Surf Competition

Playa Tamarindo
Playa Tamarindo

The Circuito Guanacasteco de Costa Rica, held a local competition in Playa Tamarindo, not far from my home.

The Judges

The first day we experienced twenty-five MPH winds. It was hard to stand up, much less, hold my camera still.

The Wind
The Wind

The second day was hot, and like a novice, I had no shade. I will never do that again.

Super Sun w/no hat
Super Sun w/no hat

But the week-end did have its perks. I got some good shots. I culled them. It’s tempting to show the big waves and spray, but I’ve got to learn my camera and get beyond the blur.

Competing Surfer
Competing Surfer

My favorite heats were the children and the long boarders. But I found myself drifting out of the competition area and shooting the everyday surfers.

Dolpin/Children's Heat
Dolphin/Children’s Heat
Not a Competitor
Not a Competitor

Also, I met Fabian Sanchez, the photographer, for Surf Nation; a Costa Rican online Surf Magazine.

Fabian Sanchez
Fabian Sanchez

With all of this, now in my distant past, I am once again forced to ask myself, what do I want out of this. Why am I doing this?  What is fun and what isn’t. I run to the internet to educate myself about settings and lenses.

There are a plethora of facets, to photography, like a cut diamond, it illuminates my soul.

In it for the long haul-photo by Fabian Sanchez







Secret Spot

Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica, once was a secret spot. As a matter of fact, the country was unknown, until recently. Turning from Villa Real, faint images of ox carts on the swirling, dusty road, come to mind. There were very few cars on the road. It was wide open. There was only one rental car company in the country, and every rental was the same; a white, Suzuki Sidekick. You could tell a “gringo” local, at a glance. They all had an outback, rough and rugged look. Now, the town is filled with pampered pioneers. That’s progress, eh?

I actually struggled internally over writing this post. It seems a bit sacrilegious. First you share paradise, then it’s gone. It’s not like I’m spilling the beans on what a jewel Costa Rica is; I just want to tell you about a special day in a special place. One that’s pure-a-vida still.

I would not feel comfortable to disclose who these people (first names only) are or where this spot is. I can only say, this is the best. To me it cannot be improved upon. It is heaven at hand.

~The Tropical Rooster~

Roosters are a mainstay in Costa Rican lifestyle and the story would not be complete without this guy. Their crowing is  second in the chain of morning animal sounds; the first being the Howler monkeys.

Andelina, The Family Matriarch

Andelina, was our hostess and I always feel honored to be in her presence. Who wouldn’t? She generously invited my husband and I to dinner and we were happy to accept. Her stove is red hot clay, fueled by cut wood. Each “burner” is a hole in the clay. The smoke is ventilated through the roof of the house. She tried to show me how to make a tortilla. I participated the best I could. I don’t think she realized how undomesticated that I am. Or maybe, she did! It’s kind of hard to hide. It was another National Geographic experience. What can I say?

Karen and the other ~ Tropical Rooster~

Karen is the reason we know this family. She is from southern California, and is fluent in Spanish; I only aspire to be. Her husband Glenn is a photographer and world traveller. When they’re in town, we gather here and swap adventure stories and tell tall tales. With the right people, this is my favorite pastime.


This is Omar, Andelina’s grandson. He’s unknowingly putting on a show for us. This is his front yard and private playground.




~the table was set for a typical Costa Rican meal; fish, caught that morning, black beans, rice and tortillas.


Sweet! Life just doesn’t get any better than this.

~night closes~

The day was done and we had to go back home. I could see the warmth through the window and I felt the magic.

~the long road home~

I was reluctant parting, like I always am, when I have to leave these people and this place.

This is the Costa Rica that I fell in love with.

As I head home……………… I know I’ve just tasted a piece of heaven.

I’ve always been more of a sinner than a saint…..

Don’t tell anyone…………ok?