All this adrenaline made me hungry. Fortunately, the food in Jaco was consistently fresh and delicious, premium grade fuel for body and soul.
Every morning around seven, I would leave my room to be greeted by majestic waves rumbling beneath our balcony. I would cut up some fruit – whether papaya, watermelon, mangoes, plums, or a native fruit called guaba – to find they were always ripe with sweetness and juice. We had purchased the brightest ones at a dusty fruit stand by the side of the road on our way to Jaco, where we picked up pipa fria, cold young coconut, to sip on our way to the beach. For breakfast, I would crack some eggs, mesmerized by their plump orange yolks, and fry them into omelettes to create a hearty egg sandwich or serve them with mashed plantain, fresh local cheese, and avocados. A rich cup of Costa Rican coffee with its smooth notes of nuts and fruit would end our feast.
I’m not an adrenaline junkie. Except for one crazy experience at 18 that involved hanging upside down over the Atlantic Ocean from a Hammer ride in Santo Domingo, I generally get a kick out of the swirling teapots at Disney World.
But suddenly there I was, in my 30s and having left a cushy corporate job, carrying a surf board into the wave factory that is Jaco Beach, a Costa Rican surf town located on the Pacific coast and a straight 1 ½ hour shoot west of San Jose. Though it’s close to noon and the sun beats down on my face and arms, the water is surprisingly cool. I strap on my leash and start piercing the incoming waves with the front of my board until the water reaches my chest. At this point, I jump on the board and start to paddle.