Jaco is probably the Costa Rica's most touristy beach city, popular with foreigners and locals. It has surfing, some night life, and a sports bar full of hookers where I watched the ACC basketball tournament. It was the only place I could find to watch basketball, and the hookers were polite, not at all pushy. Beach, surfing, bars and hookers were about it for Jaco, but seemed to be enough to keep it full of tourists. I arrived on March 3 to check out it out. I tried to do some more surfing, but I admit I wasn't very good at it and it was pretty crowded out there. Pretty much the same story when I tried boogie boarding. I also practiced my Spanish and kept up on the news by reading La Nacion, Costa Rica's main newspaper. It was here that I started following the story of Rosa. This brought out the dark side of severe pro-life laws. Oh well, back to lighter subjects. The only pictures I have of Jaco are of the beaches and surfers. Sorry, no hookers. Most of them weren't very attractive anyway. The last shot is of the two dogs at the hotel I stayed in who kept me company while I was reading. They were friendly fellows who liked having company and sharing their fleas with me:
Jaco is the last place where I tried surfing, so I think this is a good place to summarize my progress: I was terrible at it. Not that that stopped me, I was having fun so I kept trying in spite of my ineptness. I reached the point of occasionally surfing the foam but never got up to dropping in on a wave. I don't know if this is standard terminology, these are the terms I learned in Samara. I also learned why surfers get so annoyed at spectators who get in the way. On one occasion I actually got up on the board and was looking forward to riding in to the beach. Then I found myself heading straight towards two small children who had waded out into the surf and were watching with delight as I was bearing down on them. What is amazing is that their mother was standing behind them and encouraging them, "Oh, look at the surfer coming right at us! Wave at him children, come on, wave!" Apparently she was not concerned that a 200 lb man on an eight foot long board was about to run over her sons. This is not good parenting. I ditched and headed back out with a better appreciation of why some surfers develop an attitude.
I stayed in Jaco until March 24. I was making slow progress on the surfing and hated to leave a place where I could watch the NCAA tournament. However after approximately seven months in Costa Rica I really felt I should get moving. The first step was to return to San Jose. It's not an interesting city but is the transportation hub of the country.