costa rica, part deux

Headed down to Casa de Larry in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica for a boy’s week with Craig, Joe & Rick. (Sorry, Joe, it’s the only shot I have of all four of us…)

First couple of days was just Craig and I, with a couple of stupid runs to the supermercado (the first round, I tried to do the Paleo thing, and the second round, having determined that Paleo wasn’t really gonna happen and that I was going to have to leave the reservation, loading up on the carbs and cheeses) and an afternoon of Omaha lessons on Sunday. And there was much drinking of beer and guaro.

Joe & Rick got in midday Monday — we spent the day checking out Roberto’s, a new restaurant/hotel (pictured above) run by the guy that does the caretaking for Casa de Larry and booking out our weeks’ activities. And there was much drinking of beer and guaro.

Tuesday we were up early and headed north to Witches’ Rock Canopy Tour, a zipline tour of the rainforest of Guanacaste. This was big fun with lots of waterfalls and howling and climbing. I wish I had more pictures, but I wasn’t really into the pictures that were taken, and the cost was a little high. Still, it was a good time, and would recommend it without reservation. I did take a few with the cameraphone, but they didn’t come out so awesome:

Afterwards, we continued down the Papagayo peninsula down to Marina Papagayo. Pretty but pretty dead (the rainy season had just begun in Costa Rica and September is the depth of the off-season for tourism). This was the first chance I’d gotten to get the camera out and do some shootin’.

Here’s Joe lookin’ contemplative…

After heading back to the house and spending some time bobbing in the waves at Playa Hermosa, we drove back up onto Papagayo to get some sunset shots in:

We got chased off our first location, but after a bit of exploring, we found another somewhat challenging location — Rick and I shot for a bit, and while we were shooting, this little guy came rocking up and immediately set upon Craig:

That evening, we headed out to Ginger, a tapas restaurant in Playa Hermosa. Lots of good food: the highlight for me would be the Thai Red Curry Beef on Crispy Plantains or the Mongolian Ribs. And there was much drinking of margaritas and mojitos.

Wednesday we were booked in for a fishing tour. Sadly, something got a hold of me during the night, leaving me horrifically dehydrated, tired and fearing the notion of being away from decent plumbing for more than 20 minutes. So I dropped the guys off and crawled back into bed to try and get better. Thankfully, Rick had some Immodium, which cleared my problem right up.

Here’s Joe showing off his prize from the trip:

He handed that beauty off to the kitchen at El Velero, which we returned to that evening to consume said beauty. And there was much drinking of beer and guaro.

Thursday was more of a down day: we wandered around inland a bit, getting some keys duplicated for the house, driving around the dodgier parts of Liberia, and having one of the better meals of the week at Panaderia Alemana, an odd little German bakery and restaurant just north of the airport. There was a brief detour down to Cocos to find a pharmacy and scout some new sunset vistas. We ended up eating in that evening. And there was much drinking of beer and vodka.

That evening, Rick and I tried to take advantage of the somewhat clearer skies. Unfortunately, the weather prevailed, so we shifted the agenda and tried some lightning photography. This is my best result from that:

I got this expressive shot whilst breakfasting at El Velero:

Friday we were off to Palo Verde Boat Tours, which involved a 1.5 hour drive through Guanacaste sugar cane fields passing through Ortega. The river tour was fairly tame, but it was still an awesome day to be out on the water, shooting pictures. I did get quite a few decent ones:

Coming back from the river tour, we stopped at a soda for some Costa Rican comida tipical. This was possibly the best meal we’d had all week (in a week of some really good meals) — as Rick pointed out, the key is fresh ingredients and simplicity. Rice & beans, fried cheese & plantains, beef, chicken, corn tortillas — it was all awesome. And there was much drinking of the fresh-squeezed pineapple/banana/orange juice.

The weather had really cleared up, providing us a perfect incentive to hang out at the El Velero bar and spend a bunch of time in the water, achieving that Playa Hermosa State Of Mind.

Dinner that evening, we were back to Roberto’s. Here we are with Robert (that’s his wife and son off to the left):

As dinner proceeded, I got to finish off the trip with one final round of sunset shots.

And there was much drinking of beer and guaro.