We stopped at a restaurant for an ice-cold beer and some good food. We sat with a couple from Toronto and exchanged pleasantries. Near Jaco Beach the bus stopped on a bridge so we could observe crocodiles in the river. We were told the government provides cows to graze along the river for the crocs to feed on and it is to attract tourists. I told Emiliano about our son’s band, how to find their songs and an invitation to stay with us if he ever came to Canada. He was very excited about listening to some AMPED music when he got home.
Our ocean front room had an amazing view of the ocean but no AC! Very hot! In the evening at dinner in town we met a lady from Alberta who knew one of the dealers I knew from the casino where I worked at the time. Such a small world!
I have a fear of the ocean and usually won’t go in past my knees as in Mexico a wave had crashed into me, I fell into the foaming surf and just when I was struggling to get up another wave hit me with a vengeance (or so it seemed). Spitting up salt water and with a swimsuit full of sand I quickly ran on the beach to safety. In Costa Rica I braved the Pacific Ocean once again but with much more bravado as I had a rented boogy board that I attached to my ankle. I could not believe how much fun it is to body surf. Instead of being fearful of waves I was now looking behind me to spot a big one to ride to the shore. The wave would lift my board and like a bullet I would ride it till it crashed onshore. We spent a few hours playing in the ocean but then I couldn’t believe what happened! The Pacific Ocean is very vast as we all know. It was while I was riding a smaller wave that Fred caught a big one and at lightning speed landed on top of me near the shore. Being a novice at body surfing he didn’t know how to steer the board away from me. That was the end of the fun for me as I think he cracked one of my ribs, or at least bruised it badly.
My husband has a fear of heights and to face his fear we decided to go Zip lining in the jungle. After a bus ride from our hotel a taxi took us into the jungle where we were strapped into our harness and a small group of us walked about 15 minutes on a steep climb.
After being shown how to brake properly with gloved hands, off we went from platform to platform high above the jungle below. At times we were 40 (120 feet) meters high and our longest run was 43 (400 feet) meters long. I did find though that I couldn’t pay much attention to my surroundings as I was intent on watching for the guide’s signal to brake. Brake too soon and you end up only halfway between platforms and I didn’t want to embarrass myself by having a guide come out to rescue me. I could do this. Oh what fun! At the last platform we were lowered the 30 (90 feet) meters by ropes and pulleys.
We booked a jungle cruise and took a mini van from our hotel. The drive along the highway was very scenic, mostly along the ocean. We then took a narrow, rough road that was bordered with dusty hibiscus hedges. At Punta Leone an American family of very large people got on and on the rough road the van bottomed out a few times.
The river cruise on the Tarcoles River was very interesting with our guide pointing out many species of birds; herons, egrets, ibis’. At one point the guide stopped, got out of the boat and slapped the water with a dead, plucked chicken and he accompanied the slaps with small grunts. He motioned for everyone to be quiet and within minutes an enormous crocodile sliced through the water, opened his gigantic mouth to engulf the chicken and slowly slid backwards into the river. The guide pointed out scars at the back of his leg from a croc that had snuck up behind him while he was luring another one. At the mouth of the river hundreds of pelicans sat in trees watching our boat glide by.
One day we rented a car and drove south spotting teak plantations, scenic lookouts and bad roads. Manuel Antonio State Park is a wonderful place to hike with scenic lookouts, monkeys and beautiful beaches. One beach had been closed off to shoot a Disney film with Antonio Banderas. While walking along the trail I was very aware that there might be snakes in the trees above us so I was constantly looking up as well as ahead on the path. The jungle was very thick but we didn’t see much wildlife besides the monkeys. It was so hot!!!!
A thirty minute flight from Jaco Beach landed us in Liberia to pick up more passengers. This area is remote and there are many cattle ranches but we weren’t allowed off the plane. This airport is the smallest I have ever seen. We sat on the hot tarmac, with no air conditioning for over an hour.
At the airport men were trying to solicit the $17 US departure tax even while a voice on the loudspeaker warned tourists to pay that inside. Security was tight. My carry-on luggage was searched twice.