Costa Rica – Day 1

I had the great fortune of going on holiday to Costa Rica for two and a half weeks. Here are some notes I wrote while I was out there, along with a few photos from each day.

Yesterday was travel day – 10am flight from Heathrow to Amsterdam, then Amsterdam to Orlando (for compulsary USA fingerprinting and photo, even though we got straight onto another flight), then Orlando to San Jose in Costa Rica.

After a decent night’s sleep and shower – we took a taxi to Arenal, an active volcano in the middle of the jungle. On the way, we saw a troupe of Coati (aka Pizote) by the side of the road. Very cute, and not at all afraid of cars or people.


The volcano was impressive, but the peak was shrouded in cloud. Hopefully it will clear, and the flowing lava will be visible – apparently it’s most impressive at night…. The hotel is a set of houses, dotted around in the middle of the jungle. Went for a pleasant hike through the jungle near the hotel, up and down steep hills, and saw leaf-cutter ants aplenty:

Leaf-Cutter Ant

Leaf-Cutter Ants

The sights were complemented by bird-calls and jungle sounds aplenty. I was in my element, and snapping away! Had a swim when we got back, the pool overlooking the volcano, with jungle birds calling nearby. We’re here for the next 4 days, doing some interesting activities like walks through the tree-top canopy, river safari, canyoning and white-water rafting.

Sunlit Ferns

Sunlit Leaf

Coloured Discs

Haven’t had much time recently to sort through my latest photos, but as I’d like to update this photoblog regularly, I’ll add some older photos that haven’t had public airing yet.

Here’s one I took at Strawberry Fair in June 2006.

Coloured Discs

Colour & Form

Inspired by a series of photographs taken by a friend, I set out to take a series of photos of eye-catching colours, shapes and textures, while in South Africa in March/April 2006. The intention is that the subject of each photo should not be instantly recognisable, but appreciated for the patterns and forms contained. I printed the photographs that I took, and put them into a “walbum” for the inspirational friend’s birthday, which she appreciated; the photos look great together, and I repeated the exercise when travelling around Italy in September 2006.

View original South Africa photos
View original Italy photos

South Africa

Colour & Form - South Africa


Colour & Form - Italy

Flying to Cape Town

Not being one to do things by half, I wasn’t going to let the little matter of travelling to the other side of the world stop me having some last minute fun. Having packed my (19kg) suitcase and treble-checked that I had all the necessary documents and travel items, I made my way to the ADC to enjoy Nick Mohammed’s excellent one-man-show “The Forer Factor” with some friends. They then kept me company (or vice versa) until I had to catch my coach at 1:30am.
With the coach due to arrive at Heathrow Terminal 4 at 4am, I lay down at the back of the coach for some much-needed sleep. The next thing I heard was “Anyone else for Terminal 4?” being called at 3:30. Oops, almost missed my stop. KLM’s check-in didn’t open ’til 5am, so I did a little more (conscious) resting before my daytime flight. Clear weather and a half-full plane allowed me to get some great photos of the French Alps and the Sahara desert (photos below, more on CantabPhotos). The sun set somewhere over the Equator, and with nothing more to see out of the window, I settled back into my 3rd film of the flight (The Weather Man, Aeon Flux, Crash).
Upon exiting customs, I was surprised to find a driver waiting to take me to the nearby hotel I’d checked into (the rest of the my friends were arriving the following morning). He was called Arnold, and was an entertaining introduction to Cape Town :)

The Alps

Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert

More aerial photos on CantabPhotos