Second and last day in Jacó-the-Sin-City. I woke up rested and decided to head to Playa Hermosa, South of Jacó. Why not? I wasn’t going to pace the same old main street all day long.
“How far is Playa Hermosa?” I asked around at the hostel.
“Far,” some said. “Not far,” others insisted.
People here suck at giving directions and estimating distances. I don’t blame them. So do I.
“Voy a caminar,” I added.
“Walking” is like a bad word around here. People always seem shocked when I announce I’m walking from A to B.
“Puedes tomar un taxi,” someone said. “son veinte dólares.”
Ah. When was the last time I spent twenty bucks on a taxi? Oh, right. Never.
“Puedes tomar el bús,” someone else suggested.
“¿Hay un bús?”
“Bueno… no. Tienes que tomar el bús que sale de Quepos. A las seis de la mañana.”
Gee. I could totally take a bus that may or may not come at 6 a.m. Especially considering it was 9 a.m.
“Voy a caminar.”
And so I left, with my swimsuit, a bottle of water and a few sweet breads.
I saw the sign as soon and I exited Jacó: Playa Hermosa, 5 km. This was definitely doable. I followed the road uphill and after a while, I was rewarded by a scenic viewpoint. This alone was worth the hike.
Despite its name, I didn’t have high expectations of Playa Hermosa. I mean, city names can lie. In Northeast China, “Changchun” is most certainly not the city of “Eternal Spring”. But Playa Hermosa turned out to be pretty nice. The seven-kilometre long stretch of sand was mostly empty but for a few surfers and some overpriced “beach bars” close to the highway. It was quiet… and this is what I was looking for.
I can’t pinpoint what annoys me about Jacó. I don’t mind gringos and tourists—after all, I am one of them. Costa Rica is expensive and I knew Jacó was going to be caro. I have seen prostitution in action before. I have seen worse beaches too.
Maybe it’s the fact that there is nothing special about Jacó. I mean, the beach is okay but there are better beaches along the coast. The food here is nothing to write home about. There are no waterfalls, no city, no national park, no natural reserve… nada. It’s a place to party, drink, and repeat.
I am a traveler. I am not here to party and drink beer on the beach.
I made myself a sandwich with the fresh bread and tuna can I had brought and just lay there under the sun.
I walk halfway back and then someone gave me a ride. “¿Caminó usted?” the driver said, a puzzled look on his face. Again. Yes, I walked. Yes, that far. It’s not like I did drugs or jumped from a cliff, is it!
That said, I was tired when I came back to the hostel. I rested a bit and walked (yes, walking again!) to the bus station to buy my bus ticket to San José.
Suddenly, I felt very lonely. I am coming home. It would be easier to keep on running away but I can’t do that. Yet I am worried about life in Canada. Will things be different? Will I have the willpower to be more flexible, to let it go?
I decided to shrug my worries away, for once, and to take it easy. One thing at the time. I grabbed a sweet bread and started writing… and I felt better.
It wasn’t so hard after all.
You can see the complete set of Costa Rica on Flickr.