Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Costa Rica Adventure - Day 5

[Composed 8/3/2018]

Today was all about relocating ourselves from La Fortuna to Jaco Beach, a mere 3½ hour drive away. While packing up was exhausting, the kids helped out and before we knew it, we were on the road.

We didn't over-plan our road trip and had some pleasant surprises along the way. Our first treat was buying Rambutan fruit from a brilliantly placed fruit-stand camped out at a one lane bridge. The half kilo of fruit was the cheapest and tastiest thing we've bought in Costa Rica so far. Then we came upon Loveat Restaurant, a fully vegetarian restaurant run by a patient Israeli woman. Fluffy pita, perfect falafel and the tastiest tacos I've ever had made for a memorable lunch. And of course, the drive delivered view after view.

As I mentioned after the first day, the roads and driving haven't been much of a challenge. As we made our way towards Jaco I couldn't help but wonder aloud what everyone was so hyped up about. And then we made an impossibly sharp left turn onto Route 3. For the next 6½ miles, we drove on some of the steepest, twistiest, one-laniest roads I'd ever been on. Thankfully, we didn't encounter another car, much less a tour bus coming the other way. Looking back, it was a fun stretch of road. But seriously, if Costa Rica wanted to humble me with its driving terrain, the short trip on Route 3 was all it took.

As we finalized our gear for Costa Rica I eyed the 48lbs of food and kitchen equipment we'd packed and looked for ways to lighten our load. One obvious candidate: leave the paper guidebook at home and opt to use a digital one. I came pretty close to doing this, as I've had such great success switching to digital maps. Ultimately, I brought the book along: we'd used it to help plan our trip, so it seemed only right to have it while on our trip. And besides, I figured I'd used the trip to prove to myself that I didn't need the paper version and would count this as the last time I schlepped a dead-tree version along.

And yet, even with near constant 3G or WiFi Internet access, I found myself referencing the book a number of times. And so it was last night as I finally looked at the area we'd be driving through and was able to use the paper guidebook to check to see if there are any fun sights along the way. I'm sure I could have gleaned this same information from a Google search, but in this case, having a curated book to work from was far easier; especially after being exhausted from running around with the kids.

In fact there was at least one must see site along our way: the bridge at Rio Tarcoles, aka Crocodile Bridge. As the name suggests, the bridge serves as a viewing point to a multitude of crocodiles who live in the river below. We parked, hopped out of the car and shimmied our way to the middle of the bridge. And there we were greeted with a dozen sun-bathing crocodiles. This was a fun treat and a great way to break up the last leg of the trip. It didn't hurt that it was free, too.

After our crocodile viewing session, it was a relatively short drive to Jaco Beach. We made it to town at about 4:45pm. The Kosher restaurant in town closed at 4pm on Friday. However, I was able to chat with the owner over WhatsApp and she was glad to make our food available for late pickup. The result: we had a delicious Shabbat meal of kabobs, fish cakes and falafel.

We arrived at our next AirBnB and were immediately impressed. Walking out on the balcony we could see the picture perfect pool below, followed by the beach in the near distance. Our location, at the extreme North West end of Jaco was far from the rest of civilization; but was also perfect for giving a sense of seclusion. Like our experience at La Fortuna, we felt like we had hit another AirBnB home run.

Despite spending most of the day in the car today, everyone drifted off to sleep easily; no doubt dreaming of our upcoming beach and pool time!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this update! Thanks for giving J the trip to beat!