one of my own. After getting sadly ripped off on the hat purchase (but too sunburnt and tired with a migraine to bargain), met up with Liisa to walk around town. 


Lunch at Robin's - Coke with Vietnamese spring rolls for Liisa and ridiculously good spinach quesadillas for me. A welcome change of pace after a month straight of gallo pinto (beans and rice). Sunbathed on towels, went back to the hotel for poolside drinks. Watched the sun set from the beach with Meli and Liisa before leaving for a party at Eskina Skate Parq. Made new friends. Walked home giddy and slept like a log.


Despite my instructor Kevin's best efforts, I walked to breakfast with a belly full of salt water. Have concluded I am hopelessly the world's worst surfer, but had a good time anyway and stood up on the board so that's alright. Still figuring out how to hold the board; sad to report it seems I suffer from t-rex arms. 

Hung out at the pool before rushing to Tica Massage. After untangling an appointment mix-up debacle (massage rescheduled for tomorrow), joined the girls at Beach Dog Cafe. Afternoon spent with Cam walking around town and into a shop called Love Nosara. Photographed the lovely Spanish woman running the store (see blue shades). Bought a low back dress, felt scandalous. Free stickers!



Beach time with Bethany. The view was so surreal. Very few people, huge stretches of sand and water and sky. We talked easily, laughed hysterically, as we do. Discussed college life in NYC, love, friendship, childhood. Dug foot holes in the sand. 

We met a para-sailer dragging his parachute along the sand, disappointed in the day's winds. Also met a Jake Gyllenhaal-esque figure. Will not elaborate any further. V embarrassing encounter.

Sunset with Bethany and Sian. We walked along the shore and Bethany said something smart, a little sad, beautiful about how sunrises and sunsets are always there, everywhere, anywhere, incredible in beauty and it's impossibly sad that we don't watch them all. Note to self to miss as few as possible. 

Dinner (burger + plantains) at the hotel. Walked along the shore with Julia for nearly two hours, with phones for flashlights. Stopped by a police car paroling the beach. Rushed to make curfew. Shower, sleep.


5:30am wake-up to watch the sunrise with Sian and Emma. Turns out we were on the wrong side, but the sight of sunlight starting to pour in and light the beach was still magical. Ran into Adam, Rowena and Joseph who'd come out for a morning surf.


Tiniest little farmer's market open in town today next to Love Nosara. Devoured an absurdly good apple raisin pie bought from an Argentinian woman and her husband. Sian, Emma and I got glitter tattoos on our shoulders by a little girl named Aiko. I photographed her mother Aiya, originally from California, who was selling all-natural beauty products. High temptations to buy coffee beans and pick from baskets of fresh fruit.



Last surfing lesson. Drank a little less salt water, got a little less stuck in my head and found a little more peace on the board. Learning that to ride the wave you can't fear it. Thanks Kevin!

Raced to Tica Massage after surfing this morning, though felt super guilty about the masseuse having to deal with the large amounts of sand stuck to my legs and butt. Highly recommend the massage - especially sore after surfing / using arm muscles for first time possibly ever.

Sleepy after the massage, so Melissa, Liisa and I went to Al Chile for smoothies. Checked out a boutique, stopped by a cafe to chat with friends.

Cooled off in my room with Emma aka stood in front of the AC for twenty minutes. Huge group walked to Robin's for ice cream (mine was caramel oatmeal cookie and cinnamon - zero regrets). Visited the organic food store in town - kombucha, rice cakes, raw organic balls (raisins, sunflower seeds, etc. etc.), chocolate-covered coffee beans, mangoes. 

The weather was perfect, blue skies, sun out with a little cloud and the water unbelievably warm. Emma, Steph, Cameron and I threw out our towels. Ate mangoes and our raw organic balls. While Steph and Emma tanned, Cam and I went out to swim and jump with the waves as they came down. Didn't say much, didn't need to. We just looked at each other and smiled. There's nothing like being in one of the most beautiful places in the world with the best people in your life.


Later in the evening, went back out into the water, pretended I knew what I was doing for a bit and watched the red, red sun set from my board. Bonfire tonight - as it was our last - with all the guys from the surf school. Ran against the wind into the ocean. Freezing cold, shaking and laughing, ran back to the fire to warm up. Flashes sparked off the fire; ran away laughing and screaming. Sat on the beach with Kevin, discussing orthodontia and herbal drugs. Motorcycled home.


Morning ocean swim with the ladies, followed by packing, turning in keys and towels. Lunch and kombucha to-go at Robin's. We claimed a little hut on the beach to spend our last hours before the bus ride back to Monteverde. Ran into the water with Sian, Cameron and Bethany. Last time jumping the waves. 

¡Pura vida! Nosara is the place to learn and live the meaning of this Tico expression. Thank you to all the beautiful people who were a part of this trip - a massively rich and inspiring four days.