Archive for October, 2017

Nicaragua Border Run

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Yesterday I renewed my 90 day travel visa to Costa Rica by entering and leaving Nicaragua. I drove about 2.5 hours to the border. While there, there were tons of people spreading disinfo to tourists saying they have to stay in Nicaragua for a few hours or even possible for a few days in order to be able to get a new visa. They try to offer safety in exchange for money.

I offered a tour guide $20 to walk me through the process on the stipulation I pay him once my visa was renewed.

There are four main steps:

1 Leave Costa Rica

Pay $7 to get an exit tax ticket, then go to official looking place to get a stamp.

2 Enter Nicaragua

Pay $1-3 for some small ticket. Then talk to an official, and TELL THEM THE TRUTH that you are only there to renew your visa when they ask the purpose of your visit. Then pay them $12.

3 Leave Nicaragua

Pay $2 fee.

4 Enter Costa Rica

Free, just show either a bus or plane ticket (picture on phone is okay) that leaves from Costa Rica within 90 days.

Kind of a pain in the ass.

Pico Grande Tamarindo Idea

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

There's a rock that sticks up particularly high but it still under water 2 hours before and 2 hours after high tide.1 It'd be sick if someone could stand on it when it is just under water so it looked like they were floating and then catch the re-break using their surfboard like a skimboard. I would call the move the Jesus Drop In.

  1. Usually, I really have to learn about the sea level shit. []

Five Bold Stars Magic Seaweed Surf Day

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Today October 7, 2017 was one of the first times I've seen five bold stars on magicseaweed.com (now apparently purchased by surfline.com) Guanacaste recently had a storm causing waves as big as 4 meters. While the biggest days were met with violent on shore gale winds, wrecking the shape of all of the waves, today was met with beautiful 2 meter waves with a very low offshore wind.

I have been suffering from serious mid back pain, so I was unsure whether or not to go out despite hoping out of bed excitingly when I saw magicseaweed's prediction for the day. I hopped in my pool and swam a few laps and while I could notice a slight tension in the middle part of the left side of my back, the pain was not too severe so I decided I might go out. A few minutes later, after I was texting one of my friends here about the potential of going out today, the power cut off again. Frustrated from dealing with power outages, I decided to say fuck it and hit the waves immediately despite my pain.

When I got to the beach I was a little worried. The water was still a muddy color from the storm, with lots of debris caused from the estuary run off all over the beach. On top of that the waves seemed to be heading in many different directions and there were not very many people out.

However as I started to paddle in I realized that today was to be no ordinary day. The Tamarindo beach was not behaving in its normal manner, the storm has possibly caused some permanent disturbance to the estuary and the resulting sand bar that might change the way the waves behave for a while. What was different about today was there was a strong current pulling you directly out to sea. There was an older man stuck out by the current who was struggling to get back inside. A few of us waved at him and he gave us the thumbs up, and he was already with someone young and fit. He knew how to handle the situation and was conserving his energy intelligently instead of fighting the current head on to get back inside.

I got out to the break and the only other person out there (besides the older man and his friend caught by the current)was this beautiful young woman with a gorgeous accent. She reminded me to watch out for crocodiles, citing that it was the mating season and thus the males would be more aggressive.

As I sat on my board paddling against the current to stay in place, I realized that my mid back pain was being caused by the motion of arching my back on the surf board and paddling. This was a major inconvenience. The pain started to get worse and given the rather large waves I was worried what would happen if I were to fall and be tumbled violently in the massive white water.

But the waves, despite being big, were beautiful slow moving gentle perfectly predictable A frames. I caught my first one after about 15 minutes and as I stood up all my pain in my back was relieved as I felt the wonderful sensation of rushing down the face of the wave. I was able to paddle back out very easily because the current was pulling me out to sea anyways.

What followed was a stream of waves continuously growing in size. They were friendly giants, but to catch them you had to paddle when they looked "absolutely menacing." I had seen waves like this once before further south down the coast in Playa Guiones. After each wave the paddle out started to hurt more and more. Soon I found myself in extreme pain just lying on my board with my head up.

I started to worry more and more what the consequence of a rough fall would be. I knew that it was against my better judgement to stay out, but I'm not sure I've ever surfed a day more fun than this so I couldn't bring myself to get out of the water.

Word by now had gotten out about this legendary day, and my spot went from me and the beautiful woman to quickly ~20 surfers. The A frames were appearing all over the beach, so despite the crowd it felt like there was plenty of room to surf.

Then, out of no where, a huge set rolled in. This set was the first of a series of rogue abnormally large sets, and it caught the entire lineup off guard. Three massive waves splattered their white water all over all of us causing the kook heart rate to go up and the tico cheers to come out. The day was firing and shortly after a beautiful wave came to the lineup peaking right in my position.

I paddled for it with one other Tico who politely let me take the wave given my position and I went flying down the face with a high line. As the wave started to close out I used my energy to turn towards shore and curve back up around the white water to get back on the wave in that power pocket right in front of the foam ball.

By this time my back was in searing pain but my confidence was 100% and I saw no reason why I should fall on these waves as they were breaking very gently despite their size, and thus very easy to ride down the face. I caught one or two more waves, but then the pain started to get to a point where it was unmanageable and I knew that the next wave would have to be my last.

As I was waiting out on the water for my next wave, I was nearly in tears. This was one of the best days I've ever seen in my surfing career and it seemed like the waves were getting even better, but I was going to have to come in early because of my injury. I was thankful though for the experience that I got to have, even though it was about to be cut short. I was hurting so badly that I was getting lazy about paddling back into shore and I found myself getting pulled out farther away from the lineup. I feebly crawled to the lineup only to get pulled back out to sea again. I started to worry about what would happen if I got caught in a truly nasty current where my injury would prevent me from paddling in.

And then another rogue set appeared on the horizon. The cheers and whistles began from the lineup, and I was in the perfect position for these rogue waves since I had been too weak to paddle back in. I giggled to myself as I knew that going for this one was a truly fucking stupid idea, but it was an opportunity I could not pass up. My back was wrenching and I had to fight the pain to paddle as fast as I could for this wave that started to block out the sun. As I stood up once again all the pain was relieved and I felt my stomach sink as I went flying down the face all the way before carving out my bottom turn. As I flew down the face at lightning speed I watched another person attempt to catch the wave just slightly later than me and he nose dived into oblivion. After riding along the face for only about three seconds I was about to hit the white water from another peak of this big but misshapen wave. I turned in towards shore and let the thunderous white water carry me all the way to the safety of the beach.

A local person who I had met once before came up to me and told me he saw my last wave, congratulated me, and offered me a smoke.

Storm Nate And Costa Rica Power Problems

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Recently Guanacaste and other parts of Costa Rica were hit by a nasty rainstorm, Storm Nate. This storm truly sucked, it rained for effectively 48 hours straight. When a rainstorm like this occurs, rivers begin to flow all over the country, especially through roads. Mud slides occurred everywhere and bridges were rendered useless. Tamarindo did not get hit too hard, but neighboring towns such as Villa Real suffered massive damage.

An amigo of mine, John, was caught traveling when the rainstorm occurred. He described the roads as parking lots stretching for miles with people walking along side their cars, rendered useless, like some massive religious procession. He showed me videos of him driving in a car he hitch hiked. He was in a tiny little Toyota. You couldn't even see out of his side windows because muddy water was splashing so high. They were driving in such deep water that the water started to seep into the car through the bottom of the door. Their feet were in puddles. John was sick with a cold, and he said he kissed the ground when he finally made it back home to Tamarindo.

I was trapped inside my house for the storm, bored out of my mind. The power was out for ~30 hours, and I had no running water. I was caught naked without my computer charged and 30% on my phone. (Now I'll make sure to keep all my devices topped off with juice in case of any unexpected power outages.)

While the storm did create a nice swell, the wind was blowing onshore too hard on the beach for waves to form. In addition, the water turned to a murky brown color as the storm tossed sand up into the ocean and caused the estuary to drain into the ocean. I spoke to some locals, and I learned that when the water is that brownish color after lots of rain it is filled with bacteria. I recently recovered from an awful bacterial skin infection called impetigo, and the waves were not worth the risk getting sick again.

So for the 30 hours of no rain and water I decided to read and finished Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. While amusing at times, I have to say Cannery Row was probably one of my least favorite Steinbeck's. After finishing Cannery Row, I started reading Gabriel Márquez's 100 Year's of Solitude (in English.) I will try to reread it in Spanish when I'm finished.

After I got bored of reading I went to hang out at the Pura Vida hostel in Tamarindo. One kind Canadian friend of mine, Trevor, sacrificed his laptop power to charge a speaker so we could sit around listening to music. Hanging out at hostels is a must-do for anyone living in Costa Rica or perhaps traveling anywhere. Hostels are almost always 420 friendly and have a great group of young people from all over the world who want to hang out and share stories. We sat around candle light merrily smoking and drinking wine and eating profiteroles made by some other friendly Canadians from Montreal. Later we went out at night to the beach to squint and watch the massive 4 meter waves exploding on the rocks.

Later that night, after I had went to sleep, I got up to use the bathroom. As I was sitting on the toilette facing the revenge of the profiteroles the electricity came back on and I let out a scream of excitement. Sure going 30 hours without electricity or running water brings people closer together, but boy does it fucking suck overall. Amongst the other problems, I lost all the perishables in my fridge.

Here's to living in the age of power, and here's to Costa Rica getting its shit together regarding electricity.

Why This Blog

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Some quick notes on why I decided to create a blog with this style.

Absent the standard NSABook, InstaSpam, Twatter, UnlinkedIn and other antisocial media portfolio of most, I do need some way to tell people what's going on in my life. Ideally this will also be a place where I can let my mind transform its thoughts into bits in the digital realm in the wonderful language of Spanish, but the mental effort required to pursue this goal makes the outcome dubious.

I decided to forgo the effort of making a picturesque website ready baked for a SV-style investor and instead chose to focus on function over form. Hopefully I'll get some pretty nifty features on this website shortly. Already you can hop on over to whaacked.com/logs and see the logs of the chat made in #whaacked on freenode. Go hop on https://webchat.freenode.net/ and start talking and watch the whaackbot make sure your comment gets logged. Wow!1

Instead of using WordPress2or another blogging platform that comes with a mountain of code I don't understand, I decided to build this from scratch using django 1.7. ( 1.7 I think is the first django that came with db migrations... a freaking Godsend) There may be nifty features and improvements in the newer django versions, but I have more experience with the older file layout systems so I don't have any intentions of upgrading and having to learn all this new junk.

  1. No longer a thing []
  2. heh []