Hard at hammock-work
Originally uploaded by apes_abroad.

Our last week in Playa Samara has gone by too quickly, spent in the hammock and in the ocean, and working on our games. Colin cracked one of his ribs the day after my last post, so unfortunately (for Colin anyway, who is very upset about this) surfing has been cancelled until further notice. We’ve still been out in the water several times a day and Colin’s discovered he now has incredible skill at body surfing despite the very painful rib.

Colin has totally fallen in love with Samara and almost convinced me to stay at Casa Coba for another month instead of moving on to the house we’ve already rented in Playa Tambor. I guess it was the rib that changed his mind; that’s going to take awhile to heal and Samara’s main appeal for him is the surfing. But don’t get me wrong, I love the place too for different reasons. The beach is 5km of nice soft sand and gentle slope, fabulous just for walking or swimming. There’s a reef you can snorkel around, lots of trees and nature nearby. The town is the perfect size, small but big enough to have a pharmacy, hardware store, bank and chain grocery. It’s a tourist town, but pretty quiet except on the weekends, and this is the busiest time of year. There are a couple bars that have live music but it is a chill scene and most nights the town seems to fall asleep by 9:00 (we do, anyway). Mostly foreign tourists come to surf and attend the language school, and on weekends Ticos bring their families to camp or stay in their summer houses.

We took a long walk today and looked at those summer houses, which line the beach and for the most part look abandoned, and with luck available to rent. We’re already doing research for our next visit back. Colin really, really enjoys surfing, and from what I can guess he’d happily surf every day for the rest of his life, so this is our new travel priority. I… well… you can stop saying “you’ll never know until you try it” now.

When we return, I’m looking forward to taking one of the gruelling courses at the local Spanish school, because I haven’t been too successful learning on my own. I can read Spanish pretty reliably which seems like magic since I’ve never tried to do it before. It’s because a lot of the vocabulary resembles French so it’s easy to recognize and piece things together from context. Linguistics is fun! But speaking is a different matter – I’m so shy!

An example: We shop at a bakery with a seating area, and every time they ask us if we want our empanadas to go, which is “para llevar”. Kind of like “par lever” in French, right? Well I know that’s what they’re saying and it should sound something like “yeh-var”, but that’s not what I hear, and I can’t repeat it the way they pronounce it. So I kind of mumble and give the thumb-out-the-door gesture, which unfortunately doesn’t work because the seating area is that way too. Every time! Anyway, I think proper motivation is in order: eight hours a day in a classroom where they refuse to talk to you in anything but Spanish.

Tomorrow is our last day here and it will be a snorkelling day, albeit a lightweight one for the sake of sore ribs. Then it’s off to the great unknown of Playa Tambor, which I hope we enjoy too although I know for Colin it will be hard to compare to Samara.


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