solo al rodeo.

rodeo came to town last week. the locals save up all year for this week long festival. bulls from all over ready to buck off their riders and chase their taunters. for nosara, rodeo ranks up there with christmas and easter. it comes once a year, and it is not to be missed.

outside the rodeo ring is the fair. cotton candy and meat on a stick. corn on the cob and churros.



a mechanical bull and dance club. rickety carnival rides and cheap goods for sale.



it all started on wednesday with the kids parade and opening celebrations. it all ended on monday night with the last of the ticos cheering on the only female bull rider.

i’m here in costa rica with my friend and her sister. my friend is dating a nosara local who is the “mayor” of the town. he knows everyone. talk about a local hook up.

his company, chorotegas surf school, sponsored the rodeo. as part of this, his chorotegas soccer team (jersey pictured above) got to occupy the bull ring on thursday night. this in turn meant, we got to enter the ring as well. after signing a couple papers saying that i might die and i’m cool with that, we located all the exits and scooted into the ring.

sorry mom.

but don’t worry, i’m still alive. i played it safe and stayed near the edge. i did think about following the boys in closer, but instead of testing my running skills, i just stood in awe of the crazy ticos. grabbing the bull’s tail and horns. yikes.

it’s part of the culture. they’ve grown up around bulls and this sport. but truthfully, as i was standing in that ring amongst all the excitement and adrenaline, i felt a bit sad. that poor bull, stuck running away from these human bullies. the whole thing left me with mixed emotions.

after stepping outside of the ring, i did think i had watched enough bull riders to be a pro at it though, so i took a try on the fake one. it’s all about the whipping of the arm for balance. i’m a natural…

on saturday, we all rented horses to partake in el tope (parade of horses). hundreds of people gathered in the park for a pre-party and then boarded their horses to trot through the town towards the rodeo.


everyone was decked out in their best plaid button down, cowboy hats, giant belt buckles, and boots. my favorite apparel.


this self-proclaimed cowgirl was in heaven. my horse was named coqueta meaning coquette meaning a flirt. probably appropriate for its rider… she was quick and spirited but well-behaved and eager to listen. a perfect combination.


we rode smashed in between several other horses strutting their stuff. some were well-trained, picking up their hooves in rhythm and tucking their heads. others meandered aimlessly while their riders guzzled another imperial.


there was an energy in the air, a tradition. and we were part of it, complete with cowboy hats and horses.

solo al rodeo.

6 thoughts on “solo al rodeo.

  1. we hit upon a parade/rodeo day when we were traveling in the sierra nevadas last summer. i declined the rodeo, of course, but the atmosphere, the colors, the food, the cowboy outfits, memories of the “old west”, the excitement was contagious! best were the beautiful horses! you must have loved it!! it must have been grand to be “back in the saddle again”…

  2. Such a fun, lively, great story, Sara!
    PS–Well, of course you’re a natural–I knew that from the first moment you tornadoed into Genessee Street!

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