Early session at Hermosa- we really like this beach and decide when we return, we will find a place with a kitchen at this end for a longer and more economical stay. We pack up and have continental breakfast at the hotel with the girls and exchange info! Love making new friends. They take a cab (!) all the way to the airstrip in Tambor and we pack up to hit the same road. We opt for the Tambor- Nicoya- drop down into Samara route as some of it promises to be paved. Unfortunately the first 1 1/2 hours is not and it's pretty awful! we finally hit some paved road from Tambor to Nicoya, but of course as soon as we exit Nicoya, it's nasty again. We miss the turn to Samara and our GPS (I'm sayin' that girl is equally confused in CR) takes us down an alternate path that makes us ford a river. We watch a lesser car take it on with no hassle and it's cool for us too. John seems a little happy to be able to report later that we had to cross a river. The road is awful- everything you've ever heard about driving in Costa Rica. It's 15 to 20 miles an hour max and it feels as if we will never get there! When we do arrive, we don't drive down to Guiones but venture on to the sleepy town of Nosara. There's not much there and we decide to stop at a large grocery store, get some stuff and ask about lodging and surfing. No problem finding people who speak English AND surf and we are told we need to go back to Guiones. Guiones is odd- it has a small section of fairly modern offices, shops and restaurants in a very close area at the top of town, and then surf shops, cabins, rental houses, hostels and hotels are spaced out in a couple of mile range. We rent me a NPS 7'6" at Nosara Surf Shop from a fairly unfriendly local who really thinks I need the 8' but John insists on the shorter NSP. $500 deposit here on the credit card here too, but $10 per day and again like a rental car- 24 hr. from time of deposit.
We decided to wing it without reservations here so we need to find a place to stay. We try to find this B and B we saw on travel forums but it's way up on a hill and we have had enough of that stuff! We want to be by the beach so we settle for Kaysol Surf Hotel, which was actually recommended, at $60 for a private room with private bathroom. And that's exactly ALL you get. It is without a doubt the saddest room I've stayed in ever, including cross country Motel 6's that allow dogs and the many college dorm digs I've been assigned as a workshop artist. One double bed with sheets a little too crisp. One futon couch that defies sitting on with it's curious slope. One poster on the wall of Telluride, Colorado skiing (?), 2 little travel bars of soap and 2 towels that I'd retire to the paint bin. Oh and please don't take them to the beach, the info sheet on the door says? And did we tell you the WiFi doesn't work? First cup of coffee in the morning is free and then every cup after costs. 10% off breakfast. Heavy bars on the window complete the penitentiary look and no light gets in at all. Refrigerator is the sole luxury. John says to go get the second night money back because one night is all he can do here. Period! Nosara even comes with that occasional whiff of fermented fruit and a little poop smell.
We drive down to the surf beach and even this disappoints. It's got scrubby brush and rougher sand, just paling in aesthetics next to the incredible tropical beauty of Playa Hermosa and Santa Teresa. John does a late afternoon session at Playa Guiones that is decent, but way too rough for me. Dinner by a pool, which harkens images of the Creature of the Black Lagoon, but the food is actually really good here and we eat fish with an artichoke sauce and a small quinoa salad (which will no doubt be the cause of John's next day revenge). And wait for it.... Everywhere in restaurants there's 13% tax and an additional 10% service charge that is not considered a tip. Hmmmmm.... So your meal is almost 25% more than the listed price. I've got a driving headache that requires Advil and my first sleeping pill to conquer.
P.S. Now I sound like I'm hatin' on Guiones so I'm posting Day 7 immediately because the next day changed the whole ballgame in this AMAZING PLACE!