Costa Rica’s devastation from tropical cyclone Nate with photos….

Although a few trees were lost on the grounds of the villa after Hurricane Nate, the many beautiful plants such as this Bromeliad and other flowers have survived, flourishing in the sun that’s finally appeared for a few hours each morning.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

A heartbreaking 11 souls perished in Costa Rica during Tropical Cyclone Nate over this past week.  Also, on October 6, the hurricane caused at least 38 deaths: 16 in Nicaragua, 7 in Panama, 3 in Honduras, and 1 in El Salvador.

From this site:
“Hurricane Nate was a tropical cyclone that impacted the Gulf Coast of the United States in October 2017. The fourteenth named storm and the ninth hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Nate, originated from a broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Caribbean on October 3rd.

A red alert was issued in neighboring Costa Rica for the Central Valley, Pacific coast, and Huetar Norte Region, while the Caribbean coast was under yellow warning. In the canton of Oreamuno, Cartago Province, a bridge and part of a riverside house succumbed to the forces of a swollen river. Flooding throughout the country has been described as the worst in recent years and led to at least 11 deaths, with two people missing. Approximately 11,300 residents were being housed in shelters. President Luis Guillermo Solís declared a national day of mourning on October 6th.”

We are located in the Central Valley, as mentioned above.  We spent days hunkered down, indoors and safe high on a hill from the ravages of the storm. So many of our friends/readers and family members contacted us to ensure we were safe, which we were. 

Other than the inconvenience of a few power outages, we stayed safely indoors, frequently peering out the glass walls of this house as the storm moved through over several days. Our only concern for our safety during the storm was the possibility of landslides throughout the valley.  Fortunately, our immediate location was spared.  Never in our travels have we experienced such non-stop heavy rains with howling winds. 

With the utmost of respect and condolences for the people of Costa Rica today, we share the photos from the CR Post, dated October 5, 2017. We pray for those who lost their lives and their families and for those who were injured and lost their homes.

With the rainy season continuing, we must admit we do miss entire days of sunshine. But, rather than focus on bad weather, we’ve become passionate about bird watching, more than anywhere in our past travels. There were too many photos from the CR Post to publish today, but we’ve included as many as possible.  (Wi-Fi limitations affect how many photos we can post).

Many times each day, we’re dashing from one spot on the veranda to another as we are beckoned by the call of a bird we may not have heard in past days.  We’ve found we have an automatic alarm clock, a yellow-breasted Social Flycatcher who descends on the veranda railing outside our bedroom door and makes so much noise we’re awakened every morning around 5:15. 

Of course, now we’re obsessed with spotting another Toucan when the owners of this property, Bev and Sam, and our neighbor Charlie both have stated they’ve yet to see one in the yard. Humm…safari luck. More of that yet to come!

May you have a safe day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 9, 2016:

A fisherman on the beach in Bali after pulling in his nets, most likely filled with squid.  For more photos, please click here.

Rushing to get to the market today with a short lull in the tropical depression…

Terraced farming in Costa Rica creates a lovely scene.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

View from the veranda during the tropical depression.  The clouds were so slow they were ground level in the valley.

These past days have been stormier than we’ve seen anywhere in the world during this past almost five years of world travel. Rain, wind, and constant humidity surround us as we’ve been safely situated midway up a mountain.

Terraced farming on a steep hill.

Over the past days, several stories of loss of life in Costa Rica have swirled around the news.  When house cleaner Isabel arrived a few minutes ago, she explained in Spanish that a 19-year-old young man, a close family friend, had been killed in a landslide a short distance from here. Heartbreaking.  She showed me his photo on her phone.

It’s easy for us to sit back and feel safe in this higher elevation, but even so, there’s a certain risk of more landslides for hilly properties. So this morning, it appeared we’d have a reprieve when the sun came out, and we ran around opening the many sliding glass doors.

After weeks of rain and clouds, a blue sky is a welcomed sight.

Over the past few days, we’ve been able to smell mildew and note dampness on everything we touch. For example, when we had to print a document on the in-house printer, the few sheets of paper in the printer were literally damp. Luckily, we’d recently purchased a block of paper, tucking it away in a desk drawer.  We’ve never experienced such constant humidity.

Luckily, the temperature is cool enough to avoid being miserable without air conditioning. One of the many overhead fans provides us with all the cooling we need. 

Lush greenery is found everywhere in Costa Rica.

Tom continues to “exercise the zippers” on our luggage that have metal zippers. The few new pieces we purchased in the US have plastic zippers, which greatly benefit us when we often live in humid conditions.

We’re grateful there’s a lull in the storm so we can get out soon to grocery shop. We haven’t shopped for food in two weeks, and we’re down to the “bottom of the barrel.” We’re out of vegetables and many staples. 

Pretty blankets for sale along the road.

When we shopped at PriceSmart two weeks ago today, we’d purchased enough meat and chicken to last for a month. But, with only 47 days remaining until we fly to Florida for the cruise, it makes no sense to purchase large sizes of anything.

We haven’t purchased any fish here. With an increased risk of eating farmed or shore-caught fish, my current gastrointestinal condition prevents me from any enthusiasm for overeating fish or seafood of any type. Unfortunately, this may not change when we are on the 30-night cruise.

Views from a recent road trip.

As I continue to prepare this post, the sun is gone, dark and ominous clouds rolling in. We’d better hightail out of here to get to the market for food, or we’ll be eating only meat and cheese for dinner.

Julio and the workers are here clearing the big tree that came down yesterday due to the storm.  Photos will follow tomorrow. 

Have a safe day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 6, 2016:

Notice the buffalo in the rear of this photo when we cautiously wandered down the road where Tom had his buffalo experience. For more details, please click here.