“I think I know why this is the road less taken, it’s because there’s a boat!” Kyler says four hours into our dirt road drive South to Santa Teresa.
The road between Tamarindo and Malpais/Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula does not get much traffic, the reason is partly that the road is really bad, and partly that there’s a ferry from mainland Coasta Rica to the South of the peninsula. S.M.R.T! Googlemaps told us the drive was 203 km and supposed to take three hours. Six hours later we were there. You would think there would be a road along the coast. There is not. Especially not one for our van, Honey.
The dirt road was bumpy and very hilly. It went up-up-up-up-up-sharp turn-steep down-steep down-steep down-and a massive pothole, repeat! Every now and then there would be a short strech of pavement giving us the hope that the road was finally better. Then around the next corner, back to dirt. As the designated shotgun I could look around, enjoy the stunning views and wave back the smily Ticos (Costa Ricans.) Kyler-the-driver managed to stay focused on the bumpy, pot-holed road despite the many fantastic distractions. Every now and then we stopped to take it in, give Honey a well deserved break and snap some photos.
We found a great camp spot a lovely 50 meter walk from to the beach. Malpais and Santa Teresa are both on one long strech of dirt road about two hundred meters away from the beach. Lots of foreign investment has lead to the opening of cafes, restaurants, galleries, surf shops, hotels and resorts. We were happy to find a spot to camp for a bargained $12 a night. It was part of a property renting out cabins to tourists. It is still fairly quiet, but as the rainy season has just ended, the tourist season is just about to set in. Around us were resident chicken and dogs living in harmony. We enjoyed camping, cooking and taking it easy.
The coastline is absolutely stunning and wild. Kyler got out to surf and I went for barefoot runs along the beach. I managed to snap a few shots of Kyler shralping the gnar. He said it was fun, but a bit choppy. He has been spoiled by El Salvadorian point breaks lately!
Winter seems a long, long, long ways away!