Back to Costa Rica, Liberia is about a 4 hours drive to the North-West of San Jose. Luisa’s flight was out of San Jose, and mine was out of Liberia later in the day. So when it came time to leave, I dropped Luisa off in San Jose, kissing my wife, travel buddy and translator goodbye (Luisa is fluent in Spanish. I, on the other hand, am barely fluent in English. I can understand a bit of Spanish, but speaking it is another thing).
The drive back was beautiful. It was around 6:00 am, and all the rivers had steam rising from them in the valleys. It was gorgeous. I passed through the cutest towns, and somehow didn’t get lost. At every toll booth, I’d just point in the direction I was going and say, “Voy a liberia”. Thankfully they’d nod, and give me directions in Spanish. I caught nothing, except the word “Directo” which means straight. So I continued going straight, and somehow ended up in Liberia.
Just outside of Liberia though, there was the cutest town, and I had some extra time and wanted take some last pictures before I left the country. I drove through the tiny and bumpy dirt roads, and eventually parked the car. I grabbed my camera, my 5omm lens, threw them over my shoulder and began to walk the dirt roads. It was amazing. Everyone seemed a bit apprehensive at first as to why this gringo was walking through the streets. I spotted this man, and said in my broken Spanish, “Puedo sacar a su foto por favor?”. Can I please take your photo? Luisa had made sure I knew that phrase before I left her at the airport. It worked great until they would almost always ask, “why?”. I would try to explain again, in probably awful and broken Spanglish that I was a Photographer, traveling in the country and getting pictures of the people.
Soon the news that a photographer was in this tiny town spread, and children and families were all out on their front porches watching this crazy gringo taking pictures.
I had an absolute blast. An hour and a half flew by like nothing, and I eventually had to get going to catch my flight. I tried to ask if any of them had access to a computer to receive emails. No go. So if I’m ever in Costa Rica again, I can’t wait to bring them all their printed photos. The people, are what I remember most about Costa Rica. They’re absolutely amazing.