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Ace's Adventure A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles


NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 19 April 2010 | Views [778]

Hello all,

Well since the last update from cali, we have definately been thrown out of our comfort zone. We had a long flight from LAX over to miami and then down to Costa Rica. This took about 8 hours with a stop over. On arrival we wheeled and dealed our way into a nice little toyota Yaris rental which was a tight squeeze with all our boards and luggage.It was pretty stressful working out how and where we were going driving on the other side of the road with spanish signs and little to no road rules, we wound our way through the rainforest and came up to the small dirty beach town called Jaco (pronounced Haco as we learned), and over the hill to the gem that is hermosa. A stretch of beach with a headland and rainforest to the sand, there are lots of little cabinas (hotel/backpacker set ups) which offer accomodation i the $15-20 a night range. They are all right on the beach and it was an epic set up. We found a place for the night and I whipped out for a quick surf with light fading and discovered that the water was like a hot bath my cold water wax from San Diego melting off. The waves at hermosa are steep and real fast and heavy. In the morning it is glassy and you race closeouts and get smoked, in the avo after the sea breeze dies down it is more crumbly and super fun. We had to leave the place we were staying at, and found ourselves moving with our new friend Jarrod from San Diego to a place to properties down. This was a former hotel set up, a beautiful house but the owner a lady from South Carolina who had lived there 14 years, with her daughter Sydney. She stil allows people to stay from time to time and it was a great vibe being hosted there. We had a great routine of surfing and pooling topped off by a few beers and a tuna dinner. The surf was good in the 3-4 ft range the whole time. We optimistically booked a fishing trip, but you get what you pay for with things like this and hence we were left waiting at the dock for an hour for the skipper, the Penn and shimano reels they promoted were 20 years old. The skipper spoke no english so it was a day in the sun, but hey fish dont descriminate so we were in with a chance, hunting for mahi mahi and tuna, but to no avail, we came home empty handed. It was really nice out there and cool to see some manta rays jumping. One night Jarrods rental car got broken into our was right next to it so we were lucky although we didn´t have anything seen throught the window so no temptation.

Easter was mental in costa rica, with people from all over the country coming to the beach town to party. It was a cool time, and we even had a visit from the easter bunny. There was also a park to the south which was a rain forest, I think we probably went there on the busiest day of the year with all the locals at the beach. We went into the jungle spotted sloths, monkeys, vultures, racoons and some cool as beaches. After 5-6 days in hermosa we went to the north to a place in the mountains called monteverde, we had to take the poor toyota yaris over the worst roads I have ever seen in my life, but it was worth it. We made this detour on our trip to do to this xtreme canopy tour. This was awesome with all these platforms up in the rainforest, between the platforms are cables which you clip onto and you zoom along over, in, between and under the trees, some distances up to 1km, they also had a tarzan swing which was shit scary, it was real cool and something that I wish we could have done back at old toad hall in coatesville.

We continued the treck over the mine field roads to tamarindo, north of hermosa. This is a cool beach town with some great surf nearby, river mouths, reefs and beachies, we had three nights here and sampled some fun surf at all. Playa grande was a sweet beach and we got some good waves to ourselves out there. We found this sweet italian restaurant where you can pick and mix what you want in your pasta and they make it up for you. We headed back down to San Jose and hopped on a plane to Bogota Columbia, we added this into our trip as we had heard such good things from the people who have been there. We wanted to allow for just over a week to check some highlights and after some helpful advice settled on Bogota and Medellin. We went to the Cranky croc hostel in bogota, on the first day we took a bike tour around the city, 5 hours later we had become a lot more comfortable with the city, people and the time we were going to have in columbia. With Dad putting the shits up me about this place and how we need to be super careful (i know it´s cos you love me dad). From what we saw however if you are not stupid and be a little smart there are no issues. You might get gringoed (ripped off) a couple of times especially when you spanish is as good as ours (shithouse), other than we hear of the odd mugging here and there but the bad wrap or perception that columbia has is unjustified. We met an awesome goup of people in the hostel, some brits, aussies and yanks we had an epic crew and we had some cool nights out, to a club on the 41st floor, some local bars and the Zona Rosa (flash part of town). The weather in Bogota wasn´t too conjusive to doing much, as it rained most days just after 12 for the afternoon. So after a few museums we checked out, the police museum with the Pablo Escobar exhibit and the Botero art museum we pretty much found ourselves sheltering from the rain in the warmth of the hostel with our new friends, drinking beers and talking shit, some great laughs were had. We were sad to leave Bogota and could have easily stayed longer, but we needed to get out of the city and see the otherside of columbia. The place is great the people and culture were cool, we found ourselves partnering up with friends who could speak spanish to get by and had a great time. We were heading to the land of the second most famous export of columbia the coffee region. We went to a town called Solento, this was a quaint little town, with lots of cool little couloured biuldings, where the church and square are the focal point with tourists and locals alike all venturing there to its many coffee shops, stores and restaurants. They have some great scenery with hills and rivers, we went on an impromptue hike with this chick we met after a local (who spoke about nothing but sex). We got lead to the river had a swim and hiked out, in jandals i added another few cuts and scrapes to my already weathered feet. They have alot of Truchas (trout) and I had a great meal which was yum. We had a good quiet few days checked out the coffee plantation and then it was three buses to get to Medellin a town famous for its women and partying. We arrived here to the Casa Kiwi hostel in the zona rosa district and again met an awesome crew. Good people travel in columbia, we really havent done too much in the day here apart from checking out the city, and malls. There are alot of attractive women, and fake boobs and if you can believe it bum implants are very popular. We had a crazy night out when a local who is mates with our dutch friend took us to this bar in the suburbs, you will see the photos, but there was all sorts of people dressed up in crazy costumes, midgets, life size dolls with phalases for all to see and we had 12 gringos with a 2.5 litre bottle of rum. It was fun. But this is again another city, very nice but we have got in the same party cycle with our new friends so we have booked flights to go to Ecuador tomorrow. Where we will arrive in Quito and bus to Manta where there are some good waves, I cant wait to get back to the beach.

So yea there is another update, sorry if there are mistakes I am fully hungover and not sure why I started writing this today. Tried putting photos up but computer is shit so will try again soon.

Love Ace

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