Costa Rica was a great place for interesting first times. My first time being in a shopping mall held up by gun men. First time having a pistol pointed at my head for fun (separate occasion). Throwing sticks at crocodiles, poking snakes, running with bulls, throwing myself into shallow waterfalls and reaching my highest peak at 3880 meters on Mt Chirripo where I climbed my last 400 at 3am, rediscovering a small fear of heights as I set foot on the top.
Others who have scaled this same mountain might wonder at how the fuck I managed to get lost on my way back when there is only one path all the way down. My answer is this.
There is one other path at the very last km and with a fifty per cent chance of getting it right I followed my gut instinct and jogged on with my Danish friend Krispy Kris to the wrong side of the mountain (hats off to a man who scaled an almost four thousand meter mountain with a suitcase full of books!). Our victory beer would have to wait as we made our mad dash towards the last bus of the day, making it just in time.
One weekend on a world renowned beach would set the scene for one of my favourite first times.
. . .
Lifting myself back onto the board, I claw my way through the water towards the barrelling waves of Dominical.
The back of my legs are stinging in the blistering heat on the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica even after two bottles of sun-cream, but my first couple of days surfing have been a success and I ride in standing tall (kind of) on almost every wave loving every minute.
A brief calm gives myself and Jack the chance to paddle out further in search of the big one, but in the end it’s a big one that finds me.
It came out of nowhere, crashing on top of me like a twenty foot wall, slamming and tossing my body like a rag doll completely at the mercy of the Oceans wrath. My legs tangle in the elastic cable strapped from my ankle to the surfboard as I start to rise only to be smashed back down by the next big wave.
I grab my T-shirt as it’s pulled over my head in the strong under-current, but there’s nothing I can do about my Hasselhoff red shorts that fly out to sea as I perform perfect, underwater somersaults at break-neck speed. Freeing my legs I climb back onto my board, naked as the day I was born.
I frantically paddle towards the coast wishing to avoid the next battering the Ocean has to offer, but I’m heading straight for a busy, family filled beach with my dong out and my white ass for all to see.
So many sharp stones lie in the shallows of the water and I’m cruelly dragged across them all by more waves as I try desperately to protect and hide my willy while Life-guards laugh and parents bring their kids to watch. Jacks laughing so hard he doesn’t see the giant wave that drives his surfboard into his face giving him a Botox lip. Fucking good karma!
My leg is still attached to the board and I see a red object floating in the water between us. It’s my shorts. They got caught in the elastic cable and by quickly un-strapping my ankle I’m able to slip back into them before further damage is caused.
Later that day as I reminisce, telling my story to some fit surfer girls from Germany and Holland, I find myself asking about their tits. Just if there chest got as red as mine while on the board. I don’t know why, but I do have a tendency to say the wrong thing from time to time, or most of the time. I’m harmless enough so they don’t beat me.