Thursday, November 30, 2006

Logbook: Beach Bound

Beachbound1Tuesday morning back at the lovely La Condesa Resort in San Jose, I was up early enough to say good-bye to those in our travel group who were continuing on the trip extension. It was nice to be able to “close the loop” with them, yet familiar and comfortable to be back on my own. I spent the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday making use of an excellent wi-fi connection to update this website and do a ton of research and planning for the next legs of The Voyage. I was able to make some fabulous arrangements -- which I promise to share with you soon -- and I am very excited about what lies ahead. My friend Kay called yesterday morning to say that the weather in the US was terrible and that she would not be arriving in San Jose last night as planned but would arrive at noon today instead. Luckily, since all we had planned was to spend the night in San Jose and be beach bound mid-morning, picking her up at the airport and leaving two hours later wouldn’t be too bad in the scheme of things.

I had made arrangements for a van to drive us to the beach, and it showed up this morning right on time at ten o’clock. With some time to kill before Kay’s plane was due to arrive, the driver and I went to a shopping mall to get some provisions and have something to eat. On our way out of the supermarket, I saw a hair salon and told him I was going to get a haircut (My “Made in Mexico” haircut didn’t last very long and, yes, I’m chuckling just thinking about that). From there, we picked Kay up at the airport and made the two hour drive to the coast, stopping only once to see the famous crocodiles along the way. (See Photos!)

In Jaco, we found our hotel on the edge of “town”, checked in and went for a walk on the beach. The first thing I noticed, of course, was that the beach, terrain and ocean are really beautiful and it is no wonder this is such a popular vacation destination. The second thing I noticed was that it is hot -- really hot -- and unbelievably humid! I’m not complaining, but it is the kind of climate that leaves you drenched and exhausted. One highlight of our first beach walk was running into a pack of friendly dogs! They are former “street” dogs who have been adopted by a dog-loving woman who lives on the beach, and I had a nice time getting a long overdue “doggie fix” with them.

Beachbound2Another highlight was taking an “artsy” photo of a little fishing boat that was stranded on the beach after low tide, then finding myself helping its owner get it back into the water. The tide was way out and it was a bit of a slog, but we prevailed and he sped off into the surf with a simple wave of thanks. This evening, Kay and I went into “town” and had a decent dinner at a little Argentine restaurant. I tried to save a few left-overs for the dogs, but the waitress threw them out by mistake... Bummer! On first impression, Jaco is pretty much just a tourist beach town. High rise condos and rental properties are going up everywhere, and I think Americans may outnumber locals. Prices are really high and the tourist hype is almost oppressive. I’ll reserve final judgement until after I’ve been here a little longer and gotten a better sense of the place, but my initial impression is not so great. Stand by!

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