Rewind to March 2012, when I was enjoying my last month in the tropical paradise that is Costa Rica. My Ecological Photography class had one more field trip as part of the curriculum, but where to go? My super hip, 24-year-old professor decided on the best location – the private property of his young, engineer friends in Isla Damas, a mangrove getaway in Quepos. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were all on board.
An early morning get up and a long bus ride brought us to the destination before the destination, where we awaited the boat that would take us to the greatest class trip of all time. After a short, ten-minute boat ride in shallow waters, we pulled up to a dock and some coconut trees – hammocks and soft, green grass all around. We all took a seat at the long, wooden table in the outdoor kitchen space, only to be welcomed by a large plate of freshly cut fruit. Not too long after, one of the hosts prepared the best grilled chicken I’d ever had while the friend cut up some coconuts for drinking. Everything was delicious.
Remember the shallow waters on which we came? Well, the tides took them away.
So, we went in. There was mud everywhere – lots of it. Little crabs formed holes in the mud, and there were alien things floating around in the pockets of water. I was really walking knee-deep in this stuff. Not just walking! Running, sitting, and sliiiiiding in MUD. Pura vida. And goodbye to my swimsuit bottoms.
One hour later, we were off to the beach via tractor.
In this part of the world, we were the only ones occupying this space at the time – just some 20-somethings watching the sunset from the warmth of tide pools.
And once the sun set over the perfect afternoon, we headed back for dinner.
THIS was dinner.
We ate, we laughed, we played games, we slept.
Breakfast did not disappoint, either. It was a very typical Costa Rican breakfast – toast, eggs, that special cheese that they love so much, gallo pinto (rice and beans), and fruits!
The remainder of the morning included a tour around the mangrove, where we met some monkeys and felt the breeze of the open water.
Between returning from the mangrove and leaving for good, we made new friends.
Our final tractor ride took us away from the tide pools and private sunset to the mainland. Many thanks and a few last goodbyes later, we were en route to San Jose – home.
So where does ecological photography fit in all this? ¿A quién le importa? Nos divertimos!