Before Lingua Luna formed as a band, one of the great things we ladies had in common was our love of traveling. There are so many beautiful things in this world, and we want to see as many of them as possible! About a year before we started writing and performing music together, we all went on a trip to Manzanillo, Costa Rica.
Manzanillo is a wonderful little town on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is in the middle of a rainforest reservation, and with a population of about 300 people, it is usually a very quiet place to visit. In 2007, we booked a week-long trip there and, inadvertently, our travel time coincided with the one weekend of the year in which seemingly ever single person in the country of Costa Rica heads to the remote beaches of the coastline.
It was spring break, and it was not the quiet, isolated little town that we were expecting. People crowded the beaches with tents; the three restaurants in town were over-run, and cars lined the pot-hole ridden dirt roads. But, we didn’t really mind. The house we rented for the week was a couple km outside of town and still felt remote and quiet. We mostly stayed out of town and lazed around our house, enjoying the sounds of the jungle. Rhiannon even wrote “Autobiographical Love Song” in that jungle! (You can download the song for free on our website).
One thing that we were not aware of was along with the crowds of people who came to the coastline, a little bit of riff-raff followed. During previous visits to the area, there were rarely any other people around, so we never bothered with shutting our windows or locking our doors. We didn’t change anything for this trip. We left our belongings strewn about and we kept our windows wide open to enjoy the cool jungle air. Jen and Annie were sharing a room in the house we were renting. One night, half asleep, Jen opened her eyes to see a young man standing over her bed. Still cloudy with sleep, she watched him reach into her bag and then slip out of the open window, which he had presumably climbed through. When the sleep cloud lifted, she jumped out of bed and announced that we had been robbed! He didn’t take much, just the small amount of cash that we had on hand. We went to talk to Daan about it, the man who owned the house we were renting and who also lived on the property. Jen described the thief to him, and Daan knew exactly who he was. He told us the thief was probably out “smoking stones” in the jungle. He also told us that the local authorities would not do anything about it, but that he would take care of the situation, personally. Later that day, we found out that Daan and a couple of his friends tracked down the thief and busted a few beer bottles over his noggin — local justice had been served.
The whole experience was less than ideal, and unusual to say the least, but it was still an adventure — and makes for a good story to tell! And we would happily do it all again. Experiencing how other people live their lives in other parts of the world, in any context, is just as valuable as relaxing and writing songs on tropical beach.
Lingua Luna still loves to travel, and we’ve been talking a lot about taking our music on the road. We just need to figure out where to go — and we are open to suggestions! We’re ready for another adventure and we’ve got a lot of stories to sing to you!
See you soon,