I moved on from Arenal after another night of Demo Cuisine in which we got to make our own sushi, lots of fun and delicious. Julie and I parted ways, she was heading to La Cruz and me to Tamarindo, we were lucky enough to get a ride part of the way with two Dutch sisters that were staying at Essence. I stupidly relied on the online bus information and got dropped off at Cañas, only to find there out wasn´t a direct bus to Tamarindo and ended up having to get a bus to Liberia (when I could have had a ride) and then get a second bus to my final destination.
Tamarindo kind of rubbed me up the wrong way initially, on the first morning the woman at the cafe where I had coffee was rude and then there was a drunk (possibly he had just started drinking!) Peruvian loitering around me at 9.30am on the beach who just wouldn´t get the hint that I didn´t want to a) hang out with him, b) have a sundowners with him or c) party with him that night. I was considering moving on but the truth was I just couldn´t be bothered, the people at the hostel were nice and after the second day I started to warm up to the place a little. I met some cool guys, Elliot (aka. Frijole) and Mike (#1) and we hit up Salsa night at an outdoor venue called Voodoo Lounge, I decided I would stay for a couple more days and then head onto Samara. On my last evening there I realised I hadn´t yet watched the sunset and if Santa Teresa was anything to go by I knew it would be spectacular. It didn´t disappoint, the best thing by far about Tamarindo was the sunset...truly natural beauty at its best.
After a late and intoxicating evening much to my horror I woke with a hangover...as many of you know I am not usually cursed with this fate so to wake up on the morning where three public Costa Rican buses were in my immediate future feeling like crap, I was less than impressed! After a bumpy, hot and nauseating ride I made it to the first stop, Santa Cruz, downed two popsicles then settled into leg two, to Nicoya. Feeling better now, mostly just tired, I boarded the third and last bus which would take me to Samara. Or so I thought. Half way the bus breaks down; after a few attempts to start the bus the driver gets off, 10 minutes or so pass the passengers start to get off too. Now, I know I said my Spanish was improving and it is but not so much that I was able to understand what the driver and other passengers were saying, I was lucky to catch every third word. Its now the middle of the day, the heat heat of the summer Costa Rican sun is at full force, the bus is stagnant on a slight hill and and the passengers are sitting on the side of the road looking and no doubt feeling bothered. I assumed that we would just have to wait for the next bus to pass, they leave Nicoya every hour or so but as it turned out a couple of surfers in a 4x4 pick up roll up and offer to take some of us to Samara. Ten of us, plus one bicycle and four backpacks pile into the back and a windy and amusing 15 minutes later we arrived in Samara.
Samara is a beautiful little beach town and immediately upon arrival I sensed a positive and bucolic energy. The hostel I am staying at is cosy, charming and only about 100m from the beach (http://www.hostel-lasmariposas-samara.com/hostel-lasmariposas-samara.com/Welcome.html), there is a gym in town and lots of choice for healthy eating out and buying fresh food. You can have a surf lesson for $25 and then use a board for free for 7 days to practise, there are daily yoga classes, Spanish lessons, a couple of art galleries, hiking trails, horseriding, waterfalls, bikes for hire, the list goes on...
Samara had me at hello and I think I will stay here, detox, relax and enjoy for the next 10 days before I hit up Rio de Janeiro and the festivities of Carnival.