This trip to Costa Rica has been really incredible although it was only for a couple weeks. I met some really awesome people and got to do and see some really incredible stuff.
The first few days of this trip really tested me. Not knowing any Spanish at all when I arrived! Then once I had made it to where I was staying I had to somehow keep my sanity together as I sat in a little cabin with nothing but my mind for most of the day after shooting and editing which also depended on the time of high tide. As fun as it is going to the beach in paradise not having any social interaction made it seem Robinson Crusoe ish. But it definitely made me a stronger person mentally hard to explain how but it did.
But eventually over time I did meet some people and make some great new friends. My neighbor Beto who is literally a modern day Tarzan! This guy has awesome shaved chest hair designs and is known as a the local gnarly spear fisher. He told me a story about a time he went out and caught a fish that was 200 + pounds with a spear gun…and as he was fighting it a shark almost 6 meters long started circling from the blood from the fish, pretty intense. Anyway unfortunately I don’t have any digital photos of him I got to snap off a couple with the Mamiya though. So super stoked to see how those come out. Oh and he also went and got me some lobsters before I left they were ORGASMIC. We grilled them at the bar with some garlic and butter.
I also made some friends at the bar. There was a group of beautiful girls that were there doing a turtle conservation thing for a few weeks. They would go out and patrol during the night and when a sea turtle would come out and lay their eggs they would go get them and put them in a safe place away from poachers and wildlife and when they hatch they would release them pretty awesome stuff. I went on a patrol with them one night but unfortunately didn’t see anything…BUT on the last night of my trip me and Keisha (the Aussie) went out at night and were watching the stars and as we were leaving she spotted something really big on the sand down by the water and she asked me “is that a log”? And I thought no way looks like a boulder. So went to check it out and it was a Baula turtle which is a super endangered species of sea turtle apparently there are only about 2300 left in the pacific. This thing was MASSIVE it was about 5 feet long maybe more from tail to head. It was like looking at a dinosaur! I didn’t get to take any pictures of it because your not suppose to use flash and it was pitch black out but ill definitely remember that. Thanks girls for a great time!
Keisha: The Aussie, Brooke: The Kiwi, Micaela: New Yorker
The next day I got on the bus to San Jose, which took 6 hours! But I figured I would get there the night before my flight so I don’t miss it and Ill just stay the night at the airport. There weren’t very many benches there though but I saw a group of guys hanging out so I went to join them and was like “hey guys what’s up! Can I join you guys” and they all looked at me with blank stares like wtf…. only one of them spoke English haha so they eventually got across what I said and invited me to join them and we played cards trying to converse it was a lot of fun. There was also an older couple there that fed us a bunch of food they had because we were starving and the stores were all closed.
Elvin: Nicaragua, Roberto: Spain, Mauricio: Mexico
Roberto actually had his mountain bike with him and spent the last 4 months riding from Peru and rode over 3,000 miles!
I searched for a spot to sleep but there wasn’t really anything open, and then I thought wait! I have a hammock! So I found a spot to string it up and slept in that for the night all the guys were loving it they thought it was the coolest thing, sleeping in a hammock in the airport! Only in Costa Rica could I have probably done this I thought.
The next morning we all awaited out flights, we were all starving so I bought everyone breakfast they were super stoked. And said if I ever visited them they would treat me to dinner so looks like ill have to go visit them. Lvin lives in Nicaragua which I would love to go surf at and Roberto lives in Spain and I really want to go there and do the Camano de Santiago pilgrimage walk and run with the bulls so hopefully ill see them again.
I am super stoked with my first experience traveling outside the country. Costa Rica was definitely a good country to start with since it was almost borderline a third world country where I was at with the lack of hot water or washing machines, they didn’t get electricity until 1996! It definitely was a culture shock to me but I had a lot of fun got to shoot some great photos of surfing and eat some really awesome food. I would have to say thought that my favorite part of traveling is all the interesting people you meet, the new friends you make. I think it really broadens your mind. I feel like most people just get stuck in the towns they have lived in for most of their lives and never take the time to go out and experience the world, which I can’t really grasp why you wouldn’t want to go out there and see the world.
The only real bummer for the trip was not getting to shoot in the water I missed out on that. Also forgetting my tripod on the bus because I am an idiot and forget things all the time. And last carrying around every bit of camera gear I own! It is such a pain to carry around a huge SLR 5 lenses and a giant medium format film body. As awesome of photos they take I think from now on unless it’s a big project shoot I will pick up either a 35mm film camera or a Polaroid and a Sony nex-7 maybe as my digital. It will save tons of room and stress on my shoulders.
I guess we will see where my next adventure is. There might be a trip to Canada for some blower powder slaying coming up…