Girls Surf Too…

…Yeah they do. Unless they’re me.

A few weeks before reaching Costa Rica, I’d busted my knee up pretty badly in a ridiculous snorkelling accident off the coast of Ecuador.

What I’d assumed would just be an oversized bruise, turned out to be a kneecap that doubled in size over night. When I woke up the next day I couldn’t even bend it.

Dragging my leg to the emergency room, I was wrongly diagnosed with a shattered kneecap and injected in the ass with a huge dose of painkillers by the most aggressive nurse I’ve ever met. My leg went completely dead and my mind floated out the window.

The x-ray that followed, hours later, showed no actual breakages. So with a month’s supply of industrial strength painkillers that any suburban housewife would be happy to call her own, I was sent on my way.

My prescription of 8 tablets a day was a colourful cocktail. More than just taking the pain away, it made everything in life feel just, a little, bit, better.

So it was with fog in the sky and fog in my brain that I arrived on Costa Rica’s Caribe coast, just as the burning hot sun took a mini-break for tropical showers.

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After living in the smoggy heat of Cali, Colombia for almost a year, sleeping in a cabin by the sea was a welcome change. Surrounded by jungle filled with monkeys, sloths and snakes, it was time to breathe deeply and get back to nature. Even if the sound of howler monkeys screaming through the night did scare the crap out of me.

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The pace on the coast is slower. The sea breeze carries the happy melodies of reggae music and the scent of Caribbean food through the air. Sunlight drips a golden beauty over everything and everyone.

One day, as I accidentally wandered onto an unofficial nudist beach with some of the softest, most gravity-stricken bodies I’ve ever seen, I was reminded of something. Beauty isn’t about perfection, it’s not about dimensions or aesthetics, it’s about spirit. It’s the smile on your face when you’re truly embracing life.

I loved my time in Costa Rica. I spent entire days by the sea and in the jungle, thinking, walking, eating, reading, writing. And it was amazing.

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I may not have learnt to surf , but I did relearn how to clear my mind and be amazed by the magnitude of nature, something so easily forgotten when you live in a hectic, polluted city.

I also weaned myself off my meds. First the red ones, then the blues, until I was down to one yellow a day and eventually, none.

My knee’s still got a lump on that looks like it might be here to stay, but it’s back to its usual size and functionality.  So although there was no actual surfing on my planned surf break this time, whenever the next opportunity arises, this girl will surf too.

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