Tag Archives: costa rica

So you took a selfie?

It seems weird to think how popular it has become to take photos of yourself – after all this technique has only been readily available for a short time – and yet it is not something new –

“The first selfie was taken by Robert Cornelius (USA) in October 1839, using a daguerreotype technique – an early photographic process employing an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapour. Cornelius was required to sit for between three and 15 minutes to allow the necessary exposure time as he posed for the self-portrait in the backyard of his family’s lamp and chandelier store in Philadelphia, USA. He wrote on the back of it: “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”

The Oxford Dictionary recognized “selfie” as 2013’s word of the year, defining this as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”.  (Guinness Book of Records)

Since 2013 when selfies became more common (and easier to take) it seems as if the interest in the place or monument has taken second place our pictures of ourselves.  I wonder why?  Is it because we have to prove that we were there?  Maybe no one would believe us unless it was a close up of our very own mugs with one of the wonders of the world in the background.  Sometimes it doesn’t give out the impression of awe and wonder that we would like –

great wall of china selfie

Maybe he just wanted to show how him and his best friends were having fun at The Great Wall of China

Sure doesn’t make you feel like visiting the Great Wall does it?  Unless of course you can do it like this ….


But then we can’t always travel like the President.  But you know what – there is always photoshop …..

great wall photoshop

Yes – you are seeing right – she photo-shopped herself on a picture of the Great Wall …. but why not?

But getting the selfie sometimes comes at a price – as this broken statue found out.

Student Snaps Leg Off Statue W... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Things That Were Destroyed Because of Selfies

This broken statue is the Drunken Satyr statue in Milan.  A student wanted a picture sitting on the leg – one of the legs snapped off.  Now this is a copy of the original but still a valuable piece of work having been made in the 19th centurey.  Yep  –  the student managed to get out without being apprehended.   

Isn’t that terrible?  And here’s another selfie catastrophe –

Imagine that tourists trying to take selfies actually put turtles off their laying!!

Tourists Keep Turtles from Lay... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Things That Were Destroyed Because of Selfies
Photo: rupurudu/Tumblr

“In 2015, hundreds of tourists descended on the beaches of Costa Rica during the country’s sea turtle egg-laying season and, duh, tried to take selfies with the animals who were trying to get in the swing of their centuries-old birthing ritual. Due to so many tourists clogging up the beach, the turtles couldn’t lay their eggs, and now there are fewer turtles than there were before all of this selfie nonsense started. ”

Well I have to say – actually confess would be a better word – that I still haven’t mastered the art of the selfie.  And I have tried.  I get my thumb in the way or else I get the whole thing out of focus.  They say practice makes perfect so I guess I shouldn’t stop practising.  Mind you – there are a lot of other people out there who don’t take perfect selfies either and the proof is out there … online …. for the world to see – and it helps to have a sense of humour.

selfie sneeze



So who’s a scaredy cat?

scared catMe! So no-one was more surprised than yours truly when I signed up for the Witch’s Rock Canopy Zip line tour in Costa Rica. Holy Cow! What was I thinking? This is definitely not the sort of activity for a girl who is allergic to adrenalin. But really – how can you go to Costa Rica and not zip line? You gotta do it.

The briefing started on the bus – just after we signed the waiver that confirmed that we were not pregnant, allergic, drunk, high or crazy. Don’t do this but do that – the zip lines are strong – they can hold up 10 cars etc. etc. Ok, enough already. Just get me on the damn zip line so I can do it before my resolve takes to the hills.

Off the bus we piled and there were a whole team of Costa Ricans ready to fit us into our harnesses. Now I might tell you that this can be a pretty intimate exercise bearing in mind that you certainly want the straps to be tight and secure. The young Costa Rican guy who fitted me was professional and friendly and graciously did not notice that my boobs were sitting at odd angles underneath the tight straps.

Then the second briefing –

Rule number one – lean back and just gently hold the line behind your head for guidance – this will prevent you from turning round and round.

Rule number two – don’t hold the zip line in front of the running clasp – otherwise Ouch.

Rule number three – have fun.

OK – deep breath and the first zip line was upon me. By this stage my heart rate had gone up and my hands were shaking but no-one could see that inside those big gloves. Hands on the wire and a quick jump so the guide could hook me onto the zip line. Are you ready he asked – I just tersely nodded as he pushed me off the platform into the void.

Oh………..my………g………….  IF

Silence – just the vibration of the wire, the sound of my heart beating, the wind in my face. Oh wow – is that a waterfall. I am swooping like a bird over the tops of the trees.

24 stations later we trooped back to the start where ice cold beers were waiting for us on the rooftop verandah of the little hacienda style building. Sitting at the bar there hot and sweaty looking out over the hills to the sea beyond I felt like a superstar!

Would you like bugs with that?

bugBugs can be a deal-breaker. Just as you have that tropical package all sewn up and ready to go THAT question jumps up. “Er, do you think there will be bugs there?”. Well, it’s Costa Rica. Pretty good chance of there being bugs. Same thing in Belize, or Mexico or Africa. Bugs kinda like hanging out in hot tropical humid destinations.

What is it about bugs that most of us don’t like?  Is it because they are small or that they scuttle (shudder) or just that they look so strange?  Maybe it is because we don’t like the idea of them creeping up on us and looking for one of those warm humid places they like so much!  When you see them in the jungle that’s no so bad.  After all that is their natural habitat.  But when you see them in your natural habitat – well that’s just freaky.spider toilet

I once had people come back from Anaheim telling me how their vacation was totally ruined because the room was full of bugs.  Upon examination it turned out that the bugs were actually ants – and I agree that is annoying.  When I asked if they had advised the management they said they sorted it out themselves by plugging up the ant holes with toothpaste….. mmmm – novel approach.  I wonder if the mint in the toothpaste made the ants’ eyes water.

And I must admit having been guilty of bug-fear too (before I was cured that is).  I spent an entire two nights at Umgazi River Bungalows on the Transkei Coast in South Africa just petrified of falling asleep in case one of the geckos on the thatch ceiling fell on me.  I learnt very quickly that you can get used to anything in time.  It’s so tiring being scared all the time, really!

And ignorance is bliss – young children haven’t learnt to be scared yet but copy our reactions.  So when I found my young son sitting on the doorstep in Africa with the remains of a huge millipede scattered over his bib I just had to merrily say “Oh dear – what have you been up to?” while I got rid of the debris.

We call the millipede a Shongololo in South Africa

We call the millipede a Shongololo in South Africa

Double shudder.