Jaco, Costa Rica surfing and SURVIVOR training
Could not take any more cold weather in Atlanta, so I grabbed my son and off we went to Costa Rica to enjoy a little sun and improve our dismal surfing skills. Did my homework prior to my arrival and selected “Jaco,” a small beach town on the pacific, as my destination. Jaco has great waves, is an easy town to navigate, and was central enough for me to attempt other activities. However, surfing was the main goal. We stayed at a wonderful little establishment – Hotel Perico Azul(http://www.hotelpericoazuljaco.com/). This lovely place is managed by Celine who was simply delightful to work with. She was quick to respond to all my emails, arranged airport P/U, provided us FREE bikes to get around which proved to be a great mode of transportation. The hotel is affiliated with a surfing camp – Tortuga surfing camp(http://www.tortugasurfcamp.com/) and through Mike, the owner, I booked a few lessons which was one of the best things I have ever done. Practicing what I was taught, my surfing improved 1000% and I finally rode the waves. As for Jaco, the beach itself is a grayish-brownish color and the sand has the consistency of silt. It is fine for lounging, but not great for building sand castles. The water is crystal clear and warm; there were two basic times for surfing(good waves) — checking the high tides were key to catching the larger waves. In the evening our bodies were too worn out for anything but a little food and resting our bones, most of the eating establishments were located along a single main drag. Traffic is not very heavy and motorists are careful not to make a mad dash through town. Besides the restaurants, and none were notable as I found the food offerings fair to middling, I visited the town bakery which is in the middle of town directly opposite the supermarket. Dollars are accepted everywhere and the rate of exchange is fixed. Be aware that not many establishments take credit cards.
Besides the great surfing I managed the hike the tallest waterfall in Costa Rica. It took about an hour hike to reach halfway up the falls and another 30 minutes to get to the water pools, however, the climb back to the road was more of a “Death March.” We went rappelling at another waterfall andrafted on a rubber duckie taking on the “Rio Savegre” river near the city of Manuel Antonio. It was continuous (and I mean continuous!) class II and III. This was an exhilarating and challenging experience that I will never forget! Do not tackle this river on your own, so be warned! Overall a great trip to Costa Rica, loved the hotel and terrific surfing camp.
Return trip;Guest blogging today(favorite son-Albert) joined me on another fabulous trip to Jaco, Costa Rica (pronounced ‘Hawk-o’). Besides our surfing this trip was to serve as cruisinbob’s first hand training for his SURVIVOR application. As usual, we stayed at our favorite spot, superb hotel; Hotel Perico Azul(http://www.hotelpericoazuljaco.com/) — a small, quiet, well-cared for place by the beach. As it was our third time back to Jaco, the goal was to take our surfing to the next level. In other words, we hoped to go from bad to worse. Mike and his crew at Tortuga Surf Camp(http://www.tortugasurfcamp.com/) did their best to stop us from embarrassing ourselves, but the perfect Jaco waves provided too many opportunities for us to fall off our boards in the most creative ways possible. The picture pretty much tells all, do not tackle waves that are too big. Stay tuned for more below
The waves were amazing (as usual) for beginner to intermediate surfers(cruisinbob often fell/while Albert tackled all), the beach was not very crowded, Tortuga Surf Camp http://www.tortugasurfcamp.com/ had boards available right on the beach. This made it easy to wake up, walk 5 minutes to the beach, and surf to our heart’s content.
Although surfing was the primary goal, progress was made towards cruisinBob’s lifetime goal of making it on Survivor. Per my(Albert’s) desire to try paddle boarding, we(Mike-Tortuga owner, cruisinbob and I) set out paddling for about 35-40 minutes to a small deserted island, when we arrived cruisinBob immediately assessed the situation, quickly directed everyone towards the necessities — water, shelter, fire. The sage will continue. For both team and individuals training challenges we took on waterfalls, repelling and a few upside down zips at http://costaricawaterfalltours.com/, we passed with flying colors.
CruisinBob is now well prepared; no airplane upgraded to first class on the return flight, he is now mentally prepared for devastating defeats during a reward challenge, the malfunctioning air conditioning unit in our hotel room gave cruisinBob the experience of knowing what the sleeping conditions would be like stranded on a desert island. In order to accustom cruisinBob to the standard Survivor diet of rice and beans, I forced him to eat plenty of gallo pinto at my favorite Jaco restaurants (Marealta and Rustico). Lastly, interacting with wildlife is an unavoidable risk on Survivor. Hopefully the photo below shows that cruisinBob is taking this lesson seriously, I think this will be the year he get selected for the show " I was wrong again".