LENS

February 4, 2014

Guanacaste, Costa Rica – January 24_31, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — wally426 @ 11:37 pm

Tamarindo is a sleepy little surf bum town on the Northwest cost of Costa Rica. Nobody is in a rush to do anything in this place, and once that get-it-now sense of urgency melts away from your New York frame it’s a really nice change of pace. There’s a sense of calm that embodies theĀ Pura Vida ethos of this small Central American country. It’s no wonder why so many European and American tourists flock here during the colder months.

IMG_0576

Tamarindo is a dog lovers paradise. They run free all over the place. The old saying of “It takes a village to raise a child” applies to pooches here.

IMG_0580

Coco fetch

IMG_0585

.

IMG_0591

Locals weren’t scared of the huge waves

IMG_0594

Fish eye

IMG_0599

.

IMG_0608

.

IMG_0609

Free to roam

IMG_0616

Ready for the act

IMG_0618

Lurking

IMG_0627

Running on the beach every morning was great. The sand wasn’t too soft and the water was like a bathtub

IMG_0629

waterbike

IMG_0633

.

IMG_0637

.

IMG_0665

Greetings

IMG_0695

.

IMG_0704

Iguanas are like the squirrels of Costa Rica, they own the place

IMG_0713

Feeling the heat

IMG_0715

Beach snail

IMG_0722

Tropitrail

IMG_0724

Piper down

IMG_0740

Parts of the beach were covered in old lava flows that met the sea thousands of years ago. It looked like a different planet from some vantage points

IMG_0754

Nighttime visitors

IMG_0788

Feeding time

IMG_0789

Looking from the sea, it was incredible seeing the immense waves roll toward the shore

IMG_0799

IMG_0807

Cat’s eye view

IMG_0811

Safe haven

IMG_0812

Ben the boatswain

IMG_0840

Octoprints

IMG_1008

.

IMG_1010

.

IMG_1013

A yellow bellied sea snake washed ashore. Apparently there’s no antivenin for its bite in Tamarindo, so one needed to be careful walking the beach

IMG_1081

IMG_1082

The sunsets here are off the charts. Every evening you’re treated to a display of color so vibrant you can barely believe it’s real.

IMG_0669

Sunset over moonscape

IMG_0739

Olas

IMG_0744

.

IMG_0762

Neverending Story

IMG_0764

blowout

IMG_0822

blowback

IMG_0829

.

IMG_0982

.

IMG_0991

.

IMG_1097

.

IMG_1104

Fire beach

IMG_1106

The surfing is also incredible here. Huge barrels are common here with long even breaks.

IMG_0623

.

IMG_0791

Surf Nada

IMG_1046

.

IMG_1048

Moonsurf

IMG_1072

10-footer

IMG_1086

top o’ the world, Ma!

IMG_1089

.

IMG_1093

The estuary that leads from Tamarindo Beach is teeming with wildlife. I waded across it a couple of times on morning runs not knowing what kind of creatures inhabited these brackish waters. After seeing this fella about a hundreds yards from said point, I decided it was best not to wade through anymore.

IMG_0850

The locals call these rock kickers

IMG_0852

Blue heron

IMG_0857

.

IMG_0863

Tri-colored heron

IMG_0865

.

IMG_0866

White Ibis

IMG_0872

.

IMG_0889

Smiley

IMG_0891

Night Heron

IMG_0892

Red mangroves are the lifeline of the estuary

IMG_0911

Throughway

IMG_0918

Emilio led our troupe onto a path off the estuary. Did I mention he’s the man?

IMG_0920

The path opened up into this enchanted forest with horses roaming free amongst the ancient trees

IMG_0923

In the forest, there was a family of howler monkeys hanging out. The baby on the right was adorable..

IMG_0933

I see you

IMG_0937

This guy just stared unfliching the whole time. He was either enthralled or really scared of humans

IMG_0941

.

IMG_0943

Danglage

IMG_0946

.

IMG_0949

Snow Heron

IMG_0963

The Kingfisher

IMG_0969

.

IMG_0973

.

IMG_0974

The Catalinas Islands lie about 40 minutes off the coast. They’re known for their amazing diversity of sea life beneath the waters surrounding them. Humpback whales, dolphins and eagle rays crested the surface on the way out. Underneath white tipped sharks, huge schools of snapper, 10-foot long manta rays, moray eels, grouper and octopi were present.

IMG_1014

.

IMG_1020

Frigate bords

IMG_1018

Fishing boats loomed in the distance. The divemasters noted their distaste for the nets these boats use.. they dredge the ocean floor, destroying coral and killing all sea creatures with impunity

IMG_1017

They call this particular island “El Sombrero”

IMG_1023

Manu

IMG_1024

.

IMG_1027

Frigate birds and Brown Boobies fighting for limited nesting space

IMG_1021

En route to Monteverde

IMG_1123

Stopping off at a bird sanctuary along the way. These Macaws were free to fly around the courtyards.

IMG_1127

They were quite social..

IMG_1131

Call me Samuel

IMG_1134

Climbing the bumpy dirt roads to Monteverde. The ocean can be seen in the distance.

IMG_1141

Dog days

IMG_1142

Westward

IMG_1148

They called the roads “free massages”

IMG_1152

Costa’s presidential elections were held on February 2nd. The election is headed to a runoff as neither of the top two candidates got enough votes to win outright. A finely decorated Johnny Araya is one of the two candidates in the mix..

IMG_1163

Passerbyes

IMG_1165

Standoff

IMG_1301

The thick jungles of the cloud forest

IMG_1207

In most places, trees’ ages are measured by their rings. Here, scientists measure the amount of soil present at the tops of trees to determine their age. Such is life in the canopy..

IMG_1263

.

IMG_1266

Mossimo

IMG_1270

.

IMG_1273

Ancient shadows

IMG_1279

The cloud forest is famous for many things, but one is its hanging bridges. There’s a series of over 15 bridges that rise above the jungle floor. They’re impressive to say the least..

IMG_1242

Underbelly

IMG_1226

You have to stay in between the lines when walking across as the bridges tend to sway

IMG_1268

The view below, over 100 feet down

IMG_1281

The average tree lives only 20-30 years in this extremely moist climate. The floor is littered with decaying stumps.

IMG_1222

.

IMG_1244

.

IMG_1254

Darwin would love this place. Everything seems to have evolved to this isolated ecosystem, including these flowers that await the long bill of a hummingbird..

IMG_1236

The smallest avocados in the world

IMG_1251

.

IMG_1284

Angry Hummingbird

IMG_1186

Christian, the guide, made Quetzal mating calls for nearly 45 minutes before this pretty male showed up

IMG_1234

.

IMG_1298

Dino Claw

IMG_1223

Nasty little millipede

IMG_1286

My favorite sighting.. El Perezoso (the lazy one). They’re extremely rare to see, so this was definitely a treat

IMG_1312

He looked like a little werewolf

IMG_1315

The sunsets in the mountains were no less spectacular..

IMG_1326

.

IMG_1332

Blog at WordPress.com.