Oh, the Places I’ll Go!

Monday I’m off to Arenal Observatory Lodge in Arenal Volcano National Park with my choice room reserved again – #27 – where my deck looks up at the volcano and out past the bird feeders to Lake Arenal over which the suns sets each evening in brilliant colors!

I was there a year and a half ago and you can see why I like it in my trip photo gallery: 2018-May 4-9 – Arenal Observatory Lodge.  It is truly one of my favorite places and I’m beginning to return to such more often now, where there are more birds than I will every photograph! (An “official” birding hot spot.) Plus waterfalls, trails, horses, a farm, beautiful scenery, good food, and a comfortable room with more places nearby to visit. And I will probably relax more this time without the rush of trying to see and do everything the first time!   ¡Tranquilo!

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

¡Pura Vida!

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

My first of 6 different Cloud Forest Reserves this week (where trees, wildlife, water and air is protected) was this morning at Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve (right click on page for English translation). It is beautiful and less crowded than the one I will visit tomorrow. The above featured cell phone photo is from the highest point in the reserve looking East/Northeast at Arenal Volcano which I visited last year at Arenal Observatory and going again in November. The photo at bottom is looking the other direction at the mountains and clouds you are above in a Cloud Forest.

I had a wonderful guide through the hotel’s tour service, Costa Rica Expeditions, Rodiberi, and we saw 14 species of birds, several new to me. Here are my photos of 9 of those species, two of which are lifers for me:

Birds at Santa Elena Today

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 Cool birds huh? Most live only in the cloud forest.

Other wildlife will be a separate post for the whole week.

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One of the views from the highest point in the reserve, looking West/Northwest

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” 
― John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

My Room at Arenal Observatory

This view from my room is the most memorable part of the lodge room. See More Volcano Shots
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
I had to be laying down on the bed to have the view inside, but outside is “in your face”
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
My one selfie was with the volcano, here on the dining room deck
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
The two side windows looked out on the Restaurant Deck and the lake 
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

This side view was also beautiful and where I caught the sunsets. (link to sunset photos)
 Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Also where other hotel guests assembled before meals & for volcano & lake photos + bird feeders
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

At about 5 pm each day one or two of the La Fortuna Expedition buses brought a crowd
of mainly young adult backpackers for volcano, lake & sunset photos before their group dinner here
and then return to their less expensive lodging after a day of whitewater, rappelling, zip lining, etc.
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
The first two days the maids left towel animals on my bed
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

See My Room Gallery for more photos of the room.
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
AND the bird feeders were also next to my room’s deck!

Great Curassow male at fruit feeder by my room deck   
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Great Curassow female at fruit feeder by my room deck  
 Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Montezuma Oropendola at fruit feeder by my room deck  
 Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica


COSTA RICA NEWS:

Women elected to 5 of 6 leadership roles in Costa Rica’s new legislature
An online article in Tico Times.