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And so it ends, nearly a year of travelling is over. And what a year it’s been! Got so many fond memories of places I’ve been and all the amazing people I’ve met. This adventure surely wouldn’t have been nowhere as good without all of you, so thanks for all the fun times we’ve shared. It truly has been a remarkable experience, and with a very healthy refill of new impulses.

Throughout the year, I’ve had about 130 sessions of surfing. It’s taken me from absolute beginner to intermediate, but more importantly, it’s been heaps of fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m definitely a little sad that I have to put it aside now. I’ll miss being out there, and the thrill of joy when catching waves. Going to have to find an opportunity to get back in the water sometime soon.

The journey has been running pretty smoothly. The list of unpleasant surprises has been short. I’ve only suffered minor injuries, and barely been sick over the last year. That I’ve avoided food-poisening and bed-bugs alltogether, I find pretty remarkable. Got lucky, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

Going back to Norway, I really look forward to seeing family and friends again. Some Norwegian food and nature is also most welcome, and I look forward to picking up the hammer and getting back into track & field ๐Ÿ™‚ Private space has been sparse over the last year, so that I will enjoy too. I’ve lived in about 90 different hostels, motels, hotels, and private homes since I left! So getting settled for a while in one place, will be good. It’s not going to hurt having an income again either, and I’m excited to see what my future career will bring of experiences and learning.

Thanks to all of you who have been reading my blog! I hope it’s been somewhat inspiring and fun, and hopefully you can apply the information provided if you plan on going to some of the same places.

Happy travels and hang loose! ๐Ÿ™‚

Arch of water

Chicago

Since my route from Costa Rica to Norway went through Chicago anyway, I decided to grab the opportunity and spend a few days in the city. It’s the third largest American city, with a population of about 10 million people (suburbs included). Let’s start with a photo of the skyline:

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As you can see the city’s situated on the waterfront, being that of Lake Michigan. It has a length of 494 km and a width of 190 km, so I guess there’s no wonder it’s kind of hard to see across it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I’m staying in a neighbourhood called Wrigley, a little north of downtown. It’s a pretty nice area with small shops, cafรฉs, and some parks. It’s also quite close to the waterfront. The weather was nice today when I took these photos, but besides that it’s been raining heavily here.

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The timing for visiting Chicago was good with regards to one of the largest sporting events in the US, the Stanley Cup, as the home team Blackhawks won yesterday. Thousands upon thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate, and it got wild very quick. It surely was an interesting mob phenomenom to observe, as I’m pretty sure people wouldn’t act that way if they were in a small group. Most were just happy, some were singing/ yelling/ screaming at the top of their lungs, while some became “happily destructive”, if there’s such a term. They smashed bottles, sent up fireworks in the middle of the crowd (some of the firework went into the crowd instead), and climbed up on trafficlights etc. So, it didn’t take long before a bunch of police arrived, and they ended up breaking up the crowd before things got completely out of hand. It sure was a cool thing to experience though, got a video of it.

Jaco and return to Tamarindo

Been spending a few days in Jaco, which is located only a ten minute drive north of Playa Hermosa as mentioned in the previous post. I’ve been on my own since last Saturday, as my travel mate Eivind had to return to Norway due to disease in his family. So, we parted after travelling for about 11 months together. It’s been a great adventure with a great friend! So I’ll just finish up the last couple of weeks on my own. Yeah, this trip’s coming to an end really soon.

The surf in Jaco has been pretty average. The swell has been there, up to ten feet surf even, which is the problem, since Jaco doesn’t seem to handle large swell very well.The result is often major close outs (when the wave pretty much collapses in one piece, in case you’re not familiar with the lingo). Here’s Playa Jaco at low tide (it works best at high tide).

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As you may have noticed from the photo, dark clouds are looming in the horizon. That’s no coincidence as the rain season has started here now. The pattern seems to be that during daytime it usually holds up and there’s some sun, but in the evening it comes pouring down hard! And the rain is often accompanied by severe lightning and thunder. Still though, nice of the rain to stick to the night for the most part ๐Ÿ™‚

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Yesterday I took the bus back up to Tamarindo, and checked in at the same hostel we stayed at earlier (the Pura Vida), and I even rented the same board I had a week and a half ago. It’s such a good board. I know you’ve probably seen it before, but it’s definitely worth looking at again ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Had an evening session at Playa Langosta after I arrived yesterday. It’s about a 35 minute walk from Tamarindo to the spot. You got to go down a dirt road, then down to the beach, and then you have to wade across a rivermouth. The river has crocodiles in it but they usually stay further up the river. Still, I’m fairly certainย everyone takes an extra look before wading across ๐Ÿ˜‰ It takes about 30 seconds to cross, and you walk further along the beach for about ten minutes to get to the sweet spot. Had a good session there ๐Ÿ™‚ Will go again tomorrow morning. It’s a high tide spot, due to some rocks sticking up here and there.

Thought I’d wrap up this post with a photo of my room at the Room 2 Board hostel I stayed at in Jaco. Nice hostel and really friendly staff, btw. It just goes to show how life is like living out of a backpack. Please excuse the mess, that’s how I roll these days ๐Ÿ˜‰IMG_2755

Playa Hermosa

On Sunday we took an express bus from Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa. The ticket cost $49,- per person and the ride took about six hours. That’s including the one hour we had to wait for a new bus as our first broke down. It quite simply stopped and wouldn’t start again. No worries though, we enjoyed the time outside to stretch our legs a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

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The drive took us through some nice scenery, a mix of farmland and forests.

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We even stopped and saw some crocodiles below a bridge. I was a little alarmed to see a boot next to this large croc!

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Despite it being some sort of asphalt for most of the ride, the roads here are pretty bumpy, so we arrived “shaken, not stirred” in the surf town of Playa Hermosa ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tamarindo to Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa is a 7 km long black sand beach, and is known to be ultra consistent, but also an advanced spot for surfing. The waves here are really powerful! Nevertheless, we looked at the forecast and decided to give it a shot. On Monday and Tuesday we enjoyed some of our best surfing on this trip. The waves were ranging from 4 to 8 feet, and although not all of them were easy to catch, we still got some really good ones. Had a couple of long rides were I had to jump off right before the shorebreak to avoid crashing on the beach.

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However, on Wednesday the swell picked up and the waves were reaching heights up to 10 feet. And with about twenty seconds intervals between each one, the power in those big waves became massive. We looked at the conditions from the beach for about ten minutes and decided it was best to stay out. When in doubt, don’t go in. Went for a run instead to burn off some energy. Same conditions today (Thursday) at Playa Hermosa, so had a decent session at another spot called Playa Jaco instead.

We’re living comfortably here in Playa Hermosa, as we rented this sweet villa for $90 a day. The villaโ€™s located right on the edge of the forest, so we’re slowly getting accustomed to the sounds and the life of the jungle, like hearing weird bird calls and having frogs jump around our legs at night ๐Ÿ™‚

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Besides, itโ€™s been three of us staying here, as my friend Carly came down for a few days. Good times, letโ€™s wrap up this post with a selfie from the beach ๐Ÿ™‚

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