Welcome back to another edition of Traveling with Tom. At the end of last week’s post, I left you in suspense about the theme for this week’s article. Well, off we go to Costa Rica with a few more favorites from the many thousands of photos I took there over the years. I’ve written about Costa Rica in previous posts, for a more complete description of our travels, I refer you to those articles.
Our first trip to Costa Rica was in January 2006 to visit The Eldest. She was living with a host family in a town of about 25,000 people on the Caribbean side of the country. We spent two weeks seeing the Eastern half of the country, enjoying the warm temperatures, sandy beaches, and stunning scenery. Three more trips followed with the last in 2011. We are yearning to return; the country beautiful and its people are so gentle, kind and friendly. I don’t think we ever ran into a grumpy or rude person during any of our visits. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a vaccine and good treatment options for the virus so we soon can travel again.
This is one of my all-time favorites. The Eldest’s host sister asked if we would be interested in visiting a horse farm. She knew someone that owned a hacienda and horse farm in a remote part of the country. After a drive through the countryside and down a rocky, bumpy road, we arrived in the yard of this elegant house with the orange horse barn across the pond. I knew immediately that I wanted to take a photo of this scene with the barn reflected in the pond. Then I noticed the orange rowboat by the dock, that sealed the deal.
This photo was taken at Tapanti National Park close to Orosi, a mountain village near Cartago. In the mornings, my Traveling Partner and I attended Spanish language classes, great instructors and not so competent students. In the afternoon, we would explore the area and practice our Spanish, such as it was. One afternoon, we paid a visit to the Tapanti National Park, where we hiked the trails through the rainforest and enjoyed the river and waterfalls. During our hike, we came across this supposedly his and her toilet. I thought the scene was so fascinating that I made a straight on photo. Note the lid is up on one of the stools, I wonder which gender last used that toilet!
Peter’s Bar is located in Siquirres, the town where The Eldest was staying. On the first evening of our first visit, we went to the downtown area where families were congregating on the large plaza. We were sitting on the curb talking and watching people. I told The Eldest that I would enjoy having a beer on the warm, pleasant evening. She gave me some colónes, the Costa Rican currency, pointed me toward Peter’s Bar and said ask for “cerveza, por favor” (beer, please). I walked over to Peter’s and said: “cerveza, por favor.” The bartender then said something to me in return, I had no ideal what he said. After a minute of back and forth, me in English, he in Spanish, I realized he asked me the brand I wanted. The Imperial label looked the most elegant, so I pointed to it. Then came time to pay, I held out my hand full of coins and he picked out 600 colónes, about $1.50 USD. It was my first of many commercial transactions in Costa Rica. They often went just like this one!
Directly across the plaza from Peter’s Bar is the Siquirres City Hall. I like the tall palms reaching to the poufy clouds in the blue sky. A perfect Costa Rican day. Also notice the guy sitting on the bench on the left side, I think he balances out the palms!
On a couple of our trips, we visited the Cahuita National Park. It’s a long, narrow park along the Caribbean. The sandy beach is popular with sunbathers both with and without swimsuits! It’s also popular with the many birds that habitat the country. These birds were perched on the old supports of a pier or wharf. I like the different heights of the resting birds, some looking in different directions, with the large wave in the background. I guarantee none of the birds were affected when the wave slammed into the supports.
Another of my all-time favorites. We stayed at Pacific Edge during a couple of our trips to Costa Rica. The place was run by a British man and his American wife, a couple of interesting characters. As the name implies, it’s located on the Pacific Ocean side of the country near the village of Dominical. It sits about 600 feet above the Ocean on the side of a steep mountain; four-wheel drive recommended. There are four cabinas, each with a small kitchen, a bedroom or two, and bathroom. No TV or radio. The howler monkeys and colorful parrots are about all the entertainment one needs. A dip into small swimming pool is a refreshing way to end the day of walking on the beach or hiking in the mountains. I took this photo as we were checking out at the end of our last stay. I turned around for one last look and saw this scene and clicked a couple of photos. I liked it so much that I’ve printed it a few times and displayed it in a couple of exhibits.
The photo of these boats was taken at Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula on the west side of the country near the Panama border. I like the evening light on the vessels and the nearly flat, calm water in the Golfo Dulce.
Most of Costa Rica receives abundant rainfall during the year resulting in lush vegetation. With mild temperatures, flowers bloom almost all year. We were visiting a botanical garden; the pond was filled lily pads like in the photo below. I used my telephoto lens to isolate these few lily pads with nicely formed flowers.
That does it for this week. Next week, join me for some new travel during this time of Covid.
Until then, happy travels!