Independence Day activities sometimes start early and they did today in front of the city hall across the corner from my bank which had 20+ people waiting for only one working ATM. Pura vida! I got to watch the dancing while I waited and make a few cell phone photos, though lower quality, zoomed in from a half block away. The people are always as interesting as “the show,” thus two little slideshows which is my substitute for the parade I will miss tomorrow.
All the Schools Prepare for Independence Day Parade
The high school bands have been practicing too with the same monotonous drum beat that it seems all the bands use. Note in the photo above two interesting facts that tell about the culture or a small town: (1) The band director is almost a kid himself, first job out of college as a low-paid music teacher in rural elementary school. (2) All the girls play a xylophone and all the boys play a drum, either snare or bass. 🙂 I regret that I will miss this year’s parade, but I’ve seen it several times! 🙂
My Friday Night Treat
Every Friday night I have my one steak a week at Parrillada Androvetto which has a big platform deck overlooking the surrounding hills and the Public Cemetery above. Tonight the clouds hung low on the hills, but still no rain. Yes, it is now a semi-drought for rainy season. Met a nice young couple at Androvetto from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I like the “Small World” effect of living in Costa Rica!
Whale-Watching Starts Sunday
Sunday morning I fly to Palmar Sur and check in to the Cristal Ballena Hotel in Uvita for the week where I will go Whale Watching on Monday for the first time in my long life and if satisfied (get whale photos) I will use the rest of the week to photo birds and a very special Nauyaca Waterfalls one day. I drove through Uvita on the 2014 Relocation Tour and have flown over its famous “Whale’s Tail Beach” in my photo below from a Carcovado trip.
I like this new welcome video Banana Azul has commissioned for its website! It’s casual nature kind of depicts the casual nature of the place that is popular with young American Backpackers staying in hostels, as well as more traditional tourists like me. Be sure to click the “Full Screen” Icon in lower right corner while watching:
I will be doing another personal post later as I share my arrival here! Though the featured photo at top is mine showing how American advertisers are welcome to spend their money here! Ha, ha! 🙂
“When the destination becomes gracious, the journey becomes an adventure of beauty.”
One week from today I return to the Costa Rica South Caribbean (Atlantic Coast South of Limón) for my 5th trip there, not counting 3 other visits to the North Caribbean (North of Limón or Tortuguero NP).
I’ve been “mulling over” (That’s a late 1800’s English idiom meaning “to think about” or “to ponder.”) what my photography focus would be this time (see previous focuses below–mainly birds!). I originally thought I was going during Carnival week, but got the dates confused (It’s the last week of October not August) so Carnival is no longer the theme for my photos and ultimately a photo book. 🙂 Here’s my previous South Caribe galleries & books:
Browsing Blurb’s Bookstore travel and art photography books (for ideas) I came across the above quotation by John O’Donohue in a book and decided next week’s destination is such a “gracious” place (both the Hotel Banana Azul and the Caribe) that the friendly, loving, kind graciousness of the place will make it truly an “adventure of beauty!” So now my mind is running in a thousand directions of how I can photograph that gracious beauty!
Of course there’s the beauty of nature as my sunrise photo above from another year depicts. The graciousness of the people there presents opportunities for grand portraits or activity shots. While the graciousness of the sea, or the forest, or the wildlife, or the plants . . . oh my, oh my – the destination becomes so gracious!
Soon I start my next adventure of beauty!¡Pura Vida! 🙂
I arise today Blessed by all things, Wings of breath, Delight of eyes, Wonder of whisper, Intimacy of touch, Eternity of soul, Urgency of thought, Miracle of health, Embrace of God. May I live this day Compassionate of heart, Clear in word, Gracious in awareness, Courageous in thought, Generous in love.”
This morning I noticed that the builder’s screen was removed and the new concrete floor was being washed down with a water hose (even though it is raining today). It is taking shape and according to the architect drawings that outer ring of pipes/steel will have some kind of roof on it to protect at least part of the audience for concerts. And the bandshell roof will be painted with some kind of art, I hope the oxcart wheel version! 🙂
One step at a time is all it takes to get you there.
Last night before dinner we were treated with a double rainbow! This morning the maids brought me a new bouquet of flowers with a “Feliz Cumpleaños!” greeting. And I have already enjoyed 4 fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate for my birthday! Plus the staff sang Happy Birthday in English to me at breakfast!
AND . . . this was my guided bird-hike morning with the most interesting birds being the mother & juvenile Crested Caracara (rare find) who landed in the same tree as the Yellow-headed Caracara did the other day! 🙂
“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
― William Shakespeare
I continue to dig up my old photos and stories of past travels in my blessed retirement days for the TRAVEL pages of this website with the bulk being links to my new “Pre-Costa Rica TRAVEL” photo galleries.
The newest web page and set of photo galleries is summarized on SOUTH AMERICA. The feature photo at top is of a boat similar to what we traveled & lived on for a week of the mission trip on a tributary to the Amazon River, Rio Purus. Just a few more reports on the blessings of my retirement.
If you prefer to go straight to the photo galleries they are linked here:
Just another one of the unusual things I see in Central Park Alajuela. Yesterday this guy was drumming away on his psychedelic apparatus in the park for tips. A quick snap of it on my way to the bus station. He looks and acts more like a young American, but some young Ticos try to be that way.
are common in both Alajuela and Atenas Central Parks – this one in Alajuela the other day. There doesn’t need to be a reason, just sort of a jam session. It is one of the many things that keep Costa Rica’s small town Central Parks alive and fun to visit!
And tomorrow’s edition will be written at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cariari Hotel San Jose where I spend a free night (Hilton Honors Points) to be ready for a 5:30am pickup the next morning for my trip to Tortuguero, Turtle Beach Lodgeon “The Amazon of Costa Rica.” It’s my 3rd time to Tortuguero but in a new lodge for me this time and staying 3 nights this time for a more relaxed visit. New adventure every month! 🙂
And this morning I met a couple from Durango, Colorado who have been staying in “The Cariari” since 1980 when it was a private hotel before Hilton Hotels made it a DoubleTree. They just love it as their hotel near the airport for a stay before an early flight as “snowbirds” who come and go all winter. So I will find out what makes it special! 🙂 And let you know. It was a substitute for me since Hampton Inn had no vacancies. These American hotels are only in San Jose and on a few big beaches. Most Costa Rica hotels are locally owned and operated which I generally prefer.
These two retired Americans are the featured band every Friday night at a little Tico restaurant in Atenas Central at the CATUCA. They do mostly Country-Western Music (in English) and it just so happens that they live on either side of me in Roca Verde, one in the rent house to my left and one to the right.They never knew each other until they Retired in Costa Rica – just one more positive thing that can happen when you retire here! 🙂
And for those new readers who don’t know from my earlier reports, in Atenas we have a large country-western band of about 8 to 10 people, all American retirees from both California and Nashville TN who call themselves Flashback playing “oldies” at many events, fiestas, fundraisers and occasionally at different bars and restaurants. They were here before me, so been at it at least 4 years or more and are popular with a lot of the other retirees here. The link is to their Facebook Page.