Alajuela was our last stop(over) -- we just stayed at a hotel near the airport (see my Tripadvisor review here) overnight before we flew back home. All trips must end, and during the long ride from Manuel Antonio to Alajuela, the sky got cloudy and then we hit rush hour traffic in the greater San Jose area. There seemed to be an impending sadness in the air already.

This was last-hurrah time. Fortunately for me, there was a pond outside the hotel, and a river (Rio Pirro) in the back. I saw Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and some domestic Muscovy Ducks in the pond just as we arrived.

On my last morning, I managed to squeeze out an hour for a morning walk before breakfast. What I saw was a mixture of old and new birds -- the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and Inca Dove I had seen in Texas, and they reminded me that Costa Rica is not so far away after all, especially from Texas. The Tennessee Warbler I had seen even in Virginia. The Hoffman's Woodpecker and Great Kiskadee were new acquitences on this trip, but by this time familiar friends. A Grayish Saltator (not shown) and the Rufous-naped Wren would be my last new birds of the trip.

(Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)

Rufous-naped Wren

Hoffmann's Woodpecker

Great Kiskadee

Inca Dove

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Tennessee Warbler

The beauty of nature is everywhere, even in the neighborhood around the hotel, I manage to admire the abstract art that is on a tree bark.

Tree Bark

Then it was shuttle, check-in and departure. We had to leave this wonderful country of Costa Rica, but we are sure that we will be back again.

I bought a bottle of Cacique Guaro, Costa Rica's "national drink" (a light liquor made from sugar cane juice), to bring home. Now here's a joke that I made up -- yes, I authored this one, I invented this one -- you heard it here first:


A sloth walks into a bar, but cannot order a Cacique, you know why?

Because the Ticos order Cacique with 4 raised fingers (to mimic the Indian chief logo which has 4 feathers sticking out his head, I think; "Cacique" means "chief"), but a sloth in Costa Rica only has either 2 or 3 toes on its claws.


(You see, it takes some knowledge of Costa Rica's culture and nature to get this one.)

San Jose Airport

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