New Bromeliads + A Favorite Road

Bromeliad Pink in a Shady Area of My Garden
 I think it will do very well here & I have 6 of them!
 Atenas, Costa Rica
Bromeliad Red which I really liked, but as you see it gets some sunlight
 thus I hope it makes it. I got only 1 of these.  Bromeliads prefer shade.
Atenas, Costa Rica 

Road behind Banana Azul Hotel in the Caribbean of Costa Rica
The photo & quote that I shared with the mission team today + a Scripture verse with their’s.
Photo made in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica 
¡Pura Vida!

Two More Trips Added for This Year

A follow-up to my earlier post:  Next 4 Months of Trips Planned – Retired in Costa Rica!
First to the Costa Rica South Caribe again:

“The Howler Suite” at Banana Azul Hotel
I wanted this room last September but not available – very popular!
So I now have it reserved for 5 nights this coming September!
Planning ahead sometimes pays off!  🙂
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Also on the Caribbean side, across the border in Panama is the popular tourist area of Bocas del Toro. I now have a full week or 7 nights in June at Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge:

In addition to BIRDING there are beautiful BEACHES & ISLANDS to visit by boat + SNORKELING
Tranquilo Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama

KAYAKS available at all times for bay & rivers + miles of HIKING TRAILS for more birds!
It’s the kind of place with plenty for me to do just on the hotel grounds. Great anticipation!
Tranquilo Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama

See this cool video about Tranquilo Bay

And keep reading this blog RETIRED IN COSTA RICA as the adventures just keep getting bigger and better. I will truly never be bored here and never run out of something to do or photograph! I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t retire here! I’m sure having fun! And seldom repeat a place!

And I will keep adding photos to my gallery:  Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

Kind of funny: The other day some new students of Spanish at Su Espacio were in class and saw one of my photo books there. One student said “I know him. I read his blog about Costa Rica!” So David enjoyed telling me that I am now famous!  🙂  This blog has only 80 subscribers plus drop-in visitors vary from 50 to 300 a day, so really not that big, but I’m glad that some considering retirement here are reading it plus others and hope it is helpful in your “Costa Rica decision process.”

¡Pura Vida!

Hotel Banana Azul

Too many clouds for a traditional sunrise this morning, but I thought this shot to left of the sun was okay.
Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

The Garden I face from the Dining Room  —   Bird feeder off to the right
Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

This morning I decided to not keep posting so many photos on the blog, thus began my trip photo gallery for this experience where you can find lots of photos! Since this was to be the hotel post today, I will give links to three sub-galleries on the very relaxed and enjoyable Hotel Banana Azul:

Or for the whole trip, go to my trip photo gallery called 
2017 Sept 4-8 — Caribe Banana Azul Puerto Viejo
including my visit to Cahuita National Park & Samasati Reserve

And/or check out the Hotel Banana Azul Web Page
And plan ahead! They stay booked solid much of the time,
even in the “off season” which it is now.
This new caribe gallery is the latest of my “TRIPS” Photo Galleries
where I am working backwards to document my Costa Rica trips
and neighboring countries’ trips in my bigger CR gallery: 
At the time of this posting, I’m back to July 2015 
and the trips started in January 2015!
Almost finished! Travel with Kevin is next!
¡Pura Vida!

A 6 mile Beach Walk

I arrived early yesterday before my room was ready and so I decided to walk to the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo from the hotel by way of the beach and back. My odometer showed it to be nearly 6 miles round trip, counting a walk around town. The next post will be about the interesting town. But here’s a few shots from the beach walk:

I walked from those blue hills around the bay to this town beach.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

The bend in the bay before getting to the town.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

I get to cross this stream coming into the bay and
see the one-lane bridge on the road running parallel with beach.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Approaching town there are runners & this abandoned barge.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Near every hotel is this standard sign warning of undertow.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

A faster way to get to town?  🙂
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Great Kiskadee
One of six species of birds seen along the beach walk.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Semipalmated Plover
For birders, yes, similar to Wilson’s Plover except
this one has orange legs & orange on base of bill (click to enlarge)
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Non-breeding Western Sandpiper
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Breeding Western Sandpiper
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

 Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Brown Pelican
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Great-tailed Grackle male 
 Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

I was high-energy yesterday and did more than I should probably, but doing very little today to make up for it!  Thus I have a lot of photos still from yesterday to share and may do another post tonight. Every new place is an adventure and full of photo-ops!

The Adventure of Small Planes

Our 12-passenger plane from San Jose to Limon
Costa Rica

Sansa Terminal in San Jose
Costa Rica

I sat in the back this time to get off first in Limon.
3 of us got off and 5 more got on for the journey on to Tortuguero
Costa Rica

Taxiing off on the San Jose Runway
Costa Rica

Flying over the San Jose Passenger Terminal
Costa Rica

Farms outside of San Jose
Costa Rica

Flying over the mountains & national park
Costa Rica

Caribbean Farms, mostly Bananas, Pineapple
Costa Rica

Outskirts of Limon
Costa Rica

Oil Tankers keep these filled as our main source of gasoline
Costa Rica

One of several big docks in the Port of Limon
Costa Rica

Typically Tin-roofed house in the very poor, mostly black, Limon
Costa Rica

Limon Airport is a strip of pavement along the Atlantic coast
Costa Rica

And the very nice though small Limon Passenger Terminal
Costa Rica

This is all I can share about today (Monday) but I did a lot more with reports later. I walked 6 miles up and back the beach from hotel to downtown Puerto Viejo. Quite interesting. Photographed a lot including 4 or 5 different species of birds. Didn’t get in my room until 2 because last guests were late checking out. Got a massage on the beach to help me relax before my gourmet dinner of Sea Bass +. Exhausted and going to bed by 8 with a 6:30 AM bird hike before breakfast, then a slow day tomorrow.  🙂

My hotel is Banana Azul  which is very nice and almost always full.

Balance of 2017 Planned!

And most of you know that means I have trips planned for the rest of the year with other serendipities like holidays and local experiences being “extra” joys! 

But for those who particularly like my trips or the birds I photograph on them, here’s my coast to coast plans for the next 4 months, leaving specific dates off for security reasons: 

SEPTEMBER is my trek back to the Caribe with 4 nights in a very popular hotel I could not get in on another trip, Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. It is one of the very few actually on the beach, like walk out of your cabin right onto the beach. (Most are across the highway.) I do not care for swimming in the ocean for many reasons, nor sunbathing, but absolutely love walking on the beach which I will do a lot of this trip. It is also “Adult Only,” simply meaning no children. I love kids, but they tend to dominate a resort at every point and can be quite disruptive from sleeping & meals to activities & pool. So my first time to try one of these!  I’ll let you know what I think. 

Plus I plan on two new reserves for birding and otherwise hiking in nature with local guides; one is a national park and one a private reserve which they claim is the best. And of course the beautiful forested grounds of the hotel and even the beach will have birds!

And I will experience a little caribbean culture & food in Puerto Viejo. See 
this info page and welcome video About Puerto Viejo.  There’s also links there to why visit the Caribe, difference in caribbean and pacific coasts, etc. I may come home singing reggae!  🙂  But mainly hope to relax and get more bird photos! Here’s more on Caribbean Local Activities beyond the music and food or my favorite, Caribbean Jungle, Nature & Wildlife.  And the Hotel Banana Azul Photo Gallery

It will be both similar and different from my safari tent hotel in Manzanillo last year. See that Manzanillo Trip Photo Gallery for comparison. I still don’t have a strong preference for caribbean or pacific coast yet, though I tend to favor the “underdog” or least popular which would be the Caribe. It is quieter, cheaper, more natural, smaller & locally owned hotels, and less crowded. If you like big Marriotts or Hiltons, go to the Pacific side and spend more money! I’m doing that in December but not in a big chain hotel. 

NOVEMBER is in the cloud forests not far from Atenas, just outside San Ramon where I stay in my second Greentique Hotel, associated with the Aquila de Osa Hotel I was in at Drake Bay. (One of my favorite!) But this one is only an hour or so away by bus through Palmares to San Ramon where the hotel picks me up at the bus station. It is called Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Nature Reserve.   

Typical birding hike.

Of course I already have birding treks scheduled with local guides and may get to see their cloud forest research center. Plus they have trails on their own property I can visit on my own and all three hotels have jacuzzis which I hope to use and who knows? Maybe even a relaxing back massage! I view retirement as an almost continuous vacation! 🙂  It’s great! And this one’s close to home!

Another tropical paradise where you have both
a pool and the beach, plus forest for birds!
And hopefully great food!  🙂

CHRISTMAS WEEK is when I decided to try the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste on the Pacific Coast. And my Google search showed Tambor Bay the best area of the southern peninsula for birding, according to a local birding club on the peninsula. So we will see! I have reservations at the Tambor Tropical Hotel right on the beach AND on a river with hiking trails following it inland for lots of do-it-yourself birding. Plus there are two reserves nearby that I hope to see with a guide. And this is another “Adults Only” hotel. Wow! New for me.

Puntarenas is almost due west of Atenas, slightly southwest. To drive or go on bus includes a long ferry ride, making a long trip. Thus I have elected to fly a small plane to the little airport at Tambor Bay. Hotel picks me up at airport.

Not having family, I have found that Christmas is more enjoyable while on a trip and I always end up with new friends as well as new experiences! So I’m looking forward to this Christmas when I celebrate living in Costa Rica for three years! ¡Pura Vida!