After a couple of weeks of warming up to the bike, several test rides and a month of DuoLingo under my belt, I was ready to hit the road. I figured I would load up the bike completely and go to Jaco Beach for a few days, only about an hour away from Atenas, so a good final test run before the longer journey. I had heard mixed reviews about Jaco, but thought I’d go check it out for myself. I booked myself a bed at Jaco Inn, which is about a block from the beach, off the main strip and smack in the middle of town. Easy access to everything.
It was a nice drive down. I was still getting used to riding with a full load on the back. I made it through the mountains to Escobal, then on to Rio Tarcoles, where you’ll find loads of alligators living under the bridge. I stopped to have a look, thought about breaking out the drone, but decided not to, since there were so many people. I hate to fly it when there are large crowds, as some get pissed at the site, especially, where they are supposed to be enjoying nature! Thought I’d just wait for an early morning pass later, when no one was there. There were quite a few gators, they swam around a bit, but not too much action. I took a few photos and was on my way.
Shortly after the Rio Tarcoles, I arrived in Jaco. I’d bought a phone case for the handle bars, so I had Google maps guiding at all times and she took me straight to the hostel. Actually, one bonus I really appreciate on the motorcycle, is the USB charger that was included on the dashboard. It REALLY comes in handy when you are totally dependent on GPS maps and your phone is running low! Anyway, I arrived at the hostel, they checked me in and I unloaded my bags. Now, I have quite a bit to unload when I arrive at a new place. I have 3 hard case bags on the back and one drone bag. Normally I take all of my clothes and toiletries out of the bags and slide them under the bed, everything else, I leave in the bags and stack them against the wall. The hostels will normally provide a locker for each bed, so I can lock the drone away. The hard case bags also have locks on them, so it’s very nice to keep everything else locked up, so I don’t have to worry about it. It’s like having my own bonus locker space! 🙂
It was a nice hostel, some drinks with friends in the evenings, but not a party hostel. A lot of people who stayed at the hostel wanted to learn to surf. There is an instructor there every day for lessons and you can rent boards as well.
After getting settled in, I walked down to the beach. It was a beautiful palm lined beach. There are nice restaurants, surfboard rentals, and a lot of other beach amenities. It was touristy, but not overly so. From the beach, I went for a stroll down the strip. There is basically just one strip that goes down the entire beach, lined with surf shops, restaurants and bars. Now, the big complaint I heard from others was the drugs, prostitution and bars everywhere. I was approached by pushers of all of the above, but found that if you ignore them the first couple of times, they leave you alone. That part of it didn’t really bother me. It was a nice little surf town, with a beautiful beach and I was going to enjoy it.
The following morning, I headed south to check out some of the beaches. My brother had told me that I had to see Esterillos Beach, so I went directly there first. It was a BEAUTIFUL beach! There are West, Centro and East Esterillos beaches, all of which are all beautiful. I got there bright and early in the morning, so there was absolutely no one around. After a short while, I broke out the drone and flew it up and down the beach. This was basically the first time I’d taken drone footage along the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. I later compiled the footage into a SHORT CLIP, which will give you an idea of how beautiful these amazing beaches really are.
After Esterillos beaches, I continued south to a couple of beaches Bejuco and Palma, neither of which were as nice as the Esterillos. Also stopped at Playa Hermosa on the way back. The surf is supposed to be very good here and there are a few nice hotels and hostels to stay, but it is a fairly quiet beach, from what I could tell. One foot note, at the Esterillos and other beaches, there really weren’t any places to stay on the beach. There were hotels in the area, but the beaches just had a few houses and long beaches. Great for a day out!
Well, a couple of days of exploring the beaches near Jaco and it was time to head back to Atenas and prep for the long journey ahead. I didn’t know how long it would be, but thought it would likely be a month or more. The only plan I had at the moment, was to hit the pacific coast along the northern peninsula.