Day 7 - Dominical to Aljuela
While eating breakfast on the beach, a group of guys from Florida strapped surf boards to their pickup. I asked them where the break was today, and they invited us with them down the coast a few miles to Point Dominical, where they said the waves would be curling perfectly.
They drove like lunatics down the dirt roads, with one of them standing in the back of the truck clinging to the roll bar. We turned off on a small peninsula and followed a narrow road to a hotel clinging to a cliff above a cove. The surf was flat, but we watched a lone surfer through the binoculars as we had coffee in the hotel bar. One of the guys from Florida told us how he fell 20 feet off a waterfall the day before and landed flat on his back on a rock. He said he just stood up and was fine and it was a sort of religious experience for him. The other guys just laughed and said he was a lucky-son-of-a-bitch. They decided the surf wasn't going to pick up, and Leslie and I watched them drive crazily away in their truck, shouting about where to go next.
We checked out at the hotel and began our long journey back to the airport through the central mountain range. We started climbing immediately east of Dominical towards San Isidro de General. It was beautiful country, with vast ocean views and coffee plants in rows along the foothills. We reached San Isidro with no problems, but drove right into insane traffic at the Carratera Americano. San Isidro is an intense little city set in a high valley. As we left, we again climbed into mountains, this time driving into fog and rain. The mountain road was narrow, winding, and full of potholes and semi truck -- not an easy drive.
After what seemed like forever, we left the pounding rain and descended into the vast metropolis of San Jose. We left the highway and drove right into the heart of the city, and realized that our home of San Francisco spoils us -- we were not prepared for driving in downtown San Jose. The traffic was amazing and every road was one way in the wrong direction. We finally made it through the city and back to Aljuela, and easily navigated back to our original hotel -- this time in a much nicer room (same price).
We ate and drank and crashed early, not looking forward to leaving at 4:30 am the next morning.