FAVE BIRDS – Green Ibis

This “uncommon” bird is generally found only on the Caribbean or Atlantic side of Costa Rica while the more common White Ibis is on both sides, though more prevalent on the Pacific side. This particular Green Ibis (eBird link) was photographed in Tortuguero NP as one of the 5 locations in my Green Ibis Gallery. I particularly liked this photo because of the unusual flying position of his wings in an umbrella or bowl shape. Never seen this in any bird. See my Backstory below for more information about the five places I’ve photographed this bird.

Green Ibis, Tortuguero NP
Continue reading “FAVE BIRDS – Green Ibis”

STREET ART: Panama City, Panama

From my Caravan Tour of Panama Gallery and full Panama City Gallery is a sub-sub-gallery titled Casco Viejo Street Art, one of my favorites from that trip. “Casco Viejo” just means “old city” and is one of two such historic districts in Panama City, the one resettled in 1673 after the big fire. Here’s just 4 of the many photos in the above linked gallery . . .

Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama
Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama
Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama
Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama

There is a temptation for me to write my interpretation of each piece, but this kind of art is better left to the interpretation or meaning of the viewer.

DISCLAIMER: “Street Art” for this series is paintings and tile work along streets, usually on buildings, that may or may not have been commissioned or done “illegally” without permission. I have no way of knowing. I purposefully did not include public statues, fountains, etc. obviously sanctioned by the government.

“Art must not be concentrated in dead shrines called museums.
It must be spread everywhere – on the streets, in the trams, factories, workshops, and in the workers’ homes.”

~Vladimir Mayakovsky

¡Pura Vida!

Adventure by Chicken Bus

Members of the ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica), an organization formed to help expats get to and live better in Costa Rica get a subscription to the bimonthly magazine El Residente and I hope this link to the March/April 21 issue works for non-members! 🙂

The first main article in this issue is titled “Adventure by Chicken Bus” which is actually one chapter of a book by the same title, this chapter about the Canadian family traveling Central America while homeschooling is specifically about their efforts at helping Costa Rica save the endangered sea turtles on our east coast. A great story for nature lovers and wildlife preservers that will make you want to visit Costa Rica.

At the end of the story is a link to the book by this family’s mother and school teacher, Janet La Sole, Adventures by Chicken Bus, An Unschooling Odyssey Through Central America. Be sure to check out the tab “Chapters Gallery” which summarizes the chapters and where all they traveled through pretty much every country of Central America. Amazing! And they were backpacking with two young girls! That’s her book website. If you want to purchase, go directly to Amazon.com Adventures by Chicken Bus.

And in case you don’t know, “Chicken Bus” is the nickname for the small, rural, cheap buses (Used U.S. school buses painted bright colors) found all over Central America for cheap rural or out of the way places of travel. We do have big, modern buses in Costa Rica between major cities and towns and major tourist attractions, but these are common all over rural Central America and yes, they do carry their chickens on these buses. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica by Bus

Someone recently asked me about getting around the country by bus and I think I referred them to the Bus Schedule website which lists all of the option when you type in the “From” and “To” spaces on that website with all bus companies included.

Well, I forgot about an even better help beyond schedules, the Facebook Group Page Costa Rica by Bus on which you can post a question (may have to join group first) and some of the many people who travel by bus will share their experiences and advice. And of course they also recommend the bus schedule site above. And by the way, that bus in photo above is the one I took to Turrialba.

I plan to go to a birding lodge near San Isidro del General in May, so anticipate my report on that bus experience then. I use the bus almost weekly to go from Atenas to Alajuela for many different reasons and have gone to San Jose by bus many times. Some of my other bus adventures have been (with links to photo galleries):

All of this was to simply say that you can travel on a “shoestring budget” and see a lot of Costa Rica whether you live here or visiting. Buses are cheap here! That is the way most Ticos travel! And you can do it without the Spanish language, though much easier and a richer experience if you speak at least a little Spanish.

Now, as a retiree who has made seeing all of Costa Rica my main activity, I do not do everything the budget-way and love to go the longer distances on Sansa Airlines or to places less than 3 hours from Atenas by my favorite driver here in Atenas, but I do not have a car and have basically quit renting cars because of the high insurance cost, thus seeing Costa Rica by bus is one option I still use when I consider it the most practical way. The next bus report comes in May!   🙂

“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets”    ~ Oscar Wilde

I just realized that I did a similar post in 2017, Seeing Costa Rica by Bus   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Travel Photos – Central America

“To Travel is to Live”

– Hans Christian Andersen

Granada, Nicaragua

Yes, this blog and my connected Gallery are both much about my travel photos, mostly in my retirement home of Costa Rica with an occasional foray into neighboring countries. But hey!  I lived a life before Costa Rica and the “static pages” (non-blog) of this website and gallery continue to grow as I tell that past story, slowly, one page at a time. And the feature photo is of Sayaxche, Guatemala. 

Pre-Costa Rica Travel

You might remember that in this fairly new Photo Gallery a few months back I added galleries for the photos I have from trips to Africa, Canada & Mexico and the TRAVEL web pages that tie the photos together are on the Africa, Canada  &  Mexico pages, with a narrative of some of my earliest international travel adventures – not far from home, but international nonetheless! And as I soon add pages on my U.S. travels it will complete my NORTH AMERICA section of travel pages, though there are really a lot of travel galleries to make for that!

IMG_3940 -A-WEB
Embera Indigenous Dancers, Panama


Black-throated Trogon
Black-throated Trogon

In the last two weeks I have basically finished this travel page with links to all of my Central America travel galleries included, most in Costa Rica of course!   🙂  That will continue to be the biggest part of my photo gallery.

There are sub-pages for the four countries within which I have traveled in Central America with narrative and links to the photo galleries:

  • Costa Rica   (68 trip galleries and growing!)
  • Guatemala  (3 trip galleries)
  • Nicaragua  (6 trip galleries counting 1-day “Visa Runs.”)
  • Panama  (4 trip galleries)

1st day in Guatemala enroute to and at Ceibal Ruins and Chiminos Island, December 11, 2006

Monkey in Nicaragua

The 2006 11-day trip to Guatemala was one of my biggest adventure yet at the time and it just continues as I travel more here in Costa Rica and Latin America. Then since moving here the side trips to Nicaragua and Panama were both spectacular experiences! As the quotation above says, “To Travel is to Live.” The linked pages above take you to the various trip photo galleries OR if you prefer to just browse galleries, go to Pre-Costa Rica Travels where I intend to continue adding galleries of older trips when not traveling here!  🙂   Next up is South America and the Caribbean Islands trips, then I work on the good ol’ USA!  🙂

Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA – Home base of all my galleries

Happy Travels!

¡Feliz viaje!

¡Pura Vida!

Granada, Nicaragua

Banded Peacock Butterfly

At first I thought this was something else, a Red-spotted Patch (found only in Mexico) and also of one I photographed in July at Xandari, called the Crimson or Bordered Patch. There are several kinds of Patches, all colorful and interesting, but the more I looked I decided this is the common Banded Peacock. Here he is with wings folded, same butterfly!

Article about this particular Banded Peacock Butterflies  on Wikipedia and another article on Butterflies & Moths of North America.. Note that there is another variety in India with the same English name but looks different.

My Photo Gallery of Butterflies & Moths has over 80 species I have photographed here in Costa Rica. I love living in a colorful place!  🙂

— o —

Panama vs Costa Rica for Retirees – Another article by Christopher Howard on his blog Living in Costa Rica, and of course slanted toward Costa Rica – but still an interesting comparison of the two countries for American retirees and interesting to me because he briefly compared Atenas, Costa Rica (where I live) with Santa Fe, Panama, both popular for retirees and about the same size. He does say that cost of living is higher in Costa Rica but does not say that I have observed Panama as “more Americanized,” if that is a correct term, with more communities full of almost all Americans, speaking only English and store stocking more American products. Retirees are more spread out across Costa Rica with Spanish the needed language everywhere and the few American products here are very expensive! If you want to retire in an English-speaking community of mostly Americans with American products and luxuries, Panama might be better for you.

My Cabin & Lodge Facilities

I cannot explain why I never photographed the main building with dining room, etc. But I didn’t!

My “Cabin” or actually 1 of 4 rooms in this building with me alone.
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

My Porch & Hammock   
   Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Inside my Room   
   Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Part of the 200 acres of forest behind my cabin to explore 
 Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

The Trail between my cabin and dining room & dock 
 Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

The Birding Tower – My Favorite Place Maybe 
 Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Dining Room & Lobby
Featuring the Mike Smith family of Nashville, my old hometown! It’s a small world!
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

More Water Scenes from Bocas

You may remember my first post from this trip, Life on the Water – check it out again and then here are some more water scenes in addition to that post and the Bird Island & Soropta Canal photos! It is all about water at Bocas del Toro, Panama!

Our dock at
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

A Little Island within swimming distance of our dock 
 This was the best area for snorkeling with colorful coral and fish!
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
15 year old Scott, one of the owner’s sons and an excellent birding guide!
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Sunrises & Sunsets were mostly indirect for my times on the water
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

A common view when we went away from the island
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
I think this is a lodge or restaurant on one of the islands
Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
And many people lived on the islands and thus on the water as here in Bocas Town
Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama