Mal Pais means Bad Country en español

Dry dusty roadways, paved with potholes instead of cobblestones, are used in the Central America dry season as defense mechanism to protect dynamite beachside campsites from three ton 88′ Dodge Ramvans and their somewhat creaky, antique suspensions. Occasionally we get back to our now nearly one year old southern Patagonian roots, by smashing, unscrewing, and eventually scrambling our way through these gravel roads to reach these nearly extinct pockets of tropical beach paradise. These past three weeks we’ve lost two tires, one side window knob and years off our life due to inhaling road dust that always manages to sift its way in the many unseen unintended ventilation gaps in the exterior of the van. If brown lung is a thing than this trip might be the death of me. Sacrificing struts, tires and lungs we reap the rewards of free shady beachfront campsites, offering up pleasant surf, cool breezes and tropical vibrations (or at least that feeling similar to the one after mowing lawns all day, that stays with you after hours of pounding down washboard roads).


Sitting now In Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, under an exotic looking, wide-leafed cashew tree, that dually serves us with plentiful shade, while providing a safe home for our dear friend and neighbor, the red Body bushy tailed squirrel. Waves crashing mixed in with the constant hum of palm fronds rustling set the mood, as rasta music hums at the beach bar in the near distance as Marlie compares our freshly van prepared Sunday brunch menu to that of the rasta shack. Consisting of pesto infused eggs, scrambled with onions and melted mozzarella, local sourced hash browns seasoned with the the savvlin special spice, topped with fried turkey bacon, all this accompanied by fresh avos garnished with a dash of cilantro for presentation. The best option advertised on the bar chalk board, spied using our new xmas binoculars, “Homemade sausage on jalapeño cheddar polenta with two eggs and fresh salsa,” registering at ten dollars, pales in comparison.

Meanwhile our curious little neighbor darts from tree to car and back searching for brunch scraps, although we came to find that he much prefers to munch on the remnants of discarded coco locos tossed by tipsy beachgoers into the shrubbery. Being a Sunday, the beach is a bit crowded with an eclectic mix of well healed foreigners, locals and savvling surfers trying their best to outdo each other in an unseen tattoo, longhair and piercing competition. None of which we hold any accreditations for, leaving us to reign king in the van dwelling competition, of which we are the only entrant. Technically speaking the van competition is non existent outside of the lone overcrowded VW Bus filled campground nearby, at capacity due to a armed robbery report still being circulated as current news, nearly six months later. Having spent our first two nights parked up near a beachfront restaurant, only occasionally disturbed by semi regular ATV police patrols, late night revelers, and the Midwestern summer-like humidity, but thankfully no armed robbers.  

Today we will enjoy shade, reading, and occasionally taking the boards out for a paddle as the core crowd backs off with the tidal swing. Just up the beach there is a surf competition happening, drum circles and bonfires are also on advertisement, which means we’ll be venturing down to the point for sunset and hopefully catching the a bit of the weirdness that usually ensues at such Little Beach like affairs. Having spent the past four days in the same up-early-for-surf, lights-out and fans on by nine type schedule, I’m looking forward to mixing it up with the beach bar scene and seeing where the day takes us. Tomorrow brings a travel day, driving the five hours back to Liberia to pick up a friend, resupply, shower and prepping for Tuesday’s mission to find our next beach oasis. Park Surf Eat Read Sleep Repeat.

 We currently are in El Salvador, these past weeks have been filled with friends, guests and non stop action. With that we are happy to be returning to our semi regular blogging schedule and turning a light on into our lives this past month. 


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