// MY NAME IS DANIELAnd after years of dreaming I've sold everything I own and set off on the open road. I've made this site as a sort of photo journal of my travels. The map shows where I've been (red), where I've stayed a month or more (yellow), and where I plan to go (white). And so, armed with little more than a backpack, a camera, and a dream, I now take the road less traveled by. So it goes.
SAN JOSE In contrast to many of the countries I had just traveled through, Costa Rica is one of the most stable and longest running democracies in Latin America. It spends well above the global average on investments in Education and Health Care, while having disbanded its military 70 years ago, which probably saved it from the waves of military coups and army dictatorships that plagued much of the rest of Latin America in the last century. It's also one of the few countries in the world to get more than 90% of its power from renewable energy. San Jose, seen here, is the capital and largest city, with several pleasant pedestrian zones, interesting outdoor art exhibits, bike paths, an interesting little Chinatown, and some impressive architecture.
ARENAL CLOUD FOREST LA FORTUNA Near the town of La Fortuna is the cloud forest covering the Arenal Volcano (which in the photos below is covered in clouds, go figure). Next to Arenal, is a second volcano known as Chato. I spent an entire day hiking up Chato, to the lagoon at its center, and then back down. This was a difficult hike, sometimes a near vertical climb, pulling oneself up by roots and trees, as constant rains turned the ground to mud. Clouds made visibility next to impossible and tropical animals of all sorts slithered along, some (like the yellow eyelash viper pictured below) more dangerous than others.
ALAJUELA PROVINCE A few photos of the villages near La Fortuna as well as the lakeside cabin where I stayed.
CAHUITA LIMON PROVINCE As I boarderd the bus from San Jose to the Atlantic Coast, I didn't realize I was heading right into a hurricane, the first in Costa Rica's history. This would be the second hurricane I toughed out in a small coastal village (the first was back in Belize). Cahuita has an interesting make up. Many of the residents speak Limonese Creole, an English-Creole descended from Jamaica, where many of the townspeople's ancestors originated from. Lastly, the awesome steel bridge below was the old bridge connecting Costa Rica to Panama, though now there's a modern, less awesome one, next to it.