Monday, December 5, 2011

Jaco, Costa Rica

We said our goodbyes to fellow passengers and crew aboard the Star Flyer and disembarked by tender at Puerto Caldera at about 9:30 a.m.  Here we were met by a large group of taxis and van drivers, where we negotiated our fare to Jaco, about an hour's drive south along the Pacific, for a whopping $100 for the 4 of us...too high we later find out!

According to our US State Department, Costa Rica is a middle income, developing country with a strong democratic tradition, with extensive and generally adequate tourist facilities.  Jaco is surely representative of a laid-back, bustling beach town that caters mostly to tourists and a weekend crowd of Costa Ricans, characteristic of the 1970s era; nice, accommodating but in need of some maintenance.  The locals were all nice and very helpful and Spanglish became the language of choice.

Our condo had been reserved well in advance from Vacation Rentals by Owner.  It was inexpensive and had our minimum requirements....bedroom, bathroom, with a kitchen/dining/living room combo.  This allowed us to stock some food and beverages and fix a meal, especially coffee, if needed.  The owner/rep, Bob Johnson, lived on the premises and made sure we had everything, including free wifi.

The town, beach, and all the restaurants were just a short walk from our place and taxis anywhere in town were 750 colones, or $1.50.  Out first night's dinner was at a local sport's bar where we were treated to great Tico food which usually consists of a choice of fish, chicken, or pork with rice, black beans, salad, and fried bananas...and the super bowl of Costa Rican soccer games between the Alajuela and Saprissa teams on large flat screen TVs.  The air was electric with the excitement of so many people cheering on their favorite team.  A good introduction to the local scene.

The beaches were just OK; not conducive for swimming or overly attractive by Caribbean standards.  The surfing apparently is good as there were a lot of kids toting surf boards.  We had no desire to do any more sight-seeing and the days were just too oppressively hot and humid to spend much time outside other than early mornings and late afternoons.  At 5 pm you could practically set your watch for a major downpour of rain, which usually lasted an hour or so. This was perfectly timed for our walk to dinner!

So we did little but relax, recuperate, read, get caught up on photos and updating this blog, and of course, many SKYPE calls to family.  We reflected on this fantastic voyage we were blessed to experience.  As good friend, George, said:  Another item checked off the bucket list!  Amen to that....  Thursday, Dec.1st, we returned to Sacramento and our much-missed little motorhome.  Every time we fly we think, never again.  Nasty, awful, crowded, sick, and uncomfortable are the adjectives that come to mind.  We will be very content to be in our beautiful Anza Borrego Desert very soon after Christmas!  In the meantime, we are having a much-needed family fix.  Love and best wishes to all...

Around Jaco!

The beach

This beautiful parrot lived in the trees by a restaurant where we dined

Iguana out for a stroll

Haircut with Bob Marley and friends
The town

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