Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Mr Aventures' perspective on the robbery

Mal Pais: Bad Country or Bad Luck?

Mal Pais means 'bad country' in Spanish. For surfers, tackling a surf spot with a name like that sounds cool. I first visited Mal Pais on Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninula 11 years ago this month.

I set out there with a hand drawn sketch of where the beach breaks were and places to stay from a mate of mine in Sydney.

I eventually ended up staying in a tin shed split into two rooms out the back of Frank's Place. Frank's son slept in one room and I had the other. Frank's was one of the few places to eat and had literally the only telephone in town. Arroz con Pollo – rice with chicken - was basically my staple diet for a month.

In between surfing and Frank's, I hung out with other surfers who were camping down at the beach.

Life in a hammock beachside was idyllic. The local farmer asked for a few colones every now and then for being on his land and no one bothered us at all. It was no worries to leave your stuff unattended anywhere.

Saturday nights were fun. We'd wander down to Santa Teresa past the church to the local dance hall where surfers would gather at the bar and local Tico girls would come up and ask for a dance.

11 years on and Mal Pais and Santa Teresa have changed radically.

Bridges have replaced shallow creek fords – the whole area is much more accessible. Loads of people get around on ATV's – all terrain quad bikes. There're two banks (!), shops (small malls perhaps a better description), beauty salons and spa treatment, and holy smoke, even couple of sushi restaurants. Sure, Frank's is still there at the crossroads, but rebuilt and now includes a two storey office block. The good ol' Mal Pais Surf Camp-Resort also still there but now there're are hotels, cabinas and resorts galore catering to all tastes all the way along the main road.

Click here for Mr Aventures full story on the robbery


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