Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Corcavado Tent Camp

Amanda standing out side of our hommie little tent.

Well we've been in our third location for a few days now and it's definitely a change of pace. We're staying at a tent camp on the Osa peninsula. This means of course that we're sleeping in tents... in the jungle... with no breeze or any form of circulating air. All of our power is pulled from a generator. We have no power in the tents so by 7:00pm we're all on flashlight power. There are communal showers and bathrooms that are a small hike from where we sleep which makes it impossible to stay clean. Even after you get out of the shower, you walk down a sandy path back to your tent with no draft so by the time you get to your tent you're once again sweaty and sandy. Then you sweat more while you sleep. We also have no real access to laundry here so needless to say, my tent smells like foot. This place would be awesome to come camping, but its a terrible place to try and shoot a television show. Equipment is molding and getting sand in it's joints. It's really a pain in the ass.

Ok I'm done complaining now. This is by far the most beautiful place we have been to yet. The Osa is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. The other day on the boats we came across a pod of about 500 dolphins. It was incredible. When spinners jump out of the water they spin--hence the name-- up to 5 or 6 times before they land back in the water. The footage we got is unbelievable. Often the dolphins were close enough to almost touch. They were swimming and cresting right in front of the boat. We go out and swim in the waves almost every evening. The waves can get up to about 10 feet over your head when you're swimming. It's a lot of fun. A few people have gotten scraped up by being slammed into the beach but never bad enough to quit doing it. Scarlet Macaws fly freely and live in the trees around us. White faced monkeys climb around the camp at their leisure. Overall it's a pretty sweet place. Working here is tough so I'm glad we're only here for two weeks, but It's been an awesome first few days. And any discomfort here will only make the air conditioning back in the U.S. more welcoming.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Bye Zancudo

Well today is our last day in Zancudo. This also means it may be my last day with internet for two weeks. We're packing everything up today and loading a truck with gear, and then tomorrow morning we're getting on a bus and driving out to the Pacific coast of the Osa peninsula where we'll be staying in tents for 2 weeks. We're down to the final 4 contestants so now things start to get interesting. I'll update next time i have internet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the roads, and more

I’ve heard of towns so small that they only have one stoplight. Here in Playa Zancudo there are no stoplights. There are no stop signs. There are none of these because in Playa Zancudo there is only one road. It’s an unnamed dirt road that’s covered with more rocks than dirt. Pot holes are large and frequent enough to keep you on your toes while driving. In America we drive on the right side of the road. The law is the same in Costa Rica but in Playa Zancudo, as I imagine with many other small towns, you drive wherever the smoothest section of road is. It’s always to the far outside of the road and when traveling south the smoothest path is as far left as you can get. If another car is driving North you kindly move back to the right side of the road until the dust cloud settles.
There are only a few hundred locals here, both ticos and gringos alike—A tico is what one from Costa Rica is called, a gringo is white foreigner. We’ve met many of them at our at our favorite bar or by stopping in at local restaurants and sodas. We’ve been here for almost a month now and have made quite a name for ourselves. The whole island knows we are here and pretty much everyone likes us. The community is thrilled to have the economic boost. Thirty of us are eating/drinking/renting and buying souvenirs. On th 21st we pack up all of our gear and leave the beach for our third location. We’ll be taking both bus and boats to the Pacific side of the Osa Peninsula. By that time only four contestants will remain. I think some of the crew are getting a little homesick. Even I am looking forward to being back in the states. Amanda and I will be in country for almost another month—two weeks to finish principal photography and two weeks of the B-roll trip, and come mid-April I’ll be able to go back to my normal life.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Our Day Off

Well as expected no one wanted to get on the water on our day off. And Marcos didn't want to have to pay $350 or more to fish, so instead its a relaxing day at the homestead. A few people rented surfboards and there were some boggie boards at the house as well, so I waited until the sun was past its prime and ventured out into sun and surf. I started out on a short board with a broken leash. (it had been abandoned by everyone else because you had to go chase it into shore every time you fell off) I could ride the waves on my stomach and push up to about my knees but couldn't quite stand on it. It was a pretty short board which makes it not very stable, and not quite ideal for a beginner. Once someone gave up the only longboard we had I grabbed that and started paddling out to the breakers. On my first wave I rode it in and stood up, riding it all the way to shore. It's not the most graceful thing in the world but after about an hour I was able to ride and even turn a little bit in the water. I hope we get some more time off for more practice. Plus Amanda wasn't able to come out because she was working on her documentary. If she doesn't get to try it down here we'll definitely try to work it out when we get out to LA. Amanda's doc is the last thing she has to do for college. She officially graduates college on March 16th or something like that. So she's fine tuning everything and going to be sending it off to the states for her professor to review, and in a few weeks Amanda will be a college graduate. We'll try to have some fun tonight because tomorrow it's back to work, and Saterday starts another 2 days of fishing. And after this weekend we send another two contestants home.

sun sun sun

Battling the sun is a constant task. This close to the equator, the sun is in a different class than what I'm used to. Amanda pokes fun at my daily "bath" in sunscreen, but for me it's necessary. On fishing days we're on the water from 6 in the morning till 3 or 4 in the afternoon with verry little shade on the boats. On these days I wear rafting shoes for grip in the boat to help me keep my balance, long pants that zip off at the knees, but I rarely ever zip them off. I wear a long sleeve fishing shirt with built in SPF. I wear fingerless gloves so I can still operate my camera but the backs of my hands are covered. I wear a wide brimmed hat and polarized sun glasses to protect my eyes. All thats left, my ankles, wrists, neck, nose and cheeks are basted with spf45. I think I'm the only crew member who has not been burned to the point of peeling. Two cameramen have had to take a day off due to bad burns. Amanda got sun poisoning on her chest. Just a little rim where the neckline of her shirt sagged a bit where she hadn't used any sunscreen. My cloths are hot, but the discomfort is welcomed if it will keep me from burning. My nose and cheeks are getting a bit red but overall I've winning the fight. Tomorrow is another fishing day. I have a soundman on my boat now, so time passes much faster with someone to talk to. Today, my boat was the top boat. My two fishermen boated seven sailfish. After tomorrow's fishing and another day of intro/outro's we will have our first complete day off. Marcos and I are talking about chartering a boat to get to do some fishing ourselves. It would be great to not have to worry about any work, and try to catch some big fish of our own. We've certainly had all the lessons we need. The boat is a little over $700 for the day. If we could find a third the cost wouldn't be too bad. I'm worried we won't be able to find another taker though. most people don't want to get onto a boat after 2 days on the water. Not to mention we're back on the waiter again saturday and sunday. Whether we go fishing to not, everyone is looking forward to the day off.