Friday, October 31, 2008
View of Playa Grande & Cabo Velas from ATV tour
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Adventure rental shop
The name of the shop is Hightide Adventure Tours. They are located between the two main intersections in town, and they have a website that gives further information. They also provide lessons.
For people who want an adrenaline rush during their vacation, the Tamarindo area of Costa Rica has plenty to offer. Teenage visitors (and others) will have plenty of stories and photos to share with their friends when they return home. In fact, in this Internet age, the teenagers will likely start sharing their photos with friends before they return home.
I previous posted photos of my wife enjoying the zip lines on August 18 and August 19. Tomorrow and the next day I will post photos from an ATV ride.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Turtle on log
These turtles are only about 32 cm. (12 in.) in length. They like to sun themselves during the day, often on logs as this turtle is doing. They forage on land at night for food.
Tropical turtles differ from their northern relatives in their breeding habits. Turtles who live in cold weather may have only one breeding cycle per year, leaving up to 100 small eggs in a single burrow. Freshwater tropical turtles in Costa Rica have adapted to the warm weather year round by breeding multiple times throughout the year and leaving only 3 or 4 larger eggs at a time.
The tropical breeding habits offer several advantages. If a predator discovers the nest, a tropical turtle will lose only a few offspring, whereas a northern turtle has placed all of its eggs in the same burrow and an entire year's reproductive cycle could be lost. Also, by laying a smaller number of larger eggs, the hatchling tropical turtles have a better chance of survival.
Costa Rica is best known for its sea turtles, not its freshwater turtles such as this one. The main nesting place for the endangered leatherback tutles is Playa Grande, which is right next to Tamarindo. We have a nice view of Playa Grande from our condo at the Diria Resort in Tamarindo, and night time turtle nesting observation visits are possible, with guides from the Las Baulas National Park. There are also olive ridley sea turtles who nest at Playa Langosta near our Langosta beach condo. I do not want to bother them by trying to photograph them at night and flashing lights in their eyes, as lights are detrimental to their nesting.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Visitors who are coming to Langosta or Tamarindo to rent one of our condos will sometimes ask if they need a car. The answer is no, as tour operators will pick up tourists and provide door-to-door service for their tour activities, as shown in this photo.
Most everything for tourists in Tamarindo is in walking distance from well located condos and resorts, except the church and the Garden Plaza shopping center with the large supermarket. Having a car will make it easier to drive to the supermarket on the outskirts of town, although there are taxis, and the shopping center has a shuttle bus. Also, there are convenience food markets located in easy walking distance to most parts of town. There are several car rental agencies in Tamarindo, so it is possible to rent a car for only part of one's stay.
By the way, take a look at the size of the leaves to the left of the van in the photo above. I will show another photo tomorrow.
Friday, October 24, 2008
It doesn't matter what restaurant you are in. You will usually encounter the musicians once during our dinner in virtually every restaurant in town, as they make the rounds from place to place. It is not as common for them to play at lunch time. This photo was taken at lunch at the Nibbana Restaurant, which was the subject of my post yesterday. Our waiter took the photo, which is why the photo includes me along with my wife and two sons.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The restaurant has a website that features its menu and many photos of its meals and drinks. The menu features seafood, pasta, and other dishes. Nibbana is one of the many fine restaurants in Tamarindo that we enjoy.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Michael Landon's house
Michael Landon died in 1991 at the age of 54 of pancreatic cancer. Despite that early passing, he was on U.S. network TV series for 28 years, which is an accomplishment few actors have achieved. He was also frequently the TV host for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California on New Year's Day each year.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
There is something special about this valley, however. Tomorrow I will feature a photo of the unusual, triangular-shaped house located in the lower center of this photo (which you can detect only if you click and enlarge the photo). For viewers of old TV series, I'll give you a bonanza of a hint of whose house it used to be: it is obviously not a little house on the prairie.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Little blue heron
The juvenile little blue herons are white in color with a dark or greyish bill. The scientific name for the species is egretta caerulea. This is a relative of the
bare-throated tiger egret that I posted on July 16. Tomorrow I will post another egret for comparison.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Dragonfly Bar and Grill
Dragonfly has a website that includes its menu and photos of its meals. Its entrees include creative meals such as Fiery Thai beef over glass noodles & herbs with chile-lime vinaigrette and chopped peanuts; Filet mignon over charred onion & roasted garlic mashed potatoes, french beans & stone ground mustard sauce; Chipotle & green onion glazed crispy chicken breast over sweet corn cake & fresh avocado, and Pan roasted Mahi-Mahi over sweet corn and orzo salad with a cilantro pesto.
As I have mentioned before, my wife is very serious about fine dining, and the presence of excellent restaurants in Tamarindo was crucial to our decision to buy a condo (actually, two condos) in town. We decided to buy condos right in town rather than at one of the destination resorts outside of town because we want to be able to walk to a variety of excellent restaurants.
Dragonfly is located just a short walk from the main intersection in Tamarindo. It is one of our favorite restaurants in town.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Prayers for healing
The church displays manny of the milagros grouped together, so there might be an entire case of legs, or hearts, etc. I chose this photo because it displayed the greatest diversity of different types of organs or body parts. You will notice the milagros of those praying for help for their legs, feet, eyes, lungs, hands, spine, and more. (I apologize for the reflection in the glass covering the case, but it was unavoidable.)
I don't know about you, but this makes me wonder about the lives of each of the people who left these milagros. How are they and their families doing now?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
La Negrita Statue in Basilica
Monday, October 13, 2008
A dog-on-the-beach story
The owners of both dogs were nearby, receiving the vicarious pleasure of sharing the enjoyment of their dogs for the beach and ocean.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
This is the angel on the top of the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in Cartago, not far from San Jose. This is Costa Rica's most sacred site and most important church. There has been a church on this spot since 1635, although the current church was built in 1929 after the previous church was destroyed in an earthquake. I will show more photos of the church in the future.
I am showing the angel today as a theme to introduce three photos of the angel flute on some champagne glasses that I was asked to show by some readers of Monte Carlo Daily Photo, as the glasses were the subject of a story that I told in comments on that site yesterday. Here is a link to that site, where you can read the story in the comments to the October 9 post.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
"Poor man's umbrella" leaf detail
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Irazu volcano crater and lake
There are many fumaroles in the national park, frequent emissions of clouds of steam, and frequent seismic activity at this active volcano.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Irazu volcano crater
The crater is 1,050 meters (3,444 ft.) in diameter and 300 meters (984 ft.) deep. That makes it the largest crater in Costa Rica. Bring a jacket if you plan to visit, as it is cool at the high elevation, otherwise you will be scurrying back to your car if it becomes windy.
The crater is a short walk from a parking area, so this is a convenient volcano to visit. There are hiking trails to the four other craters in the park.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Irazu gets its name from an Indian word, irstaru which appropriately means "mountain of thunder." There is a legend that an Indian chief sacrificed his daughter to the volcano gods, then later prayed to the gods for assistance in battling a neighboring tribe. The volcano gods answered his prayer by erupting, raining fire on the other tribe, and causing a mud slide to wipe out their village.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Butterfly on lantana flower
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Gardens at the Diria Resort
Costa Rica's tropical climate and volcanic soil provide excellent growing conditions for lush vegetation. In the northwest Pacific coast region of Guanacaste, however, there is a dry season from November through April. Around the resorts, of course, the supplemental watering and gardeners keep the vegetation colorful and blooming all year round.
The clear sunny days of the dry season are geat for tourism. During the dry season the forests in the area turn brown, and many of the trees adapt to the dry season by dropping their leaves in order to conserve moisture. That makes it easier to spot wildlife that lives in the trees, particularly howler monkeys, sloths and birds.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Tim's driftwood art
In Tim's neighborhood in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of his artistic expressions is to create metal art made from the bristles that fall off the street sweepers. In our house, we have a series of pen and ink drawings by Tim from our travels with Rita and Tim to places as diverse as the Amazon and Vienna. Tim also painted a scene of the ocean and balcony of our Langosta condo.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Monthly theme: "Lines" with howler monkeys
Howler monkeys can be seen, and much more commonly heard, in the trees in and around Tamarindo. The mother and baby above were part of a family group just a few miles outside of town. I stopped the car and my two sons and I watched their behavior for about 20 minutes.
The monkey family members took their turn walking the full length of a span between two telephone poles. They then climbed from the telephone line into a tree, ate and lounged around for a while, then moved from branch to branch to reach a tree on the other side of the road. After tiring of the tree on the other side of the road, they leaped through the air to another tree, then disappeared into the forest. My two sons were with me at the time, and my younger son, Stuart, took a video of the monkeys flying through the air.
When we walk along the beach from our condo in Playa Langosta, we often see and hear howler monkeys in the trees near the ocean. It is possible to walk for miles along an unspoiled beach, with more monkeys than people.
I previously showed a close-up photo of a howler monkey. You can see it by clicking here.