For whatever reason, likely my fault, we weren’t able to cook on the day we were dropped at a colorful but dusty corner in Puerto Viejo. We had an appointment to learn cooking with a woman who is like the culinary grandmother of residents both old and new on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Everyone knows her, everyone raves about her cooking – we were excited. Surfers, wanderers and stray dogs inhabit the narrow strip of land she calls home, which is caught between the sea and an ever-encroaching jungle that refuses to be tamed. It is a paradise in many ways, albeit a run-down one.
As a photographer, I was rather happy to have our allotted cooking time to myself for a photographic expedition. After all, photographing anything that is aged or exploding with shades of the rainbow – is for me, akin to what heaven might be for other people. The beach and streets were somewhat empty, residents still sleeping off the sting of hangovers from a night of raucous partying. I wandered in a creative, happy haze, with the town almost to myself.
This is what my ecstatic heart captured on the day were were supposed to be learning to cook:
When our van driver finally found us again, with the intention of delivering us back to our tent in the jungle, I remember that I wanted to beg him to return and say he’d been unable to collect his charges. Ideas of sleeping in a hammock between palm trees while the sea breeze played with my hair, surfing with men from Koki Beach and maybe learning to create bamboo furniture consumed my desires. Alas, our guardian was not to be swayed from his duty. He, and others, urged me to return on my own again one day.
I’m more inclined to find another surf town on another foreign shore …
the wide world I’ve not yet seen continually calls my name and I hear good things about Tenerife …
My trip to Costa Rica was provided by the Gift of Happiness campaign sponsored by the tourism board. As always, thoughts and opinions are mine.