Friday, September 23, 2011

MET Fashion Photo Show Presents: Costa Rica & Nicaragua

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to another edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. Last month my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica & Nicaragua with friends and family. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I wanted to capture the trip with as many pictures as possible. I wanted to share some of our experience with you in this special edition of my blog. As promised in the last edition, I will be giving away a souvenir from Nicaragua. This leather bag is a little token of my appreciation for those of you who have registered as followers of my blog. In addition, the lucky winner will also receive a free photo shoot for one hour that will include a limited use CD with the images taken during the photo session and five, 5x7 portraits of your choice from the images taken during the session. Right now I am working toward making this a monthly contest for one lucky winner each month. Contest rules will be made available soon so stay tuned to the blog!

Costa Rica is approximately a five and a half hour flight. Because we always wanted to visit Costa Rica the flight didn't seem so long. Once we arrived in Guanacaste, we were surrounded by rich, beautiful countryside. August constitutes part of the rainy season. (The rainy season takes place six months out of the year from May to November) When we were told that this was the rainy season, our first thoughts were of tropical depressions pouring lots and lots of water on us on a daily basis. (We were wrong!) It barely rained during our trip and when it did, it broke up the humidity that filled the air. We stayed at the Villa Cansada where everything is all inclusive. The food was very good and the staff was even better. The staff really went out of their way to make us feel at home. There were no televisions in the room, and not too many outside distractions making Guanacaste a great destination if you want to get away from it all.

Guanacaste is known as the "Beach Spot" in Costa Rica. The views are amazing. Here is the view from the front side of the villa.


Even more stunning than that are the sunsets that take place. The villa had two jacuzzis and a swimming pool. The second jacuzzi has a little hut on top of it. There is a waterfall directly under the hut that adds an amazing touch to the villa.
A five minute walk will put you onto the beach. The beach has beautiful beige sand. There are rocks that can be climbed that the locals use for fishing, viewing the island and simply relaxing. In Guanacaste you become one with nature. The animals run free and they don't mind showing up at the villa for food. A couple of staff members have visitors that come by for food everyday. Here are a husband and wife team of iguanas.
The iguanas come by religiously everyday at lunchtime. Sometimes you would see strange visitors that would be considered food themselves, stop by to say hello, or to grab something to eat.

At nite you can hear the monkeys in the trees. When they are playing with one another, the sounds can easily be mistaken for crying babies. There are about four different types of species that roam the islands. They will not bother you, but if you offer them food, they will not forget you. It's no different than feeding the animals here. Costa Rica is also known for its beautiful bird population. However, because of the rainy season, the birds fly off to other destinations. As you can see in this photo, not all of the birds fly away for vacation. The birds that visit the villa greatly appreciate a free meal just like everyone else.

There are great souvenirs that can be purchased in town. Local vendors pride themselves on the items that they sell. If you are a collector of beautiful handcrafted, wood items, then Costa Rica is the destination for you. Fruits grow plentifully here. As seen in this mango tree, there is no shortage of fruit. Breakfast was a real joy as fresh cut fruits were served for breakfast everyday.

We took some wonderful tours across the island exposing us to the many different sites that make Guanacaste an excellent place to spend vacation. Costa Rica is next to Nicaragua and the Panama Canal. If you are willing to take the drive, in just under two hours time you can be in either country. On this trip we took the two hour trip to Nicaragua. We didn't know what to expect. You always here about the negative side of the country such as the former military conflict and the poverty that greatly exists. We did see the poverty that affects this country greatly, however there is also the beautiful countryside as well. Our biggest regret was not being able to spend more time in Nicaragua. Nicaragua is a photographers paradise. At this time I want to share some of the pictures that I took in Nicaragua.


We did a tour of the many mini islands that exist. On these islands you will see white faced monkeys.

These monkeys are very tourist friendly and do not mind asking for food. They love bananas and other fresh fruit. They do not like dried nuts or trail mix. (My wife found this out the hard way! The monkey tried it and abruptly threw it to the ground!) The crocodiles like fresh fruit. Yes crocodiles! They swim up to the boat when they are called. Yes, you did hear that right. The locals are able to call out to the local crocodiles and they will approach your boat.



When we arrived in the center of town, we were dropped off in what the locals call "Central Park". Their park is not as large as ours, however it is just as beautiful if not more beautiful. There are churches, a school, a big flea market in the center of the park, a large shopping area that goes on for several blocks and fine restaurants that offer the best Nicaraguan cuisine.


After we completed our visit to the local islands, we toured an active volcano. The pictures that you are about to see are the sign of the cross that is found by climbing the steps to the highest accessible point to the volcano. You are also looking inside of an active volcano with the sulphur rising from the volcano.

There are economic problems that clearly exist on the streets of this beautiful country. Artists have taken to the walls of the streets to voice their concerns and to make the general public aware of what is going on. I took some pictures of the walls and performed very little changes in restoring these images into potential works of art as seen in the eyes of the artists who created them. I wanted you to have a clear visual picture of the beauty that does exist.




Just when you think that there is nothing else to take pictures of, the sun begins to set. Costa Rica has some of the most amazing sunsets that you will ever see. I thought that this would be a good way to conclude this edition of the blog.



Well, that's it ladies and gentlemen. I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day yo read about our trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I will announce the winner of this months contest in the next edition of my blog. Next time I will introduce you to the scholarship winner chosen from the You Can Go To College Committee program, Ms Tatiana Walker. If you are interested in seeing some more pictures from our trip, please visit my Facebook page, or my website, madisonspics.zenfolio.com, "Costa Rica & Nicaragua". No password is needed to view the pictures.

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