Friday, February 14, 2020

Jaco and Manuel Antonio

This morning we packed up early at our AirBnB in San Jose and headed for the beach in Manuel Antonio, about three hours away. We’re definitely getting better at spending long periods in the car together at this point.

Our first stop for the day was zip lining through the rain forest in Jaco with Chiclets Ziplines. We were a little late, due to traffic and a police checkpoint where we saw a guy take off from the cops, but the tour guide was able to call me on my Costa Rican cell number (insert plug for Kolbi here) and we assured him we were almost there.

When we arrived, we geared up and then jumped on the back of an open air truck for the ride up the mountain. We hiked for a while through the jungle to the first platform and (after a short “cable school”) took off!

Here we go!
It was a blast, the guides had a good sense of humor, and I earned the nickname “camera boy” for carrying a GoPro the whole time. I was particularly interested in how they set up the runs and dealt with the speed/braking aspect of the ride. My dad and I built a zipline in our backyard one year, about the same length of the first couple of these runs, but, for ours, I had to be the crash test dummy and figure out how to stop. This system used a padded leather glove and depended on the rider to slow themselves down before hitting the tree.

Next, we had lunch at Bowie’s Point, sitting at a long shaded table, facing the ocean. We also got a show with our lunch, as the owner’s potbelly pig wandered out to join us, along with several chickens, a rooster, and a dog.

Our lunch view - wishing we had brought a volleyball
Our next stop was Biesanz Beach, a hidden gem of a beach supposedly good for snorkeling. Tanner and I swam about a quarter mile out past the surf to where we saw several tour boats dropping people into the water. Sure enough, we found the reef! It wasn’t quite Finding Nemo level of color, but there were quite a few interesting fish swarming around us. Joe even got to to sip from a coconut on the beach, as he had been hoping to do!

The friendly fish
After we left the beach, we checked into our AirBnB in Manuel Antonio and decided to head out for some dinner. Joe picked a place called Barba Roja, which had a great view of the ocean and the setting sun. We enjoyed our dinner and Tanner amassed a collection of glass Coca Cola bottles to bring home with him.

Dinner view
After dinner, we backtracked to the town of Quepos to walk around and see what we could see. We got some ice cream and watched a guy watering a soccer field for a while before stumbling upon what looked to be a high school drum line playing on the paved boardwalk near the ocean. They were excellent, and we discovered “marching xylophones” are a thing.

On the way back, as the van was climbing a steep hill, Tanner said, “Ezra, the needle just dropped and the gas light came on.” This caused quite a bit of consternation in the car, as we hadn’t seen a gas station for a while. Tanner stopped to get directions to the nearest station, but, when he returned, he said. “Good news and bad news. Good news, there’s one nearby. Bad news, I have no idea what that guy said.” There was also a less than helpful hand drawn map. Undeterred, we turned around, dropped Joe and Steven off to watch a local roadside soccer game, and were able to make it back to a gas station before the fuel ran out.

Tomorrow is our last day in Costa Rica before returning home. Haley will be flying out mid afternoon, while everyone else leaves around 2:00 AM Saturday morning. We’re planning to make the most of it, that’s for sure!

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