“En el Camino (on the road)“ is a portrait photography project to follow up on those people met while traveling. Some of them locals that give you a piece of their place of origin with their hospitality and friendship, some others travelers who accompany you for a moment in the adventure. Some of them to be reunited after days, months or years, others to be as anecdote of an episode on each others travel diary
Art in all its disciplines and photography are mutual inspiration and elements that complement each other perfectly.
Portugal quickly became one of my favorite destinations, because it has that mix of European country order tinged with a Latin touch that gives its joyful summer sun, its exchange with people from other Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil, Angola and Cape Verde with more of 3000 years of peoples that have passed through the shore of the Iberian Peninsula.
Spectacular beaches with fresh water, culture, friendly people and the mighty wind at all times. Its colors in the streets, in its houses and in the way its people dress clearly express the place where we are or at least it was in what I could see in Lisbon, its nearby beaches and Porto, the other great city in the country
It is a cosmopolitan city, as I mentioned before with a great diversity and an interesting European, African and Brazilian mix all the time. Alfama is what I have more present in mind. Despite being nowadays a tourist district, its bohemian essence that gave birth to the Fado, typical Portuguese music, continues to be felt in its surroundings between its white houses and an impressive sunset with the Tagus River in the background.
Getting to Lisbon from Estoril is easy and convenient. Just take the comboio (train) that takes you along the coast, to go through Oeiras and get to the city by Belem, an area that shows the great tradition and maritime history of Portugal. It is mandatory to go through places such as Bairro Alto, nightlife area and the Parque Das Naçoes, which has spectacular architecture like all created by Santiago Calatrava.
Lisbon received me and gave me the opportunity to see their summer cultural activity, as I was lucky enough to attend an exhibition of Shepard Fairey OBEY at the Underdogs Gallery in Braço da Prata, the trendy and cultural neighborhood today, as well as the music festival from the world Liboa Mistura and attend to photograph a Fado concert by Raquel Tavares at the historic Estoril Casino.
Beaches around Lisbon
Thanks to the invitation of Beach Please Portugal I had the opportunity to visit the best beaches around Lisbon while I photographed for this great project of tours and travel experiences focused entirely on beaches.
Day 1 in Portugal to see what was chosen as the best beach in Europe in 2017, Praia Galapinhos, which in turn has its twin brother next to Praia Galapos. Fresh or rather cold water for a Latino like me, but nice to enjoy surrounded by imposing green mountains, to close the day in Fonte de Telha with an orange sunset over the Atlantic that draws forms with violet water on the sand.
Guincho is one of the favorite beaches for surfers and kitesurfers because it has a powerful wind, which pushes you as if inviting you to continue to know and visit more about the coast to pass through Boca do Inferno, Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe and one of my favorite the Praia da Ursa, which has two large boulders that remind us of the strength of the bear and that give its name to this beach.
Finally the beach that practically was my house for two weeks, Tamariz beach. The golden beach, the favorite of many lisboetas who fill the comboio every day of summer vacations to bathe in its waters or simply walk the beira da praia to relax.
I keep thinking about the color of cities and how they represent them. Porto is totally blue. Blue in the sky, blue in the river, in the sea, in the night, in its football team, in its bars, in its day, in its seagulls. Porto has that feeling of Celtic culture, of cold night. A night city, with nocturnal essence that is announced with the sing of its birds among its alleys of the hills.
Portugal seems to be a hot spot among travelers and with good reason, it is a country that welcomes you with open arms, which invites you to take its famous tram and explore its colorful streets, take a Sagres if you are in Lisbon or a Super Bock if you are in Porto, escape its well preserved nature, swim, climb, ruffle with its strong representative wind, leave and want to return to its bohemian atmosphere in every corner.
Since the first time, in my first minutes in Paris, the city surprised me because of its great diversity in the middle of a lot of history, an environment created by the greatest and most innovative architects in their respective times and a culture that sets a world trend in every corner.
Nicaragua is a magical country, full of tradition, incredible landscapes and noble and kind people. The first stop was Ometepe, the island also called “Peace Oasis” which is located in the Great Lake Nicaragua and has two volcanoes in it, the Concepcion and Maderas, which I had the opportunity to climb. The simple fact of having that peculiar location gives the island a great energy around it and a unique serenity.
Second stop, Granada. One of the most important cities in the country, large, busy and with a clear Spanish colonial influence. And from there I went to San Juan del Sur to spend some time. The commercial tourist center of the country. A surfo town on the Pacific coast without a great local or traditional contribution, but with a beautiful beach and lots of nightlife.
Capitoline Wolf was in charge of breastfeeding the ragazzos founders of current Italian capital, nowadays a mixture of elegance and urban life with historical sites in every corner.
I arrived in Costa Rica at the end of February 2016 and if I had to describe the country in one word I would say “Surprise”, because it has been a constant adventure of unexpected moments, places, situations and people. This land has welcomed me with open embraces and has shown me in a very authentic way the “Pura Vida (pure life)” that you listen everywhere. It is not only is the emblem of the country, but each one of the Ticos transmits that idea to you to enjoy life second by second.
“Chepe”, as local call it, the Costa Rican capital that rises between the mountains of the Central Valley, with an unconventional mix of the typical agitation of a Latin American capital but with the touch of its relaxed people. Full of traffic and concrete between the green of the mountains and the imposing landscapes that appear from the top of any of its slopes. It has been my home for almost a year and despite the lack of habit of returning to a chaotic city, it has become an oasis, a limbo where the weekends compensate that chaos with its many cultural, musical activities, its party and its “pura vida” people
Jacó and Playa Hermosa
The first beach I visited in Costa Rica, Jacó was a WOW the first time and an OK, the second after seeing other beaches in the country. The closest beach in San Jose is therefore an escape to an hour and a half from the city to be on a Pacific beach and where important festivals such as the Jungle Jam and surf tournaments like the ISA World Surfing Tour take place. Beautiful landscapes, with the touch of Babylon of a “gringa” beach (no offense please!), who understands the concept beyond something pejorative will know what I mean, in short a nice place, but full of excesses. Surfing reigns on these sides and just 20 minutes from Jacó is Playa Hermosa, practically the Jacó patio where you can go to relax without pop music at high volume or prostitutes at night. Every 15 days there is a surf tournament in the Backyard, a good beach club with rasonable prices and a good atmosphere. This is the real Jacó, outside of Jaco. Warm landscapes, stunning sunsets, wild waves that embrace you, fresh air, peace.
Guanacaste (Piratas Bay and Playa del Coco)
Simply a jewel, Guanacaste is the arid needle in the country’s tropical haystack. Hot, dry, but with vegetation. Pure green becomes green with a touch of brown here, but still with that touch of the valley and the pampa. Soft black sand, celestial water and the sun that seems to come from a fantasy story. To the north of the country, it has a well developed tourist area and at the same time it has those hidden and cornered beaches that upon discovering them will practically be your private beach for the day.
I would say the tourist capital of the province of Limón. It was in this province where the Jamaicans began to arrive in the country. A lot of reggae, a lot of rasta, a lot of green. At the foot of the Talamanca mountain chain its vegetation and vibe is impressive. Once arriving taking a walk around, a bicycle and travel its roads visiting each beach is impressive.
In the photographs we can see corners of Puerto Viejo, Playa Grande and finally Punta Manzanillo with its spectacular viewpoint and its green so full of water and freshness.
The most popular national park. I had my doubts, I do not like to get to places so crowded with tourists, but in this case it is a park so beautiful that tourists does not matter. When we were just arriving a Toucan greeted us in the village and announced that the place is full of wildlife, full of life and unique places.
Capital of the province of the same name and where the most important carnival in the country takes place. A strange place where the main activity is the ferry that crosses to get to the Nicoya Peninsula and that in low season becomes practically a ghost town.
I had never heard the name of a place that was so precise, just and explicit to describe that place. At almost 1800 meters high, this town of almost 700 inhabitants is one of the most sought after by travelers. Cool, cold, humid and full of fog is not the typical forest, it is the tall tropical trees that dominate the mountain and not the typical pines you would expect.
Antigua Guatemala, was the capital of the country. It had to move to Guatemala City today due to the great earthquakes of Santa Marta that devastated the city in 1773. It is located approximately 2 hours from the Guatemalan capital with an air of colonial town and a great indigenous influence that is breathed in every corner.
During Holy Week Antigua Guatemala is transformed, since the processions are held in one of the most fervent representations in the world. The people delivered in the representations, the full streets and a lot of color and tradition in the streets of Antigua.
I am not a religious person, even less a Catholic one but I do am a person of faith and see more than 300 men carrying an altar of many tons with children in their arms is an act of belive that inspires.
Julio Tovaar, aka Barsuk, born in Monterrey, Mexico, is the son of a photographer, who is the son of a photographer. A passion for photography, graphic design, visual communication, arts, music, and travel fuels his work.
“Traveling was always my dream and suddenly without realizing it, I was already on the road. Cultural exchange is a privilege where, by being open, we can find authenticity in each place and at the same time enrich ourselves with the perspectives and values we have learned”
It is the artist’s duty to transmit to those who do not have the opportunity to travel, this diversity that exists in the world, to open minds and eradicate prejudices through artistic expressions.”