I Release Baby Turtles this Morning

At the Right Place at the Right Time
As I headed for the birding trail before breakfast this morning, the turtle man told me
that 12 new Olive Ridley turtle eggs hatched last night and he was ready to release them.
New Morning Plans! I got to pick up all 12 from their nest and put in box for taking to beach.
Tambor, Costa Rica


12 Babies Ready for the Beach! 
Tambor, Costa Rica
One by one we take them from the box and sit each one on the beach.
Instinctively the head for the water, some in a big rush!
Tambor, Costa Rica


What a privilege to participate in helping save an endangered species! 
Tambor, Costa Rica


Once on water’s edge the next wave carries them out to sea. They swim for a full day before stopping to eat.
Because of predators (birds & fish) only one in a thousand make it to adulthood.
Tambor, Costa Rica


 Once eggs are laid on the beach, volunteers bring to this sheltered fenced area to protect eggs from predators.
Behind a chain-link fence each clutch of 30-80 eggs is netted, dated and watched by volunteers.
Eggs take about 45 days to hatch, thus they know when most will hatch. Most already have.
They are expecting 100+ hatchlings on Christmas Day.
Tambor, Costa Rica


A small building was constructed by local volunteers who watch the eggs around the clock.
Tambor, Costa Rica


 Tambor, Costa Rica


A Mouse Pad here + T-shirts are sold to raise money.
Tambor, Costa Rica
There are government regulations on turtles, but no money to help.
This volunteer group meets both national & international standards.
Tambor, Costa Rica

They are a new program and do not have a website yet, but will eventually have something similar to nearby MontezumaBeach.com to promote support and volunteerism and they are wanting to affiliate with a university somewhere for research as well as volunteers. They do have a Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/Tortugas-Bah%C3%ADa-Tambor-120575518588150/  Though my effort to post photos did not work well with one put as a “Visitor Post” in the right hand column.

They plan to also post more information about the program on the hotel website:  Tambor Tropical Resort. 

And I will eventually have these photos posted on my trip gallery for this particular trip:   2017 Christmas Week Tambor Bay.  And maybe in my other animals gallery eventually!  🙂


Tambor Tropical Friday to Wednesday

Tambor Bay, Nicoya Peninsula, Pacific Coast
Where I will be for 5 nights this Christmas, 22-27 Dec.
Tambor Tropical Resort
A small boutique luxury hotel on beach of the calmer water bay of the Pacific Ocean
on southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula (Guanacaste) west of Puntarenas.
Catering to birders, nature lovers, adventurers and yoga people.
Tambor Bay, Costa rica
Not only is the hotel on the beach, but adjacent to a river with multiple birding/hiking trails.
This is my kind of place! I can hardly wait to get there! Birding guides to 2 reserves plus
maybe a boat trip to Tortuga Island along with the ever-present river tails above! And beach!
Plus most reviews rank the food and other services very high. A great vacation!
Tambor Bay, Costa Rica
Birding tours and bird photography tours they advertise on their site have package trips here for 3  to 4 k. (Paying for 2 or 3 leader’s ways usually) I will have pretty much the same experience with my own private guide for a small fraction of that cost. And more time to relax and enjoy the beach and resort. 5 nights will make it a perfect trip!
And so you may think it is weird to go birding Christmas (like I did last Christmas) well, here is a cell phone snapshot of my living room Christmas Tree, a leafless tree limb loaded with artisan birds from all over Latin America and a backdrop of bird photos. It’s a perfect Christmas for me! And another cool way to spend my son’s inheritance!  🙂   Enjoying Retirement in Costa Rica!


Bird Christmas Tree  (Click for close-ups of some of the birds.)
The leafless tree in the corner is sprayed with gold paint and has hanging on it 33 hand-made art birds from
every country in Central America made of wood, cloth, pottery, beads, gourds, etc.
I like it so much I have kept it up since last Christmas and probably will again all this year.
Charlie’s Living Room
Atenas, Costa Rica

I expect to give daily reports of my adventures at Tambor Tropical on this blog, so keep reading for my idea of a Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad! Birding in Costa Rica!   🙂

My trip gallery for this trip: 2017 Christmas Week Tambor Bay 

And the hotel website:  Tambor Tropical Resort


Expats in Costa Rica most often feel safer than in the U.S.  Article in Live in Costa Rica Blog

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!