Part 2…An old friend from Africa…Playing with my phone

Lipstick Palm with a bright red base.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

This is unreal!  Ulysses “mows” the entire massive yard using this tiny weed wacker.  He’s wearing protective gear including a rubber apron and face mask.  It takes him an entire day to trim all of the grass.

This morning, I wrote an email to Marian asking she contact Henry for us to explain we need a pick up at a certain time, 9:45 am, in order to meet the car rental guy at the cafe at Supermercado Coopeatenas to sign for and pick up the first of two rental cars. 

Today, we’re heading to the small town of Curridabat for our 1:00 pm dental appointments at the largest dental clinic in this part of Costa Rica where English is spoken by nine highly regarded dentists.  We’ll have our teeth cleaned and a few fillings repaired, one for me, three for Tom. 

Since we’ll be leaving Atenas by 10:30 and the appointment isn’t until 1:00 pm, we’ll have plenty of time to stop along the way for photos (roadway providing) and to find the dentist office.

Hazy morning view of the valley.

We’ll return this first rental car at Surpermercado Coopeatenas on Saturday and then next Monday, Henry, the taxi driver will transport us to San Jose, near the airport, to pick up the second car which we’ll keep until we leave on November 22nd. 

Why rent two different cars?  It worked out that way when we first booked the dental appointments keeping the car for five days, allowing us time to get out sightseeing a little.

When we stumbled across the great rate for our remaining time in Costa Rica, we locked it in when we weren’t able to get the great rate if we added the extra week.  Go figure.  We jumped all over the great rate.  For more details on the pricing and good luck we had getting an amazing rate, please click here.

This palm tree’s silver base is actually flat not rounded.

As for the continuation of yesterday’s post about our dear friend Anderson, our safari guide in Africa, here we go:

Over these past four years since Anderson was our guide in the Masai Mara, Kenya, at Sanctuary Retreat’s Camp Olonana along the Mara River,  he’s stayed on our minds.  We all hoped that somehow our paths would cross again.  Staying in touch via Facebook chat, occasionally we said hello and exchanged heartfelt wishes for good health and well-being. 

Once while on a cruise we heard other passengers talking about him.  We politely interrupted and shared how much we all appreciated having him as our guide.  His knowledge and skills far surpassed our expectations especially when he has a magical way of endearing past guests to him forever.

This plant has an interesting leaf pattern

Once Tom surprised me while we swam in the pool in Bali, with our upcoming return to Africa for my upcoming 70th birthday in February, I messaged Anderson that we’d be returning to Africa in 2018.  At that point, it was a long time away and we weren’t 100% certain of what our plans would be. 

After many discussions between Tom and I over this past year we decided we definitely were planning to see the gorillas in either Rwanda or Uganda both countries of which are highly regarded for these experiences.

Another variety of Bromeliads.

As it turned out, when Anderson and I chatted on Facebook in the middle of the night when I wasn’t able to sleep I explained we’re returning to Kruger Park area of South Africa for our first three months with a plan for several side trips when we’ll need to leave the country for short periods for immigration purposes and to fulfill our dreams of more to see on this amazing continent.

Anderson explained he is again working for our favorite tented resort company, Sanctuary Retreats, who facilitated our safari and stay in the Masia Mara in October 2013.  It was very pricey but worth every last dollar spent.  It was at that time we were assigned, Anderson. 

Partial view of the center courtyard at the entrance to the villa.

Now, we discover through our Facebook chat, that Anderson is also working for Sanctuary Retreat’s Gorilla Forest Camp in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where gorilla treks of only eight guests are undertaken daily.  With Anderson as our guide for yet another life changing experience, the prospect of this adventure is taken over-the-top.

Suddenly, the concept of this experience took on an entirely new demeanor.  We love the attention-to-detail and fine care that Sanctuary Retreats provides each of their guests and coupled with the fact that Anderson will be our guide, it’s over the top.

After three takes off and three landings, we finally arrived to meet our guide, Anderson who’s lived in the Masai Mara region all of his life. What a guy!  We loved him the moment we met him!  Click here for the post from October 5, 2013.

It was our time in the Masai Mara that we came up with our frequently used “safari luck” since it was with Anderson, during our first 10 hours on safari, that we saw the “big five” indeed an outrageously fortunate opportunity. 

So here again, “safari luck” prevails and we get the double whammy;  Sanctuary Retreats and, of course, Anderson.  We couldn’t be more thrilled.
Soon, we’ll need to book this event since so few guests are allowed to see the gorillas each day due to strict guidelines to protect their wild habitat.  We can hardly wait for this experience.

We were both excited to meet Anderson our safari guide who’s stayed in our minds these past four years and now, we’ll meet again when he’ll be our guide for the gorilla trek in Uganda.  Click here for the post which included these two photos and MUCH more.

So, now back to the moment on a perfectly beautiful day after last night’s major thunderstorm and pouring rains.  Hopefully, the rain will hold off until we return to the villa later today after our long drive into the countryside, mountains, and rain forest. 

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with details of our day and hopefully, lots of great new photos.  As I’m sitting here now on the veranda, I can see a huge brown cow across the way mooing up a storm.  Maybe I’ll get up and take a photo!

Happy day!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 21, 2016:

Prior to entering the grounds of Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort, we asked permission to tour the property to take photos.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 1 of 2…An old friend from Africa…Playing with my phone

Are these Daffodils?

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Click on our video of a fast moving weather phenomenon in Atenas.

Playing around with my phone when we have a good Wi-Fi signal keeps me occupied during quiet times of the day and night.  There are a few foolish games I play, one of which is a “jelly” thing that cuts me off after about 15 minutes requiring I wait for more opportunities to play or…pay.  I don’t pay.  I wait, entertaining myself elsewhere in the interim.

Then, of course, there’s email, Facebook, and various news apps I’ll read day or night keeping me informed of what may actually be embellished, untrue or blatant out-and-out lies.  Oh, I won’t get into that.

Long driveway to a villa in the neighborhood.

A highlight of playing with my phone is at night when I can’t sleep.  I attempt to avoid the bright screen facing Tom while he sleeps and stay huddled on the edge of the king-sized bed, facing away from him.  It’s during those periods when sleep escapes me, often for a few hours during the night. that my phone brings me much solace and entertainment. 

Over these past few years, I stopped worrying about being awake in the middle of the night.  If one studies anthropology and early humans, you’ll discover that millennium ago, humans often were awake in the middle guarding their camp, tending to the fire and handling the myriad tasks required for basic survival. 

This is referred to as a “first” and “second” sleep. It may not be in our DNA to lay down and sleep for eight hours or more.  Information on this may be found here at this site and many others.

Villa in the neighborhood.

Knowing this gave me peace of mind in not worrying about being awake at 3:00 am.  Of course, the typical working life of citizens in many countries and its subsequent stressful lifestyle may require that they pack in as many hours of sleep as possible in order to manage the upcoming day.

Now, as a somewhat retired person, I rarely need to be concerned with how much consecutive sleep I accrue during the night. Although not much of napper, (neither is Tom) we both, with the same habit of waking up midway through the night, seem to do fine staying awake and alert during the day.

Hibiscus.

Most nights I fall back asleep at some point ending up with about six to seven hours of sleep, all I seem to need, especially when we’re having lazy days at the villa without a huge amount of physical activity. 

Oh, I’m no couch potato.  Each day I end up putting thousands of steps on my Fitbit, at times as much as 10,000 only from moving around the villa.  This is a huge house and I’ll have 2,000 steps knocked off before 8:00 am from just getting the day started.  That’s a good thing.

There must be some type of solar panels on this roof.

Anyway, back to the phone at night…With friends all over the world, it’s not unusual for me to get a message in Facebook during the night.  I keep the sound notification off to avoid waking either of us while sleeping. 

But, it’s kind of fun to begin chatting with a distant friend during those wide wake middle-of-the-night stints.  I take my contact lenses out at night and need to use reading specs to read anything on the phone during the night.  I keep a sturdy pair under my pillow for just such occasions.

Lavender Bougainvillea.

A few night ago, I found myself chatting in Facebook Messenger with our safari guide, Anderson, with whom we’ve stayed in close touch since we worked with him in 2013.  He left an indelible mark on us with the hope that should we return to Kenya, we’d definitely have him work with us again.

As we’ve contemplated future travels and our return to Africa we came to the conclusion that we won’t be returning to Kenya.  We have other plans for Africa when we return in a mere six months.  As a matter of fact, six months from today will be my 70th birthday which we plan to celebrate with our many friends in Marloth Park, South Africa.

Pretty little purple flowers.

The date is set for my party at Jabula Lodge in Marloth on February 20, 2018, and many of our wonderful South African friends already have it on their calendars.  Thank you to my dear husband for offering me this extraordinary 70th birthday gift, a return to my favorite place in the world. 

I can’t wait to dine on Peri Peri Chicken Livers at Jabula’s fabulous restaurant and spend time with owners Dawn and Leon with whom we became great friends.  It was at this very location that we met and became friends with so many amazing people who taught us the ways of life in the bush.  To see their faces in person, once again, is a truly a treat we look forward to with considerable enthusiasm.

These orange flowers were often seen in Hawaii. My friend Colleen who lived in St. Thomas, Virgin islands for decades, wrote and explained that this flower is a Lxora.  Such an unusal flower and name.  Thanks, Colleen!

Tomorrow, before we head out to pick up the first rental car, we’ll complete this story, particularly as to how it relates to our dear old friend Anderson, our guide in the Masai Mara, Kenya and how and if we’ll meet again.

May your day be fulfilling and pleasant.  Ours certainly will be.  We’re sitting here on the veranda now listening to one noisy cow or bull obviously suffering some degree of discontent or another. Along with all the sounds of the birds singing, the roosters crowing and the water bubbling in the pool, its all music to our ears.

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Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2016:


Colorful shrine in front of a private villa in our area in Phuket Thailand.  For more photos and our story of how I dropped my phone in the toilet and the end result, please click here.