East Coast Getaway

Both myself and Steph had a few days off towards the end of March but weren’t too sure what we wanted to do with them. Various ideas were floated, Norway looked like an option for awhile, as did various other European destinations. However, in a bid to save a bit of cash (big adventure in the pipeline for the end of the year) we decided to stay fairly local and rent a cottage.

A couple of hours looking online and ringing round later and I had one booked in the small village of Ebberston, close to Pickering, Whitby and Scarborough, a really great location for some walking and, if the weather was in my favour, some surfing.

The cottage I had found was lovely, in a really quiet area but had access to a swimming pool and jacuzzi, as well as having a great wood burning fire. It ticked all the boxes for me, I enjoy swimming and any chance to play with fire. Steph was equally happy, mostly about the swimming, she’s not as big of a firebug as me.


Nice To Have A Fire On An Evening.

Our first full day started out quite overcast as we headed over to Pickering. It’s somewhere I have been a lot, but not since I was about 14/15 so it was good to have a wander round again. There are a couple of old second hand bookshops and it’s quite easy to lose a bit of time in those. With a few books bought we decided to move onto Goathland, famous as the setting for TV’s Heartbeat.

The weather wasn’t great on the way there, we stopped to eat some sandwiches overlooking the Hole Of Horcum but the rain meant we couldn’t really see all that much of it. As we parked up in Goathland the sun started to peek out, and it stayed relatively bright and warm for a couple of hours as we walked some of the trails along the old railway line.

The paths were really nice, taking you into the woods and dropping you down by small rivers, the highlight though was seeing some wild deer run by. They were super close, pretty much heading straight at us when they realised we were people and changed direction rapidly. About 15seconds after the near-deer crashing experience a dog bounded past after them, obviously the reason they were running.


Taken Before The Stampede.


Just Off The Beaten Track.

After spending most the afternoon walking we headed back to the cottage for a pre-dinner swim. It was a nice quiet evening spent watching films in front of the crackling fire, can’t complain at that.

An early start on Friday morning led us to Scarborough. Upon arrival the surf looked good but I decided to leave it a couple of hours before getting in to give the wind a chance to die down. We spent some time on the beach at South Bay before walking up into the town and doing a little shopping. I picked up some new fin socks to try and stop my feet freezing like they did the last time I paddled out.

By the time I got my wetsuit on the wind had died down a fair bit so it seems I made the right call. The waves were 2ft max, but still fun. Quite a few people were out but I still managed to get my fair share. It was my first time using the go pro too, so not having to do any duckdives or suffering any bad wipeouts was good for my confidence in it.

North Bay Selfie 1

I Had The Go Pro On Constant Video, This Is A Still Pulled From It.



Steph Was On Hand With The DSLR To Get Some Shots From Another Angle.


Really Like This Shot She Took.

After steady drive back and another pre-dinner swim we walked to the pub across the road from the cottage for dinner. It was a touch overpriced but really nice food so I can’t really complain there.

Saturday was our final day on the East Coast and we spent in Whitby with my parents and Steph’s mum (her Dad was working unfortunately). The sun was again out and we spent a few hours strolling up and down Whitby’s side streets before heading to a Fish & Chip restaurant by the pier for some food. The portion sizes were massive, my plaice was like 2 fish had been battered together. Safe to say I was full by the end of it.

All that was left to do was the steady drive home.


Steam Train From Pickering.


Costa Rica, Part 3: Road Tripping In A Jimny

Jaco to Manuel Antonio to Dominical

The over-loaded Jimny boarding the ferry.


Once the ferry journey was over we all crammed back in the Jimny and got the hell of the run down industrial port town we’d docked in. A couple of hours heading south and we arrived at Jaco, a town with a reputation as a place to party and surf, sounded perfect.

It took a couple of passes through the town to find a hostel, it seemed ok, it just lacked the air con we’d all got used to in Tamarindo!

We ended up staying 2nights in Jaco, which was more than enough. The surf never really got above 2ft (Playa Hermosa, which is a couple of km out of town was better, but the shifting peaks made it hard to get a good wave there) and the bar scene there didn’t look as good as Tamarindo so we decided to head further south to Manuel Antonio.

Manuel Antonio was a lot nicer, we dumped our stuff at the hostel and headed out to explore one of the national parks. It was really scenic once you got onto the coastal walk part, up until that point it was like walking round a forest in England, just slightly warmer!

The view from the coastal trail.

Spotted this little guy chilling in a tree.

One of the national park beaches: (from L to R) Bruce, Ross, Harry, Me.

After spending most of the day at the national park we decided a few beers were in order for the night so we headed to the nearest bar with some people from the hostel. We stayed out drinking until the bar shut (at midnight, ridiculously early, apparently had something to do with Easter) and headed back to the hostel for a couple more beers and an early night as we were up early to move on to Dominical.

The drive to Dominical was one of the more eventful ones, mostly because Bruce nearly ran over a sloth crossing the road. As soon as we realised what it was the car was pulled over and we all bailed out to get pictures:

He doesn’t realise how close he came to becoming roadkill.

His hair was pretty awesome.

Once we got to Dominical we checked into a hostel pretty much on the beach and spent a few hours waiting for it to cool down before going for a surf. The waves were ok, but nothing special:

Bruce at Playa Dominical. Most of the waves closed out like this.

The view from the hostel dorm.

We only stayed in Dominical for 1 night, its a small town and with the Easter Alcohol sales ban on there really wasn’t much to do so we decided to head down to Pavones, the second longest break in the world.