7:02pm on the international flight from Atlanta to San José, Costa Rica.
We are on our way to the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica! After months of preparation and anticipation, I am flying with Daniel to the rainforest wildlife lodge, El Remanso, to teach a nature sketching workshop. I’m carrying the most important parts of the workshop – the workbooks, pencils and erasers, watercolor pencils and paintbrushes – in my carry-on bag so that if my luggage gets lost I can still give the workshop.
We’re going a couple of days early, before the class starts, to get settled in – I need to collect some jungle-y things for the students to draw, and check out possibilities for landscape sketching, then sort out location, tables and chairs for the best light and comfort of the students. Daniel is going to just enjoy himself – there’s the beach, a maze of hiking trails, waterfalls to explore (some visitors rappel down them!), plus swimming in the pool and just hanging in the hammock. Sounds good to me!
April 19 ~ 4:50pm
What a change from the chilly spring temperatures of home! After an overnight stay in San José we made a short flight to the Osa Peninsula over pineapple plantations, coffee farms, a huge mangrove delta just north of Corcovado National Park, and miles and miles of rainforest. After about an hour we landed at the little gravel airstrip at Puerto Jimenez
The air was soft and moist, about eighty degrees, and we rode in the “taxi” – a 4-seat pickup truck with an open back sporting seats on each side (the taxi in the photo is prepared for rain). We opted for the open-air seats for the nearly 1-hour trip through lush lowland pastures with humped white cattle, then through wild forest with hanging vines, overarching canopy, and flowering trees. Those are smooth-billed anis in the photo.
After a warm welcome to the lodge, we have settled into our cabina, a lovely open room which overlooks the pool. There are other cabinas secluded in the trees for those who want more privacy, and all of them are perfectly matched to the serenity of this quiet (well, except for the hoarse cries of the brilliant red macaws, bursts of birdsong from all around, and the occasional rolling roar of howler monkeys) paradise.
And now to the beach! I’ll prepare for the workshop later!