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Published: February 17th 2014
Watching the sunset
Our last night in Jaco
We booked a shuttle that picked us up right in our hostel and dropped us off at our hostel in Jaco; you just have to ask. We were tired from travelling the chicken bus way so we decided, to be able to get from point A to point B comfortably, we have to resort to shuttles.
The drive was was indeed comfortable and the scenery along the way is exquisite. The driver took us in the mountain side where we get to experience the cloud forest early in the morning. Very mysterious with the mist enveloping the trees that surrounds the narrow highway atop the mountain. The roads were filled with sharp turns and at some point it offers a view of the valley in the horizon, ravines filled with trees and jagged rocks, and small bungalo houses covered by flat metal roofs. Then the view turns into a scenec drive as everything around us is green. Filled with different kind of crops, the valley of mountainous scenic drive is charming.
3 hours later, we arrived in Jaco. We dropped our backpack in our hostel and right away changed into our swimsuits. We both at this time had been
me and the beach
So peaceful! Gotta love the ocean breeze and heat
craving the sound of thundering waves, the heat of the sun with its warm wind blowing in our face, and the gritiness of the sand within out feet. We immediately hit the beach.
Jaco beach is said to be popular for surfers. They come here to enjoy the waves, the sun, and somewhat the seclusion from the crowd. When we got there, I didn't see anyone surfing. Maybe it was the timing? But it was only 2pm, how is that possible? After a nice stroll in the beach, we head down to the Jaco downtown strip. You see, Jaco is like Vegas, it is just a strip of clubs, restaurants, and shops. We had a nice big meal this time, making friends with our server who claimed that he is Honduran and he will become the next president of CR. He told us an interesting story about his life, he said he moved to CR because he didn't like how the government runs Honduras. He found himself homeless and hungry in Jaco -this was the first time he had been to this country. Locals around Jaco helped him get up from his feet, and now he is a server
Sand is brown, hard and grainy
at a local joint. A very friendly guy, yet really determined when he claimed that he will definitely be the next president. I don't know if he's on any drugs or whatever, he did seem pretty sober to me, but his dream was real and genuine. We bid him farewell and good luck.
That night we decided to head out for a few drink. We walked down the strip into this bar. There's not a lot of people and by the look of things it will never get busy. Although, there are a lot of women wearing skimy outfits who tend to hang around white tourist men surrounded by hard liquor. Some (women) sit on the men's laps, some men had two at the same time. Quite strange I thought, the lonely planet book promised a good time and good party at this specific place. I unfortunately had forgotten the name of the club. We called it a night and head back to our hostel. I finished my cigarette and decided to head inside, this huge flying cocroach welcomed my return. Had I not screamed so loud, our next door neighbors wouldnt had woken up. As if something or
someone just attacked me. It was big, it flies, and was not afraid to chase me! I swear! Phill killed the bastard, I just hate cockroaches- it simply brings back memories when I was a kid, being chased by the same cockroach in the Philippines (they were dirty and carry diseases).
The next day we planned to hit the beach beside Jaco, Playa Hermosa. We walked around Jaco for a bit looking for a place to eat breakfast. We met the owner of this little restaurant. She was born and raised in Spain but had moved to CR due to bad economy. She and her husband found a buisness here in Jaco, and she loves to cook. The beans, eggs and rice (Juevo Ranchero) were good, although at this time I was getting sick of it. Everyday I swore that I will only eat CR food, and nothing else. I told myself before the start of this trip that I will stick to local foods because I want to discover the real CR taste coming from different towns/cities. Anyhow, after our meal, we walked further down towards Playa Hermosa, we planned to take a taxi there so we can
maybe surf. We stumbled upon this little shop that had different kind of fruits hanging right at its walls. They make fresh smoothies right in front of you and we had a choice of which fruit we want and may mix together. So we settled, sat down and enjoyed a nice cool smoothie in a scrotching hot day. At this time, we felt lazy so we decided to just relax and stay in our hostel. Our hostel had its own swimming pool. So we swam and sun bathe and read. I was quite relieved that we didn't go somewhere, a little downtime is much needed at this time since we havent really stopped for any since the moment we landed to this country. We sat outside our hostel porch and started playing tunes of worst music ever, and best music ever. It was a sense of nostalgia. Music really brings you back home, to that memory you had attached to that specific music. It made me feel good in away. Memories are always good regardless how bad they were.
That night we decided to go to this bar called Beattle Bar. As Lonely Planet suggested it is quite 'happening'.
Mountains and crops
View on the way to Jaco
So we went. I was feeling pretty good because at this bar, there's actually uite a lot of people. More women than men though, again wearing the skimpiest, short clothing they own, and very high heels. I didn't pack any heels with me this time so I went in with my flats - this I love since I am comfortable. I noticed the women only stayed on the corners and against the walls of the club, while I sat boldly by the bar and ordered tequilla after tequilla. Then I noticed women leaving with men, and would come back without them and continue to stand by the wall. I told my friend, 'I think I'm the only woman in this room who is not working tonight'. This is a bar with women working for money. Read between the lines, I am the only one who went there with the purpose to drink and to have fun, and not to take home some dollars. We left after some men start staring at me and sending me afaint smile. I told Phil he better stay beside me at all times, he is not allowed to pee! Some of the women were giving
me dirty looks. Hands down, that is actually flattering, but I'm not there to steal their buisiness. On our way back to the hostel, a group of young men came to us and asked if we wanted some drugs 'cocaine?'. We said no and walked away, fearing that we will be followed we walked inside a restaurant and ate. We went back to our hostel in the middle of darkness, and we were safe.
The next day we were bound to leave Jaco in the afternoon but we came here to CR with a big goal: to conquer jumping in thin air with a single rope. We walked further up the strip and found the Pacific Bungee Company in Jaco. Standing up at the edge of a 130ft crane with just a single rope securing my ankles and waste is enough to intimidate any newbie in this sport. I was told by an ex-boyfriend that to be able to jump, I need to look at the horizon not down. So I did, I saw the beach, the warm air breeze envelopes my body. As sketchy as it was in the beginning of the jump, the two ticos calculated my
Catching small crabs for dinner.
weight and height with no calculatyor relying in their 'good' math ability, they set me up for the jump. I stood there wondering, this is now or never. As the countdown turned into 1 and then 'jump!' I let go of all my fears and fell right in. It was the best feeling ever! Of course it was terrifying, but to let go and trust my whole being in this one thick rope; it was freedom. All I saw was the view of the small pool underneath and the dirt that surrounds it. I was going fast face down. I can't describe enough what I felt but it was liberating. After the jump, I had to be pulled by a tico using a broom; I held on as I was pulled closer to the ground. DONE IT! Something I use to dream and imagine when I was young, I made it happen and I survived it without a scratch. This is living!
We had lunch at a nearby restaurant inside a hotel/hostel. We met an expat from Colorado (again, CR seem to draw people from Colorado). He decided to leave his buisiness back home, sold his property and moved
My first meal in Jaco
Chicken and avocado tortilla salad
to Jaco. I asked him why, and he said 'because I love to surf'.
Just like that this man left everything behind. Life may be simpler than we think it is. It is risky and we may call it 'foolish', but I have a high level of respect for this man. It takes a lot of balls to leave everything behind to live your dream. He works for the owner of the hitel/hostel (whatever it is) and he gets free lodging and a meal. That he said is good enough, and he is happy.
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