Punta Leona Photo Gallery

I really got a lot of good photos on this last trip and finally have them culled and organized into a gallery for the trip. See this newest photo gallery at:

2019 Mar 5-10 – Punta Leona

I’m not doing a photo book on this trip yet but plan on a book of the area after two more trips there, giving a broader picture of the Jaco-Carara Mid-Pacific Costa Rica. I have trips to that area in both June and July, so a book in August maybe? And it will include my earlier trips to Carara, Tarcoles and Jaco – so maybe a larger-format book. Change is good.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

~ Marcel Proust

¡Pura Vida!

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God’s Glory in the Skies

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Psalm 19 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

(Emphasis is mine.)  Sharing what struck me in my devotional reading 3 mornings ago as I read this Psalm. And really, everything in nature has God speaking to me whether in a Bible passage or a famous quotation or not. I am in closer harmony with God in the natural places of Costa Rica than anywhere I’ve been before – like an anteroom to Heaven!   🙂    No predictions intended, but I’m ready!   🙂   Being close to nature is one of my ideas of heaven!

¡Pura Vida!

See also my GALLERY:    VISTAS, BEACHES, SUNRISES, SUNSETS 

One little slice of the joys of being “Retired in Costa Rica!”

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Tortuguero – THE BOOK

The book is now finished with photos from 3 different trips to Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica and I think it is pretty interesting. You can go to the book online and Preview it electronically free! And of course best seen at fullscreen since it is all photos. Click this link or the book image below for the preview:

http://www.blurb.com/b/9315463-tortuguero

Tortuguero

 

“A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.”
~Rudyard Kipling

 

See my 2019 Tortuguero Turtle Beach Lodge Visit Gallery for more on this exciting rainforest trip!

Or the Turtle Beach Lodge website or Laguna Lodge of my previous visits.

¡Pura Vida!

 

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Flying From Tortuguero

Knowing from past experiences that the return trip by boat and bus to San Jose is more tiring and less of an adventure, I chose to try flying back this time and not that early 6am flight!  🙂   But rather I took the 12:40 afternoon flight – and here is

The Story in Pictures

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The Tortuguero Airport Parking Lot . . . A boat landing. My lodge “driver” dropped me off here and I walked over to the landing strip.

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The Tortuguero Airport Terminal. 🙂

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Just another bunch of tourists, European & Canadian.
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I love taking off alongside a beach! (Like in Limon)
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Up over the village of Tortuguero . . .
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. . . and over some of the rivers & canals I traveled this week.
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And the beautiful Costa Rican Farms.
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Our one stop before San Jose was at La Fortuna with Arenal Volcano towering above.

 

Sometimes I think I live a charmed life getting to see such beautiful sights! (Even though my suitcase did not make it on our overloaded flight and is suppose to be delivered by taxi sometime this evening.) I love being “Retired in Costa Rica” and I’m still processing the bird and other wildlife photos from this Tortuguero trip – but coming soon!

 

See my 2019 Tortuguero Turtle Beach Lodge Visit Gallery for more on this exciting rainforest trip!

Or the Turtle Beach Lodge hotel website

Or my photo book on 3 visits to TORTUGUERO, The Amazon of Costa Rica

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River Roads

Getting to and from anywhere in Tortuguero is only by boat with outsiders able to use the Tortuguero Landing Strip to fly here by small plane. All week I have been traveling around this rainforest park by boat including my private birding trip in a canoe this afternoon with Ricardo doing the paddling and me making photos!  🙂   One photo below is from that canoe trip. It is a different world, a water world! Tomorrow the lodge takes me by boat to the Tortuguero Landing Strip for my flight out which is a relief since the gravel roads between Guapiles and the boat dock are in bad condition right now. It is only the second time I’ve gone to an airport by boat with the other being at Drake Bay.

River Scene Shots

 

Wilderness is a necessity there must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls.

~John Muir

 

See my 2019 Tortuguero Turtle Beach Lodge Visit Gallery for more on this exciting rainforest trip!

Or the Turtle Beach Lodge hotel website

Or my photo book on 3 visits to TORTUGUERO, The Amazon of Costa Rica

 

¡Pura Vida!

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Maquenque Bigger Water Birds

Yeah, when I did the “Big Birds” post I failed to mention that some of the water birds are pretty big too, especially some of the Herons and the Anhinga. And here they are:

Click Image to Enlarge

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery   

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

 

And a BONUS article in Tico Times for you who are more adventurous, like my 82 year-old friend Jorge who completed The 280 Kilometers, 16 Day, Coast to Coast Hike    on  el Camino de Costa Rica.

Pura vida for mountain hikers! I did one day on this trail and the almost constant uphill climbs was too much for me, though of course the whole trail is not uphill!   🙂

 

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Maquenque “Big Birds”

Of course “Big” is relative, but these are probably the 7 biggest birds I photographed at Maquenque Lodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada, Costa Rica – with yesterday’s toucans and tomorrow’s parrots tying for second largest, then we get to smaller ones–lots! I photographed more than 50 species of birds at this lodge which I think only Esquinas Rainforest Lodge has equalled and maybe Selva Verde, Sarapiqui. I highly recommend Maquenque for birding!

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See also my earlier post on just the King Vulture with more shots of him/her plus a juvenile, and yesterday’s post on the three types of Toucans at Maquenque Lodge. The gallery and then a book are both coming soon! All about the wonderful Maquenque Lodge & Reserve!    🙂

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery   

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

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Describing My 2014 Journey Here

This week’s death of Nature Poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019), and article about her in Washington Post, plus reviewing her poems led me to her “Journey” which in some ways describes what I was unable to describe in my 2014 “Decision Process” I called it then, of getting away from the depressing world of conservative Middle Tennessee, the clouds of a failed marriage and subsequent loss of family, branches and stones in my path of a vocational “calling”  manipulated by power-hungry “rulers” ending unceremoniously first in 1999 and finally by 2002 in unplanned early retirement. In a daze . . .

I’ve always tried to “make lemonade out of lemons” and I turned my retirement into an adventure of nature travel and photography as much as I could afford, including visits to all 54 state parks in Tennessee with a book about that, A Walk in the Woodsalong with many other nature/travel books and my growing nature photo gallery. But I was still looking for something else.

Moving from the vibrant life of rowhouse living in downtown Nashville to a suburban “Independent Living Retirement Home” was still not what I was looking for.

It was to commune closer with nature, to travel in natural exotic places that my limited income could not afford, then suddenly it hit me, why not move to one of the nature places in which I love to travel and just live there?

With only 2 family members left and no grandchildren, it was easier for me than some people to make such a life-changing move! And now I see it described in a new way in this poem by Mary Oliver:

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

~Mary Oliver

¡Retired in Costa Rica!

¡Pura Vida!

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My 2019 Nature Adventures

A different hotel/lodge every month except April when a gang from Nashville come to volunteer in the children’s home here in Atenas. 4 lodges are repeats but such great places they will be totally new experiences! I start this month near the Nicaragua border sleeping 5 nights in a treehouse and from there it is everything from Whale Watching to Tapirs and of course lots of birds! There will be new wildlife this year and also its the year I expect to top 300 bird species that I will have photographed in Costa Rica! What a life!   🙂

And you may wonder why I am planning so far ahead? Well, it was not far enough for some places I wanted to visit, especially for next Christmas when my first two choices were already booked. Costa Rica and its best lodges and hotels are very popular and stay booked more than a year in advance.

The links on the hotel/lodge name is to that hotel’s website, if you are interested. And the map gives the approximate location of each visit this year using the month number for when I visit that spot and listing indicates lodge or national park visited that month.

  1. Maquenque Eco Lodge, Boca Tapada
  2. Doubletree San Jose & Turtle Beach Lodge Tortuguero
  3. Hotel Punta Leona, Jaco Beach
  4. Hogar de Vida Children’s Home, Atenas
  5. Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui  *
  6. Macaw Lodge (Nat Geo), Carara National Park
  7. Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela  *
  8. Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Caribe (Carnival Week)  *
  9. Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita (Whale Watching) Ballena NP
  10. Hotel Hacienda GuachipelinRincón de la Vieja National Park
  11. Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park  *
  12. Tapirus LodgeBraulio Carrillo National Park

*The 4 starred hotels are repeats for me, meaning I really like them!  🙂  And this is what it is like to be Retired in Costa Rica, the name of my blog! Pura vida!

For those who know Costa Rica the map helps understand where I’m traveling this year, my first to not go to Osa Peninsula, as I explore new places.

CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE  
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