The ride in the taxi to the customs building was pretty nerve racking. It wasn’t too long of a drive and we made it just after they opened. Ella immediately went inside to check if our papers had gone through and lone-behold, they hadn’t. We waited hours and hours, checking every so often if they had gone through yet. Thankfully we had a bit of shade where we sat and waited, although the rough cement steps were not too comfortable. We watched workers come in and out for their lunch breaks and watched the time slowly pass by. Hours had passed and they still had yet to get our papers done, Ella basically hovered over them to make sure they got it through. It was down to the last half hour that they were open and to make things worse, tomorrow was a holiday so we began to panic just a touch. We jumped in a taxi, racing to a bank to get the load of money out to pay the overstay fee and raced back minutes before they were closing. Still no sign of the papers. We paid our fee and about ten minutes had passed, well after their hours, before we finally got our keys back. Loading up the van quickly with our belongings from the steps we sat on for the last 12 hours, we graciously thanked the man who waited the extra ten minutes for us and left, headed for the border once again.

We arrived at the last border check point late into the night. Having a dog and crossing the border in your own vehicle was much more complicated than you’d think. We had to get out all of Ellas important documents and make sure we were completely organized to make it as smooth as possible. After a couple hours we crossed into Costa Rica, a kind man who worked at the border helped us the whole way, even made sure we got our passports stamped and were totally safe.

We only had a few days to surf as we had to get Dory back into the city of San José in preparation of shipping her home. For our last few days of the trip Ella wanted to take me to her favorite surf break and one of the most sacred places I’ve ever surfed. We drove into the dark night with shining stars scattering across the sky and a sliver of the moon giving off dim light. Dory bobbled down a long dirt road just off the main highway, dodging frogs as they leapt across the road through rain that pelted the windows. We arrived in the small village of Pavones and could hear the crash of the waves as we set up Dory in the perfect spot.

The back of the van was pulled right up to the edge where the sandy road met a line of palm trees with thick roots that held on tight to the reef below. With the back open we awoke with the sun to the most perfect left peeling waves. Breaking miles along the beach this wave is the 2nd longest left wave in the world and it was magical. No matter how worn out we were from the day before we both suited up and paddled out. The sun was just peaking through the horizon and the line up was empty. The water was crystal clear and warm as we sat in the lineup waiting for the perfect sets to roll through. The beach was small and was greeted with a long stretch of reef rock that was visible at low tide, making it a bit painful and tricky when walking in.

We stayed in until the tide switched, got out of the water and was greeted by Lela with salty kisses. Cutting open a fresh mango we covered it in raw oats, honey, banana, chia seeds and cacao nibs. We swung up our hammocks and relaxed in the shade while doing work for our families surf shop. Later in the afternoon we indulged in an ice cream treat called Trits. A vanilla ice cream with chocolate swirl smushed between two perfectly thin cookies, its insane after a surf session. The sun began to get closer to the horizon so we decided to head back in for a sunset surf. One last session before heading into the city away from fresh salty air. We sat in the water as the sun slowly drifted away leaving soft trails of vibrant colors. We caught waves that lasted so long that our legs could no longer hold us up and rode them into shore. We decided to make a massive dinner that night as we felt we deserved it from all the chaos and then having the most spectacular day in the water.

The next morning we woke up to big beautiful swell like the morning before. The sky was baby blue with spots of clouds as we packed up our things and said goodbye to such a magical surf break. We drove down the long bumpy road once again and smacked a sticker on the entrance to the village before we left. Making our way into the city to part ways with Dory and see her on the other side of the continent we once again were not prepared with what would come next.



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