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Ride Into the Sunset

December 15, 2011

Well, after the previous day’s experience I figured there was only one thing I could do and that was to go surfing again. So that’s what I did.

My dad woke me with a polite, “Hey, get a move on” although I had been in and out of sleep for the last hour. I had awoke to the sound of fingernails tapping lightly on a chalkboard, except it wasn’t a chalkboard it was our tin roof, and I have been reading a terrifying vampire book while out here. I had let my dreaming brain run away with me so my dad’s wake up was certainly welcomed. We breezed through our normal daily routine; suits on, stuff peanut butter on toast in mouth, dad with coffee, me, I prefer juice, wax boards. But today when we stepped outside we were not greeted with the blazing sun as usual, but a sky that was a thick cloud of white and grey, and it was raining. Raining?! In Costa Rica. In December. I guess that was the noise I had heard when I woke up. I was assured rain wasn’t going to happen on this trip, but of course it would.

Lucky for us, rain doesn’t matter when you surf. And actually, it’s quite nice since it keeps the faces of the waves clean and makes a wonderful noise when it hits the water. The grey clouds however, cause the water to become indistinguishable from the sky and you truly can’t see the wave until it’s on top of you. It’s so much fun and it reminds me of surfing those cold rainy days in Charleston, except it’s still warm. But like everything good that must end, the waves die down with the outgoing tide and we walk back home in a light drizzle.

Skip mid-day siesta.

Rather than partake in my usual napping, Jesse and I decide today is the day we will be going riding. She has a horse and has arranged for me to rent one for a few hours so we can run on the beach for a while. We ride her moto to the barn which is probably more sketchy than surfing and horseback riding put together. It’s an old red Honda with stickers covering the gas tank, which lets in water when it rains. Needless to say then, we have to drain the main tank before we take off on the only semi-dusty road, now that it’s wet.

We arrive at the barn to find an equine dentist pulling the “wolf teeth” of one of the horses, which of course delights me. I get to watch and talk to him about his studies and his practice while Jesse gets her horse Ozzy from the field. I tack up Rambo, a tiny bay horse smaller than my own, if you can imagine that being possible. He looks so little I am afraid I will crush him. Boy am I wrong. This horse is a powerhouse. We walk to the beach via a rocky dirt road that I would never imagine taking my horse on, but these guys don’t even seem to mind. When we arrive at the sand our friend Cindy’s horse Clarita is being a bit of a nut, so we don’t open up full throttle immediately, though I’m certain Rocky can sense that I want to. We take a walk for a while, prance through the water and then in a split second Jesse and I are racing down the beach at a gallop. We are running so close we could reach out and touch hands, I can see her big bright smile and I know I’m grinning ear to ear.

I’m sorry I need to stop this story to tell you that I just bit into the most unbelievable piece of banana bread I have ever had in my life. I might actually be in heaven.

Back to the beach. We slow down and let Cindy catch up, as her horse can’t be trusted to run without taking off. The three of us walk down a long stretch of beach as the sun starts to glow red and dip low in the sky. The view is marvelous and I am once again in awe of this place. We walk past a blowhole in the rocks which at low tide allows the waves to come in underneath and shoot up through a small hole making a spectacular display of water explosion. The sun is well on its way to setting now, and lucky for us the clouds have cleared leaving us with an incredible sunset on the beach from the back of our horses. Jesse and I tell Cindy to go ahead back toward the barn since we would catch up quickly with what we were planning on doing. We let her get well ahead of us and occupy ourselves taking pictures and laughing. When she is out of sight Jesse heads off first at a trot, then catering and jumping over a large piece of driftwood I do the same and catch up with her at a full gallop. We run next to each other for a while and I hear her ask Ozzy for a little more speed, of course I do the same. I lean forward give Rambo all the reins and whistle. Rambo lurches forward taking huge fast strides and gaining speed. I can’t believe this little horse can go so fast! He gets a nose on Ozzy and then a neck as we approach a turn. I can see people running down from their spots up on the beach and in their cabanas to see what the commotion is about, and little kids are clapping and cheering. Galloping full  throttle on a beach is a first for me and while I ride a lot of horses back home, something about this moment is different. Absolute pure happiness and joy.  I’m pretty sure this is one of the best days ever.

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