Page 2 of fer de lance Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Arizona » Sedona December 17th 2018

My main focus on trips is animal viewing and photography. It was already too cold to see any reptiles, (sniff sniff!), but I looked for other types of animals and tried to take the nicest landscapes pictures I could. With all these colors in the rocks, the most important factor for photographs is sunlight, in the best angle possible with clear skies. The red of the mountains kind of glow when sun is a bit low in the sky. But end of fall season helps in that matter, because sun never goes that high in the sky, when you're not in the tropics. The day when I explored Bell rock and CourtHouse butte, was for me, the best to photograph mountains. I was able to photograph some animals as well. Enjoy!... read more
Bell rock
courthouse butte

North America » United States » Arizona » Sedona December 13th 2018

Second time in Arizona. Last time was in the south, in Tucson region to mainly visit the Sonora desert. This time, I stayed in Sedona's region and visit the surroundings, including a trip to grand canyon. The small city of Sedona is surrounded by mountains of all shapes and having many colors, but red is the dominant color. Plenty of accommodations in the region. There are 2 main aspects defining the region: a-nature, landscapes, hiking trails, jeep and atv. b-Arts galleries of all sorts, yoga, and other "cosmic things". For me, first aspect is the draw. City is surrounded by hiking trails, going in desert, forest, around or on top on mountains. We spend 10 days there, and we didn't do a third of all trails!! Trails are well maintained and maps are available. The views ... read more
view on Thunder mountain trail
Prickly pear cactus in abondance.
view on Thunder mountain trail

Europe » France August 27th 2018

This one is to put pictures of the trip I did in France when I was very young. I'll try to get pictures and upload them, (my sister actually has them). We visited many sites in Paris, but also did a tour of France in 2 weeks I believe.... read more

It was our last part of the trip. We decided to do a little road trip. We went to Zarcero. On the way we stopped to Grecia, to see the church made of metal plates. We also stopped at Sarchi to see and buy some handicrafts. In region of Zarcero, views are splendid and reminds a bit of Switzerland. In Zarcero city, there's a nice topiary in front of the church. The church itself has 2 towers that look like missiles, (!!). On the way back, we went South to Atenas, one of the places that was tagged as one of the most ideals weathers of the world. In the "zocalo", like all other spanish cities, there's a beautiful park, and we sat there a little while to see people go by and eat some ice ... read more
zarcero church and its missiles.
Bye bye Costa Rica!

Are you driving from Guanacaste or San Jose to South Pacific Costa Rica or even only Manuel Antonio? The you need to stop at a very special place: the bridge over the Rio Tarcoles. From the bridge you can see dozens of huge American crocodiles, and you don't need to pay anything! you might see some other water birds as well, along with macaws on mornings and evenings, when they do their daily "commute" between Carara park and the mangroves. One important thing though: make sure to leave no valuables in your car!! I saw some people with doors unlocked that had their luggage stolen in less than 10 minutes.. because it's a popular stop. Right after the river, (Southbound), starts the Carara national park. It's a transition zone between dry and humid forest. Park is ... read more
green and black dart frog
Crocodiles in rio Tarcoles

What is the ideal climate? It depends on everyone's preferences and metabolism! For me that enjoys animals of all kinds and plants a lot, I like a place that is green all year round. This is in the tropics mainly, but not a sea level. an altitude of about 1000 meters in the tropics, is perfect. It's like normal days of summer but with no extremes. That's what you have in all of central valley Costa Rica, but some places have the wow factor, like Atenas in the West, but also the very beautiful Orosi valley , South-East of Cartago. The Orosi valley is surrounded by little mountains that grow coffee on the slopes. The city of Orosi it not too big, and nature is very close on all sides. In same region, we visited the ... read more
Orchid lankaster gardens

We left Monteverde to stay in San Jose for a couple of days. It is our base to explore the central region. First stop is fantastic Poas volcano. It's a very popular park and for good reasons. The road(s) to get there from Alajuela or San Jose, slowly climb through various farms landscapes and showing superb views. Close to park entrance, there are a couples of farms growing strawberries. All in the car agreed they were as good as ones in Canada!!! Visitor center is well designed and has many interesting displays. The road leading to the crater builds up your expectations... and at the crater itself, you are not deceived. The crater is more than 1km wide, and the view is spectacular! The trails in the park brings to a special forest with short trees, ... read more
endemic poas squirrel
trail in forest

After we stayed 1 week in Playa Hermosa, it was time to move to greener pastures, in Monteverde region. Monteverde is not a village with a real center, but rather a patchwork of group of houses on hill tops, giving it a distinct flavor. It contains a lots of activities for the whole family, and you could stay there for a week doing different things every day! We stayed in a rented house, a bit before Monteverde's reserve on Bajo del Tigre road. There were forest trails all over the place, so it was simple to take forest hikes at any time. Convenient and full of animals! We didn't visit Monteverde's reserve as it was crowded, but rather the Santa Elena, with similar look but more peaceful! In the reserve, we did Quetzal sounds. We didn't ... read more
climbing to Monteverde: landscape
We left the highway, and already looking for birds!

It was the last place we wanted to visit before leaving Guanacaste region. It's one of the hottest places in Costa Rica and I can confirm! Too far from the sea to get any sea breeze and far from any mountain or volcano. It' We went anyway, in the park and it was tough to walk more than 2 hours due to the temperature, (> 36 degrees Celsius). But the best spot during that time of year, is the visitor center!! There's a water source there, and trees are green. We saw coati troops. monkeys and beautiful mot-mot birds. Next stop, Monteverde's region.... read more
Toad in the rest rooms.

We decided to take a little tour of North Nicoya's peninsula. More than 10 years ago, I did something similar between Samara and Montezuma, and really enjoyed it. You pass through ranches, isolated forests, ford rivers,etc.. real adventure. This time, we would go from Playa Hermosa to Ostional and come back by a shortcut through the mountains. WE stopped at different little villages, looked for animals, and finally reached Ostional. Sadly, it wasn't the turtle 'arribada' season, but it's a beautiful place anyway. The big fun was to come back through the mountains. The first part of the shortcut is paved and okay. But then, it gets very narrow and seems more like a moto cross trail. At one point, you reach the watershed line and see lots of telecommunications antenna. Then you go down, first ... read more
green beetle

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