Day 6: Jaco Beach
We had an early start this morning – the bus was loaded up and on the road by 9am and headed for Jaco Beach. The trip lasted about 3 hours, and the journey took us through mountainous terrain with beautiful views of forested valleys and coffee and sugarcane plantations. We stopped at a few places along the way, the first of which was at a little fruit market on the side of the road - it seemed to be a popular stop for hungry travelers. Our next stop was at the “crocodile bridge” – a long bridge over a river in which a lot of crocs like to hang out and the site where, apparently, the world’s largest crocodile was found. We finally arrived at our hotel in Jaco, which was truly a slice of heaven. Our rooms were no more than 30 yards from the sand, and the beach was gorgeous. It was lined with palm trees, and each end of the bay was marked with tree-covered cliffs. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach or by the pool, and most of us also hit the main (only) shopping street to check things out. The meals here were buffet style, with a lot of different food options. After dinner that night, a lot of the girls became the main attraction on the hotel’s outdoor dance floor.
Day 7: Zipline
Thursday started with a bang. At 9am we left for the zipline rainforest tour, which has to be on the extreme sport list! We parked next to a seemingly insignificant dirt road and were told to unload and start walking. We rounded a corner and a little shed holding harnesses and helmets popped into view. The zipline guides greeted us and harnessed us up (after we signed an “accident” waiver), and then beckoned us onto a tractor trailer. The tractor lugged us uphill for about 10 minutes into deep rainforest, and when we finally reached our destination (the first of 11 platforms) we were VERY high up. Those of us that were scared of heights weren’t feeling too well at this point, especially knowing that we were about to fly through the air, trusting our lives to steel cables and iron karabiners. Coach Rohan bravely volunteered to go first, and seeing him race along 200 yards of cable about 200 yards above the ground gave us all courage to follow suit. The views overlooking the beach and forest were amazing; though I’m sure they would have been better appreciated if we weren’t so concerned for our lives! After this morning’s excitement, we were all ready to relax on the beach again, and spent the afternoon soaking up rays. Swimming in the ocean was a must – the water was a perfect temperature. Tonight, everyone just did their own thing and went to bed fairly early in anticipation of the “coach Ro challenge” that would take place the next morning.
Friday morning was quite interesting. We started off the day with our “coach Ro challenge.” Coach decided to have our last training session on the beach, where he challenged us to a 20 minute run, where he was under the impression that he could beat us. To keep it short, he failed to win, and he came to a greater appreciation of all the hard work we put forth. We had the rest of the day to ourselves. Most of us spent the day laying out at the beach or the pool, and a few traveled into town to go shopping. This was our last day at Jaco, and we had an amazing dinner with everyone and then just ventured to all hang out together playing cards or foosball.
Today we left Jaco, and made the 2 1/2 hour trip back to San Jose, through the mountains. Let us remind you that the roads are quite small and very windy, which makes for a long ride
-- Emily McColl