Hotel El Convento, León, Nicaragua

Hotel El Convento, León, Nicaragua
My one night in León was in what was one time a convent. The courtyard.

The atmosphere of an old Spanish Colonial
Catholic Convent was evident throughout.

An old prayer altar?

Convent is adjacent to San Francisco Church with this Entrance Sign.
Church is pictured in the church post.

All of the hotels Tours Nicaragua has arranged for me have been excellent in every way. They are the only way I will ever travel in Nicaragua!

And don’t miss my Nicaragua Birds photo gallery for 98 different species!

The “Other World-ness” of a Colonial Town

A Corridor Invites You to
Step into the 15th Century.

Am I in Europe? Spain?
View of Cathedral de Granada from Bell Tower of La Merced Church

A Magical Sunset
without extreme light pollution.

An “Old Fashion” Funeral

Crowded Market Street
as in all third world countries even today and inside the mercado
can only be experienced in person with the smells, sounds, jostling, goods.
The majority of the world!

This is a tinge of what I experience in Nicaragua which would still be considered by most as “3rd World,” whatever that means. While Costa Rica would probably be called “2nd World” which is also not an official description. We have our poverty and crowded streets and old-fashion markets with some of the same smells and sounds, but without the colonial color much of Central America has. There is a long, complicated historical explanation of why Spain did not build a lot of colonial buildings in Costa Rica, other than churches. And today’s Ticos love to consider their country progressive with a NASA astronaut, big businesses and shiny new shopping malls. I have to go to small rural villages to experience even some of what I did in Nicaragua. And I do!

I’ll try to stop talking about Nicaragua now, so maybe these are the last photos I will share. There is the oxcart parade in Atenas this weekend, so a refocus back here!  🙂

Sharing the road with all kinds of vehicles in Nicaragua!

These and other photos are now in my online gallery: Nicaragua Birding Trip 2016.

Felt Like Driving in Africa Again!

Just a gravel road you say? Well rainy season has made it a pot-holed rub board!
Driving a rent car on this to my hotel reminded me of driving in The Gambia.
Only we have mountains here!  los bosques en las montañas

From the road I snapped this view on cell phone of Tarcoles River dumping into the Pacific Ocean on a cloudy day.
But no views like this from Hotel Villa Lapas which is deep in the forest on the edge of Parque Nacional Carara.
Part of this little simple mountain lodge is made into a Spanish Colonial Village.
I’m sleeping in a tile-roofed hacienda with plaster walls and a musty smell.
Español colonial hotel de estilo

To make the colonial village complete, they have a little church (for weddings they say).
Old and simple but just right for a birder with the forest up against the backs of buildings.
The food was okay for dinner. You go to the beach town of Jaco for modern hotels.
con la iglesia

I’ve heard birds and seen a bat but the only wildlife I’ve photographed on the arrival afternoon are the leaf-cutter ants at right.

I did drive 6 km up the dirt road to Pura Vida Gardens which are simply beautiful in a hard to get to place with beautiful vistas and flowers and a view of what they call the tallest waterfall in Costa Rica. They also call it “Pura Vida Waterfalls,” but it is better know by “Bijagual Waterfalls” (name of nearby town) and “Manantial de Agua Viva Waterfalls.” I’m going with this last name.

I will do a separate post on the gardens tomorrow. Then tomorrow’s tour in the park is when I hope to collect a lot of bird photos. We’ll see! I trusted the hotel to get me a guide, so “proof’s in the pudding!”

I’m still reading Don Quiote and picking up Sancho’s habit of quoting truisms! 🙂  And I would love to hear from someone who has read it with your opinions, feelings, or meaning of the book. I’ve nearly quit reading it several times, saying “This is stupid!” But know how historically significant it is, so I keep trudging on through it at about 70% now.

Expect several more days of blogging from this trip. 🙂

“Blogging is like work, but without coworkers thwarting you at every turn.”

~Scott Adams  (Dilbert creator)