Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mal Pais: Beach, Surfing, and Dirt Biking - Oh Yeah!

We took a four day trip to Mal Pais and it was sooo much fun. The trip to the area was precarious. We rented a four wheel drive, and needed it. We drove two hours to Puntarenas the port town and caught a ferry across the bay. Drove a hour and a half on bumpy paved road and than hit serious dirt roads. It just rained (it always just rained during the rainy season) so the mud holes where the size of houses. I felt like I was a rally car racer taking the four wheeler through the mud and sliding it around the corner. Adam's mom Charlotte was in the back and seriously scared. You're not having fun unless your a little bit scared! I'm not sure why Adam kept telling me the bumps were easier to take if you go faster, he knows I WILL go faster!

So we make it to Mal Pais and after looking at a a few hotels we settle on Hotel Casa Azul. Casa Azul was right on the beach, most hotels weren't. The caretaker was really friendly and relaxed and we would recommend this hotel. It's close to a few restaurants and shops. Most of Mal Pais or Santa Theresa is just strung along a road that parallels the beach, with most hotels on the non-beach side of the road.

The first full day we played in the water and went beach combing. The second day I rented a surf board for about $8 dollars and Adam and Charlotte went and found some tide pools. Luckily there are no pictures of me surfing, that would have amounted to a lot of crash pictures, but I did manage to stand up a couple of times. Overall though, the ocean just worked me like a wet cat in a washing machine. I was exhausted and grateful to go have dinner at Mary's for some fresh seafood.

The second day we went to Montezuma. Out past Montezuma is an island that is only accessible at low tides and this is where a cemetery is located. Kind of eerie in a Tim Burton kind of way, very isolated. We walked out to it, paid our respect, and collected huge shells on the way back. I would recommend that little trip if you are in the area, it's pretty interesting.

Later we went and had lunch in Montezuma. Montezuma is a beach town with a lot of hippies, drugs, and mom and pop tourists. Luckily we had found some home made ice cream that was delicious. I'm not sure if I would recommend Montezuma. It's OK for some people, but not Adam and I. Adam got offered coke and weed on his way to the bathroom.

That evening we returned to Mal Pais were we found that the next door neighbors were the host of the evening party. It was a dj party were you could hear the base a few hundred meters away. I'm told that Mal Pais has a party every night, except at a different bar. Our friends who were staying at the Mal Pais surf camp where the party was the night before clued us in on these party tidbits. Apparently two hundred tourists/surfers show up with a few local dealers and likely a few other scammers. Definitely not our scene but this is what we heard, thought you'd like to know.

The next day we were scheduled to return home to get Charlotte on her flight back to PDX. But before that we rented some dirt bikes and went on a two hour ride up the coast and than up into the mountains. It was some pretty intense riding for me because I have never been on a dirt bike, only street bikes. Adam told me the terrain was a challenge for him and he knows dirt biking. The hills were insanely steep with a lot of different sized gravel. The holes in the road were huge, muddy, and you couldn't see the bottom. But, we got to some isolated beaches that you just can't get to without a dirt bike, it was amazing. I can't wait to rent a dirt bike again.

Here's a link to the rest of the trips pictures.

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