I am back from Costa Rica. I left Canada on the 16th of January for Costa Rica and I returned on the 25th of July. I flew through Houston into Toronto and cleared security sometime just before midnight.
One of the biggest changes coming back, is that I am no longer living in Ottawa. Frankly I have no reason too. I went there for university and I finished that shortly before leaving. I will be going back to school in January at Loyalist College for Photojournalism, but until then I will be in Guelph. Hopefully I will be able to find some work in photography while I’m here otherwise… waiting tables?
Needless to say emails are going out today and tomorrow, to let people know, I’m here and I can do photography.
However, this post is going to recap my final days in Costa Rica.
I was at the Caribbean!
I mentioned the hostel I was staying in my last post, as a somewhat unique place, and not for good reasons necessarily. One of the drawbacks was that the beach in front of the hostel was rocky and kind of sucked. However, I had been told that about a 20 minute walk away was a nice sand beach, and there was so I spent a few hours there.
There was also a small island off the coast that reminded me Jurassic Park…
More interesting than another white sand beach (I know I was spoiled) were the jungle paths. The jungle basically pushed right up to the beach and there were some cool paths to some deserted places I went along.
One of those paths led up to a cliff with a sheer drop 50m into the ocean. It was a dramatic place to sit and read for a while, although one that required caution while climbing around.
On the 24th I packed up my stuff and set out into the rain. It had been pouring that morning but had slowed to a light drizzle around 10am when I left. I boarded a bus to San Jose and 5 hours later I was back in the big city.
I made my way 20 blocks across town with my backpack and found myself back at Galileo Hostel, the place where this had all began, so to speak. I stayed there for two nights when I first arrived and had nothing but nice memories of the place. Sure enough the experience was about the same this time around.
I spent the evening at the hostel bar, chatting with other people staying there. It was a little strange. As the night wore on, I was tired and wanted to sleep, but at the same time sleeping meant I would wake up, and waking up meant it would be over. I didn’t want it to be over.
The next morning while waiting to depart for the airport I took some pictures of a map they had spread out on a table at the hostel.
I decided to do an overhead shot and then I put the map photo into Photoshop and used the paint tool to circle all the places I was, and the roads I traveled to get there.
Considering I was just there to be in Nosara I think I got some pretty decent travelling around in as well.
Three hours later I was in the air to Houston, Texas.
Here is a short video I took out the airplane window of our take off, and my final glimpses of Costa Rica. I think the best part is the commentary from the four-year old sitting next to me.
I’m gonna miss Costa Rica. In my list of places to visit in my life, frankly Costa Rica wasn’t on it. I only went because the Voice of Nosara offered me an amazing opportunity. As I look back over previous travels though there seems to be a pattern of ending up in places I never intended to visit, which I then grow to love.
I hope I’ll be able to return someday soon. Financially speaking I should be able to, it’s almost cheaper to fly to San Jose from Toronto than it is to fly to Vancouver. And now West Jet is flying regularly to Liberia, Guanacaste.
Until then it’s time to hit the ground running. Photojournalism is an intensely competitive industry and I’m going into Loyalist with experience and a competitive advantage, the next two years are going to be fun.
P.S. To the regular blog followers who I haven’t met, glad you’ve enjoyed reading, hopefully I will be able to keep this interesting as time goes forward.
P.P.S To those at Voice of Nosara and the people of Nosara in general, thank you very much for everything over the six-months. Thank you very much.
When I travel to a new city I usually like to have a day or two to do nothing except walk, so this morning I walked for 6 hours. I wandered downtown bought some sunglasses and tried to find out where to meet my bus to Nosara tomorrow morning. It turns out Google lied! (I know, it’s outrageous and shocking) Google said that all buses to other parts of Costa Rica left from the central bus station in San Jose, called the Coca Cola bus station, which is named for the former bottling plant that the bus station is located in. It turns out their buses don’t go to Nosara… neither did the next station, or the next. It gave me a chance to bust out some serious Spanish as I had to start asking street vendors how to get to the right one. It took about 45 minutes, but I now have my ticket for the bus, which departs at 5:30 tomorrow morning; gross.
After that I wandered more, bought some bread and cheese from the grocery store and some apples from a fruit vendor… the apples were from the states though, I wanted some local fruit…
With my hunger assuaged, eyes protected, bus ticket in hand and slightly exhausted and sweaty I headed back towards my hostel, to a huge park near by. I wandered around and siesta-ed in the shade of a tree. The weather is literally perfect. The air temperature is around 25 Celsius and there is a constant shifting breeze, a welcome change from the minus 30 wind tunnel called Ottawa….
As a photographer I’m a huge fan of juxtaposition, to the left of the field these guys were playing on was a massive soccer stadium. I wasn’t able to frame it in the background and still get the faces while they played so… I took a second photo.
After an hour or so of relaxation and soccer creeping I continued my about-town trek and stumbled on this random piece of Canadiana. While American fast-food chains dominate the main roads of downtown San Jose, the Bank of Nova Scotia somehow managed to get the tallest tower and thus dominates the skyline. Some International Relations/Development theorists would argue that all of this foreign direct investment is a good thing for the country’s development and economy… some.
As I sat down to edit some pictures a new arrival to the hostel came out back for a cigarette. Curious about what I was up to he asked and we struck up a conversation. We sat and talked about nothing really and yet covered every topic from climate differences between Wales and Canada and Costa Rica, plane crashes, previous romances and our limited understanding of Costa Rica. This is one of my favorite parts of backpacking, the interesting people you meet and the stories and experiences they choose to share. Since I was having a conversation I had closed the lid of my laptop, and while we were talking a bird shit on it, they say its good luck if a bird shits on you… I think it was good luck the bird shit after I’d closed the lid.
Today has been a wonderfully relaxing day. I’ve been in touch with Voice of Nosara and they’re ready for my arrival, apparently they’ve adopted a cat, which is awesome. I love cats. Early morning tomorrow and six hours on a bus, but my next post will be from the Voice of Nosara office.