I took the shuttle bus to Rio Negro yesterday morning for the 4 waterfalls and hot springs which I had alone, all 8 pools! I sat in one for about 25 minutes which is long enough for 40 degrees centigrade (104 F). As I was leaving a van of tourists from Spain came in from another hotel to soak in the hot springs.
The three birds are new ones for this trip. And these 3 were all photographed before breakfast in trees in front of my room! 🙂 The featured photo at top today is one of those, a White-fronted Parrot, a new bird or “lifer” for me!
4 Rio Negro Waterfalls
Rio Negro Hot Springs
3 New Birds
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
Just a 4 km walk yesterday morning – to breakfast(0.5 km) and afterwards directly to the Chorreras Waterfall through parts of the Hotel farmland and other scenery (1.5 km), watching employees arrive by bus, bicycle, motorcycle and walking. A pleasant walk down a dirt farm road that became rocky and steep on the hill by the river and waterfall. Then the 2 km return with a friendly dog.
As the first one to the Falls that morning I was greeted by the barking dogs and very helpful security guard, Norman, a friendly young man from Nicaragua. (Costa Rica doesn’t chase its immigrants away or put them in cages.) And as in this case, immigrants help make life better for all of us here! 🙂 I love our immigrants! (And of course I am one myself!) 🙂
Like most Latin Americans, Norman showed a great degree of respect for my age and seemed a little surprised I was hiking in the mountains and climbing down steps to the waterfall, offering to help me of course. Evidently not many 79 year-old people are as adventurous! 🙂
We talked about the difficulties of me learning to speak Spanish and him learning to speak English. Then he shared a quote with me in both English and Spanish to encourage me in my language learning (probably someone used to encourage him), which I include in both languages at the end of this post. Great advice from a young man that I will take to heart! “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Wow! I love living here! All the neat people! And places!
No rain the previous afternoon or night, thus the Falls not as full Norman said. After visiting with Norman awhile I walked back and one of the guard dogs decided to walk back with me, all the way to the Adventure Tours station, nearly 2 km, where they said he does that frequently with guests – every creature is friendly here! 🙂
Birds on the Walk
Hotel Grounds on the Walk
Flowers on the Walk
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Vive como si murieras mañana. Aprende como si vivieras para siempre.
~Mahatma Gandhi – Given to me by Norman at Chorreras Waterfall to encourage me with my study of Spanish. 🙂
One of the 5 waterfalls on the hotel property is where the whitewater tubing adventure begins but I did not want to do the tubing, so the adventure tours staff let me ride on the early guide’s bus (5-miles) to the falls and ride back on the return bus.
I just photographed the falls which included a short hike down the mountain to the falls with my guide Javier and his 8-year old son Santiago (asst. guide). Fun guides that also took me to the butterfly garden and snake exhibit after the waterfall + birding along the way. A very good morning before it started raining! Bird, butterfly & snake photos will come later.
Quebrada Victoria (a small stream) forms the waterfall at the point where it flows into Rio Colorado and at that juncture is where the tour staff & participants depart on the whitewater tubing (in big tractor inner tubes) down the rocky Colorado River – see feature photo above. Easy enough for families with children to participate. I did that growing up in Arkansas as a kid and had a day-long tubing trip on a similar river when in college and decided it was not needed again! 🙂
The tours here also include a serious whitewater rafting trip down a bigger, wilder river with class 3 & 4 rapids, but I’ve also done that in TN and once was enough! 🙂
La Victoria Waterfall
It was not the prettiest but one more check off the list!
La Victoria Waterfall
La Victoria Waterfall
Where tubing begins.
La Victoria Waterfall
La Victoria Waterfall
Javier insisted on making a photo of me with his son, who, like all Tico children and youth, was very respectful of age and very helpful, polite & friendly! A joy!
“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.”
– Lovelle Drachman
This happened yesterday. Today I have another guide (Johnny) + Javier taking me birding here & then on a tour of the national park. Lots more photos! 🙂
What? — Well . . . that’s where I’m going next week. 🙂 One of Costa Rica’s largest and most active volcanoes is named “Rincón de la Vieja” which translated to English is “Corner of the Old Woman.” There is a long and involved forbidden love story among the indigenous people of Northern Guanacaste where the volcano national park is located. Fortunately the website of my hotel there, Hacienda Guachipelín, has a short version of the legend:
The Legend of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano
Rincon de la Vieja means “Corner of the Old Woman.” An indigenous legend tells about Princess Curubandá, daughter of the Curubandé tribe chieftain, who fell in love with Prince Mixcoac, the son of an enemy tribe chief. Curubandá’s father ended her forbidden lover’s life by throwing him into the live volcano crater.
Devastated, Curubandá became a recluse, living the rest of her life high on the volcano’s slope. She learned natural medicines from the volcano and developed healing powers. People seeking medicinal cures were told to go to “the corner of the old woman” by the volcano. And thus, the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano received its name.
The featured photo is of a Maleku Indigenous People Group close to Rincón de la Vieja and copied from the internet to represent the above legend.
The “Yellowstone of Costa Rica”
With hot springs, bubbling mud pots, two large volcano craters, rivers, mountains, and lots of wildlife this national park is like a smaller version of the U.S. Yellowstone National Park. I’m really looking forward to my visit there!
Its Also a Great Birding Place!
The park and my chosen hotel are listed as a “Birding Hot Spot.”Meaning I will be out on the many trails of the hotel’s large property each morning along with one or two trips into the park. And since it is a totally new area of Costa Rica for me I expect maybe some new and different birds along with the migrants now coming down from the north.
And Six Waterfalls!
Which is another fun, colorful and exciting thing to photograph in Costa Rica! I’m told that there is a large and beautiful falls inside the park and five on the hotel property! Wow! After birds and butterflies, it may be waterfalls for me and I already have photos of 27 in Costa Rica in my Waterfalls Gallery!
It is great to live and travel in “The Land of Nature” – Costa Rica!
“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.” ~Standing Bear
Yesterday I hired Walter to drive me to the three hotels within an hour and a half from my house to deliver the photo books I made about the three hotels: Jaco-Carara Birding Hotels. (Click to preview the book.)
I visited these 3 hotels in March, June and July this year and because they are all in the same area of Costa Rica near Jaco Beach and Carara National Park I decided to do one photo book instead of three, thus the title and combination of photos. A nice book if I do say so myself, with a large variety of coastal and forest birds and other wildlife plus the best sunset photos yet and an interesting sunrise photo I used for the front cover. Check out this book about Punta Leona Hotel, Villa Calletas Hotel and Macaw Lodge by clicking the above link. An electronic “Preview” is free!
Walter picked me up at 10 am and I was home by 3:30 pm which included a super lunch at Villa Calletas which the book notes as the best of the three for food (according to me)! 🙂
Why would I spend as much money on delivering 3 copies of the book as I did on printing them? Because I’ve had 2 hotels not receive their book through the mail and most of all I’m passionate about making nature photos and sharing them, especially with the people who helped me make them and love the nature of their surroundings as much as I. One young hotel employee was thrilled to see his work surroundings depicted in a photo book – his smile alone made the trip worthwhile! 🙂
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ― Mother Teresa
Sorry there were two posts yesterday, the old man gets flustered on the computer sometimes and makes mistakes! I intended for one of those today and this one for tomorrow, but here it is anyway! 🙂
I think this is one of my best books yet on travels around Costa Rica, this one about my week in Uvita on the southern Pacific Coast, whale-watching, many birds and other wildlife, sunsets, a river trip and visiting one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen yet in Costa Rica, Nauyaca Waterfall, my 27th waterfall to photograph here!
You may see or “Review” every page of the book electronically for free without having to order. Enjoy another one of my tropical adventures in Costa Rica! ~Charlie
Wow! Nothing like it anywhere! The featured photo above is the Upper Nauyaca Falls and the one below is the Lower Nauyaca Falls & Swim Hole with my new friends from Portugal in the water before the crowds arrived.
Below is a brief slide show of people in the swim hole and the truck ride up the mountain dirt road to the falls which is alone is quite an experience while others road horses or walked uphill for an hour and a half. Truck for me! 🙂
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.
From expansive beaches to overpowering vistas and sunsets dotted with colorful tropical birds – my newest photo book captures the magic of where I live as well as any! With it my photos show the adventure of birding in three hotels just an hour from Atenas — Punta Leona Resort, the Macaw Lodge and my recent visit to Villa Caletas, all with easy access to beaches, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River plus each having their own private forest reserve and trails. Nature at its best! All in one beautiful photo book!
You can preview the entire book electronically online at:
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: