June 2012, the south Pacific lights up during June, July & August giving us overhead waves almost everyday.
As we approach the end of the dry season here in Nosara, everyone can’t wait for the rain to start. Although the surf has been all time, the jungle is dry and dusty and the wells are getting low. The Surf Simply Resort has back up water tanks for when the main water gets turned off but even so, we can’t wait to see the jungle spring back to life as the consistent annual south swells start to roll in over June, July and August.
June, 2012, Surf Simply Resort manager Daniela walks down for a surf through the thick green jungle as the Surf Simply guests and coaches unload their boards ready for the morning session.
Over the last 3 years June, July and August have actually been our busiest time of year. Some people are surprised that we are busier in the green season (May-Nov) than we are in the dry season (Dec-Apr) but actually it makes a lot of sense. Of course rain makes no difference once you’re out surfing because you’re wet anyway and during June, July and August overhead surf is the norm rather than an occasional treat (as you can see by looking at the historic surf data on Playa Guiones on MagicSeasweed). In fact Outside Magazine chose to come down here and do this story on us during August.
July 2012, stepping out from the thick jungle canopy onto the beach on a typical July morning in Nosara.
We typically have sunny mornings with glassy surf followed by just an hour or two of rain in the early afternoon. Actually the rain can have the effect of cooling the land as well, meaning that the midday winds often drop giving us glassy surf again in the afternoon. The term wet season is really just comparative because we have no rain at all from December until May.
Above, July 27th and below, July 13th the head high surf is also punctuated by smaller fun sized days for trying new turns or just messing around in.
Once or twice a year we have a week long low pressure system which covers the whole of Central America and it can rain everyday. As a rule however we have less rain at this time of year than most northern hemisphere countries do during their summer months. You might like to have a look back at our weekly photo albums on Facebook from any given week to give you an idea of what the surf is like.
August 14th 2012, a humpback whale breaches the surface during our morning coaching session.
We tend to get booked up several months in advance and at the moment we’re full until June 15th. We close on August 30th as we’re heading to France and then Dubai to run two surf coaching projects in the fall. We do still have spaces here at our resort in Costa Rica for most weeks between June 15th and August 30th.
So apparently some people go on vacation and do things other than surf. Personally I visited a few of the world’s wonders and I do find them amazing, sometimes for as long as an hour or two, but then in my opinion, it’s nice to get in the ocean.
As a result of this slightly blinkered surf centric approach to travel, I’m sure I’ve missed out on a few things which you might not want to. So if the idea of seeing a bit more of Costa Rica does appeal to you then I would suggest getting in touch with Matteo and Meranda at Out Of Bounds in San Jose.
Left: the hot springs at La Fortuna, right: Out Of Bounds B&B in San Jose.
Our door sports enthusiast and San Jose local, Matteo and his lovely Canadian wife, Meranda have not only set up a charming and homely little B&B in the nice part of San Jose, but they will also arrange tours for you to the cloud forest, the volcano and the hot springs of La Fortuna, among other things. So drop them a line if you fancy adding on a few days to your next trip to Costa Rica and seeing a bit more of what makes Costa Rica such an awesome place to visit.
Left: the could forest at Monte Verde, right: the volcano at Arenales.
One of the best things about living here is that Playa Guiones is a few houses surrounded by jungle rather than a few trees surrounded by buildings. So we get a lot of cool stuff sneaking around the place looking for food or just hanging out. Harry bought a guide to Costa Rica’s wildlife and while I we haven’t seen most of the thousands of types of animals which live in the jungle here, there are a few which you see on a regular basis. So here’s our guide to the wild things at the Surf Simply resort. (We threw a dummy one in here too just to catch you out.)
These cute, squeaking snifflers are called Pezotes (left). They look kind of like an ant eater and are about the size of a small dog. You see them almost everyday as they rumage around for food. They often cross the road in height order which is pretty comical and makes them look like something out of a disney cartoon.
Armadillos (center) often come out in the evening to have a snuffle around and see what’s going on. It really is a miracle that these animals have survived the centuries. They are staggeringly unobservant. You can see one go home, get a flash light, come back sit down next to it, watch it eat for 5 minutes then suddenly it’s ears will twitch as if it may have detected your presence, finally.
We’ve seen less than half a dozen Boas (right) in all the years we’ve lived here. On one occasion, we saw a baby boa hanging out on the patio as we welcomed in one of our guests. Normally people rapidly back away when they see snakes in the wild but not this guy. He picked up the snake and it coiled around his hand while he cooly and calmly got his camera out with the other.
The Racoons are disconcertingly confident sons of biscuits with irritatingly useful opposable thumbs. They visit our outdoor kitchen almost every night. I’ve got to hand it to them, they are pretty smart and team up to open cupboards, doors and jars. No morsel of food is safe. Sometimes they like to eat the left overs and sometimes they like to just spread the food around the kitchen as a kind of performance piece.
The Howler Monkeys (centre), everybody loves these guys. You don’t see them everyday but they usually put in an appearance about once a week. They sound like a lion and can scare the bejeepers out of you if you don’t know what they are when you hear them roar. They seem to have defied Darwin’s best theory by evolving low hanging bright white testicles which seem less than ideal for an animal that spends so much time swinging through trees.
The BBC’s Blue Planet series famously filmed the Ridley Turtles (right) laying their eggs on the next beach north of Nosara. Every now and again, we see them here in front of the resort. They tend to lay their eggs on a half moon so that the big tides don’t wash away the sand which protects their eggs.
The Green Iguana (left) is the iconic Costa Rican animal. You see them around a lot and they get pretty big, up to about 4ft long. They’re just one of the thousands of different types of lizards you’ll see though. The lizards are all basically the good guys. They eat creepy crawlies and insects and generally mind there own business although a big one did get into the pool with Ru once and he got out pretty fast.
It’s pretty cool seeing a Humming Bird (centre) anywhere but especially cool when it’s during breakfast and accompanied by a butterfly about twice as big as it is.
The Moishe Plush (right) is absolutely terrifying (despite being entirely fictitious) what with the gnashing of it’s terrible teeth and the stamping of it’s terrible feet.
Ru & Gem saw a Jaguar (left) once run across the road in front of the Surf Simply resort. A few days later it came flying through the trees chasing something which probably didn’t stand a chance. Sadly there aren’t many of these beautiful animals around any more.
Our friend Jake reckons that the Black Vultures, which regularly circle over head, are the most evolved creatures alive because they never need to make any noise and enjoy eating anything. Interesting criteria for a perfect being, well Ru’s half way there.
Last but not least the crazy little orange and purple Land Crabs which scuffle through the jungle. It’s hilarious watching these little fellows having a stand off with a dog (which seems to happen a lot). The dog towers over the tiny little crab cheerfully terrifying it while the crab lifts up one disproportionately large (but still relatively tiny) claw as if it knows some ninja moves which the dog is about to unwittingly fall victim to. The dog barks then wanders off distracted by something more interesting. The crab remains unflinchingly triumphant, safe in the believe that it has some kind of control over all the things the world is likely to throw at it. There’s probably a bit of land crab in all of us.