the dog barks and wakes us up around 6am. some days i roll over and drift back to sleep. most days i wake up and slip into my swimsuit. you don’t need much of a wardrobe here. a couple sun dresses and some bikinis that stay on in the waves. that’s all you need.
make a quick breakfast and pack my bag for the day ahead. towel, sunscreen, computer, yoga clothes, journal, book, water bottle, snacks. our house is on a hill. a hill i only like to walk up and down once per day. so i pack it all, never knowing what adventure might appear.
slip on my havaianas and start the trek down the dusty road.
it’s dry season here. the once lush and green foliage just hangs limp covered in a layer of grayish brown dirt. my lungs feel very similar after spending so much time strolling along the main street hoping to catch a ride from some kind local.
hitchhiking works about 75% of the time, and it is always such a blessing to escape the heat and dust. ducking into an air conditioned suv or hopping quickly into the back of a pick-up truck. you get to know the people in this small town a lot quicker this way.
hola. i’m sara. do you know so-and-so? oh really? i hung out with them last night. i’m here until mid-february. you work there? oh cool. here is good. thanks for the ride. mucho gusto. pura vida.
everyone is more or less on the same main road turning off to go to the same main place, the beach. playa guiones. and that is exactly where i am always heading first thing in the morning.
down to mamma rosa, a quaint hotel off the beaten path run by three italian brothers and their sister. they flicker between spanish and italian with ease and let me use their outdoor restaurant patio as my office.
the surf shop of my friend’s tico (local) boyfriend is on mamma rosa’s property. it is a cage full of surfboards and a table and chairs. that is where the mornings begin.
unlock the cage and wax my board. sometimes my new one, and sometimes a slightly bigger board depending on how my arms are feeling from the day before. smother my face in sunblock, put my backpack in the hotel office, and with surf board in hand, stroll to the beach.
at the end of the path, there are two huts to shelter us from the harsh sun. videographers from the various surf schools sit perched below that trying to capture the epic waves of their students.
early mornings are cool, but still warm. if you can get down to the beach by 6 or 7am, the waves are glassy and the crowds are minimal. it’s just you and the ocean awakening to the day.
but let’s be honest, i’ve only gotten there that early twice in two weeks. most days, i am there around 8 or 9am. i stretch, attach my leg leash, and head out against the crash of the sea.
by then, the rest of nosara has awoken also. there are pods of people bobbing on their boards awaiting the perfect wave. watching the sets roll in from the horizon. i am learning this language. hearing the ocean talk to me with her highs and lows. telling me when it’s time to paddle into position and give it my all. feel the board drop in and angle along her unbroken wave until i lose my balance or meet the white water crashing over my feet.
when you ask a surfer how they know when to paddle or stand up or which way to go, they always tell you to just “feel” it. helpful? not at all for a beginner. they say you need time in the water to establish a relationship with the sea, a connection with your board. and after two weeks among the waves, i can finally see what they mean.
after about an hour or two, my arms start to voice their complaints, and i ride my last wave into the shore. it’s time to go to work.
the italians joke that my office hours are 10-3. i rinse off the board and myself, put everything away, change my clothes, and plug in. there are two tables that have outlets, so i plant myself at the same spot each day. i order a coffee, open my computer, and dig into reality. but i can still taste the salt on my lips and feel the sun’s kiss on my skin.
i could do this forever. maybe.
i sit and work hard. catch up with old clients and new. sample random bits of meals prepared by the italians. make small talk with them about the day, and thank them for their kindness. i am not a guest of their hotel, yet somehow i have become family.
i tell them about the time i went to italy in 7th grade and was so upset when i discovered there was no such thing as fettuccine alfredo. and my confusion when there were two toilets, one that looked like a mini sink. they laugh big laughs like italians do. they make great coworkers.
sometimes i pack a lunch. sometimes i go to the snooty yoga/health-oriented hotel next door and treat myself to a banana nut and cacao smoothie and spring rolls. then with a full belly, i go back to work until my eyes won’t stay open, or i decide to go to yoga.
nosara is full of yoga. there is the nosara yoga institute tucked away at the edge of town, and there are endless other classes offered at hotels on the main strip. i am trying them all on for size. after a day of surfing and working, i usually only find enough energy to track down a restorative or gentle class. it is blissful.
on days when i don’t surf, i head to the institute for some more vigorous vinyasa flow. although, if i don’t manage to hitch a ride, the 3km hike to the studio sometimes leaves me wishing the teacher would change her mind and lead a yin class instead.
then come the evenings. the sun sets around 6pm and fills up the sky with oranges and purples and pinks and blues. the ocean mirrors the sky, and the horizon disappears if you let it.
some nights i let it engulf me and just head home, up the hill, and sink into slumber. some nights we go out dancing or gather for dinner or cheer on the local soccer team or go fishing or maybe swimming. pura vida. no matter what happens, my bed always feels welcoming when i crawl under the bright orange sheets at the end of the day. it seems to know that i need to rest for tomorrow.
for tomorrow will be just like today.