Monday, March 27, 2017

Playa Hermosa, Nicaragua

Playa Hermosa was a giant. A whopper of a beach. You can see Costa Rica in the distance.

The beach was remote enough to film a season of the reality T.V. show Survivor. But they didn't film a season here. They filmed two seasons here! Right on this beach. 

The cliffs were filled with Cacti.  

The beach brought on fits of peace and happiness for two familiar beach bums. 

There were small delights. 

There was lots of money. I've never seen so many sand dollars.

These shadows need some quick cash. There is a restaurant to spend it in. And lots of cold Tona.

This shadow is picking up a penny. I love the perspective! 

Somebody didn't have great beach day. I think it is a monkey skull. 

Part of the fun, was just getting there. Cows and horses roamed free. 


This is the road. Typical rush hour congestion. 

Excuse me!

Memorabilia from the restaurant. 

The end of the line. Needless to say, this beach was so nice we came here twice. My favorite kind of beach has soft, but firm sand for walking barefoot. This beach had miles of perfect pavement. We also checked out several grassy areas in the foot hills and tried to figure out where they set up the Survivor challenges. 

We walked on rocks, soaked in tide pools and tried to soak up enough beach time to last another year. Sigh.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Volcanoes of Nicaragua

Concepcion and Maderas on a clear day. Two of the 19 volcanoes in Nicaragua.

The volcanoes of Nicaragua are like an old string of Christmas lights. Some of them are burned out and some are still burning bright. Concepcion (in the middle) on the island of Ometepe is one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua. It is still as bright as a new bulb. Maderas, on the right, is still faintly twinkling.

Concepcion by boat. A favorite photo from our first trip. 

Concepcion by land.

Concepcion by beach.

Maderas by lake.

Another volcano, Mombacho, is still simmering over the city of Granada. As seen from a bell tower looking out and over the terra cotta rooftops.

Mombacho from on high. 

We drove up the insanely steep road to the top of Mombacho, all by our selves. You need a 4 wheel drive and lots of nuts. I wouldn't do it again. And I was only a passenger. We had to take all the hair pin turns at full speed, since slowing down and stalling would basically mean careening over the side of the volcano. Gulp. 

The islands in the sky are actually down below. They were formed during an ancient eruption. We toured them by boat.

Here, we see the gaping maw of Volcan Masaya spewing sulfur dioxide.

The Santiago Crater of Masaya. (from Wikipedia)

Masaya is a volcano of a different color. It's slopes aren't fertile jungles like the others. It is barren. Lunar.

Oh, and another thing. Masaya is ready to explode! They make you back into your parking spot, in case you need to make a quick getaway. Gulp

Here, in the distance, you can see at least 3 volcanoes through the Grecian railing of the Cathedral of Leon. (more on that later) There are 5 volcanoes near Leon. Cerro Negro, (the one people go volcano surfing on) Momotombo, Telica, Las Pilas and Rota.

This is one of them, looming in-between the streets of Leon.

Concepcion is on the left again. A creepy vulture in the middle!

I haven't seen them all. But so far, my favorites, hands down, are the fraternal twins, Concepcion and Maderas. I guess the moral of the story is that the beauty of Nicaragua is on fire! 

Last week, I posted an update on my adventures in novel writing. Read about them here!

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Winter Park, Florida

The original Winter Park train station was built in 1890. This is the 2013 version. As a pedestrian, not needing to ride the rails, I can only attest to the spiffy bathrooms. The train station is located in the heart of Winter Park and when nature calls, it is a nice place to stop. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Winter Park, it is a posh retreat near Orlando, Florida. I like it because of the stately homes and moss covered trees. But mostly because of these...

Tarts from the Croissant Gourmet! My favorite one is the blueberry tart in the middle. 

My least favorite thing is this...

A 320 foot sinkhole! I'm terrified of sinkholes. My husband always teases me about it. If there is a new sinkhole report on the news, I stop in my tracks, glued to the tube. We do spend quite a bit of time in Florida after all. We could be devoured by the earth in our sleep someday. Gulp. Luckily, the above sinkhole happened in the 1980's.

Peacocks are a theme at the train station.

But I only saw an osprey outside the station, enjoying a filet o' fish.


Here's an even better osprey shot at a Friday fish fry, on Lover's Key, Florida. 
Besides ospreys, there are lots of restaurants that serve fish on a plate, instead of a tree branch. There are fancy shops, which I avoid. But there's also a nice home tour... 

Casa Feliz

Casa Feliz had a visiting crane.

Two of them in fact. Plus tourists. 

The home was designed by Architect James Gamble Rodgers. And on Fridays in Winter Park, you can gaze at Tiffany Glass for free at the Morse Museum

To peruse a previous blog post about Winter Park and its lakes and canals, click here. 

Winter Park. It's for when you are sick of theme parks!

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Casco Veijo Architecture

This was my favorite church in Casco Veijo. The old town and most interesting region of Panama City. Any stroll in Casco will be memorable. Especially if you're a photographer. Old and new, crumbling and revived, swanky and gritty all collide here. It's just so alive. New things are always happening here. We passed models on photo shoots and also witnessed the filming of what appeared to be a major commercial. But even with all the new, the past is always bubbling at the surface. You see it everywhere...

These weathered wooden statues really caught my eye. 

The statues peek out of all these nooks and crannies. 

Meanwhile, at another church, you can sit and bask in the glow of the Golden Alter. Read about the luminous majesty below...

Yet another church.

Aches abound in Casco Veijo. But this one has a story.

I stated in a previous Panama post that some crumbling courtyards, intriguing holes that are still waiting for a modern day spruce up, are now being utilized by food trucks. This one was some kind of cat sanctuary. There were lots of cats and just as many food bowls. Food trucks for cats I guess!

I hope you enjoyed this mini structural tour of old town. I'll be back visiting blogs next week. See you soon. 

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