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Aug
01

Shaka on Craigslist doing barters, real?

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YES! we all know when your dealing with craigslist scammers can be a problem. Recently we have been posting and offering bartering for vacation time or surf packages at Shaka Beach Retreat We have reserved a limited amount of trades we will offer this year.

We have things that we would like to acquire mainly to bring to Shaka because here in Costa Rica many things are difficult to find or are way over priced if you purchase them here, specifically non reject name brand items. Replicas are also a problem. We believe bartering is a great thing because both parties can leverage their value.

So to sumarize it, yes we are offering bartering and we are posting in different cities through Craigslist where we either have friends or family that can collect an item  or we are requesting small items that can easily be brought down in the luggage and exchanged upon arival.

If you are one of the interested parties your reservation will be made through our booking company:

Access Travel
P.O. Box 4974
Aspen, Co. 81612
970-379-9811      

Only after you have verified your reservation and you know its legit will we expect you to provide us with the item, items or service. Provided everything is  as represented its a done deal, no sweat. We hope to see you and go surfing with you soon.

Pura Vida!
Chris

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Jul
30

Driving the new Costa Rica highway

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Yesterday we had to go to the US embassy in San Jose. Usually that would mean spending the night in San jose then coming back the following day about a 6-7 hour trip one way. Well the good news is a new highway from the city is now open and lets off at the beach in-between Jaco and  Puntarenas.

The road is by far the nicest highway in Costa Rica now. It passes through amazing views of valleys jungle and rolling hills. There’s double lanes so passing those slow semi trucks is no problem.  There are quite a few toll booths that you have to pass by, about 4 so it costs 5-6 dollars one way. Well worth the hour and half travel time save.

It use to take 2-3 hours drive from the fairy but now in one hour you’re in the city. For us locals it sure makes life more convenient. We can now do our bulk shopping and take care of things that can only be done in the city and be back the same day.  

Good job Costa!

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Here at Shaka we are sympathetic to the vacationer who finds it hard to vacation in these sliding economies. Many people may not have the liquid cash, but may have something of great use or value to us here in Costa. So that being said we are open minded to possible trades of comparable value for items or services that we may need, like or really want. We have already done some barter vacation exchanges that worked out nice for both sides

If you have something of value perhaps we can do a trade or partial cash &trade. Here are some ideas

  1. Electronics: Here in Costa Rica electronics such as portable computers, cameras, projectors, game systems, apple products, audio equipment, studio equip etc costs more and breaks down sooner. Because of the humidity, dampness in the rainy season and salt in the air stuff breaks down frequently. It’s safe to say we always need something
  2. Sporting goods: Surfboards, aluminum mountain bikes, fishing gear, 
  3. Tools: All name brand tools cost more here. Quality name brand carpentry, power, and mechanic tools are always of interest.
  4. House and home: and once again anything that’s fancy and nice cost more or is hard to get. Fixtures, hardware, decorations, energy saving, or anything that can improve a beach house or cabanas will of course be of interest.
  5. Services: Internet marketing, marketing: We’re always looking for ways to improve our business exposure. Therapeutic: Many of us are extremely active and have nagging injuries, so a true master healer at times would be welcome. That’s just a few off the top of my head. We are open-minded to ideas, lets us know.

Some of us spend part of the year in Las Vegas, Colorado and Texas. An Item could be potentially delivered there as well.

Pura Vida
The Shaka Team

So yesterday I drove 4 1/2 hours one way to the town of Nicoya to do my first automobile safety check or Riteve RTV(REVISIÓN TÉCNICA). Bare in mind that most of the drive is on bumpy dirt roads. This was my second trip there this month because on my first visit my 2008 truck  failed due to  bad bearings.

 In some states in the US all vehicles are required to pass a safety inspection. Hawaii is one of them. In the US you can pretty much go to any gas station and get your sticker in 15 minutes provided your car is passable. Here in Costa Rica the hoops you have to jump through blew me away.  There are many things you can get away with a simple bribe but this is not one

So here is my short tutorial on how it works.
1. First you have to call and make an appointment in advance.

2. upon arrival you go into the office and present your expired Riteve certificate, car  papers, ID( if you’re a foreigner your passport)and  pay about 10,000 Colones($20.00)  then drive to the back of the line. Tip: don’t make your appt on Monday at the end of the month because this is the most crowded

3. The building you drive through looks similar to a car wash slightly longer with four stations that you stop at for various inspections with a person manning each one.

4. Station A. They check  all your lights, tint(no front or back tint allowed), horn, wipers, quick look under the hood, tire tread(your treads need about 4-5mm minimum, smog emission, spare tire, and inside the car you must have a kit that includes jack, jumpers, reflective  triangles  and vest.

5. Station B. You roll your front tires then your back tires over a metal plate thing that checks your alignment.

6. Station C. You roll your front tires on rollers that spin your tires individually to check  your brakes for strength and evenness. You then roll your back tires and have to demonstrate your e-brake and foot brake.

7. Final Station D The pit. You then drive over a pit where a person with a flashlight and microphone inspects the under carriage of your  vehicle for any potential hazards such as over rust, loose bearings, loose stearing components or oil leaks.

8.  You then exit the building park and wait inline at a booth where all the information is fed to a computer. If all goes well, the  man in the booth hands you your papers with your new Riteve sticker. In the event you fail the man will hand you a paper with details in Spanish of  what you need to fix.

9. You have 30 days to fix what did not pass. After you get whatever fixed, you have to make another appointment pay 5,000 Colones($10.00) for your return inspection. If its within the 30 days they will only inspect what did not pass, you still have to wait in line. Whew! Hey small price to pay to live in paradise

 Pura Vida! Shakacostarica
Mo’e

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Jul
20

Top Ten Ways to Prepare to Learn to Surf

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1. Book a 2 week surf package at Shaka Beach Retreat(of course we gotta plug ourselves). If its your first time 1 week will go by fast and just when you start to get it ya gotta go.

2. Make sure your surf instructor is Mo’e or one of his good friend instructors.

3. Facebook all your friends tell em your going surfing in Costa Rica at Shaka. Rub it in and make them jealous

4. Start working on dropping any extra pounds if ya need to. The lighter and fitter you show up the easier it will be for you as well as your instructor.

5. A simple exercise regimen 3-4 weeks prior will do wonders for your stamina. Push ups, pull ups, crunches, and lying back extensions are great, if you work with weights utilize circuit training. work more medium to light weights with high repetitions progressively decreasing rest time between sets,  also give some good attention to your posterior deltoids.

6. Upper body cardio is king. Any type of cardio is good, but if you can do some upper cardio such as paddling, Rows, boxing aerobics, Swimming laps etc.

7. Get an Indo balance board. Indo boards are great for practicing weight distribution and relaxed balancing. They also will help get your legs toned and in shape. They come with dvd’s to show you how. You can do 10-15 minutes a day in your living room on the carpet in front of the TV easily. You should be able to find one at any board sport or sporting good store.

8. Make sure you can hold your breath for at least 20 seconds. When you start you will be in shallow water(about 4-6 feet deep), but a wipe out can still put you under for a few seconds and the more breath you have the more relaxed you’ll be.

9. Flexibility: If you do yoga that’s great or just a simple 10 min daily stretching regimen focusing on limbering your legs, chest, arms, and back

10. Educate your self. Go google crazy. There is tons of info online about surfing tips, ocean knowledge, surf reports, surf equipment. Follow our blog because i will continue to put up tips and info about surfing and the area. Finally leave Comments on this blog and ask any questions you may have, all are welcome.

Pura Vida & Aloha
Mo’e

Jul
19

Exciting Update from Shaka!!

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I have been pretty busy here at Shaka:  getting ready for the invasion of Ocean Healing Group, doing laundry, and pumping our camp dog, Lady up for her new wheelchair!

For those of you don’t know, Lady is our camp dog.  She adopted us years ago and is the queen of our Rancho here at camp.  A few months ago some guests found Lady laying on the path to the beach crying and within 30 minutes of them finding here she was paralyzed from the waist down.  No one really knows what happened but she has a lesion on her spine that prevents her from using her back legs. 

Lucky for Lady, Shaka is the best place in possibly the world for this to happen!!  Our friend, Judy Fridono and the amazing people at Eddie’s Wheels, donated a wheelchair that was custom made for Lady!! 

With the invasion of Ocean Healing Group, a non-profit that brings disabled individuals and their families to Shaka for an adaptive surfing camp, came Lady’s wheelchair!!

Lady is being cheered on by the crowd here at Shaka!!

I am happy to report that Lady is adjusting well to her new mobility!  I have gotten to know Lady very well over the past year as a guest at Shaka and a volunteer for OHG.  The first three weeks of my visit were a little tough in regard to Lady.  It was so sad to see this once energetic, fully mobile, quad chasing puppy just laying around the Rancho–moving a little as possible.

Finally…. Lady is improving her quality of life.  Her back is straigtening out and she is getting stronger every time we put her in her new chair!  We are currently  building up her endurance, leaving her in the chair for slightly longer periods of time through out the day.  

Welike to bribe Lady with food to get her moving!!

Lady is getting her GROOVE back on!! 

That’s all for now!  Just a little update for you Life at the Shaka Front followers about little Lady Bird.  Time to get breakfast ready for our guests and hit the beach!

I want to leave you with the best image I’ve seen in weeks… the happiest Little Lady Bird I think I’ve ever seen….

Can't beat this smile!!!!

Pura Vida my friends,

Katie

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Hello again, In this blog i want to talk a little about the rainy/wet season and what to expect vacationing durfing different times of the year. The rainy season. Ive already talked about why i love the rainy season in an earlier blog so now ill expand on a few things. The beginning of the rainy season is around mid April, basically thats when you can expect your first rain. The rains start off subtle and build intensity over the months so there is usually still pleny of sunshine. When the first decent rains hit you can expect 2 things. First is more humidity, it take about 6-8 weeks for the trees to fill in with leaves, the under ground water table to begin to rise, and for the temperature and land to to cool off. 

 The next thing impossible to miss is the Tajalin invasion. After first rains a species of purple and orange crabs comes down from the mountains and they get EVERYWHERE. I personally think they are funny and entertaining, but they can get anywhere and its not uncommon for unsuspecting tourists to return home to find they brought back 1 or two in a suitcase. The worst part is they hang out on the roads and especially at night there are so many its impossible for vehicles to avoid them. After a couple of weeks they start to fade away and by june you hardly ever see any.

 Usually around the end of June or July we get an Indian summer for 2-4 weeks. This is one of the nicest times of the year because its nice and cool, the vegetation is at its lushest, and the beaches are quiet. Usually there is plenty of vacancy so showing up without reservations is not a problem.  Smaller less used roads begin to get bad and many of the routes can become impassible. All the roads become rougher so travel times slow down.  They dont fix or redo the roads until december-January when the rains stop.

  September-October-November usually has consistent rains in the afternoons and evenings. From my experience about 40-50 percent of the days will still have scattered showers or sunshine in the morning to afternoon, and the rest will be overcast with occasional down pours.

 Activities that can be more enjoyable during the wet season include: 1. Quading because of no dust. 2. Visiting waterfalls and swimming holes  because of the obvious. 3. Surfing because the rainy season provides more swell and overcast skys reducing sun burns. 4. boat Fishing, cooler waters oct-dec can the most abuntant game like yellow fin, wahoo, amber jack and mahi mahi.

Well thats just some of the things off the top of my head.
Pura Vida
Mo’e

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Why do we say surfing is the hardest board sport in the world? In actuality it doesn’t take any longer to learn to ride a surfboard than any other board sport, but in surfing because of the elements of the ocean the amount of stand up time you get in an average surf session is miniscule compared to say snowboarding or skateboarding. For example I’ve been surfing for over 15 years and am pretty efficient with my time in the water but still in a 3 hour surf session with perfect conditions and no crowds i might still only get 5 minutes total on my feet.

 Point#2 Learning the ocean. Before you even get to practice surfing you have to learn about the ocean, tides swings, currents, how to deal with endless oncoming whitewater or waves, and to top it off you need the strength and endurance to paddle back out then catch a wave over and over. To make things even more confusing every surf spot will have a huge range of changing characteristics such as ,reef break, point break, sand bar beach break, high tide wave, low tide wave, onshore wind, off-shore wind, rip currents, channel or no channel and the list goes on. One of the first things people realize when they take their very first surf lesson is how difficult it is to balance just lying down on a surfboard with the motion of the ocean.

Point#3 The hunter element. In surfing we essentially become wave hunters. A. First you have to find a good hunting ground or as we call it beach. B. Then you have to watch carefully to see where the waves are running, how long the set intervals are and where there are not already to many other hunters getting in your way or stealing your catches.  C. You then need to make sure you have the proper equipment to catch the waves. D. Finally you need paddle out, wait in the line-up, identify an incoming wave, position yourself at the peak, pick the proper direction left or right then finally the chase is on. 

 All of this makes surfing the hardest board sport, but the challenge, the ocean medium, and the lifestyle makes surfing the most addictive board sport as well.

Pura Vida & Aloha
Mo’e