Marc's Public Blog - Trips to other locations


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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 | Japan in winter 2017 | Great Britain in 2017 |

Table of Content for trips:

More pages: August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997



2015/07/31 Natural History Museum in Houston
π 2015-07-31 00:00 in Sciencemuseums, Trips
Since we stopped in Houston to see the Johnson's Space Center, we had some time left over on the 2nd day and stopped at the Natural History Museum, which is actually quite good.

We started with a Butterfly and insect exhibit:





bad ass stick insect, I'm impressed it can fly
bad ass stick insect, I'm impressed it can fly





Then, we went to a China history and Egypt exhibit, the 2nd one being quite good:









The other displays were good too:











Their dinosaur display was extremely good:








Time well spent, not worth going to Houston just for that, but well worth stopping if you are there.

See more images for Natural History Museum in Houston
2015/07/15 Costa Rica Day 6-8: Monte Verde and Santa Elena
π 2015-07-15 00:00 in Costarica2015, Trips

After getting back to La Fortuna to return our rental car, we took a transport to Monte Verde, which took a little while. We arrived at our hotel (hotel Belmar) just in time to have dinner and plan for the next day. We elected to go to Sky Adventures earlier than our planned time so that we got time to go to an insect and butterfly sanctuary afterwards, and then do a coffee tour at Don Juan before doing our night tour at El Bosque Reserve.

view from our room
view from our room

We started with hanging bridges and a nature tour:




trying out vines for strength :)
trying out vines for strength :)





Next, was ziplines:












Next, we went to the insect and butterfly sanctuary:











Jennifer got a friend during the tour :)
Jennifer got a friend during the tour :)

Arturo too
Arturo too









From there, we went to our coffee and chocolate tour at Don Juan:






coffee
coffee

cocoa beans
cocoa beans




Then, we went to our night tour at El Bosque:






The next morning, we got up early to go to Santa Elena for a bird tour in a high forest, but we got rained out, so we didn't see much :(






From there, our transport took us to Puntarenas to meet our boat going to Cocos Island.

2015/07/13 Costa Rica Day 4-6: Cano Negro River, Celeste, Tenorio Volcano NP
π 2015-07-13 00:00 in Costarica2015, Trips

After time around Arenal, which wasn't ideal, Arturo had reserved a car in la Fortuna, and we drove to Cano Negro for a boat tour around the river going into the lake. We got to see nice wildlife, which while it mostly was birds, included some monkeys. The roads there were iffy at times.


the roads sucked
the roads sucked



termites
termites








those bats were awesome, almost impossible to distinguish from the bark
those bats were awesome, almost impossible to distinguish from the bark








Eventually we got to our nice eco-hotel:





yummy dinner
yummy dinner


The next morning, we went to Tenorio Volcano NP for a guided hike on muddy trails after a nice breakfast:



those leafcutter ants have been busy :)
those leafcutter ants have been busy :)

I was happy to have rented mud boots
I was happy to have rented mud boots

very nice green-blue
very nice green-blue


you can see the volcanic water mixing with the river and causing the nice blue
you can see the volcanic water mixing with the river and causing the nice blue









Next, we went to a river to due tubing. It was a bit more extreme than normal tubing with lots of rocks to avoid, and low branches here and there, and we saw a huge tree on the way:











We then drove back to our hotel and went for a hike and night hike on celeste trail:













The 3rd day, we had to drive back to Fortuna but Arturo found a cool cave we could go visit on the way, and we got lucky to find 2 sloths while driving there. One had 3 toes, and the 2nd one had 2 toes and a baby:






Usually sloths are very very slow, but we found this mother that was going fast across phone cables to get to the safety of a tree

Finally we got to the cave where we got a guide and photographer. That cave tour was really nice, it was quite tough to get through some holes, and challenging not to get my flashlight or camera under water in some crossings (some had to be done on my knees). That was definitely an experience you wouldn't get in many other places, and definitely not in the US where some tourists would get stuck or be physically unable to get through some passageways, and likely complain bitterly and/or slip, fall, and try to sue :-/
Thankfully this kind of stuff is still possible in Costa Rica, so that's what we did :)


























the frog was guarding its eggs
the frog was guarding its eggs

you can see the eyes on those tadpoles
you can see the eyes on those tadpoles


We then just had enough time to go back to La Fortuna for our transport to Monteverde.

2015/07/10 Costa Rica Day 1-3: Arenal
π 2015-07-10 00:00 in Costarica2015, Trips

After arriving in San Jose (yes, we would have liked to have a flight from San Jose, to San Jose, but we got SFO to San Jose via Houston instead :D), and a night at hotel aeropuerto, we took our transport to Arenal.
Arenal is a geothermic area that's supposed to be a highlight in Costa Rica, but during the rainy season, it's obviously very rainy. That said I think for our group it just wasn't a highlight because we've all seen better volcanos and much better sceneries, but oh well...








We went to the volcano national park, but unfortunately the rain started and then got really bad, so we didn't see much and got pretty wet:


the path ended up with a stream that was almost knee-high
the path ended up with a stream that was almost knee-high


view wasn't great
view wasn't great



The next day, we went on a kayak and mountain biking tour. Thankfully we only got light rain during the kayaking, but we didn't get to see many animals, outside of one at the parking lot:








Since we didn't get to see that much, we went to the Hanging Bridges Park where we took a naturalist guide to help us spot wildlife:











tarantula
tarantula








Leafcutter ants are super cool. They cut and bring back leaves to their nest to cultivate a fungus which they eat afterwards.



the leafcutter ants worked hard :)
the leafcutter ants worked hard :)

After our day, we got back to our room to enjoy the towel art :)


The third day, we had a hike to the top of a point where the volcano erupted, then collapsed, and is now filled with a big lake. Thankfully the rain stopped as we started our hike and we got decent enough views. The trail was very rough though and I'm not certain it's a must do hike, just an ok one:





we got lucky and got a good view
we got lucky and got a good view


did I mention the trail is bad?
did I mention the trail is bad?



After the hike, we went down to an impressive waterfall (especially with all the rain we had gotten). That one was worth the trip:




side waterfall
side waterfall




We then had a quick stop at La Fortuna to pick up our rental car to enjoy our towel art:



See more images for Costa Rica Day 1-3: Arenal

More pages: August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997