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Week 1 exploring, surfing and watching sunsets - Hamish Catto

Melbourne. LA. San Jose. Santa Teresa. After 48hrs of travelling I finally arrived at Jakera to be greeted by the thick Scottish accent of Chris, who runs this jungle paradise. Next comes the introduction to my group, which played out not too dissimilar to that scene in The Sound of Music. First the three Dutchmen Gab, Max and Kaspar; then Lorenzo (who I’m assured is a brilliant musician) from Torino; and finally Ben, my fellow Brit. Beforehand I had been worried about whether I would get along with the people in my group but that fear soon subsided when the comforting call of “So, would you like a beer?” rang through my ears. The group was now whole, and felt like it.

Surf Week. Maykol, Chris’ son and our group leader, took us through what this would constitute; following breakfast we would have 2hrs of Spanish at Jakera under the sun-drenched forest canopy then after lunch we would have 2hrs of surf lessons on the pristine Playa Hermosa. Well, the description did not disappoint. After 5yrs of Spanish lessons I still struggle to make it past ‘Hola’, but our teacher Dani had us all actively attacking the language and having fun whilst doing it. The afternoon surfing was enjoyed by all, and as the week went on we saw everyone standing up (however some were more proficient than others…). This intro has left us all with an urge to continue the search for waves beyond the lessons.

On Wednesday our surfing afternoon was replaced by a ‘hike’. So whilst memories of bleak D of E drudgery flickered in my mind, we were all pleasantly surprised to find out that a Tico ‘hike’ actually consisted of a leisurely stroll down the beach to some rock pools. Furthermore, we were accompanied by some new little local friends whom would be the beneficiaries of our trip. Fair to say they loved the experience. So whilst they splashed about in the rock pool we all sat and appreciated the beauty of a fiery red Costa Rican sunset.

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