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Costa Rica, A memorable place, descriptive essay.

Bradrick84 1 / -  
Jan 25, 2011   #1
Assignment- Write a 2-page double spaced description of a memorable place or person from your childhood. Use strong vivid verbs and expressive detail, making sure to emphasize the dominant impression or why the place/person is meaningful to you.

Just looking for some feedback/opinions on my paper before I turn it in.

While glancing over my left shoulder and out the window as the bus struggled to reach the top of a narrow windy road, a bright green rainforest stretched as far as eyes could see and still the ocean was nowhere in sight. The bus dove back down the road and into the thick jungle canopy. Little streaks of light were all that broke through, almost making it seem like it was night. Now driving down this windy highway I anticipated even more what kind of beauty I would see when I reached my destination, a little beach town on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica called Playa Hermosa.

Upon arrival I checked into a place called Tortuga Delmar. I had a fairly small room with the bare essentials: a bathroom, shower, small pool, a few beds for my friends and I to share, small refrigerator, and a stair case to the sand was all we needed. The two-story building had smooth white walls with dark hardwood balconies. The roofing was green galvanized metal that reminded me of the sides of an old shed. Nothing real fancy, but it was right on the beach. The beautiful scenery consisted of impenetrable jungle that gradually became thinner the closer it came to meeting the black sand covered beaches. Toucans and giant macaw parrots hovered above the thick jungle canopy. Meanwhile, monkeys gingerly played with each other atop the trees and Iguanas lay glued to the sides of palm trees sun bathing. The jungle floor consisted of piles of dead, rotting leaves that had fallen from above, with insects weaving through them like a labyrinth. When the jungle abruptly met the sand, it formed a green wall with nothing sticking out except for a few stubborn palm trees. The hot volcanic sand produced noticeable heat waves. Among the tons of sand laid scattered debris and beaten chunks of driftwood, with some smaller buried pieces sticking out. Among this beautiful place people were scarce and not a car or parking lot was in sight. At the North end of the beach a jagged volcanic point pierced out of the jungle. The point was barren of any life, but the sunset directly behind it created a spectacular visual event.

Although the true beauty is what struck me the most, I cannot forget Mother Ocean. Near shore the water is murky brown from waves stirring up the sand bottom. The water was like a lukewarm bath. Offshore, the water was light blue and crystal clear. The fishing in this beautiful place could not have been anymore spectacular; there are very few places on the planet you can catch a yellow-fin tuna and a sailfish in the same day. If you are lucky enough while fishing, you may land your eyes on a breaching hump back whale, which looks like a grey school bus instantly exploding 5-10 feet out of the water, landing and instantly creating a mini tsunami. Furthermore, the surf could not have been any better. Surf in the 2-3 feet overhead range had been what I prayed for and guess what? I got it. The take off at Playa Hermosa is steep and abrupt, followed by a bottom turn, a few pumps and a gaping tube. A sandy bottom makes a bad fall not so bad, a lot better then sharp jagged reef. Waves along with mild wind and a warm humid climate produce a light misty haze over the water. At night the jungle erupted into a symphony of sounding insects, monkeys and birds. Not too loud though, so you could still hear the sound of the waves crashing and slapping against the shore. From all that I witnessed and experienced in Costa Rica, it truly created an indelible memory and I cannot wait to visit again.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Jan 27, 2011   #2
While glancing over my left shoulder and out the window as the bus struggled to reach the top of a narrow windy road

This is too much for the reader to interpret, and not enough imagery. Let detail is more. The mind of the reader get's this from the sentence: shoulder, window, bus, top... and that is it.

You need imagery and action:
While glancing out the window of the bus, I saw XXXXXXXXXXX. ---that is a sentence someone can interpret. You tried to start the essay by simultaneously telling the reader about your action and that of the bus. Limit the info in each sentence. Do not try to show to much in a single sentence, or the reader will see none of it.

Ha ha, I like this:
While glancing over my left shoulder and out the window as the bus struggled to reach the top of a narrow windy road, a bright green rain forest stretched as far as eyes could see, and still the ocean was nowhere in sight. ---I added a comma...I really like this as the first sentence. Look at how intriguing the start of the essay will be if you begin with this sentence. It's great. It shows one scene.

The bus dove back down the road and into the thick jungle canopy.----Awesome. This sentence makes that first part (which I crossed out, above) unnecessary, because it introduces the image of the bus.

Awesome, awesome... you write very well. As I continue to read, I don't want to suggest any changes; it's great. I hope I successfully shared with you the insight about not-too-much imagery all at once (i.e. that first sentence.) Show the reader one thing as you start an essay like this. :-)

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