A Special Atenas Taxista

A taxi driver here is called a taxista and there are all ages and all kinds of taxistas with virtually all in Atenas being very friendly and very helpful. I don’t call just one driver, but the dispatcher and get a different one most times plus in the line downtown I always accept whoever is first in line – just seems fair! And most of the taxistas know me now and some mimic my southern drawl in saying my address (which many know)“Ciento cinco Roca Verde por favor.”  Of course I don’t notice me saying it any different than them!   🙂

Occasionally I get this one man who is one of the oldest in one of the oldest cars and the only one who is always playing Mexican Music on his car radio and enjoys being kidded about it. Well, the other night I got him after eating at Poco Loco and I told him again that I like his happy music! (Pleased him!)

Since the route he chose went right by Escuela Central (public elementary school), I asked if he would slow down or stop for me to photograph their Christmas tree at night. (I’ll include in a future post.) He stopped. Then when we later got to my house and I was getting out, he said, “Whoa, whoa! Necesita fotografié mi decoraciones.” He took me to the back window of his taxi for this elaborate manger scene packed full of many farm animals across the back shelf of his car along with Christmas balls and tinsel. Not a good photo with street light above, but an interesting story & man!    🙂

Merry Christmas!

¡Pura vida!

BONUS CHRISTMAS STORY (Link)

How did a continent go from shooting birds every Christmas to counting them? Discover the Audubon Christmas Bird Count – a holiday tradition that has transformed bird science. And maybe participate this Christmas?   🙂

¡Feliz Navidad!

Wishing you the best through the holidays and a Pura Vida New Year! 

~Charlie

I will be slowing down the next two weeks, but still posting some on the blog, as I prepare for Christmas Week at the Tapirus Lodge,  in Braulio Carrillo National Park, one of our largest and wildest parks in Costa Rica. New adventures, new photos all the time!   🙂   Retired in Costa Rica! THANK YOU for following my blog!   ~Charlie

¡Pura Vida!

 

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Red-legged Honeycreeper, Maquenque Eco-lodge, Boca Tapada, Costa Rica, January 2019.

And check out my Photo Gallery if you haven’t recently – Its “My Costa Rica!”  🙂

Golden Orb Spider

She was in my garden today and the first time I have ever seen a web by one of these Golden Orb Spiders that was actually gold in color, though hard to see in the photo. I assume that is how they got their name, but most of the webs I’ve seen in the past with them looked no different from other spider webs, dirty white. Nice to see a “golden” one!   🙂

“The spider’s web: She finds an innocuous corner in which to spin her web. The longer the web takes, the more fabulous its construction. She has no need to chase. She sits quietly, her patience a consummate force; she waits for her prey to come to her on their own, and then she ensnares them, injects them with venom, rendering them unable to escape. Spiders – so needed and yet so misunderstood.”
― Donna Lynn Hope

Check out my More Insects CR (65+ species) for more interesting bugs in Costa Rica!  🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Park Benches Replacement?

In my continued “updating” of the progress on Atenas Central Park Renovation I noticed today that they seem to be working on the sidewalk to the church first and one side has a little concrete wall at sitting level which could easily replace all the many park benches that used to line the sidewalks. An interesting and practical change if they do it on all 8 sidewalks radiating from the center. And when vendors set up along the sidewalks during fiestas, they won’t need folding chairs behind their tables, but can sit on the wall.  🙂

I didn’t know if all sidewalks will have these walls, so I just checked on the official   Facebook Page presenting the remodeling  and sure enough they will! Like continuous park benches throughout the park to bring more people together!

And don’t forget that I have a Renovating Central Park Atenas update photo gallery with all the photos I’ve posted on this blog. You can visually see the progress, even if slow.  🙂   What was once said to be finished by Christmas 2018 will possibly be complete by Christmas 2020!   🙂

“Land forests are the coral reefs of the ocean of air.”
― Steven Magee

¡Pura Vida!

When? Rain stops? New airport?

The clear skies from my terrace on today, December 1 (feature photo above), hint at what the next 5 months could be like as the rainy season slows down and stops for no rain in the Central Valley Dec-Apr. But like weather everywhere, there are sometimes exceptions and as a gardener I happen to like rain!   🙂    Either way, I will adapt!

The above shot is a single shot on my cell phone.

Below is a composite shot on big camera yesterday with clouds.

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Plans for New Airport in Orotina, Costa Rica on Hold

This Article Title link is to an old newspaper article that still holds true today as the government here is not yet ready to spend billions of dollars on a new airport (25 minutes west of Atenas) which would be in a lower, flatter, larger valley of farm land for much greater expansion than the current international airport in Alajuela (45 minutes east of Atenas) which is basically land-locked with expensive developments, though closer to the capital of San Jose. The new one would be closer to the Pacific Coast beaches and resorts.

The debate will probably never end (seen in responses to above article) and it will never happen until both the president and the legislature make it a priority which they still have not done. I expect to die before it actually happens, if ever, and it really doesn’t matter that much to me. 45 minutes is close enough to a major airport!   🙂

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Artist rendering of new airport in Orotina.

And a “Profile” is on the CAPA Center for Aviation website.

Plus I’m happy with the new Domestic Terminal (my photo gallery) at the current airport, since my only flights now are short hops within Costa Rica on little local planes with Sansa Airlines. So if you’ve heard there will be a new San Jose Costa Rica International Airport, don’t expect it before 2030, if ever, unless you want to donate money to the government to build it and maybe get your name on it!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

 

 

Live like a Sloth

“The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections–with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds” 

~Carl Honoré

Photo by Charlie in the Caribbean

—  As vegetarians who eat slow and move slow, Sloths conserve their energy and live happy lives. So maybe we humans can learn something from them at this often busiest time of the year!   🙂   Or just “Retire in Costa Rica!”   like me!   🙂

See my collection of sloth photos in two galleries:

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth   (the one always smiling)

Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth

The featured photo at top is one I took at Banana Azul Hotel in the Caribe Sur. There are sloths all over Costa Rica but more at lower elevations and especially along the Caribbean (Atlantic) Coast.

My friends at Costa Rica Expeditions

have a nice sloth message for you who love baby sloths. See their emailed promotion to visit in January-February when sloths have their babies at:

Sloth Baby-A-WEBTAKE IT SLOW
AND COME TO SEE
BABY SLOTHS IN COSTA RICA

 

 

And one of my favorite T-shirts:

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🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Thanksgiving Dinner at Neighbor’s

At Margaret & Dario’s house on top of one of the Roca Verde hills with the assistance of Susan and Fred, 26 of us had a huge American-style Thanksgiving dinner with Turkey, Ham and Beef Brisket along with more vegetables and salads than I can list after gourmet appetizers and Champagne, followed by a course of exotic cheeses and then deserts. Each of us brought a dish of something and a bottle of wine. It was a feast fit for a king and even though I only ate breakfast beforehand, I feel stuffed (Thursday night after dinner) while I write this.

Thanksgiving is not a Tico holiday, but the Ticos who came sure enjoyed it!  🙂  Margaret and Susan are the high-energy, highly organized leaders of the Roca Verde neighborhood and put this together.

SORRY MY CELLPHONE PHOTOS ARE NOT GOOD which I will blame on the lighting and I didn’t even try to get the group photo by the pool because it was dark, raining and the light worse. But we had a lot of fun with a great meal and I have two new couples-friends!

Margaret’s Group Photo on Facebook.

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“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

~Psalm 9:1

¡Pura Vida!

Vacant Lot Flowers

“There is poetry among the wildflowers’.”
― Rachel Irene Stevenson

Sure! I look for nature everywhere! And noticed yesterday morning when I left the Coffee Shop that the vacant lot across the street had this mass of yellow swished across it. Wildflowers!

Beauty is where you find it!  And those trees are kind of nice too!   🙂

“Wildflowers are the stuff of my heart!”
― Lady Bird Johnson

¡Pura Vida!

 

Too Much – Too Early!

“Too much, too early” is what I’ve been saying about the commercialization of Christmas since I was in high school I think – A long time!   🙂   And one of the unfortunate things about Costa Rica is the adoption of this Christmas Commercialization starting at Halloween. I have not bothered to photograph the many Christmas trees in the supermarket and smallest little shop to the malls and American chain stores this year, not to mention in the Public Hospital, city halls, etc. It is everywhere here now – too much like the United States which I guess is where some of our businessmen learn their trade!   🙂   We even have “Black Friday” Sales here even though Thursday is not a Thanksgiving Holiday here! Explain that!   🙂

I’m so glad that for my Christmas Week I am looking forward to a week in the forests of Braulio Carrillo National Park.   🙂

The featured photo today is of the welcome sign right here in my neighborhood, Roca Verde, which some will see as wonderful seasonal cheer, and sort of is, while others will see it as cheap commercialization. Lord help Costa Rica not to become too Americanized! But keep the spirit of Jesus in Christmas which I commend the Catholic Church here for celebrating Jesus so well at Christmas (even at home)! While I am closest to God now in nature and will commune with Him in the forest again this year for Christmas. But I will have an American-style Thanksgiving Dinner with like-minded expat friends here this Thursday. So, Happy Holidays!   🙂

Christmas Previous Years – I’m Not a Scrooge!   🙂

DECEMBER 21-27, 2018 – Si Como No Resort, Manuel Antonio  (Photo Gallery)

DECEMBER 19, 2018 – Christmas in Costa Rica

DECEMBER 17, 2018 – Christmas Celebrations in Atenas 2018

DECEMBER 2017 – Christmas Week Tambor Bay   (Photo Gallery)

DECEMBER 1, 2017 – Christmas Trees in the Mall

DECEMBER 20, 2017 – Small Town Commercial Christmas Decorations

DECEMBER 17, 2017 – Festival de La Luz – Christmas Lights Parade

DECEMBER 23-27, 2016 – Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui  (photo gallery)

DECEMBER 26, 2015 – Christmas in San Jose Photos

DECEMBER 24, 2015 – Christmas Eve Anniversary! One Year in Costa Rica!

DECEMBER 14, 2015 – Too Many Christmas Activities!  🙂

NOVEMBER 12, 2015 – Disgustingly Like the States (Christmas before Halloween!)

My Photo CHRISTMAS CARDS from Costa Rica   (photo gallery)

And for my favorite TV ad here commercializing family life for Christmas, see this hilarious short video ad:

Or try out 5 Spanish Christmas Songs that Are Not “Feliz Navidad.”

So yeah, Happy Holidays!

But it is still too much, too early!   🙂

“These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.”
― John Muir

¿Pura Vida?

Arenal Trip Photo Gallery

Wow! Another great trip to one of my top 5 or 6 favorite places in Costa Rica, Arenal Observatory Lodge, with photos of 49 bird species , including the two new lifers for me! Plus 7 other animal species, a new birding trail (Bogarín), the waterfall, wonderful hiking trails and gardens to walk through, and the tallest birding tower in Costa Rica where this year I got lots of Honeycreepers in place of all the monkeys photographed last year, plus a repeat of my favorite room 29 and really good food! I have been so busy after the trip that it has been difficult to process all the photos, but finally done! Check them out at (or click image):

https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2019-November-11-17-Arenal-Observatory

 

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Leave the road, take the trails.

~Pythagoras

Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!