Page 7 of swanningaround Travel Blog Posts

Geo: 11.94, -85.96The day before we were due to leave Tortuguero we asked the receptionist to call Jungle Tom's Safaris to confirm we were on their list, as they had overlooked us on the way out. She did and told us they would arrive at 2.00pm the next day. We waited on the jetty until 2.30pm and then asked her to call them again, 'just in case!' They said the boat would arrive in a few minutes and it did. It was the same boat and driver who brought us to Tortuguero and we jumped in and set off. We were the only people on the boat which we thought was strange. I asked the driver if there were other people but he gave a long, breathless, stressed response which I could not understand. Then he ... read more
Ferry struggling to land
Lake Nicaragua (local name Cocibolca) beach
Ometepe Island, Concepcion Volcano

Geo: 10.5414, -83.5021Costa Rica 1 - 8 AprilAt the end of the previous blog we had arrived at Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota. What a contrast with all our previous stops. It was very cold at night and although the sun shone during the day there was only about 3 to 4 hours that were pleasantly warm. We never managed to be comfortable despite the fires and hot water bottles.Plus, we were at an altitude of 2,500 metres, rising higher as soon as we left the Lodge to walk and increasing to 3,500 metres at the highest point.I had not realised how little oxygen there was at this altitude. The first morning we went on the early morning Quetzal hunt and had to climb a hill. I raced up with the guide, not wanting to ... read more
Jim by Black Eyed Susie arch
Catching trout to clean ponds
Or they could be lunch?

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Veraguas April 2nd 2014

Geo: 7.54575, -81.7822 Panama 9 - 31 March 2014At the end of the last blog we had reached The Golden Frog Inn, El Valle, and said it was a beautiful place. We liked it so much we stayed 11 days and only left then because we had to, it was fully booked. Everything about it appealed to us, the view, as we were high up on one side of the crater valley and looked across to the hills on the other rim, the climate, warm during the day, cooling just enough at night so no air-conditioning or heating is required, and the wildlife. But the bonus was 'Happy Hour' when Becky and Larry the owners, and Adrian the manager invited everyone to join them from 6-7pm for drinks and nibbles. It made a lovely social occasion ... read more
We found a wooden Macaw in the freezer.
Competition to press sugar cane
Flowers everywhere in El Valle

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Coclé March 11th 2014

Geo: 8.6, -80.1333 19th February - 10th MarchWe arrived in Boquete and queued at the Taxi stand. A Taxi pulled up, and although we had been there first, everyone else, 5 individuals, all jumped into the Taxi and off it went. People share the Taxis so it was a matter of getting in first, something we could not achieve with our bags! After observing this a few times we decided it was not going to work. I had seen other Taxis turn a corner from the main road a little way off so Jim and I hauled the bags between us to the side of that road and, in desperation, when the next taxi came round the corner I jumped out in front of it waving my arms. Thankfully it stopped, was free and the driver ... read more
The Resplendent Quetzal
Jim & Feliciano enjoying home grown coffee.
Colourful but unflattering dresses

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica February 22nd 2014

Geo: 8.69371, -83.6581We were in Drake for a week and enjoyed the truly horizontal life style! Everyone snoozed, anywhere, at any time of the day. It is so hot and humid that it becomes natural to doze, but we did manage to walk and fit in some excursions.First we did a night walk along a creek in the jungle. Jim and I set off just before sunset to be fitted with wellington boots and then followed our guide into the jungle as darkness fell. From then on I loved every minute of the following 3 hours It was like being a real explorer, splashing up the creek, shining our torches to spot any life at all, and there was an awful lot of life. The main attraction was the numerous different types of frogs, many of ... read more
More frogs.
Glass Frog
Tree Frog

Geo: 8.68664, -83.6662Costa Rica has provided plenty of interest to date. We stayed at Anita's in Manuel Antonio for 8 nights as planned and that gave us time to visit the National Park twice, the first time with a guide. We saw deer, two coatis, a couple of species of bats and strangest, of all, a three-toed Sloth. It does look like an abominable snowman, covered in long fur, slightly greenish in colour. He was definitely not photogenic but we did take some photographs. It is difficult tophotograph their faces as they are so high in the trees and very shy, turning away and hiding. Like the Koala in Australia, they eat leaves which provide little energy, so they move very slowly. In Spanish they are called 'Perezosas', meaning 'Lazies'. Why they have so much fur ... read more
Two-toed Sloth
Jim's favourite photograph.
The Teak House verandah that rocked!

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica January 27th 2014

Geo: 9.38945, -84.1347 CostaRica 16th - 27th January, San Jose and CerroLodge (Carara National Park)It seems a life time since the last blog. We left Sri Lanka in December and after three nights in Beeston with Anna we flew to Lanzarote. It was a strange feeling when we arrived there, almost like going home. As we had stayed there longer than anywhere else over the last 3 ½ years ( 9 months ) perhaps it is not surprising. We had a lovely Christmas with the girls and Nick and even managed to walk up Montana Blanca.On 13th January we returned to England and stayed with Gilli and Nick in Windsor. They had only moved in 10 days earlier so it was very kind of them both to put up with us so soon after the move. ... read more
Reminded us of Mexican pottery
Animals figure large in designs
Stool with Jaguar head (I think)

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Matara » Mirissa December 8th 2013

Geo: 5.94354, 80.4589Sri Lanka 26th November – 12 December 2013After yet another visit to The Quality Airport Hotel, where we were greeted like old friends, we flew back to Sri Lanka.In the Maldives Pauline and Colin's Thomson rep. Rohan, was very helpful and he arranged for a driver to collect us at Colombo airport and take us straight to Galle, so avoiding the waste of a day travelling if we had stayed near the airport overnight. Not only did the driver meet us but also Rohan's friend who had been asked to take care of us as it was night! They were both very pleasant but the drive was a challenge. The new road had opened for Prince Charles's visit 2 weeks earlier, and we were able to use it but there is a 10 kilometre ... read more
Another Bride and Groom on Ramparts in Galle
Beautiful markings
Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!

Asia » Sri Lanka » Uva Province » Kataragama November 29th 2013

Geo: 6.4092, 81.3318Maldives9th – 24th November 2013This will be a very short blog as the time in the Maldives was a holiday so involved eating and drinking too much and spending lots of time snorkelling, in the hope of mitigating the damage. It was really good to have Pauline and Colin for company especially as they both enjoyspending lots of time in the water so I had buddies even when Jim was feeling lazy. Meedhupparu is a larger island than we had visited previously and although the house reef has suffered lots of damage the fish life is superb, so I thought for this blog I would limit the text and include underwater pictures. They were all taken by Colin (I think, apologies Pauline if you were the photographer!) with a super underwater camera.I still can't ... read more
Soft coral opened up on night snorkel,
Pink starfish, looks like beanie toy
Green hard coral like brain

Asia » India » Kerala November 9th 2013

Geo: 10.012, 76.2251 Kerala,India 26th October - 10th November 2013We arrived in Kochi Airport to find a man waving a card with our name on as promised and he whisked us away speedily to the Quality Airport Hotel. We stayed 2 nights to adjust to India,or so we thought. What we had not realised was that the QAH is an oasis of peace and tranquility in the chaos that is India, but this did not become clear until we returned from our Birding trip. Kerala is meant to be one of the more efficiently managed states in India.At 5.15am on the 28th Peter, our guide, arrived and off we went towards Thattekad, binoculars and cameras at the ready. Thattekad is a bird reserve. However, it is closed and when we asked why/for how long we were ... read more
Outside tent showing ensuite at rear
View from tent
Jim on verandah

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