DOMINICAL

Dominical is a lazy beach town dozing on pristine tropical sands along the Costa Rican pacific. It's main and probably only draw is it's world class beach breaks, however as ever, we arrived as a bad patch of swell hit and the waves weren't really working properly. Still it's a nice place to do nothing and kick back in a hammock, drink beers in the pool or splash about in the warm waves which is exactly what we did.

Our home for the next few days was Cool Vibes Hostel. I know, cringeworthy name but actually a really nice place. It occupies a nice big building set round a leafy courtyard and little pool a stones throw away from the sea. As this is H's last stop for this part of the trip we wanted a bit of nice.

It was mango season and rather than the streets being paved with gold (or paved at all for that matter), they were paved in mango's, giving the town a slightly sweet, slightly rotten smell. On the bright side they were nicer to step in than dog shit, although considerably slippier. As we walked the gravel road parallel to the beach, giant lizards would rustle about in the long grass and dead palm leaves.

At the edge of town is a big market of souvenirs. Generally towels, bracelets and giant wooden penis shaped bottle openers. Whilst admiring the penises we were pounced on by a energetic American coconut oil and peanut butter maker. He was the most enthusiastic man I have ever met about nuts, or he was just nuts, I couldn't call it.

As I am spending a little longer out here than H (she is returning home to see her prodigal sister returning from Aus), it seemed like a good idea to buy a surfboard. After checking a few places I bought a second hand stick from Federico. He introduced me to Wooster, a strapping 6"1 thruster complete with leash, fins, bag and wax for $200. Now I just need to not break my new friend and sell him in a couple of weeks up the coast (Doesn't sound like the best friendship does it). Let's see if I can do better than we did with Vanwell in Australia. We went back one night to hang out at Frederico's place and get the low down on many of the Costa Rican surf spots and shoot some pool.

As luck would have it my old uni mate Will is out here with his girlfriend Lar, girlfriend's sister Abi and her fella Cam. They have been working their way down the coast and Dominical seemed like a good place where we would cross paths. 

Mid afternoon Will and co. drove through town in a shiny 4x4 and luckily found us on our way to buy beers. We chilled on the beach for a while catching up then we went for an evening surf. The waves were still rubbish big close-outs but it was nice to surf with an old friend.

We all ate together at Phat Noodle which became a bit of a favourite spot of ours over the next few days.

Other good places to eat: Cafe Mono Congo for really good vegetarian food and Pescado Loco for amazing shrimp tacos. 

Will and the gang were staying out of town, but we did manage to squeeze in a surf most mornings and evenings. On their last day before heading south to a famous surf break called Pavones, we hiked with them to Nauyaca waterfall. It was a hot 4km hike to the falls but the fresh water shower that greeted us was amazing. 

They headed off in the afternoon and I arranged to catch up with them a day or so later. Me and H spent our last evening and day just lazing about on the beach, eating Thai food at Phat Noodle and drinking beers. It was a nice holiday from our holiday. 

The following afternoon H left on the 13:30 to San Jose, ready to catch her flight the following morning. It was hard saying good bye for a month, partly because that's a long time to be apart after spending everyday together for the last seven months, but also because we wondered if this was the end of Hills & Waves. For the next month it will just be Waves. Of course it's not the end, we just need to work out what's next!

I waved H off and straight away went for a surf to take my mind off it. Nature seemed to be on my side and for the first time in three days, fast overhead surfable waves started peeling across the beach a little better rather than just massive unmakable drops and close-outs which we had been working with. 

In the afternoon I packed up and tried to work out how to get down to Pavones. It looks like I need to take three busses and leave Dominical at 4:45am... Ouch!