Costa Rica Countdown…6 days away!

One of my many flying photos...
One of my many flying photos…

Saturday I fly out from Boston, with a layover in Atlanta to ultimately end up in Costa Rica.  I’m going to a surf camp for 7 days and nights.  Yes, forty-three year old me is going to learn how to surf.  Luckily there are two surf lessons a day.  Hopefully I’ll get up on the board at least once.  And they get a picture of it.

How did this trip come to pass?  Way, way back in August of this year, I had to commit to a certain week for a vacation.  Several friends  only had nice things to say about Costa Rica.

I knew I wasn’t yet to do an extended trip, but I wanted to do something that I could do to gain a sense of  be in awe of myself.  A friend, who I respect and admire, tried out surfing off of Jeness Beach in Rye, NH.  Another friend, who I respect and admire, as well as several others only had glowing reviews of Costa Rica treks and yoga retreats.

I initially checked out Airbnb.com, for inexpensive places to stay, that were close to the beach.  I pretty much just wanted to relax on the beach.  There were some great options.  Then I started to think that if I was going that far away, I should actually learn something.  I can sit around someplace a little less expensive to get to.

I started looking into the many, many retreats available in C R, and Blue Surf Sanctuary rose to the top.  They had interesting packages, and fantastic reviews.  Billabong sponsors this camp, and it looks clean and safe.

I had to make sure I scheduled the trip for after the rainy season, as the flights don’t go, if rain washes out the landing strip.  Yes, it will be a very, very tiny plane that takes me from San José to the Tambor airstrip.  The flight is only forty-five minutes, but the bus ride would be about six hours.  On badly maintained road ways.  Then Blue Surf Sanctuary arranges a taxi to take me from the air strip to a ferry.  Then perhaps a ATV ride.

About a month ago, I got my flight from Boston to Costa Rica, and just today I found out Delta upgraded me to first class all the way to Costa Rica.  I am so excited!  Before you say, “It must be nice!”.  I will let you know – It really, really is nice.  I also earned it by flying up to Platinum last year.  This year I was lucky to reach Gold.  Next year, I will maintain Gold, but since I won’t be a high mileage flyer with Delta, I will probably lose my status, if I don’t get a new contract that requires weekly travel in July.  I am going to enjoy the benefits of status for as long as I can.  You would too!

Anywho, the flight into San Jose, CR will get in at about eight in the evening, local time, far to late to catch a flight to the coast.  The next flight out to Tambor airstrip isn’t until the next morning, so I am spending the night at the San Jose Intl Marriott, on points.

Once I board the tiny, tiny plane, I have no idea what to expect for the rest of the seven days.  I may only be sitting on a surf board.  I’m hoping not to get hit in the head with the board as I inevitably wipe out.  I’ve watched many videos.  And should probably freshen up my watching.

Speaking of wiping out, I also got trip insurance.  It covers injuries and emergency evacuations.  I’ll be as careful as I can possibly be.  I’m glad to be insured, but I don’t ever want to have to use it.  I went through a company called TravelGuard.  Look them up on-line, especially if you are going on a trip out of the country.  TravelGuard bases the policy on your age, where you live, your destination, and how long you are going.  Oh, and I think the total cost of your trip.  If you get the insurance within a certain period of buying your trip, you can also purchase “cancel for any reason” coverage for a small fee.  I was one day late.  Damn procrastination.

My back pack is still empty.  I have an idea of what I’m going to pack.  Much of my sun-protective clothing will be going with me.  My two spf rash guards, swim shorts, sun cover ups, a couple of bathing suits.  I may only use one, but I’ll keep the spare just in case.  Sunscreen in several different formulations, lotion, stick and cream.  Can you tell I’m afraid of the sun?  I don’t tan.  I burn. In fact, I burn in moon light.  There is no good reason for me to go with out protection.

I also need to nail down the down time outfits I’m be wearing.  Mostly, so I can decide what needs to be hosed down with this special bug repellant I got from Amazon that permeates the clothing, and repels bugs for up to 6 washings.  That is pretty awesome.  I also have to pack my deet spray.  I also don’t like bugs.

Yes, it is kind of funny that the girl who burns in moonlight, and hates bugs (long story, I’ll tell you some time) loves going to places that have strong sun and copious amounts of bugs.  Don’t worry, I don’t understand me either.

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