*** WARNING: Sensitive souls beware, this article contains explosive content***
Which is to say that the article includes speech fit for a sailor. On the flip side, appreciative ears may enjoy this article to a soundtrack provided by Sébastien himself. Have a good listen and a great read!
Hello my friends,
For those of you who assume that I’m tanning in the Sun, surfing through life surrounded by chicks in bikinis as you're stuck in a cold, wet fall: let me lift your spirits a little.
For two weeks now it’s been raining harder and harder with each passing day. I came down yesterday to see a friend I had been wakeboarding with this past summer in Santa Theresa, Costa Rica. It is such a dead season here that most of the shops and restaurants have closed for an indeterminate length of time due to the rain. It’s been pouring at least twenty to twenty-two hours a day. The sound of the rainfall is no longer soothing, and three of the four routes out of where I’m staying collapsed yesterday.
I departed Nicaragua yesterday morning at 8 am. The border crossing lasted from 9 to 10:30 as our bus was searched top to bottom. We carried on until Barranca, where I was ejected from the bus in an incredible downpour. On the brightside, I narrowly avoided a five kilometre traffic jam where construction was underway further up the road. They’re developing a new auto route where they’ve blasted through the mountain and, as well organized as they are, the protective fencing on the cliff side was overlooked. So, with the recent rainfall (109 cubic meters this month as opposed to the usual 25), there have been massive landslides in several locations and others where the pavement has simply crumbled, creating impassable gaps in the road. Could someone please tell the Gods that we’re still 2 years from 2012 for Christ’s sake?
So there I am with my pack, my surf board and my guitar on the side of the road hoping for an empty taxi to materialize and take me down the other fork in the road to a sketchy little town called Puntarenas where I can catch a ferry. The hotels all rent by the hour there, and just yesterday morning a corpse was observed floating down the river, its head and feet missing. An enormous alligator recently emerged from the marsh due to flooding and, after having killed it and cut it open, some locals found a stomach full of human bones.
Finally, after 40 minutes of wringing my clothes out on the side of the road and the cursing of my fortunes as the world passes me by, I see a taxi approaching and flag it down. We strap down my board and drive off, wipers broken, of course. The lack of visibility made it about as safe as driving with about 25 beers in my system, not that I’ve ever tried, as far as I can remember. We come to a stop, you’ve got to be kidding; I succeed at fixing his fucking wipers, and we arrive in Punterenas 5 minutes too late for the ferry… awesome. The next ferry arrives 2 hours later as the sky begins to blacken. We’ve been crossing about ten minutes when the motor sputters off. We drift in the black tranquility without a sound. The looks on the faces of the others are all questioning “is this normal?”, “is this a joke?”. The motor sputters back to life, cool. We’ve been 2 hours in crossing. At this point I might well be spending the night on the deck. We arrive, at long last, in Paquera to continue by bus for an hour and a half. It’s a bumpy ride and the children are spilling their stomachs. The bus stops at Cobano, incapable of continuing along the haggard roadway. I find myself packed with the company of five others into a little taxi for another hour along the most miserable terrain so far. Car sickness is added to my sea sickness that hasn’t yet faded and then enhanced by the blasting air conditioning that is preventing the windows from fogging up. Every time I roll down the window for fresh air the driver shouts at me about keeping his interior dry. I he cares so much about keeping his interior dry why is the idiot driving cab in Cost Rica’s fucking rainy season? Despite it all, I have arrived.
The nose and tail of my board have worsened through yesterday’s journey. It could have been prevented if I had taken preventative measures and paid $10 in Nicaragua, but the guy wouldn’t lower his price and, too proud to lose in negotiation, I put it off. Now I’m looking at a bill upwards of $45 with the added damage, but it wouldn’t have been possible anyway since the resin depends on UV rays to cure properly. On the up side, the waves are disgusting thanks to tropical storms Nicole and Matthew.
So to recap, no sun, bad waves, very few tourists, and it’s going from bad to worse since its supposed to get worse before it gets better. There is rain absolutely everywhere. It’s impossible to catch even a single ray of sunshine. There are landslides from Mexico to Columbia. Long live the rain.
I’m really not sure what I’ll get up to the next couple of weeks. They’re calling for rain over the next ten straight days. As for the rest of the month, the predictions aren’t out, but I’m willing to wager that things will stay wet. Worst case scenario, I could catch a plane to the Caribbean Coast where things are a bit dryer, but there’s no good surf. In any case, I haven’t made up my mind. We’ll see how it goes.
Our beds are moist and far from drying.
I hope I’ve lifted your spirits. I’ll have to stop here as the water levels are quickly rising.
*Facts taken from La Nacion newspaper
**This article was originally published Mar 11th, 2010 and updated May 5th 2012.
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