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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Travels overseas since January

Those who know me will be aware that already this year we have been on quite few overseas trips and so this blog has been somewhat in abeyance. This post will try and do a catch up and then further posts will follow shortly, relating once more to Combe St. Nicholas.

Costa Rica Our first trip this year was in February / March to Costa Rica, a very small country about the size of Wales, which is located between Nicaragua and Panama on the narrow strip of land between North and South America known as Central America.

We first visited Costa Rica in 2007 when we did a tour of the southern part of the country down as far as the Panama border. We enjoyed it so much, with its fantastic bird life, colourful scenery and friendly people that we vowed to return and when the opportunity to tour the northern part of the country arose we decided to go.
Bare throated tiger heron

In a two week trip, which saw us staying on both the Pacific coast and the Atlantic coast, as well as beside the Arenal volcano in between, we saw over 400 species of birds, many mammals including sloths and capuchin, howler and spider and monkeys, butterflies, reptiles and beautiful flowers. It was a really lovely holiday, though the high temperatures and humidity might not be to everyone's liking!
Here are just a few of the many hundreds of 
pictures we took whilst there.... 

Sleepy Porcupine
Even sleepier owl looking like he had had a hard night!

Resplendent quetzal

Three toed sloth

Arenal Volcano
Arizona Our second trip this year was to Arizona, another wildlife watching holiday which started off in Phoenix, headed south to the amazing Chiricahua National Park with its organ pipe rock formation, 
 Chiricahua National Park

 then north via Tombstone ( site of the Ok Corale and locals still looking the part!)
Welcome to Tombstone

 and the Saguara National Park ( with amazing cacti) 

to the red cliffs of Sedona,

finally  ending up at the Grand Canyon. 

The scenery was spectacular throughout and anyone who thinks Arizona is mostly desert would, like us, be very surprised at the variety of landscapes and the amount of forest there were as well as wonderful wildlife, like this road runner, straight out of the cartoons of our childhood!

We were also surprised by the changing temperatures, from thirty degrees centigrade, to below freezing and snow thrown in all in the space of a day!

The Algarve, Portugal
Our most recent trip was to the Algarve in May and is a place we have been to many times over the last fifteen or so years as we have had a small time-share studio apartment on the coast there. This was the end of an era though as we have now given up our apartment but we have many happy memories of the trips we have taken at different times of the year.
Some of our favourite birds seen there are the colourful bee eaters and hoopoes and they did not disappoint this year.

So hopefully this post will have given a flavour of the exciting trips we have had so far this year and there are more to come, so watch this space!

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