In Search of the Perfect Sunset

Most of my trips within Costa Rica are in search of more birds! And most give me at least one new species. But I also love photographing other nature, vistas, waterfalls, and of course Sunrises & Sunsets!

Multiple expat friends here have told me that the best sunset vistas and photos are from the restaurant & theater at a hotel on a hill near Jaco, just an hour away, Hotel Villa Caletas. It is upscale or expensive, so only 4 nights which is not as long as I prefer to stay to really see a place, but that will still be 4 sunset opportunities, Sunday-Wednesday nights, weather cooperating. I’ve had more than one sunset rained out or covered by clouds, but that’s part of the adventure!

Villa Caletas is different from the nature lodges I usually visit, but still immersed in nature with hotel birding trails and a jungle trail down the mountain to their beach with shuttle rides back up the hill. It is close to Punta Leona which had very good birding and also close to the Carara National Park (good birding) which I may or may not visit again – been there 4 time now! Just going to take it day by day after I get there. A serendipity trip!

I think I already have some pretty nice sunset photos in my gallery called   VISTAS, BEACHES, SUNRISES, SUNSETS CR . The featured image above is one of mine of a sunrise on the Caribbean side which I like to use because so many people here think everything is better on the Pacific side – well, maybe just more expensive!   🙂   And most can’t see a difference in sunrise or sunset.

What I get at Villa Caletas will go in the Pacific Sub Gallery of the above linked sunset gallery and then we can compare to see if they really have the best sunsets on the Pacific coast!   🙂   My favorite on the Pacific so far is the one I took from a Sansa Airplane  (on return from Danta Corcovado). And they weren’t too bad from a hillside hotel in Manuel Antonio last Christmas! Yep! I love sunsets!

While the Atlantic or Caribbean side is mostly for sunrises, I have been pretty lucky over there too! (Where I go again the end of this August.) You just have to get up earlier to see sunrises!  Yawn!    🙂

And to be fair to Villa Caletas, here is one of their website photos of their sunset which is very nice! Hope mine will be as good or better!   🙂

Sunset photo from Villa Caletas online. — Not my photo.

¡Pura Vida!

 

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.

~Mahatma Gandhi

Here’s The Science Behind The Magical Colours of Sunsets And Sunrises

🙂

Brilliant! The Book

Because it was a special week, I’m doing a second book on Xandari where I celebrated my birthday last week. It was such a colorful week, I titled it “Brilliant!” Follow the link to a free online preview of the book showing 82 of my photos. Or click this smaller image of the book cover below:

Brilliant Book cover
Click cover to Preview the book online.

Also see the 2019 Trip Gallery for this week. 

Or the older 2018 Xandari Trip Gallery

And my photo book for that year’s visit titled Xandari Enchanted by Nature

A truly amazing place!

Xandari Nature Resort

¡Pura Vida!

Macaw Lodge Photo Gallery

I completed my “Trip Gallery” of the 6 nights at Macaw Lodge, Carara National Park, Costa Rica. It is another fabulous nature retreat in Costa Rica and I hope you check out some of the photos I have posted. You can click the print screen image below or this web address:  https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2019-06-18-24-Macaw-Lodge

2019-06-27
Click gallery page above to visit it.

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels.”
— Ansel Adams

Macaw Lodge Website

¡Pura Vida!

Macaw Lodge Grounds

One of the best things about Macaw Lodge is the beautiful grounds! The owner Pablo’s hobby of horticulture helps!   🙂   I have already done posts on Flowers and Other Green Things,   The Waterfall, and yesterday on my Cabin in the Woods – thus you’ve seen some of the grounds but here is a whole lot more photos of just the general look of the grounds and chocolate farm and in my gallery I’m adding a Trails gallery because that is a big part of the grounds, though I barely photographed trails, mostly the trail to the waterfall & spa.

Click on an image in the montage below to see it larger and/or start a manual slideshow.

Macaw Lodge Grounds

 

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

~Lord Byron

See my “Trip Photo Gallery”  titled:  2019-06–18-24–Macaw Lodge    (finished except for a few more bird photos)

Macaw Lodge   (lodge website)

My Quick Evaluation: It is one of the better “eco lodges” and more isolated than most at 45+ minutes from a town of any size and no houses or farms nearby. The rainforest surroundings match or surpass most other eco lodge I’ve visited. The rooms are excellent as is the food, though note that you have to request daily maid service and a change of towels. And you need lots of towels because it is the hottest most humid place I think I’ve been to yet (in the middle of rainy season) and hanging towels never dry.

Birding is good or basic, not my best source of birds with one “lifer” here if I labeled the Indigo Bunting correctly. Though note that I did see a Sunbittern which is a rare find anywhere (though this photo not good)! As a comparison, I photographed 30 species here and 53 at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge and about that many at Selva Verde Sarapiqui my first trip there. But this was still good!

There were lots of lizards but I saw no monkeys or other wildlife (though supposedly there). For my morning guided birding hike they secured a local Carara Park area guide who was good but not the best I’ve had. The Muscovy Ducks on the lake are entertaining and they, along with other birds, have babies this time of year (June).

I would return here but probably not anytime soon, since I know of eco lodges that have given me more birds. It was a great location for the Yoga Retreat going on while I was there! And for anyone wanting to just “get away!” About 45 minutes from Tarcoles or an hour from Jaco Beach on a terrible road. Though not required, 4WD would be safer.

It is adjacent to Carara National Park, but on the backside, thus about an hour drive to the entrance on Ruta 34. The Lodge can arrange a driver from San Jose Airport at about $140 each way. I’m glad to answer other questions you may have about this unique place.

¡Pura Vida!

Sunrise Hike

This morning I did my birding hike at Macaw Lodge and kind of liked this photo of the sunrise along our trail. Thought I would share it in addition to the birds I photographed which will be in another blog post.

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” 
― Jo Walton

Macaw Lodge

¡Pura Vida!

Ruffled Feathers & Wet to the Skin

It rained the whole 2 hours + I was at La Selva Research Station, thus no good photos, but the ones I got tell a story like the wet ruffled feathers on the Tropical Kingbird and Clay-colored Thrush. The only creature that seemed to love the rain was that Blue Jeans Frog!    🙂

After returning to lodge for breakfast there was no rain, thus some better photos at the lodge, but no time tonight to post them, Later! Tonight is my frog hike.   🙂

La Selva Rain Shots

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Fun, even in the rain!   🙂

¡PURA VIDA!

God’s Glory in the Skies

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Psalm 19 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

(Emphasis is mine.)  Sharing what struck me in my devotional reading 3 mornings ago as I read this Psalm. And really, everything in nature has God speaking to me whether in a Bible passage or a famous quotation or not. I am in closer harmony with God in the natural places of Costa Rica than anywhere I’ve been before – like an anteroom to Heaven!   🙂    No predictions intended, but I’m ready!   🙂   Being close to nature is one of my ideas of heaven!

¡Pura Vida!

See also my GALLERY:    VISTAS, BEACHES, SUNRISES, SUNSETS 

One little slice of the joys of being “Retired in Costa Rica!”

Two Gifts This Morning

I opened two gifts this morning – my eyes.

 

Photo is of a Caribe sunrise, Hotel Banana Azul,

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

 

My prayers go to the Bush Family in their loss . . .

. . . a truly great & humble man!

George H. W. Bush

Humility is not thinking less of yourself,

it’s thinking of yourself less.

~C. S. Lewis

REPORT ON MY BIOPSY:  After removing the 10 stitches from my arm (where all that cancer was confirmed removed) and the two stitches from my face for the biopsy, Dr. Gamboa gave me the facial biopsy report:

In brief, it says I have another carcinoma cancer on my face which is a smaller and slower growing type than the one on my arm. No problem waiting until January to remove the rest of it (the biopsy took most of it). Because of the delicate and thinner skin location next to my eye, we will be doing a more complicated and more efficient (more expensive) “Mohs Surgery” with two doctors doing it with a pathologist standing by to make sure they get all of the cancer as he examines each layer as removed (continuous biopsy). It will not be in his office this time but in a clinic, hospital-like, operating room, but still out-patient. He is checking on availability of other doctor and the clinic for the week of 21 January – after my Boca Tapada trip.  Remember —  the doctors work around my trips!  🙂    Important! That is where I sleep in a tree house 5 nights!

Dr. Gamboa also “PRESCRIBED” wearing a wide-brim hat instead of the ball caps I’ve been wearing and of course sunscreen every day when out. I sure love sunny Costa Rica, just 673 miles north of the equator, but with the value of the sun also comes with some potential dangers for someone like me who loves the outdoors. I have already become more careful, even though the doc says these current growths and cancers were probably caused by sun I got as a child or teen, more sun now can make it worse, so I must be cautious.

¡Still Pura Vida!    🙂

Rancho Humo: The Book

Check out the free electronic preview of all pages of my latest Costa Rica photo book at: http://www.blurb.com/b/9079446-rancho-humo  or click the book cover image below. Use “full screen mode” to best see these photo pages. I think my books & photos are getting a little better.  🙂

Front Cover of Book  –  click for preview
Back Cover of Book  –  click to see larger

 

Charlie Doggett – Retired in Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Last Morning Walk at Rancho

Thursday the 15th my driver drove back from Atenas to Rancho Humo and joined me for lunch before we drove back to Atenas. Before breakfast I caught the sunrise, el amanecer, then walked around the ranch one more time. Here are some of the photos I made on my last morning walk there as a slideshow.

Morning Walk 15 November 2018, Rancho Humo, Costa Rica

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Sunrise from my room, 15 November 2018

 

Hotel’s 2 Minute Video Says it All!

¡Pura Vida!

Another day of “Retired in Costa Rica” with Charlie Doggett!

Why would anyone retire anywhere else?   🙂