Tuesday 25 March 2014
I would like to tell you a bit about my family. My dad has eleven siblings, which means that I have nearly thirty cousins, ranging from kindergarten-age to mid-thirties, with me somwhere in between at 13 years old.
About a year and a half ago, one of my cousins, Dave, was married to a lovely woman named Katie. A year ago they went on their honeymoon to Costa Rica and enjoyed it there so much that they returned for a nine-night trip earlier this month.
Now they're back and Dave and Katie have allowed me to make a guest post about their Costa Rican trip earlier this month. I did a Q&A via email just earlier today with Dave.
How many nights did you stay in Costa Rica and where did you stay?
"[We stayed] 9 nights in Costa Rica[.] We stayed at a hotel/motel in Alajuela [in the middle of the country near the capital San Jose], Trogon lodge (eco lodge) -- where we saw trogons and quetzals, and finally at a private villa near Playa Uvita [on the Pacific Coast]."
What was your favorite part of the trip?
"Best part of the trip was body boarding at Playa Uvita. Katie told me that she wished she could body board all day, every day for the rest of her life. Pretty strong endorsement."
When I was visiting Panama last November and December, my target bird was the Resplendent Quetzal, which I sadly never got to see. Dave and Katie, however, had better luck on the trip they just took to Costa Rica. Resplendent Quetzals have a patchy range from far southern Mexico to western Panama, and Costa Rica is one of the best countries to find them. I had Dave describe his experience with seeing these remarkable birds in the wild, and I also included the fabulous picture he took of one below the description.
"Our tour/vacation guide Wilson was disappointed we didn't get to see the fully grown male quetzal at Trogon lodge, so he called his friend at Mirador de Quetzales. He said it's only 15 min out of the way, and we can stop there for a nice trout lunch. We got their around 10[:]30 AM and we started on our trek through the cloud forest. The Mirador is a family affair. Father, son and two grand-kids, along with two dogs guiding us. We split up, Katie and I went with the son. We walked up and down the mountainside checking all the usual spots without any luck. Then we happened across a beautiful Costa Rican Pygmy Owl [this bird is as rare as the quetzal!], which was very cool, but our guides were not satisfied despite my appetite telling me otherwise. We continued on looking for the elusive namesake bird of the hotel. We eventually met back up with grandpa, grand-kids and dogs. The little girl, who was 5 at most, pointed to the tree a ways down the mountain. Sure enough there was adult male Resplendent Quetzal, beautiful streaming tail and all. He was a magnificent or should I say resplendent animal. We set up the scope, and snapped many photos. Then a second male quetzal flew into the tree with its streaming plume [of brilliantly green tail feathers] flowing, almost supernatural in appearance. It was apparent to me at this point why Aztecs and Mayans regarded this bird as divine. We watched the birds fly about the tree and eat avocados until they flew off into the forest. I would say it was worth delaying lunch, which may not sound like much, but believe me, that means a lot to me."
A big thank you to Dave and Katie for sharing their wonderful trip with me and letting me create this guest post about it.