Kiteboarding and the wilder side of Costa Rica at the Nicaraguan border
Every year in February my husband and son head to the very North West corner of Costa Rica to go kite boarding at Playa Copal. There is a kiting spot in Baja Salinas where the bay is wide, the wind howls, there is a kiting instructor (Bob) on the beach to help with equipment challenges and so a handful of kiteboarding addicts litter the beaches with every size of kite and every style of board.
Not wanting to be left behind again, this year I went with them and, with a few other kiting friends, we rented a house with internet (but no cell coverage) so I could work part time from Costa Rica but hang out with them in the evening.
Wanting to keep up with my swimming every day, I found a cove to swim across and get my mile in - until the day I misjudged the pull of the tide and had trouble getting back in. Sebastian asked me what I would have done if I had not been able to get back - I told him I would have had a Mai Tai in Tahiti!
Every evening our rag tag band met up at the top of our hill to celebrate the sunset. Recreo is a collection of houses on a hill up a winding dirt road that advertises a "Mountaintop Cantina" on the sign at the bottom.
So the first day I went looking for some semblance of civilization and, thinking there might be a bar at the top, took a golf cart up to explore. The joke was on me. What is at the top is two high wooden cocktail tables and 6 stools. Nothing else except wind. But it is an invitation to sit, drink and contemplate the beauty, which is exactly what we did every evening. And then, once the sun went down, we rolled down the hill and drove the half mile of dirt road to go to "Bob's" for dinner. I think I had fried fish, beans and rice every day.
One day mid week everyone took a break from kiting and we headed down the Pan American Highway (that's the big road: one lane each direction, lots of trucks, people and dogs, only one traffic light in the Guanacoste province) to explore the Monte Verde rain forest. Little did we know it was going to take us 4 hours each way, 2 of which were on brutal dirt roads. Climbing up to the continental divide, winding though steep river canyons until we found the bustling touristy town at the mouth of Monte Verde - and ice cream. The beauty is extraordinary and so it was worth it, but next time I'll stay a few days there.
My boys were of course chasing adrenalin and zip lining on the longest zip line in the world - 1km long and 500 feet up. I had to choose between that and trying out my new camera with one of our friends - who also had a new camera to play with - and just this once the cameras won but next time I want to zip.
And several days later, on our way to the airport, Bret, Sebastian and I decided to get wet on the Upper Rio Tenorio. We drove South and met up with our guides at the Rincon Corobici Restaurant in Canas. More dirt roads to get to the head of the section of the river we were rafting, the requisite safety briefing, and then it was white knuckles interspersed with monkeys, toucans, butterflies and glorious flora and fauna for two and a half hours.