|This morning the weather was pretty bad at Heliconias Lodge, with wind and intermittently heavy rain, so we bailed and headed to the desert. We drove over the pass on CR 6 to the Pan-American, CR 1, and then south through the fringes of the Guanacaste Desert to Hacienda la Pacifica. This was a lodge we stayed at back in 1998, and it has been refurbished in the interim. Spiffy now. They were kind enough to allow us to bird their grounds. Several new species, and a few photographs, including the White-throated Magpie-Jay.
Then a bit further to the road to Ensenada Lodge, a place Nick has used on other trips, where we got Crested Bobwhite and Lesser Ground-Cuckoo. From there it was about a two hour drive to San Jose International, which is actually about ten miles from the city center. We're back at the San Jose Holiday Inn Express, our starting point. The traffic was bad enough getting that far. Just as glad not to be going back into the city proper.
Sad farewells. The weather sounds a bit grim in Fairbanks. Early start to the airport tomorrow.
Serious props to our guide, Nick Athanas, and our driver, Memo, who was off to pick up 25 French tourists. The guide and the driver are critical on any extended birding trip. Excellent work by both.
Postscript: If I had known 24 hours later I'd be in the Fairbanks Int'l Airport parking lot, in the dark and ice fog, in shirtsleeves at -45 F, trying to find the truck, I might have just stayed in Costa Rica...