Sunday, November 4, 2007

Guy Fawkes Weekend in Jaco

Last weekend we went to Playa Jaco for Guy Fawkes day. We met up with about a dozen other teachers at 6:00 AM, piled into a van, and headed off to the beach.
The event is put on every year by a some British families at Country Day School. All of the families and teachers stayed at a big resort right on the water. There were many events scheduled, including darts, cricket, and horseshoes. Allie hung out by the pool for most of the day Saturday, and I took a taxi a few km south to Playa Hermosa. There were some really good waves at Hermosa, and I surfed until I arms went limp.
That afternoon we watched people play cricket. Cricket seems like baseball, but much slower. It was kind of neat to watch because the game took place on the beach at low tide. There were scarlet macaws flying overhead, and Allie saw a tucan as well.
At night there was a beautiful fireworks show to celebrate the holiday. After the fireworks, we went down to the beach for the burning of Guy Fawkes.
For those who don't know about Guy Fawkes, here is a brief history. In 1605 a group of people tried to blow up King James and Parliament. However, people found out about the plan, and most of the conspirators decided not to go through with it. When they searched parliament, they found Guy Fawkes in the basement with 20 kegs of gunpowder. He was hung, and shortly after that, people started setting bonfires all around England. Since then it has been a tradition to burn effigies of Guy Fawkes.
The effigy of Guy Fawkes was placed on top of a huge bonfire of palm frawns. It was a giant fire and very hot, but after Guy Fawkes' head burned off, it pretty much looked like a cross that was on fire.
Our resort was located on the outskirts of Jaco, but that evening the teachers went into town. We ate a restaurant called Taco Bar, which has any kind of seafood taco you can imagine, and also giant batidos (smoothies). Taco Bar was really cool because instead of chairs, you sit on swings while you eat. We did not want to hang out in Jaco that long, so we headed back to the hotel. Jaco is the closest beach to San Jose, so it is a pretty seedy place.
The next day we had breakfast by the pool. After that there was a horseshoes competition, but my partner and I were eliminated in the first round. I took that opportunity to go back to Playa Hermosa for more surfing, and Allie soaked up some more sun at the pool. The waves were not quite as good as the day before, but the crowd was much thinner.
That afternoon we loaded up our things and headed back home. We stopped at the bridge in La Caldera, where there are many crocodiles in the river below. The hills nearby were also filmed in the movie Jurassic Park.
We had a really good trip. I was stung by a jellyfish, and we both got pretty sunburned, but it was nice to get away and have fun.

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