Robert Parker in Bali

Robert Parker in Bali
blog contributor Robert Parker Surfing Bali

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 7 - I Heart Guiones

Day 7

            John makes the daily "Best Of" shots posted online on this beautiful Guiones wave

I'm all for pushing on early to Tamarindo if this place is just too hard for me to surf combined with the general sense of grumpiness I have about the digs, the beach.  Hurumph!  But John says let's give it a chance and see if we can figure out why this is a legendary place. We are up late- after 7 am- because there's no sun in our room- and it takes us a bit to get it together for the beach as we decide to have coffee first (the one free cup each). We meet Matt and Ben at the restaurant bar and they give us the lowdown on the surf, the food, the place.  We just nod politely when they enthusiastically ask if we love this place.  Nope.  Not when John woke me up every hour on the hour from his discomfit on the thin mattressed, too small double bed.  But we won't verbalize this because that's just not right to rain on someone else's parade.  Now people here on Surfers Over 50: these guys are mid 20's-early 30's, living a nomad life of state side work as little as possible to save enough to run around the world and surf.  So they are cool with their $13 a night hostel room at this hotel, sleeping with 3 or 4 other nomads and sharing a bathroom.  And that's amazing and my mindset was there too.  A quarter of a century ago. 

Down to the beach, which does have parking right to the sand and is OK safe, but amazing that a bad night's sleep still hasn't made this place as pretty as Santa Teresa. Obviously Still Grumpy!  But... the waves are awesome!  John settles me in on the secondary swell and makes sure the 7'6" is good. It is and I'm happy so he paddles out. We both are loving these waves and John is surfing double overheads while I'm catching foamers from the same waves along with some small shoulders in the second break.  We surf for over 2 hard hours and then go to pack up, eat and find some new digs, because we get why surfers want to be here after all.

We breakfast at KayaSol with our car loaded ready to go and chat with some very fun surfers again.  I freely tell them we are in search of a bed John can sleep in.  We must seem like softies to these travelers who are bunking together at $13 a night. We will go to the B and B but first John wants to check out a hotel just a bit up the road that leads to the beach- Giardino Tropicale ....though I'm sure it will be either ratty or too expensive- my opinion of Nosara lodging thus far.  But NO!  It's just filled with beautiful gardens with markers telling what type of plant or tree it is, a salt water pool (because chlorine is bad for the skin and the environment as it dissipates into the air), and very cool, eclectic architecture in different price ranges.  We choose a room on the ground level with the boards to consider.  It has a frig, digital safe, coffee in room,  comfy double bed + a single bed, a desk, our own private patio with hammock, table and chairs and laundry line.  And the patio by the pool?  Wonderful coffee ALL DAY LONG from this really cushy expensive Italian machine and milk handy in a small cooler.  Super cool dogs and a cat are here for getting some fur fixes.  Filtered water and ice also an easy grab.  There's a family of monkeys cruising around the mango trees plus huge iguanas hanging out around the pool and on the roofs. The place is the most environmentally conscious thus far in a country that has bragging rights on being eco-friendly.  And it's $75 a night with air conditioning.  Cash! Bring cash!  No merchants here like the charges they have to pay on credit cards and they will pass savings on to you if you don't use plastic.

John is thrilled to have had the photographer who shoots all morning long as a courtesy for Surfing Nosara, (real estate, rental agency, etc. smart marketing!), tell him he got some great shots and come by and see them in the office between 1-4 PM.  And John on a beautiful left double overhead makes the daily web page, which of course quickly gets sent out on Facebook and email for all Florida surfers to salivate over.  (did I mention that the WiFi at the hotel is amazing and works over the entire campus? ) We drop into the Surfing Nosara offices and after finding a CD-R for $2 at the Frog Pad (DVD rentals, some CD's and used paper back book store), we get all 36 of his images loaded.  Free. 

Here's the whole sequence of the "cover shot" wave, courtesy of the photographer:

*Travel tip if you're headed to Guiones. The guys at Surfing Nosara take these pics and post the best shots online everyday, but they also shoot hundreds of pics that don't make it online, but are available for you.  Since they'll give you all the images for free, bring a USB stick.  You will NOT find one here for sale. We lucked out finding a DVD - and one that worked at that. This is an unbelievable courtesy these guys do for surfers but like I said- "smart marketing" and it gets you in the door of their real estate office which is slick and clean and full of surf boards and tanned, handsome, surfing agents.

Afternoon session.  John chooses the beach area closer to the point that separates Guiones from Playa Pelata and it is huge and scary again, like yesterday affternoon, but of course, he's amazing and all the locals and other good traveling surfers give him the "nod" of approval.  We dine at the patio pool of our hotel with one other couple and the owners, Marcel (Swiss) and Miriam (Columbian). John gets an actual draft beer here and Miriam recommends the carpaccio.   
We also order one special Frutta Di Mare pasta plate to split and Miriam nods in approval that the portions are huge and it's a wise choice.  The carpaccio is the BEST I've ever had, served with avocado and tomato and tons of olive oil.  And the pasta is full of clams, shrimp and mussels.  We sleep happy tonight even though it's only a double bed.  It's not the size of the bed I think- it's the general feeling of security and rightness that aids sleep.  Plus a great day of surf.

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