The Beach!

Sunset at Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

We have very slow internet connection in our motel on the beach, so only one photo which took 20 minutes to upload. The croc, birds, horse and other sunset photos will have to wait until later! We drove to Tarcoles River this morning for our croc and bird safari cruise, then on to Manuel Antonio National Park and beach where we have a hotel on the beach. This photo was made from behind our hotel. Tomorrow we take a guided hike into the rainforest and then chill out the rest of the day.

Seeing Beauty

Sunset from Charlie’s Balcony, Hacienda La Jacaranda, Atenas, Costa Rica

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
A little selective focus and cropping via my camera
gave me tonight’s sunset as I wanted to see it 
from my immersion in a tropical rainforest. 
It is fun seeing, experiencing beauty!

Moments before it was just this ordinary sunset in a small town:

I chose to remove the clutter, the noise, and find the tropical beauty I love!
Can you see where I focused as the sun dimmed a little more?
Seventeen minutes later and an effort to see beauty!

Rewards of PatienceI

The Clouds are Colorfully Lit Most Nights
But only for a minute or two – for those who patiently wait see it.

Hundreds of parrots fly over each evening.
Maybe patience will give me a good photo some day!
Hoping one will land in a nearby tree!

I’m pretty sure these are Sulphur-winged Parakeets, the size of parrots.


And my patience with Banco Nacional has started to pay off today. The first time I went I was second in line and quickly got to Ricardo who said I must have my real Passport not the photo copy I carry in my wallet. So I walked home to get it and when I got their I found it in my laptop case which I had with me at the bank! Grrrr! Old man forgetfulness? Ricardo told me to come back at 12:30 PM which I did and was again second in his line. (The line for cashiers had 37 people moving from chair to chair towards the front. Funny to watch!) But Ricardo didn’t get back until nearly 1:30! But I now have a local Debit Card in my wallet. The reason I had my laptop was that I was told he would train me in using the online banking. BUT, he said first I needed to go to one of the cashiers and buy a “token” (300 colones or 60¢) which appears to be some kind of electronic fob. I was not getting in the Monday line of 37 people, so will try tomorrow. (Monday & Friday are busiest days at bank.) Then I will take the token to Ricardo and he shows me how to do online banking on his computer. He said to not bring my laptop. Whew! It looks like it may take more than two weeks to have opened a bank account here, but there will be advantages! And tomorrow I get to play musical chairs!  🙂
In my Saturday report of the Tope de Mercedes or Horse Parade, I don’t think I told you that all the advertisements for the Tope said 12 Noon. So I show up before 11 to get a good spot along the road. It was sort of like the Gambian Wedding that started two and half hours late. Nothing was happening except the setting up of beer tents in the futbol field. I asked someone and he told me that it sort of starts at 12 but that the parade would not start until about 1:00. So I went home and returned at 12:30. The parade actually started at 3:30. I sat on a wall across the street from the Mercedes Catholic Church, watching them get ready for a wedding that (you guessed it!) started at 3:30 with people dressed in their finest trying to drive cars around the horses, let family out at church, and park the car who knows where down the road. I told a friend that was a sign of a lack of planning for the wedding. She pointed out that it was bothering me more than the people it really affected! 🙂 And that was not to mention the lack of any traffic control with cars actually driving around horses in the parade and parking along the side of the road making it one lane. Relax Charlie! Tico Time!
Will Costa Rica make me patient? Sometimes I doubt it, but after three years in Gambia I was much more relaxed and used to delays. So maybe a little more time here will mellow the control freak!

After the Rain

An unusual Dry Season Rain moves over the mountains this afternoon.
It was the first rain in my nearly 8 weeks here. Rainy Season starts in May.


Sunset Saturday Night – No two Are alike!

All my maintenance issues were solved over a week ago and the management is really looking good for the apartment complex – but you know – even if they weren’t, I might want to stay here just for the views from my front porch! I’ve never had front porch views like this!

And if you start comparing and doubt they are all made from the same balcony, remember that I zoom in and out a lot AND occasionally use 3 photos merged, like the rain one at top here. For example, the large lone tree on the left in the top photo is the same tree barely protruding the skyline in the bottom photo, just smaller below. 🙂   Fun!   Pura Vida!


The Heavens and a Great Kiskadee!

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.   

Psalms 19:1 HCSB

January 31 Sunset from my Balcony – Right out of camera, no messing with it!

Today was spent in San Jose for a physical exam for Pricose Healthcare Insurance to get my application approved. Snapped a few shots on phone in San Jose, for later maybe. Also had a flock of Great-tailed Grackles on the lawn this afternoon that I’ll show later. First new bird in awhile! I did get a new and better shot of the Great Kiskadee yesterday on the back balcony of my neighbor’s apartment, so this one is for Urs & Ima from Switzerland:

Great Kiskadee

As always, click a photo to see it a little bit larger with more details.

Like One Great Furnace Full of Melted Gold!

Sunset from my balcony last night, “like one great furnace full of melted gold.”

I borrowed my title from a line in C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew that I read today. I am re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia and in this first book the children see their first sunset in Narnia:

“…the western sky was all like one great furnace full of melted gold.

All sunsets aren’t like this but it sure is a “Praise God” moment when they are. Love it! And got another new bird today on the railing of my front balcony! Motivated me to clean the glass on the sliding glass doors.  🙂
Yellow-winged Vireo or maybe a Yellow Tyrannulet

I have a gallery of all birds photographed at the apartments if interested. Up to 13 now.

And for the serious birders, my collection over the years of Costa Rica Birds

Sunset Awe!

So ends another day in Atenas, Costa Rica!

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.    -Psalm 65:8 NIV

The Missed Sunset

Photo I made on my 2010 tour from a Guanacaste beach south of Tamarindo. For more on the best tour of Costa Rica see

We would have seen something like this on our south beach tour had it not been raining each evening. And I’m also including the Caribbean (Atlantic) sunrise photo also made on that trip. Both beaches are quite appealing to me, but I will probably start out in the Central Valley while I check out the whole country then decide on a more permanent place to settle.

Pacific Sunset in 2010

Caribbean Sunrise in 2010

Wherever I live, I will get to see both of the above as I travel about the country. TODAY Alex Palma is showing me rentals in smaller towns 30 minutes + from San Jose. His favorite he has already told me is Santo Domingo de Heredia which looks good online and is home of the INBio Park. We are also going to Atenas and some other places and will eat lunch in a Soda. (If you don’t know, “Soda” is the Costa Rican name for a little Mom & Pop Cafe where you can eat lunch for $3 to $5 and is on my radar as my dining out choice.) Well, time to go. I’ll report back tonight!