After rattling south from Dominical via four busses starting at 4:45am, I arrived in a sleepy village called Pavones round midday. It's a hot dusty place on a little peninsula pretty much at the end of the road. (If you can even call it a road). Most buildings are fairly basic with palm roofs surrounded by jungle which takes over any available space, often running right down to the ocean. The southern side of the headland belongs to Panama and the boarder runs through the middle of the peninsula.
Pavones is home to Costa Rica's longest and probably best left breaking wave, it's also home to us, for the next few days at least. Through a family connection Will's girlfriend Lar had managed to score an awesome house surrounded by coconut palms just out of town. It was previously owned by A C Weisbecker the author and surfer behind "In Search of Captain Zero' and 'Cosmic Banditos'. I had never heard of him or his books, however luckily Cam had a copy of Cosmic Banditos which he lent me to learn a bit more about the guy. Its shaping up to be a crazy drug and alcohol fuelled adventure across Central America. Kind of like my trip, if you replace drugs and alcohol with coffee and pastries.
The house was surrounded by a tranquil tropical garden, had a nice terrace and balcony, plus lots of twisted unusual shaped woodwork for the banisters and a grand staircase that although looked nice was a nightmare to walk on.
The garden was full of coconut trees which every now and then Will and Cam felt needed harvesting for coconut smoothies.
Will had been put in touch with a local expat surfer called Les, a total legend who is still shredding on a shortboard into his sixties, a fact he is very proud of as most silver surfers sell up their quiver of short boards and retire to a nice longboard in the country. He shared his knowledge of the local breaks resulting in us surfing a perfect uncrowded wave each dawn and dusk whilst the famous point in the village would have been super crowded. I did have one evening session on the famous point break at Pavones just to tick it off the list. It wasn't classic Pavones by any means but still counts ! Been there, done that, got the tshirt. Literally.
Les has a small surf brand called Latin Attitude he is trying to get off the ground and promote, whilst at the same time he proudly declares it's the smallest surf brand in the world and wants to keep it that way. I'm not sure where this leaves his business plan. You can check it out HERE.
Most days followed the same pattern Will, Les, Cam and I would surf Les's quiet point break each morning and evening, then in the day we would pile in to Monte our 4X4 and visit other perfect beaches and have a beer or two. It was a very nice existence for a few days, or 14 years if you are Les and replace beer with large vodkas.
Usually when the waves are good no one wants to be camera man. However we did take out the go pro on the smallest day. Even though the waves were only about chest high they just kept going and going along the point. Here is a clip of Big Will working his way along one.
Zancudo beach is at the end of a long strip of land inside Golfito. It's empty, calm and beautiful. Up the beach is a chilled little cafe called Sol y Mar (Sun and Sea) great if you fancy cold beer, calamari and a hammock.
Just out of town is a little family run cerviche restaurant. I'm not sure if it was actually a restaurant or just friends of Les's, either way he said we should drop by the day before and order in advance so they can go fishing. It was probably the best bowl of cerviche I've eaten with crispy fried plantains on the side. We sat right by the waters edge and watched the world go by. Lizards darted about in the undergrowth, bright coloured birds flitted about in the trees and a baby paroquette landed on Vera's arm and was hand fed mushy banana.
The best session was at sunrise on the second to last day. Head high waves were peeling for over a hundred meters down the rocky point. Macaws squawked over head, howler monkeys guttural growls rumbled through the jungle and turtles kept popping up for a look. There was only five folk out including us and there was little to no wind. In a coco-nutshell it was perfect.
That evening the conditions were pretty much the same except this time it was just me and Will.
After three days of good waves, good food, and good company it was time for the guys to head back to the motherland. We had a final surf with Les who offered to put me intouch with some other helpful folk up the coast. As we drove away from the beach for the final time Les shouted to us,