I’ve written before about how the wind in my face feels wonderful. Here’s when it starts to feel less than wonderful: when it is blowing several acres of gravelly sand straight at you with hurricane force. Or, as my husband remarked, “This is pretty gnarly.”
We were here chasing his passion, kite surfing. Kite surfing is a sport where you use a kite (which looks like an elongated parachute) to propel yourself, on a board, across the surface of water. You harness the power of the wind. Kite surfers are wind chasers. You’ll hear them hoping there’s good wind. You’ll see them waiting for the wind to pick up. In a good wind, they are out skimming the surface of the ocean. This chase takes us to many islands and coastal spots. This time, it had brought us to Bahia Salinas.
Bahia Salinas is in the north-western part of Costa Rica, known for being the best spot in Costa Rica for wind sports. It is, in short, the windiest spot in Costa Rica. I don’t know how it fares on the world stage, but I imagine it’s up there. When we got to the Copal beach, a gale force wind was blowing. It was low tide, and it seemed as if the wind had blown the water away, leaving behind an expanse of sharp pebbles. That’s when I found out that there can be too much of a good thing. My husband had a 9 meter kite with him, which is relatively small as kites go. (Kites go all the way up to 17 meters.) But it was far too large for a wind this strong — he would simply have been blown away if he tried to go out with it. He discussed renting a 5 meter kite, but in the end, the rental owner decided that the wind was too strong to risk his gear.
My husband seemed to enjoy the wind, even as he wished it would die down enough to allow him to go kite surfing. As the wind cracked and blew over a tree, he laughed and pointed it out to me. As for me, I was excoriated by the sand all morning, and then headed back to the hotel. There is nothing wrong with spending an afternoon lying in a hammock, shaded by dense green foliage, looking up at wispy white clouds in a blue sky, looking out at white-crested waves in a bluer bay.