My last adventure took me across the Atlantic to Costa Rica. The rainforest had been on my hit list for a while now so I was pleased to spend Christmas and New Year among different kinds of primates. Unlike my previous travels the priority this time was not to take too many pictures. I really wanted to fully immerse myself in this new type of terrain. I travelled to four different regions of Costa Rica spending a few nights in each place. These included Nosara on the North Pacific, Manuel Antonio on the Central pacific, Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast and then into the central highlands, specifically La Fortuna. Of course the camera did come out in small doses, I found myself fascinated by the pockets of light forming in the rainforest. I wasn’t organised enough to get myself out at ‘magic hour’- I was more likely on the beach supping a cocktail, it was Christmas after all. The rainforest canopy acted as a diffuser for the harsh midday sunlight. Passing clouds were frequent, offering a more subdued light on the forest floor. Wildlife of course was the star but I wouldn’t consider myself a wildlife photographer in the least. However I did get involved now and then (when in Rome). So I now have more far away monkey pictures that I know what do with. One morning a beautiful howler monkey took a dislike to my camera and weed on me and it! Fair enough.
The pacific coast and Caribbean are extremely different in atmosphere. This is due in part to the different cultures. I didn’t have a preference, both sides are beautiful and I could speak a lot more on the subject. I will just note that it is on the Caribbean side I had one of the most fascinating experiences. Somewhere near Puerto Viejo in the Talamanca region I went to visit the Bribri tribe. The only people pictures I took during this trip. The Bribri is a small tribe at an estimated 11,500 (according to Wikipedia). They grow cacao, bananas and plantain and live entirely of the land. I was offered some delicious food wrapped in a palm leaf. Long story short I was lucky to meet the Shaman of the tribe that day. He cleansed and blessed me. I have to say it felt good, even with the burning embers in my hair and he let me take one picture. I also met a Bribri lady called Vicky who made me a necklace from a plant and some hot Chocolate. The hot chocolate was the business.
Unfortunately the camera never came out in the central highlands. I was busy rafting down rapids in Jurassic park land or climbing the steepest of Volcanos (Cerro Chato) in torrential rain. Most people were equipped with go pros or waterproofed I phone cases. I was just happy to skid around in the mud and get propelled through the air over rivers. Oh and the best of all spend hours just floating in hot springs. I did go at the most touristy time of year but it was manageable. I met many backpackers passing through Costa Rica in a hurry to get to Nicaragua for more of the same but much less of the expense. Holiday makers were perfectly happy.
In brief; Costa Rica is fabulously Eco friendly. There is a huge respect for nature being it holds 5% of the world’s biodiversity. It has no army and has banned Zoo’s. I considered it pretty safe for a solo traveller. Being able to travel is a luxury and I felt lucky to be able to visit this part of the world.
I present a portrait of Costa Rica with a small selection of images featuring things which caught my eye during my trip; pockets of light, Bribri, creatures and the likes. Enjoy.