An outstanding 25th Birthday

I had a fantastic three day fiesta for my birthday this year. And it was pretty outstanding to say the least.

On Saturday night a bunch of us had a pizza feast at Il Basilico with the Surf Simply team, followed by a pool party and massive cake fight at The Rancho.

On Sunday Jessie Carnes, a new friend of mine and I, along with 50 other horse riders including Ticos, Ticas and tourists; some experts and rookies, went on a ‘Cabalgata’ – a day trek on horse back taking us through jungle, deep rivers, and cantering up dirt tracks with a beer, food and music truck accompanying us the whole way. The ride finished at sunset at Olga’s bar on the beach for arroz con pollo, dancing and margaritas.

Monday, a little sore from riding started with a wonderful breakfast with my husband and a surf at Guiones beach. 3ft, super clean and heaps of waves. After an early lunch we headed to meet DK from Drifters Kayaking, an old friend of Ross’, we cruised up a mellow river in and out of the mangroves on sit on top kayaks, spotting two crocodiles, kingfishers, cormorants, and hawks. We had a spontaneous lunch and a ‘michelada style (lime, ice and salt) beer at La Luna restaurant, cycled the 20 minutes home in booming thunder and lightening that lit up the whole night sky. And then incase I hadn’t been treated enough already we went out for dinner at Dos Pochotes.

We leave Costa Rica in five days and will head straight to Campovida, Hopland to start getting ready for The Do Lectures USA (19th-23rd). After that it’s the Alcatraz swim on the 28th and cycling south to Surfrider for an October Internship.

I know there will be tonnes of ‘Outstanding’ to come so watch this space.

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Monkeying around

So, we are here in Costa Rica and I, Alice, am literally monkeying around. We spent our first ten days or so here looking at houses to rent from November to September, surfed every day and got to meet people in the community, get our bearings, sampled the local cuisine in Guiones and Nosara where we will be living this winter. Ross is shadowing the other surf coaches to learn the ropes here at Surf Simply, you can check out the video of his first week with customers here. I have been out and about looking for work in the area, there are a couple of options lined up for the winter season but for now am getting my pocket money through tips working in a couple of local bars and restaurants.

I don’t often campaign for wildlife specifically (with an exception of the marine life campaigns through Surfers Against Sewage) though like many, I am always disturbed to see polar bears starved to death through lack of ice to hunt on, or dolphins, whales and sharks killed for their fins, teeth, meat or oil. The reason I don’t tend to shout about that stuff is because I honestly just don’t know where to start, and there are so many campaigns to support. However this time I am directly affected by what is happening here in the jungle on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Central America, so I feel the need to share with you all what is going down.

‘Monkeying around’ you say… I have been volunteering at the Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre a few times a week. It is a twenty five minute run up some higgledy piggledy steep steps into the jungle and along a dirt track to the top of the hill. By the time I get there I am drenched in sweat as it is 30˚c outside. It’s a fun way to wake up at six in the morning – that’s for sure. Straight into work; I chop lettuce, mangos and cook sweet potatoes, wash out the kennels and put the laundry out to dry. Sometimes if I am lucky I get to hang out with the baby monkeys (the size of an orange) in the sun so they can get some fresh air. They climb up your arm or leg to sit on your head or the back of your neck which makes me laugh. The Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre has taken in over 80 monkeys this season – when I say ‘wildlife’, it is pretty much just the monkeys that they care for. The monkeys are found crying on the road side or in the jungle because they have been electrocuted. You see what is happening in Nosara is new properties are being built, the area is becoming a popular tourist town, the jungle trees are being torn down, and replaced with power cables laced in and out of the mango trees. Mr/Mrs Monkey swings along with family in tow to get some fresh mangos for breakfast and bzzzz zap fiissss. They get electrocuted. Some die straight away and others loose limbs, tails and family. Their first stop is the Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre where they are rehabilitated before going on to SEBU the half way house, and then are hopefully released back into the wild.

The Nosara Wildlife Rescue Centre are in need of old towels, unwanted bed sheets and antibacterial cream, so if you are visiting Nosara then save space for a towel or two in your suitcase. And of course, they are looking always in need of new equipment so donations on their website are always appreciated, to donate just click here http://nosarawildlife.com/donate-now/

To find out more visit their website http://nosarawildlife.com/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Nosara.Wildlife

Monkey photos by the talented Laura Florence http://lauraflorence.com

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A thousand miles and smiles

Two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals, steered with handlebars and powered by trail mix and water (mostly).

We have just hit 1,253 miles, not including side trips and wrong turns. Our last day on the road before we take a short break saw us climb 72 miles over 1,200ft of brutal hills, in 42°C (107°F). We ran out of water and a front tyre exploded in the heat flying down a screaming decent – only puncture number two. Thankfully by 7pm we were celebrating our arrival at Campovida paradise with a cool beer, doughnuts, ice creams, Pringles, and buckets of cold water.

Tomorrow we will head to San Francisco to watch a Giants game, get a hair cut, and hit the thrift stores for shorts, sunnies and swimwear. We are moving to live in Costa Rica this November, so to prepare us for a year in Central America, this weekend we are flying down for a six week rekki. We will then return to Campovida where our bikes will have been patiently waiting for us, to continue the ride south to the Mexican border.

Jungle and beachside blogging coming soon.

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