Costa Rica Workshop (part 3)

Friday, December 17
Today we head for the Cloud Forest (it will be cold there) for a few days. Despite Alan’s camera issues, we are having a blast! Nikon is to blame for the problems; their weather sealing is supposed to be some of the best in the industry. There are two other Nikon D500 cameras at this workshop and they aren’t having the same problems. It is what it is. At least we have a solution.

We are staying at the Paraiso de Quetzal Lodge in the Talamanca Area (the highlands of Costa Rica) for the next few nights. This area offers a completely new variety of species. Today we photographed more beautiful hummingbirds – all different from our previous locations in the lowlands.

At some point this afternoon, one of the sections of Alan’s tripod came off. Fortunately I was able to fix it and he could continue with it so we could go and photograph the amazing resplendent quetzel. We spent a good part of the day looking for and shooting just this one species. There were perches set up for both the male and female quetzals to settle as they fed on their favorite food from the aguacatillo (little avocado) trees.

The food here so far is outstanding! The lodge is very rustic; just a step above Kenyan tent camping, but it is at least dry. The bed is as hard as the floor but it’s all good. At least we will be able to stay warm.

Saturday, December 18
We have a break this morning – we don’t have to get up super early! We woke without an alarm and took a walk around the lodge’s beautiful grounds. We stumbled upon a nice viewing location where we saw and shot some new and exciting birds. The hike we took around the grounds was steep ups-and-downs. At an elevation of 9,000+ feet (it is a cloud forest after all), it takes its toll when you’re not used to it.

After breakfast, we drove to another location known for the resplendent quetzal but only saw the female and then it rained. Hard. So we wrapped up and went back to the lodge where Hector got us going with more flash as they tried to attract some hummingbirds under a shelter within shooting distance.

Sunday, December 19
This is our last full day here in Costa Rica. We are still in the chilly cloud forest. We shot hummingbirds this morning then headed for San Jose in the afternoon.

When we got to San Jose we went to a testing facility to get our Covid test for the flight and entry back into the States. Everyone flies out tomorrow. Our plane leaves @ 2:15pm. We have a bit of a layover in Atlanta then on to RDU. We should be at home by midnight.

Dinner was fun as we all shared our favorite memories from this trip.