Jessop Travels

Flip Flops or Bust!

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Mt. Baldy

Today we went up to Mt. Baldy to see the snow before it melts, since there is a heatwave coming our way. I have never been to Mt. Baldy and Dave wanted to show me around. Dave has some great memories of camping up there and spending time at The Snow Crest Lodge.  Unfortunately, there was not much snow at all and the Snow Crest Lodge was closed down. We made a fun morning of exploring and I enjoyed hearing Dave’s stories from his time he spent up there.

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We both got enough snow to make snowballs.

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Beautiful view of the mountain and The Notch at the top

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Dave’s first selfie ????. 

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The End Is Near

We drove to San Jose for a few days before heading home. We are tired and have the end-of-vacation-blues

We are close to the airport. Here is a view of the airport from our hotel room. I just loved watching the Costa Rican flag fly in the wind. image

We have never explored around San Jose so we figured we would drive around and see what we could see. We stopped in Grecia for a yummy breakfast and then drove by their big church. The town center was really crowded and had a lot of cars on the road so we did not stop and walk around. image

Next, we stopped in Sarchí and stopped in the town center where they had a church and a decorative coffee cart. The colors and the details on the cart were spectacular. The cart was huge and behind a huge fence so it was hard to take pictures. image

The church was also very beautiful  I loved all the details on the church.image

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We then headed to Naranjo. This town was very busy, but we found a parking spot in the town center and got to enjoy our surroundings. There was a statue of a huge coffee mug.image

Next to the coffe mug was their church.image

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While walking around to take pictures we saw the cutest pair of parrots up in a tree.imageWe are sad to leave Costa Rica as it feels like our second home.  In the month we were visiting we had many adventures, laughs and created memories to last a lifetime. Until next year,  Pura Vida!

 

Back to Paradise

We are towards the end of our trip. We decided that there would be no better place to end our trip than to head back to Manuel Antonio for a few more days.

What we love best about Manuel Antonio is the gorgeous views of the ocean and jungle from the hotel, beautiful sunsets, many variety of birds, animals and of course, the amazing food.

Nothing beats the view of the ocean from the pool area.
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When we arrived the town was really crowded. We were spoiled when we came last month.  We did not see as much wildlife this time here, but we did see a monkey from our balcony in a distant tree. image

Dave got swimmer’s ear and he could not shake it and it turned him sick. Poor thing, not a way to end the trip. We did have a few pool days and did enjoy some beautiful sunsets. I have over 100 pictures of sunsets and it is hard to just choose a few for this blog.image

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Costa Verde has  converted all their light covers around the property and the rooms with old liqour bottles. I think it is a clever idea and it obviously took much thought and skill to cut the glass. Here are a few from around the property and our room as well. image

The last night of our stay in Manuel Antonio we sat outside on the balcony and watched the sun go down  this picture is my favorite from the entire trip be ause it captures relaxation and beauty. This was truly a peaceful moment that I caught on camera. It made me so happy to see Dave relaxing and sensing a calm in his aura.image

Pavones

We just spent a very relaxing few days in Pavones, which is a small surf town where if you wear anything but your bathing suit and flip flops you are over dressed.  Pavones is about two hours south of Golfito, known for having the second longest left point break that runs the entire length of town. Pavones does not have any ATM’s, no gas stations, only two small convenient stores (smaller than a 7-11 store), internet is hit or miss (mostly miss) and the electricity cycles off at least 2 times a day. Getting to Pavones is an adventure, the roads are dusty, very bumpy, rough and there are a few bridges that need to be crossed that are quite scary; thank goodness Dave is the driver.  Pavones to us is very relaxing, a get away from the hustle/bustle of Golfito social scene and a time to body surf and catch up on reading and sleep.

Here is part of the scenery that you can see on the way to Pavones.  This is a view of Zancudo and the Pacific Ocean.

View of Zancudo on the way to Pavones

Here is a view of just one of the rickety bridges that you have to cross over to get into town.image image

We stayed at La Ponderosa which is run by an American couple Marshall and Angela.  The beach is right across the dirt road and you can hear the waves crashing at night.

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View of beach from La Ponderosa property.

View of beach from La Ponderosa property.

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Road in Pavones

There are so many cool trees in Pavones with some cool roots.

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I am usually behind the lens in photos, but Dave thought it would be cool to take a photo of me since my camera strap matched my outfit.

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Every day there was so peaceful.  It felt like we were in another world with the sky being so blue, the clouds so brilliantly white, the greens of the trees and the blue and turquoise water.  Here are just a few of the photos I took, it was hard to chose only a few.

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Thank you Pavones for making a great start to 2016.

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This Town Is Our Town

The Go Go’s have a song called This Town. The lyrics go, This town is our town, this town so glamorous. Golfito is anything but glamorous, as I have mentioned before Dave calls it “a dirty little port town”. I have learned to love Golfito; it really grows on you.  Here is a cool picture of Golfito from 1976 and one from more recent years.  It has not changed much at all.IMG_1414IMG_1408

We had a fabulous last day in Golfito. We took a water taxi over to the island with 3 other gringos we met.  Here is a water taxi selfie.
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We ate langosta and pargo entero. Both were really good. Dave and I swam in the warm water. Although the tide was coming in there was a strong tide pulling us out quickly. We had to fight it, we could have been washed out to sea. In the end it was a great day.IMG_1747

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After a fun day in the sun we took naps, showered and went to dinner at Mariscos. We had some interesting shrimp dinners. I have never had shrimp with its tentacles and claws still on it.IMG_1752

We then headed to Latitude 8*. We could not finish out our trip without a final visit to see all our gringo friends. Latitude 8* is a fun place where the local gringos hang out to watch football, listen to 80’s music and tell tall tales. Sally and John are the owners and they are hilarious.  Sally lets visitors write their name, date and where they are from on the ceiling. It is fun to see where people have come from. Here is our ceiling shot.IMG_1754

Our last sunset did not disappoint. In fact, we had a gorgeous sunset for the 13 nights that we stayed in Golfito.DSC00401

Here is a view of Golfito from up on tower road that overlooks the gulf.IMG_1264

Goodbye, dirty little port town.  Until next year.IMG_0059

Bird Brained

Our time in Golfito is coming to a close. Time down here goes way too fast. The bugs have feasted on me (what else is new), but we are having a great time. 

Dave brought down a machete and bought some rubber boots at a local store. He got to swing the machete around a bit on our property and even cut down some bananas for us.  Doesn’t he look the part of a local campesino?

<b>Campesino

Campesino

We saw some parrots and scarlet macaws while hiking in the Americana Zone.  Both types of birds are really loud and hard to miss. They landed in a nearby tree, but they were hidden in the shade and the branches so I did not get a clear shot. This was the best picture I got of the Red-lored parrot.

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Red-lored Parrot

Yesterday was spent resting and sitting on the dock overlooking the gulf listening to some great music. I heard some scarlet macaws so I hurried and got my camera to capture the loud birds. Little did I know, I would get to see and capture some other great birds.

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

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Red-lored Parrot

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Lineated Woodpecker

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Boat-billed Flycatcher

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Rusty-margined Flycatcher

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Of course, at the end of the day, we got a extra nice bonus. I never get sick of the sunsets.  Life is good!

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Over the River and Through the Woods…..

Over the river and through the woods (jungle), to San Vito we go.  San Vito is a small mountain town that is close to Panama and was founded by Italians.  The road to get there is very windy and very narrow.  The temperature was about 8-10* cooler than Golfito and that for sure was a welcome change.  The mountains and rolling hills were beautiful. 

San Vito

San Vito

San Vito has some coffee plantations and I was able to see coffee plants and beans up close.

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

While exploring it started pouring rain so we stopped for a casado at a local soda to wait out the storm.  It stopped raining and we headed back down the mountain. The rain followed us the whole way down. I am so glad Dave was driving. While driving home, Dave saw a bird fly across the road. He hurried and pulled over as this bird we had never seen before. He observed, while I tried to get a good shot of him with my camera. Unfortunately, I had the wrong lens on and it was too far away. Once we got back to the room, we pulled out our bird book and ID’d it. The great thing about this bird is it is only found in this part of the country near San Vito.

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Crested Oropendola – Wikipedia File Photo

 

What A Wonderful World

It is hard to be in Costa Rica and not appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. One of our favorite songs is What A Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong.  It is hard not to sing the lyrics to that song while enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. 

I see skies of blue and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, and the dark sacred night. And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

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Dave and I rented a water taxi and rode around the gulf.  It is always great to see everything from a different perspective. The water was really calm and the weather was nice and hot.  We were able to see several species of birds. Here are a few of the cool ones.

Green Kingfisher

Green Kingfisher

Osprey

Osprey

On Christmas Eve Day, Dave had the opportunity to go out with a famous local fishing captain. They went scouting for fish. The water is extremely warm due to El Niño and the fish are further offshore.  They covered a lot of ground by going out about 60 miles to scout the area.  At the end of a long day, Dave was able to catch a smaller 15 lb. rooster fish which provided a tough 20 minute fight on light tackle, as rooster fish will run the line out of the spool multiple times. 


While Dave was on the boat, I decided to strap on the camera and go for a hike in the Zona America.  Usually, you can get a good sweat on and see some great birds.IMG_1204

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

Toucan

Toucan

The one I was most excited about was this guy. These birds never sit still and are hard to capture. I have spent 6 years trying to capture it. I have many blurry pictures and pictures of the head or the bright butt, but not the whole bird. Finally got the shot.

Passarini Tanager

Cherrie’s Tanager

Later that night we went to Casa Roland and had a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner (ribs, turkey and ham). Sorry, no picture. Ha ha ha.

Christmas Day was spent relaxing, going for a walk through town and heading over to Carol’s for Christmas lunch. She hosts all the Ex-Pats in town. There were close to 40 people.

When we got back to the marina we saw that someone had caught a 100 lb tuna.  We were able to grab some and have a nice Christmas dinner.

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Yesterday was spent reading, relaxing and swimming at Cacao.  Where we got back to the room we saw that some people had brought in a huge snapper. It is estimated to be around 60 lbs.  they shared some with us for dinner and it seriously was the best fish I can recall eating.

Check out those teeth

Check out those teeth!

The great way to end the night and this post is to show the amazing sunset we had. Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world!

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Hammocks and Sunsets Make Me Happy!

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Sunsets and hammocks make me happy.  Oh yeah, and a good chicken dinner too. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.  The food here is so fresh. The vegetables, the fruit, the meat, everything. It gives new meaning to “organic” and “farm to table”.

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Friends make me happy too. Danilo has been our Costa Rican friend for many years, he is like family to us. It is great to see him every year. 

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Golfito

We arrived in Golfito last Friday.  We are staying at Banana Bay Marina. This is our first time staying here as we normally stay in a casita on the hillside. The air conditioning works awesome (yay)!

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The sunsets are amazing here.  Here is just one that I took with my iPhone.  There will be many more. 

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We have a favorite place to go swimming and to get there you need to take a boat or go in a 4 X 4 vehicle to get there.  The road is bumpy, but you get to travel through a luscious rain forest

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Here is a view from where we swim.   It is in a gulf so there are no waves. The water is calm and peaceful and you can enjoy the beauty around you. 

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This particular day it rained on us while we were swimming.  The water was around 85*.  When swimming we can see (and hear) lots of different species of birds. We can also hear the howler monkeys in the high rain forest. Yesterday while swimming we had an “interesting visitor”.  I saw a snout and some eyes come out of the water and then it went back down under water and came back up again.  Yes, you guessed it, I saw a Caiman Alligator. Guessing from the snout, it was probably only 3-4 feet.   Dave and I were on high alert after that.  We are told that the Caiman are shy and don’t really bother people.  I did not get a picture, but found one online probably around the same size as I saw.

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One of my favorite go to lunches here in Costa Rica, especially in Golfito is ceviche.  It is made with Dorado (Mahi Mahi), cilantro, red onion, red bell pepper and limon.  Simple and delicious.

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The only thing better than the ceviche was my lunch date. 

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