Posts Tagged "Nature"

Walk Your Art

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Costa Rica, Lessons from Animals, Live Your True Nature, Nature | 0 comments

There is art in simply being who you are. May you share that with the world. Learn from the crabs and create art wherever you are!

Walk your Art. Lessons from a crab.

Walk your Art. Lessons from a crab.

 

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Passion or Addiction?

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Adventure, Costa Rica, Live Your True Nature | 0 comments

I’m addicted. I ate 5 already today. Is it the sweet, tangy crunch? Is it the need for vitamin A, C, magnesium, iron, flavonoid antioxidants such as beta carotene? Or is it that it is a good source of dietary fiber including insoluble fiber. Read: good for detox and colon? 500 types of cultivated passions–I’m loving these granadilla, orange-sized yellow passion fruits. Such satisfaction to split their shiny shell apart with my fingers and to slurp up the fruit. Cool spiny pulp that holds the seeds in. Certainly one of my latest passions!

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Grenadilla, Passion Fruit

 

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Cerro Chato Volcano Hike

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Adventure, Costa Rica, Drama, Live Your True Nature | 2 comments

Over the few rainy days, I got to know the people in the tiny town, and relished the fog lifting to show off the view of Lake Arenal and the Arenal volcano, which last erupted in 2010 and is illegal to climb.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

Instead, I chose to hike Cerro Chato volcano (3740 ft, which last erupted 38,000 years ago). It’s said to be about a 4 hour round trip walk. Though less hiking time, that was about right with all my picture taking! The hike starts out on the lovely grounds of the Arenal Observatory Lodge. White-nosed coati, or pizote as they are called in Spanish, roam freely. More on them as they are frequently seen.

Pizote in Spanish or White-nosed coati in English

Pizote in Spanish or White-nosed coati in English

I was lucky enough to spot the less frequently seen anteater. He greeted me with open arms;-)

Anteater or Oso Hormiguero

Anteater or Oso Hormiguero

The Cerro Chato trail is more like a narrow path sometimes a foot deep and wide enough only for one foot. I was glad the rains of the past couple days had ceased, or this would be slippery!

Deeply rutted Cerro Chato Volcano Trail

Deeply rutted Cerro Chato Volcano Trail

Caterpillar not to be messed with

Caterpillar not to be messed with

It was definitely steep and a good workout in the humidity. When I got to the top, the view of the crater lake was socked in, so I hiked down the muddy trail to take a swim in it! When I came back up, the fog had lifted enough to reveal the beauty of the laguna.

Happy Honeymoon Hikers David and Maria

Happy post swim in the Cerro Chato crater lake. Thanks to David, Maria for the photo

Espejito or Glasswing Butterfly

Espejito or Glasswinged Butterfly

Cerro Chato Hike

Cerro Chato Hike

I descended with David and Maria who were on their honeymoon. We shared the steep descent, waterfall side tour, howler monkey show and baby coatis on the run. They so kindly offered to give me a ride back to  where I was staying since the bus wouldn’t be coming for a while and it would be making a long detour first.

Happy Honeymoon Hikers David and Maria

Happy Honeymoon Hikers David and Maria giving perspective to the rutted trail

Again, today I was grateful for the kindness of fellow travelers. A family of four gave me a ride from the hotel to the trailhead in the morning, which allowed me to leave an hour earlier. I was amazed and happy to see them at the top of the volcano with their young kids about ages 4 and 6. And David and Maria told me they got a good view of the Arenal volcano after they dropped me off, so it was a great day for all!

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Birds with Ruby Red Slippers

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Costa Rica, Live Your True Nature | 0 comments

I awoke to the sound of howler monkeys in the distance and a variety of birds. These birds with the ruby red slippers seemed to go from place to place with a flick of their red tail. May we all follow our heart’s desire as easily!

Rufous Tailed Hummingbird

Rufous Tailed Hummingbird 

The property has many plants and trees typical to the region and used for medicinal purposes and beyond. This is achote in Spanish, or achiote. The natural pigment annatto is made from the fruit. It is used to color foods such as cheese, and rice (instead of saffron). It is also used by Native Americans for body paint, and in natural remedies to treat infections.

Achote, Achiote, Annatto Pigment

Achote, Achiote, Annatto Pigment

This plant is used as soap, particularly for washing clothes. Sorry I don’t know the details, only that it is phosphorus free.

Plant used for Soap

Plant used for Soap

Most of you know this one, or at least are grateful for it every morning. More on coffee in a later post. The hotel grows their own coffee beans, and processes it to serve it every day. I drank their cinnamon bark tea instead, which I learned is good for gastrointestinal upset, for infections caused by bacteria and parasitic worms, and for menstrual cramps.

Coffee Plant

Coffee Plant

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Land of the Mist ruled by the Queen of the Night

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Adventure, Costa Rica, Live Your True Nature | 0 comments

I was definitely feeling ready to move on from Alajuela, but found it difficult to choose where to go. After talking to everyone and then just choosing, I finally decided to head a few hours north east to the La Fortuna, Arenal area. The bus ride was pretty over the curvy green hills dotted with Christmas trees and cows. Local passengers didn’t talk amongst themselves, but talked on their phones. I had an entire afternoon in La Fortuna before the regular 5:30 pm transport left for the village of El Castillo where I would stay. As I roamed the town, I was surprised at how touristy it was. It seemed to be a town built for the tourists. Perhaps there are many such places built around the expats and tourists in Costa Rica, or perhaps I would need to stay longer to discover the tico (Costa Rican) locales in La Fortuna. I would not find out. When the van taxi for El Castillo came, I took the seat next to the driver to have the most settled stomach on the curvy roads and to practice my Spanish. Luis was happy to help me with my Spanish and work on his English. He pointed out the free natural river hot springs where I would return to enjoy days later.

Free Tabacon Hot Springs. See the steam rising off the river?

Free Tabacon Hot Springs. See the steam rising off the river?

I was the last stop high on the hill beyond the village. I arrived in the dark and settled into my deluxe canvas/plastic tent with a cement floor, one wall with a window and a roof as well as double bed with single bunk above it. A closet-sized metal storage locker in one corner and a wooden bench under the window. I awoke to the deep sound of howler monkeys, understandably called congos in Spanish.

The next couple days it was rainy and foggy, but beautiful exploring the trails (with borrowed rubber boots as caution to the snakes as well as mud and stream crossing).

Higuera or fig tree with yellow echinacea flowers

Higuera or fig tree with yellow echinacea flowers

Heliconia Butterfly

Heliconia Butterfly

Palm

Palm

Blue Grey Tanager

Blue Grey Tanager

La Reina de la Noche or Queen of the Night. Also called Angel's Trumpet

La Reina de la Noche or Queen of the Night. Also called Angel’s Trumpet

 

 

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