Surprising Vista at Xandari

By using my new 600mm telephoto lens instead of my usual Samsung Phone Camera for a vista from the hilltop resort Xandari, I zoomed in on the Alajuela Cathedral with Central Park to the right and the bigger surprise, at top edge of photo is an American Airlines plane landing or taking off at the San Jose International Airport in Alajuela! Luck of the timing on the plane and sorry that the blog template crops off part of the plane, not so in my original photo (see in gallery).

Below is another shot in same direction from the same restaurant with my phone camera to help you see how much I was able to zoom in and crop a little!  🙂  The cathedral is on the left side of the city that you see between the restaurant and the mountains. My last day at Xandari, Wednesday, Walter picked me up and we got my internet order package 5 blocks east of the Cathedral, ate lunch 2 blocks north of the Cathedral, then drove 24 km (15 miles) west to Atenas where I live. My small world!   🙂

Looking south over Alajuela, Costa Rica (& San Jose Airport) from Xandari Resort. I stood in this same spot for the Cathedral-Airplane photo, just zooming in!


¡Pura Vida!

See my Trip Photo Gallery:  2018 Xandari Resort

Xandari costa rica   (their website)

Retired in Costa Rica

Cloudy Without Rain

Cloudy Without Rain Currently in Atenas, Costa Rica  – Well, by 3:30 rain was here!  🙂
As seen from my terrace. 

Estoy muy ocupada ahora. “I am very busy right now” getting ready for the longest trip yet since moving to Costa Rica, nine days with travel! And as usual when busy, I forgot something important: to pay my CAJA (CR Medicare) by the deadline Friday and will pay Monday and find out if there is a penalty for being late. It and my rent are the only two regular payment I have been unable to secure “auto-debit” for. After class Monday morning I will spend time in the bank (longer lines on Monday) paying that bill and securing U.S Dollars which is what they want at the border and pretty much everywhere in Panama, as their default currency.

I’ve made two bus trips to Alajuela for internet order pickups for the trip. I got a second camera body so I will not have to remove one from the 600mm lens which I will use most, but sometimes will need one of my 3 other lenses. And I finally replaced my camera backpack which was stolen in Puntarenas a couple of years ago. And still dealing with computer people on the change of my website to WordPress and basically starting all over rebuilding the site. After the trip I will try to move my blog from Blogger to WordPress as part of my website, but the Panama trip photos will be shared on Blogger. 
Tuesday afternoon I go to a free night (Hilton Honors points) at the Hampton Inn Airport, since the Caribe Fun tour bus will pick me up at 5 am at any San Jose hotel the next morning. Then all day Wednesday by bus to Bocas del Toro, Panama with a lunch stop at one of my favorite hotels, Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. I get there late afternoon with only the border crossing uncertain about time. The last leg of trip is by boat to an island for my ecolodge, Tranquilo Bay. 7 nights there and then all day the following Wednesday to return home by way of the airport, though not all night on return. It will be a new kind of adventure both on the water and on the van.

¡Pura Vida!

Tourist Day for Mission Team

Pam Stockett, our fearless leader and example on the zipline!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica
And 8 of the 10 in mission team geared up for the zipline!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica
Dinner at Jaco hotel at sundown in the rain!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica

Walking Over my “Jungle Hill” This Morning

I love walking by the gardens of my neighbors
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

Lots of flowers are always blooming, like this Bougainvillea
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica 

This morning a toucan flew into that top tree
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

I got as close as I could and zoomed in with only my cell phone camera
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
Yellow-throated Toucan
I then cropped in further at home and mainly have just a silhouette, oh well.
My 300mm lens would have done better, but always hard as they usually stay high in the trees.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

A view of central Atenas from above a different house than I’ve shown before (125).
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

And another neighbor house on top of hill I don’t think I’ve shown before.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
Before I moved to Costa Rica, I said that I would never live in a rich gated community, so I need to be careful about using that word “never” since after 4 months of searching for a rental house I could afford that also met my needs, this is where I found it! And since most of these big mansions have “casitas” (“little houses” like mine) that they rent out or use for “mother-in-law cottages” or servants, I am certainly not alone living among the rich as a renter and 40% of the owners here are Ticos, so not just all foreigners. Plus it is the only really nice development like this within easy walking distance of Central Atenas; in fact most realtors say Roca Verde is in “Central Atenas” (loosely defined). 
With the Atenas public water system having many shutdown problems and unfulfilled promises from politicians, we are fortunate to have our own water system within Roca Verde that is almost never down, and if that is not enough, my landlord has his own private well and pump right here on our lot!  🙂  That is a bigger deal here than it may sound! I always have good water and good pressure. 
My landlord is one of the best and even though he has this property for sale, it hasn’t sold yet and that can take years here! A German man visited 2 days ago as a prospective buyer and assured me I could continue renting at the same price if he becomes my new landlord. I am not worried. My landlord, Jean-Luc, was also the developer of all of Roca Verde and with his partner in charge of the development maintenance, etc. until this year when a new homeowners’ association took over and they seem to be doing a good job so far and have even increased the security of the property. If you drive in the front gate to visit me, expect to show your ID and have your trunk inspected upon leaving and they may even call me to verify that you are really coming to see me. Interesting. 
I think I have already shared reasons for choosing the “Central Valley” as my place to live, like medical and shopping proximity, plus from here I can easily travel on my many adventures to parks and forests all over Costa Rica and further into Central America. And it will be easy to expand my travels into South America later. As “the next best place to heaven,” Costa Rica is the perfect place for me to live the final years of my life before the real heaven. ¡Perfecto!

¡Pura Vida!

Mirador de Orosi

View of Village of Orosi 
Mirador de Orosi, Costa Rica
View of Reventazón River 
Mirador de Orosi, Costa Rica


Mirador de Orosi, Costa Rica


Mirador de Orosi, Costa Rica

More photos of Mirador de Orosi

Or see all of my Orosi Trip photos in the TRIP Gallery: 2018-February 6-10–Orosi/Tapanti

¡Pura Vida!

Tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) I go to a special
Cirque du Soleil Musical Show in Alajuela


Read about it at (with photos & videos) It will be one of the few Cirque du Soleil shows in Spanish and honors or remembers the most popular of all rock bands in Latin America, Soda Stereo of Argentina. Think of it as similar to the shows Cirque du Soleil did on Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Elvis. I saw the one honoring the Beatles and it was really good! So hope this will be too! Different and colorful anyway! That’s for sure!  🙂


And meanwhile in Atenas people are getting ready for the “Festival of Life” in March:
Partly to raise money for the children’s home my Nashville friends are coming to work in:


Hillside Vista

On a walk over my hill today, not quite to the top, a different view.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

Click image for larger view.

And see my photo gallery of Vistas in Costa Rica & neighboring countries.
¡Pura Vida!

Neighbor’s View of Atenas

Atenas as seen from higher up the hill from me in the morning fog.
This nice photo was made by Tom & Jessica, here for a couple of months on their trip around the world.
See their blog  Like most places you pay more for better view!
Of course they zoomed in on the church with camera – they aren’t this close!
Atenas, Costa Rica
Maybe call my view toward town “more natural” with more trees than even houses & no church.
I am barely on the side of a little hill while the other view is from twice as high & zoomed more!
Atenas, Costa Rica


I have now written more than 1,000 posts that have received more than 100.000 pageviews online from more than 20 countries. I guess there is a lot of random viewing of blogs by some people. 🙂


Un día tranquilo en el pueblo.

Un día tranquilo en el pueblo.  —  A quiet day in the village. 
 Atenas, Costa Rica
 as seen from my hilltop walk this morning. 

Several of my Photo Galleries include images of Atenas: 

Walking in Atenas  (mostly flowers & trees)
Vistas  (1st 3 sub galleries are of Atenas)
Atenas, Costa Rica (General, of buildings & people)

Costa Rica Birds  &  Other Wildlife  include many photos made in Atenas! 
Now that’s more info than you wanted, but hopefully it shows how complete my total Costa Rica Photo Gallery is as you drill down into different levels of galleries. It is true as named: 

And in many ways my main website now as a retiree in Costa Rica. Check it out! It is what I like doing more than anything now, making interesting photos of different aspects of Costa Rica. 

Walking the Hills & Valleys of Atenas, Costa Rica

Looking down on Central Atenas & the Central Church
Atenas, Costa Rica

But just the hills on the backside of my neighborhood are a “Feast for My Eyes!”
Early morning fog reminds me of the presence of the Holy Spirit. What a place to walk!
Atenas, Costa Rica
A couple of cellphone shots made this morning on my walk over the hill in Roca Verde. Stay tuned for a change of scenery as I fly to the Caribbean Coast tomorrow morning. ¡Pura Vida!

Rancho Naturalista – The Place

One of the friendly staff at
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My excellent young Birding Guide, Mercedes! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Main Lodge & Dining Room (office, kitchen, library, etc.)
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My Cabin for the Week 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica
Tile steps invite me down from my cabin
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Observation Deck above the bird feeders and vistas
I had coffee at 5 AM each day here

One of the Vistas 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

“I never get tired of blue sky.”  -Vincent Van Gogh
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Early Morning Fog adds Mystery to the Forest! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And Recognition is Good!
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And their website: Rancho Naturalista

“The earth has music for those who listen.” 

George Santayana