I got here in time to dump my stuff in my cabin before a delicious lunch that I was able to eat all of! Yay! 🙂 It’s overcast with some scattered showers but I explored the trails a little and scheduled 4 activities this week with the rest of time exploring on my own! And the 4? Well, boring old-man activities compared to some available here: Morning & Afternoon Birding hikes in 2 totally different locations, a sunset/night hike looking for night creatures, and a morning Primary Rainforest 3-hour conservation hike. The rest of the week is photographing a lot, resting, and finally eating real food for a week! My radiation taste is not totally gone, but greatly improved and I’m eating just about everything now! 🙂
I’ve seen a Crested Caracara (on the road here), and here: lots of Scarlet Macaws, lots of little birds not identified and a family of Spider Monkeys, all by my thatched roof cabin. And I’m looking forward to happy hour snacks before a great dinner. There are about 25 tourists in this lodge (from all over the world including children), which is not bad with Covid still raging around the globe! And it is a 45 minute drive (fording streams) from the primitive landing strip in Puerto Jiménez to the lodge or if you must, an 8-hour+ drive from the San Jose Airport.
On January 5, 2020 I did a Blog Post 2020 Ranking of My Birding Lodges, which is now out of date and it even included Nicaragua and Panama lodges, where today’s is only Costa Rica and I have included the multiple trips to places I repeat with each bird count, but only those with 10 or more birds photographed by me. Even on eBird I count only the ones I get a photo of. These are from my birding visits since 2015, my first year living in Costa Rica.
The Feature Photo at top is my Treehouse Room at Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada.
And the 2021 Rankings by number of species are . . .
This beautiful Sunday morning I allow nature to wake me with the sunrise and sounds of a variety of birds in the trees around my casita. I eventually walk out on the terrace to witness the golden glow of distant hills around Atenas as the sun rises and I feel the refreshing cool morning air enter my lungs. I scan the trees and flowers for any creature stirring and then I prepare my breakfast to eat on the terrace, absorbing more of God’s natural beauty.
“The true blessings of life are the treasures hidden in the reservoirs of the human heart.”
~T. D. Jakes
Let me tell you about more heart treasures including a big new one coming this week . . .
My newest photo book is my cheapest ($8.83), smallest ( 6×9 in, 15×23 cm) and shortest (30 pages) as an introduction to why I retired in Costa Rica with 47 photos demonstrating my nature photography here. It’s not exactly a portfolio because of the cheaper paper, but . . . it actually is a cheaper version of a portfolio 🙂 and it also describes the 5 ways I experience nature and share it. As with all my books there is a FREE PREVIEW electronically of all pages in the bookstore at:
This will become my “give-away” book to guides, lodges and others here in Costa Rica, since some of my other books are too expensive to keep giving them away as I have been. But I’m still not in the photo-selling or book-selling business. I’m retired! 🙂 I make my photos to share with others online and the books become ways to do that physically on occasions. Prints and wall art are available in my gallery with no profit for me, just a good service of (and profit for) my gallery host. 🙂
And while you’re in my bookstore, check out some of my other photo books! They have free previews too!
Some have written to see how I am since I’ve only posted twice since completing my radiation treatments (radiotherapy). Simply put . . .
I haven’t felt like writing!
Tomorrow will be two weeks since they rang a bell and showered me with gifts and a certificate and even my mask to take home after the last session of radiotherapy. Now here’s my update on the last two weeks . . .
Puntarenas is Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast Port and the closest port city & beaches to Atenas where I live. Christopher Howard has a nice little article on his blog/website that tells all about the coming changes:
My first experience with Puntarenas was from a 2011 Tampa to San Diego Panama Canal Cruise when the cruise ship stopped for a day in the port of Puntarenas. The Feature Photo at Top and the one below are from that trip as well as the following slide show:
My mountain lodge is on this beautiful little mountain stream that grows to a bigger river before it feeds the Pacific Ocean. Savegre Hotel is first class and much bigger, more modern than my last visit here in 2009, literally a 4 Star Hotel back in the wilderness on a dirt road, hours from a city! But not sure about the internet connection yet and may be limited to one photo per post. Pura vida from San Gerardo de Dota & Savegre Hotel!
Today I received the final edition of the “Retire for Less in Costa Rica” Newsletter. This wonderful couple, Paul & Gloria, are really retiring themselves now and it is about time! I have recommended them many times and they are keeping their website up for awhile, so check it out now if you haven’t before. They give the most practical advice of anyone on retiring in Costa Rica and they will be greatly missed, though maybe I will get to see them again for other reasons or socially. I hope so. They will be dividing their time between Costa Rica and Mexico which is an unusual way to retire, but very interesting.
In their last newsletter they included a summary of their philosophy over these 12 years that has not changed. I will try to copy it here:
What is the Retire for Less Philosophy?
Sometimes we tell people that we live the “retire for less lifestyle,” or perhaps we notice that others are also living in a similar way. So what exactly is it?
Conserve, simplify, enjoy. These three words sum up the Retire for Less Philosophy or lifestyle. We believe one can:
Enjoy the simple things in life
Discard some old beliefs regarding retirement
Count your cash, get your Social Security, and go where it’s cheaper
Reinvent yourself and begin a whole new, adventurous phase of your life
Look at your life differently, embrace the new culture, and try not to be ethnocentric
Scale down, live within your means, and learn to have fun, fun, fun!
Conserve energy, go green, and live without air-conditioners, heaters, dehumidifiers, and cars, as much as possible
Live without debt, reduce expenses, and reduce expectations
Save money, spend less, use less, and be satisfied with less –less is more
They will be missed and have certainly helped a lot of people retire here and elsewhere. Now I will just continue my very simple life in Costa Rica, not owning anything including a car. Zero debt. Walking almost daily. Enjoying the simple things of life in a simple country that puts people and nature above industry and money. Where nature is king and we will be carbon neutral in a year or so! (99% of electricity now.)
Earlier I released a coffee table book titled Pura Vida Birds as a celebration of coming up on my 6 year anniversary of being “Retired in Costa Rica” (December 24, 2020).
Then I started thinking about my second nature love of butterflies and just couldn’t resist doing a similar book with my photo collection of butterflies and moths, even though not as big as my birds collection. So here it is! More than 120 butterflies in brilliant colors in a 10×8 in, 25×20 cm book, hardcover or paperback book. It is titled Pura Vida Butterflies from the Retired in Costa Rica Blog. Check it out and thumb through the pages electronically in the free Preview available online. Just one more incredible thing about Costa Rica! 🙂