A fast paced city and unique sights in the Jungle, Costa Rica has something for everyone!
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- If you had a choice to pack up all your things and paint a picture of the world we live in, what would you do? You ask yourself, what do I have to lose? ♪ Baby let me follow you down ♪ ♪ Follow you down ♪ ♪ I'm all in pieces just waiting for you to come round ♪ ♪ Round ♪ ♪ Just singing this song ♪ ♪ Baby let me sing you this song ♪ ♪ And cigarettes and these hard fingertips are what ♪ ♪ I'd sacrifice to deliver you this ♪ ♪ Song ♪ We find ourselves living on this planet we call home, yet we are so disconnected from it all. We feel like complete strangers. The pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of love, the pursuit of adventure, the pursuit of freedom. My name is Stephen Friedman and this is the story of chasing the sun. The hours blur into days and the weeks become months, All one's sense is a constant high as you capture everything that surrounds you. This happens the first day in a new country as you wait for reality to kick in of where you are and what you're doing here. This Costa Rica this is San Jose, and this is basically where your journey will begin. This is your center point of your compass. So whichever direction you want to go, this is where it all begins. Airplane food for something that gives hope to your palate. My first stop in San Jose was a local restaurant, or as they call them here solas.
- [Edgar] From the restaurant there nothing from this town. So like the lady telling you two years ago they start like a small window and then they're growing and growing little by little thanks to a the same town. Because people from here they go eat, have a lunch, dinner as well.
- [Stephen] Eating Marcella's restaurant reminds me of a Sunday lunch at a friend's house. Simple, tasty, and just fills that empty void in your stomach. The people here are so warm and inviting, that the food represents a stage that it's set in. Just like most countries in the world football is huge here and Costa Rica is seven hours behind Europe, so they watch the evening games at lunchtime. Since this space is a Spanish speaking country, then the La Liga league games are watched closely here.
- [Stephen] This is more than a place where you come to eat food. It's a gathering place for the people of the neighborhood. ♪ I've been breathin' in ♪ ♪ And breathin' out ♪
- [Edgar] We are the best, we're one of the best. We have many different small restaurants like this that which we call solas. That which is also, cheap, good and nice. ♪ Your smell is hard to refuse ♪ ♪ And if I take a step ♪ Well this is a typical town is Costa Rica no? Normally we have a church behind, soccer field, and behind the soccer field is a school. And one of the corners is a bar. Always is like this. So, lot of couples, old couples from this town they meeting in this park. Actually I meet my wife in this park. 14 years ago you can imagine right? So, it's mostly like this it's a town that which you're with peace, you know relax all the time. I love living in Costa Rica another because of the people. The people they are warm, friendly, really friendly. Normally in other countries, that when you get to the corner everybody stop. No, here no you'll have to stop to check it out before to cross the street. Because another way well, good luck.
- [Stephen] I really do love this place. Sometimes you get caught off guard and get surprised in a good way. It feels like you've been here before but you haven't. The cool thing about Costa Rica it's very small, and it doesn't actually take that long to drive from one place to another. If you really wanna experience Costa Rica, and all the little see all the sights, and meet people along the way, you gotta drive. Even catch a bus 'cause there's so many buses in this country it's actually crazy. I've never seen so many buses all in one center point it's mad. I've always been curious when it comes to remote locations like I'm in right now. Like I literally caught a flight, a car, a bus, and a canoe, and I'm in literally the middle of the jungle. I'm going into the wild into the Tortuguero Reserve, nature reserve. I'm just on a canal and yeah it's pretty cool! ♪ The end of now ♪ ♪ This will change ♪ ♪ I'll tell you how ♪ Living on the island with the ocean on one side and the lagoon on the other side is something special. I'm trying to muster the right words to describe the backdrop I find myself in. Yet, whatever I come up with will never do it justice. I guess the poets and songwriters will be better off to put the words together than I. The jungle and oceans split between the vein of the lagoon as the life continues to blossom on the land that grows upon it. ♪ Save yourself from me ♪ ♪ There's so much more that you can give ♪ One thing about you being in the jungle you're literally, in this place is alive on every tree, every corner and every rock there's just something happening a life source being an ant, to a frog, to butterflies, crickets, monkeys all around this area. ♪ Save yourself from me ♪ Even the ants capture your imagination here as you can watch them for hours on end. I'll never take them for granted again. They are really fascinating. ♪ Save yourself from me ♪ ♪ There's so much more ♪
- [Stephen] The Jesus lizard, the animal that runs on water. It's not a magic trick and if you blink you will miss it, but at the same time trying to find one in the jungle near the water's edge is just as hard. But when you do see one you try to slow everything down and see it for what it is, the beauty of nature and what animals can do. Every hotel in the Tortuguero region has a football team, and Ronny is a coach for one of the teams. His team wasn't playing today, but we went to see the kids play anyway because soccer is like a religion here in Costa Rica. In this region, like most of the country, everyone gets involved and watches each match played as if they were watching their national team take to the field.
- [Stephen] Fishing is always a big part of any community living on the water. Here's no different, as it's part of the way of life here.
- Well I've been fishing in this water for maybe 40 years. Well we face the lagoons, we face the ocean, and so we fish for snook, tarpon, jack, cuberas snapper, mangrove snapper that is a little smaller. Well the climate is up and then some days we have rain because we are in the rainforest. We got maybe 38 could be raining in the morning. Then two hours after the sun is out, so we are an off and on climate. We're right now we are in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Known by Tortuguero inlet, trying to see if we could maybe hook up a big tarpon. I think it's one of the out of Central America, one of the best country you know you live, you don't have much problem, you have a nice, nice area that you can go, you know? Have a nice life. Yes I've been born in Costa Rica. I like my work you know? And sometimes I do other work you know besides guiding and like that. Help the other largers to take people back and forth. You are in the tourist season. A little extra but that's the way it is. Well we work with tourists from all around the world. American, from Spain, Russians, from all over. Well we also guide up is real good fisherman you know? That they really know what they are doing. But you are in between, you got a little everything. Some of them you have to give them a little instruction. You enjoy it because it's a sport. And everybody like it, you know. We are seeing a lot of fish, but sometime it's slow, and some days it pick up real good. Some light tackling, you could, I would find, maybe for one over you know? Because its a real he turn on his side, and he just keep pulling all the time. He never just come, like today, facing you all the time, he pulling up to go to the bottom. We release him because it not a really, he has dark meat you know? Very strong, you'd have to really fix it up a real different kind of way. But all the time we release him. Tortuguero jack prevalence very strong.
- [Stephen] Jack prevalence is not a nice fish to eat, so we put him back. Catch and release is a global trend because it's important that the next generation also gets a chance to fish. However eating fish is a big part of the Tortuguero community and there's nothing better than fresh fish.
- [Roberto] The type of fish they prepare for you most is snook, cuberas snapper, king mackerel. You get those type of fish and take it in, and he'll fix it up for you for lunch or dinner.
- [Stephen] The local guy like Roberto, is the fisherman in this area. He basically, that's his job. He catches the fish and delivers it to this resort. It's the way it is man, simple. This is as simple as it's going to get in all honesty. There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place, and sometimes you have to trade trees for traffic, as I add a new chapter to my journey. So I went back to San Jose. ♪ I'll carry your love ♪ ♪ I'll carry your love ♪ ♪ I'll carry your love ♪ ♪ All the way home ♪ ♪ I'll carry your love ♪ ♪ I'll carry your love ♪ ♪ I'll carry your love ♪ ♪ All the way home ♪
- Cesar he's a great role model. He's a very humble person with a great soul. Everybody that gets the chance to meet him, fall in love with him because he's an excellent person. He trains with his heart, and he knows your name, and he knows your family. He's a very complete person in all aspects in life, emotional, religious, family man. He's a complete man, yeah we all love him. ♪ Ooh love is hard ♪ ♪ Ooh love is hard ♪
- I began running, about two years ago. I have a health problem so I need to find, I was looking for something give me many reasons to live. And I found running, I buy some shoes, some tennis shoes, and I began running. I knew here in La Savannah, Cesar, he was the man who inspired me to begin running and from that time from here was two years ago more or less. When I began running actually I walk 50 meters and I was now, I'm making half marathons and in a good time because he's inspiring us, he teach us.
- It's a passion. And you know and when you get in a group you start learning about the passion as well. Sometimes you have to get up at four A.M. on a Saturday, so you have to change your life. Just because of that, but you make it possible because you like it and if you have a teacher like Cesar, you will do it for love.
- It's completely changing your life, you can not go out on Friday super early because you have a long run on Saturdays and you change your eating habits, your everything actually. You need to leave aside all your bad habits. You have to live well, eat well, enjoy.
- You probably get a lot of weight during your life right, but when you put your tennis and you go out running, you forget about everything and then you come back as a new person.
- [Stephen] I'm very surprised. I'm actually blown away by it in all honesty. It's been a fantastic experience, incredible journey, saw some great things, met some great people. And that's what it's all about. That's how travelings about. Yeah, it's an awesome place it's a really really cool place.