King Louie Waterfall

Friday morning I did my birding hike with guide Carlos and after breakfast he offered to take me to the King Louie Waterfall which said could take me all day hiking, so off we went on a golf cart by the roads, not the trails! When we got there the only marked trail is to get in the creek and hike over slippery rocks up hill to the waterfall. But, he said, someone made a land trail along the side of the mountain that would be easier! Not! Someone took a pick and chiseled out a very narrow path that was all crumbling rock or sand. With every step, part of the trail would slide down the side of the mountain and almost me several times. We finally gave up before we go all the way to the 100 foot waterfall. So goes life sometimes! 🙂

Or see all four shots . . .

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Morning Waterfall Hike, Almost

This morning was to be my last “organized hike,” called the Primary Forest, led by scientist Phillip who did last night’s night hike, scheduled for 8-11. At 8 one of the employees came out and apologized that Phillip called in sick and that the hike was canceled for today. “No problem,” I said, “I wanted to go down the Pacific Trail and low tide is this morning, just right!” The guy in charge asked me to wait a minute. He made a call and then said he would be right back. He came with one of the gardeners with a name that sounded like Aniavey, and said, “Now you can practice your Spanish!” 🙂 The Nicaraguan was wearing a sheathed machete. The guy in charge said, “I simply cannot let you go down that trail alone, especially all the way to the waterfall! After you go down the very steep trail, it’s another mile hike including up another hill. I did not get incensed and thanked him for his concern, still not knowing what I was in for. And thinking I didn’t really need help. 🙂

The Old Man and His Hiking Guide

Wow! It was a steep trail with 500 steps carved into the side of the mountain and in moments my knees and legs were killing me. About halfway down or a little more, my knees gave way and I crumpled to the ground. My helper came to my rescue, helping me up and I sat on one of the steps. He took his machete out, going into the forest to cut a little sapling for a brand new hiking stick and I was soon ready to go, just slowly. But I had already decided I would go only to the beach and not all the way to the waterfall, which relieved Aniavey. And by the way, the return trip back up the hill, all 500 steps, was much easier on my knees and legs, just slowing my breathing! 🙂 On the hike we saw 3 kind of monkeys: Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider Monkeys!

Here’ s 4 shots and I don’t know why I didn’t photograph the trail or steps?

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Cows Upon A Hill

To describe part of my walk last Saturday morning early, I found this nice poem:

Cows Upon A Hill

There is nothing I like better
In the sunrise of the day
To see cows on the hill
It’s the perfect time to pray

~Marilyn Lott

The Costa Rica University Systems has a special agricultural university campus on the edge of Atenas and these cows I frequently see and like to photograph are a part of that student farm on the next hill over from mine. 🙂 Students study here from all over Central American as the best of Latin American agricultural schools! And they learn a whole lot more than just our local coffee farming! 🙂 And next door to where I live!

Cows Upon A Hill, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

See all four Photos . . .

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Experiencing Nature

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:

https://www.blurb.com/b/10782574-experiencing-nature-retired-in-costa-rica

Or click the front cover image below:

My Newest Book

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!

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Many Beautiful Things

Surely I’m describing Costa Rica and I could be . . . though this time it is the title of a documentary biography I found on my new streaming service, Curiosity Stream, that replaced Netflix for me, permanently this time with a whole year of streaming costing less than one month of Netflix (a stripped down version for Costa Rica).

The full title of this bio is Many Beautiful Things, The Life and Vision of Lilias Trotter. (Link to Wikipedia description) In brief, she was one of the world’s best unknown painters in water colors (late 1800’s to 1928) who was befriended by John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the Victorian era who promised to make her the “greatest living artist” in England. She repeatedly turned him down while continuing to paint beautiful nature scenes and landscapes simply to praise God.

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El Camino de Costa Rica – New Info

A Hiker Guide

One of my blog readers, Patrick, who is thinking about beginning his retirement in Costa Rica (like I should have!) shared with me the just-released new hiking guide available on hiking coast to coast across Costa Rica. It’s first on his agenda here! Are you interested in such a hike?

Available on Amazon as paperback or Kindle edition: El Camino de Costa Rica Hiker Guide

There’s also a newer video of the trail than the one I showed earlier plus more new info on the website and I found a good “Make the Leap” story I’m also linking! 🙂 . . .

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Remembering 6+ Years in Costa Rica

A lot of American, Canadian and European retirees choose to spend their last years in the beautiful land of nature called Costa Rica. And I am amazed at how many of them get a house somewhere and just sit on the porch, leaving only for the many necessary functions including immigration paperwork, shopping, medical services, a few for church, etc. While some take an occasional trip to see other parts of Costa Rica, there seem to be only a very small number like me who have a passion for seeing every “nook and cranny” of this beautiful natural paradise. And wow! What most of these gringos are missing! 🙂

For more than two years of the past 6, I traveled to a different park, reserve, or nature lodge every month. Last year I decided to slow it down to one place every two months, then got even that slowed down with the Coronavirus Pandemic. While this year was scheduled for a trip every two months before the villain Cancer came into my life. Meaning only God knows how many more places I will get to visit or revisit as I have been going back to favorite places more lately. Either way I get to be immersed in nature, my passion!

One wall of my living room is covered with photos of birds I’ve photographed here and another wall behind my dining table has photos of me on adventures around the world from Africa to Tennessee with a metal print of my social media logo, meme, or “gravatar!” 🙂 And below that gravatar is a map of the many places I’ve visited in Costa Rica. I just updated that map including my anticipated trip to Bosque del Cabo on Osa Peninsula this July for my 81st birthday, the only “new” place this year. The rest of the year I have 2 or maybe 3 scheduled repeat visits to favorite places, assuming I will be able to travel: Caribe Puerto Viejo and South Pacific Uvita for sure with Tambor Bay a maybe.

Since I’m not sure how much more traveling I will get to do here in my final years paradise, I decided to share the updated map that is on the wall mentioned above. Here:

Places I’ve visited in Costa Rica over 6 years in no particular order.

And just for fun, here’s the Google map that shows where Google has tracked me going all over Costa Rica with the number of times. Of course the solid red blotch is the Central Valley where I live and they’ve tracked me moving around near home a lot! 🙂

Where Google has “tracked me.” This map is more than a year old. And I have no explanation for the dot out in the Pacific Ocean. A Google error I assume. I have not been that far away from land! 🙂

“Jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.”

~Unknown

¡Pura Vida!

Hills of Atenas

Here I zoom in on the hills northwest of Atenas as seen at three levels from my terrace.

The Broad View

First glance as I walk out on my terrace.

Zoom Level 1

Focusing in on Centro Atenas and hills West/Northwest of town.

Zoom Level 2

Using a telephoto lens on the distant hills of Atenas.

This was the last post I did in advance of my surgery, hoping to be back online by today! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

And then there are the Atenas Galleries.

🙂