2013. Got off to a start fraught with challenges. I headed to Central America for warmer climes, exposure to a new language I still hope to master, and a lifestyle change. I was excited to ring in the new year and so were the thieves. Letting go of stuff and being grateful for what is was this year’s theme. I would catch myself feeling frustrated without my gear and my favorite lenses and I would think but look, you are alive, unhurt, and in a beautiful place, the sun is shining, the butterflies are flying, the sand is soft, the sky is blue and you are wearing flip flops. I focused on the bits and things that were left behind instead: my life, my health, my barefoot running shoes, my favorite sturdy tripod, my favorite duffel bag, passport, license, bank card. All was not lost. My photography files however were gone. There would be no 2012 year in review. But I had backup drives and I had dear, sweet friends I could rely on, to help me rebuild the bits and things to keep my photography and writing dream strong. 2013. Here are my highlights:
The year began with rest, relax and regrouping in Atenas, Costa Rica, with the Rodriguez Salas family. There were endless hours filled with fun and games on their new neighborhood soccer pitch. I adore my adopted Central American family, days filled with laughter and playing.
Fuego y Agua on Ometepe Island, a 50k up, down, and around Volcano Maderas was an incredible adventure. I do love running up things. I met the most down to earth and invincible people at that ultra race and had a big smiling time shooting the kids fun run.
Moves to the big city of Granada had me searching for nature. You have to go inside to get outside in the beautiful courtyard gardens. I sat for hours at the Hotel Dario watching pigeons and drinking Frappuccinos. My favorite place for writing and editing and snacking.
More surf lessons at the Monkey House Hostel were in store for me, owned and operated by pro-surfer Olivier Soliz. You can’t beat the view, the lessons, or the good vibe my friend brings. This is where you want to be if you head for Playa Gigante.
I visited Volcano Cerro Negro in Leon, photographed volcano boarders: ash flying screaming goggles and orange jumpsuits goofy. I took a ride down on a deserted board and joined the rest of the orange crew waiting with ash covered grins.
I experienced and documented a Gracious Living Yoga, Surf, & Raw Food Retreat in Playa Maderas, met the loveliest people and learned the benefits of eating raw food. I embraced the healthy vibe of good clean eating, nature, and exercise. Surf lessons were provided by the Rancho Cecilia crew, a dog loving, fun loving, good eating, jungle eco-lodge resort.
Professor Petroglyph led me and an exuberant engineer through the jungles of Ometepe in search of rock art. We mountain biked around the island, walked in circles through the thick brush, learned about the abundance of stinging things and loved meeting this guy.
The storms rolled in across Lake Nicaragua, the monkeys howled, lightning lit up the house and thunder crashed. The view out my window from a house in Diamante while I recovered from a runaway horse escapade and a cracked rib.
The colorful buildings in Granada were my backdrops for street photography. I followed her down the street, colors changing as she walked on by.
My last few days in Nicaragua were spent swimming in a Crater Lake, watching heart shaped clouds float overhead and counting rainbows. Visit the Apoyo Lodge for yoga and natural beauty.
This view! Happy New Year from Panama! Visit my recent posts to see scenes of hummingbirds, hikes, and orchids from the Chiriqui Highlands. I will be exploring the islands and beaches of Panama in 2014. I hope your New Year is filled with beautiful scenery, precious moments, and lots of adventure.