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A frustrated Long-tailed Mockingbird – near Portoviejo, Ecuador

A very contented Toucan in Panama…

A deer in my friends’ yard in Costa Rica…

A very-rare Brown Wood Rail in the yard at the Poza Honda Ecuador house!

From Dictionary.com : Amble “verb (used without object), ambled, ambling.
1.    to go at a slow, easy pace; stroll; saunter:
He ambled around the town.

2.   (of a horse) to go at a slow pace with the legs moving in lateral pairs and usually having a four-beat rhythm.
3.an ambling gait.
4.a slow, easy walk or gentle pace.
5.a stroll.

Ambling along a shady road with Marie in Costa Rica….

“We ought to take outdoor walks, to refresh and raise our spirits by deep breathing in the open air.” — Seneca

Don’t forget to look up when walking! – Costa Rica

Variegated Squirrel in the park near the Municipality Office – Nandayure Costa Rica

In the past three weeks I’ve been from Ecuador to Costa Rica and back via a stopover in Panama to visit my friend Barb.   These were quick-but-very rewarding  visits that combined ‘business’ with pleasure.  Comparing the three countries, I definitely give Costa Rica and Panama the top scores for quality of internet!

Panama wins on shopping opportunities as well as the dramatic skyline contest… 

Panama City at night…

And then there’s the Panama Canal!   Oops – I did not take any photos of ships on this trip!  Barb and her neighbor Laura kept my dance card too full!!!  Thanks again, Amigas!


Now back in Ecuador  I spend most of my internet time arguing with messages like this:

John and Mary, I try to open your recent posts, but receive this type of message!   It’s not just yours, but most all posts….

The community of Ayacucho Ecuador provides free public WiFi at the park — except that most of the time it doesn’t work!  Pages sometimes open, but I am not able to reply to emails, comments or upload images.

Ecuador trumps Costa Rica on the road infrastructure. Secondary roads like this have few potholes.

Internet might be challenging in Ecuador, but locally-grown fruits and vegetables are extremely affordable.  In rural areas on the coast, grapefruit are ten for a dollar right now.  As in Costa Rica and Panama, there are amazing experiences waiting if one slows down for a visit with the locals – like when I stopped at this roadside produce stand.

Jose gave me a slice of watermelon!

Costa Rica gets my vote for the most-dependable and stunning sunsets.

Arresting Sunset – Playa San Miguel, Costa Rica

Costa Rica also protects the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Nesting Sites…

Costa Rica’s Internet service often finds its way to remote areas via repeaters and/or satellite options.   In Ecuador, many small communities provide challenging options.  Unless working late at night when most people are sleeping, I receive messages like this:

The slow connection ‘blames’ the website!

On Day One of my week in Costa Rica, I dealt with the ‘business’ part of the trip then rode with friends to the coast. It was late night when we arrived, but it was great to be back in old stomping grounds…

There were places to go and people to see., which included a visit ‘over the mountains’ to the municipality, up the highway to the market, across to the Pacific town of Samara to see my kinesiologist-doc friend, and a finale and relaxed timeout in Bejuco with dear friends/local stars of the Cumbia group, Azul Plata  – “Siempre Fiesta!”   With 252,000 views of the video below, they have a strong following in Costa Rica!

… After Costa Rica, there were other friends who prepared a lovely ‘welcome back’ reception in Panama, where for 80 dollars, I delayed my change of flights and spent a week with my good friend Barb, number one tour guide for helping locate items in Panama City.

While charging her car battery, we also took a tour as far as we could drive without needing flotation devices! One one side was this idyllic vista, and on the other was the entrance to the canal.

Laura prepared amazing food…

Festive enough to set off the fire alarm!

Delicious! Thanks again, Laura!

She also shared secret tips for making extra-delicate enchiladas! Goodness, one needs to walk – or take a nap!

Ah, one sleeps well after a a good meal and a refreshing saunter..

‘When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out. ‘ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Does the above quote apply to work gloves?!!!

Now back in Ecuador and trying to corral all of my belongings in one place, I’ll be sorting, packing, moving, unpacking — and resting between tasks.   I hope to write offline and upload new posts when possible.  There are many stories to share and many art projects to showcase.

Ecuador also wins on the museum systems, most free to the public, and they encourage participation. There’s a new museum – Hojas de Jaboncillo near Portoviejo Ecuador. Wow! It’s impressive!

They are even giving visitors a nice book about the importance of this archaeological site…


As stated, I give poor marks to the internet options, often disappointing if sharing a wifi router with a few others or half of a village!

Preparing this post has been challenging as well. The images don’t upload…. Grrrrrr!

My newly-granted non-resident visa is good for two years, but it does not include a special identification number, called a ‘cedula.’  Without a cedula number, I’m unable to open – ahem – a phone account, which would allow me to request the USB internet modem.  – I’ve not had a phone in over 15 years, though some of my friends wish I’d step back into that mode of communication! –

Hitting internet obstacles each week, it looks like my best option for now is to put the blogging on vacation mode until new options arise.   When online I hope to load posts and read them offline, but most likely I’ll remain pretty silent for the next few months – or until a new solution presents itself.

Poor me, having to look out the window to an end-of-day view like this!

Pretty horrid environment for inspiring art!

This red-eyed beauty gives a cheerful ‘Good morning’ greeting!

This Trogon was a lovely dawn surprise as well!

Pardon my silence — and thank you once more for your amazing support.

The caretaker’s watch dog is named “Niña.’

And the watch cat is named “Niño.”

Just as the lingering daylight weans into night, the Brown Wood Rails often add a finale to the day’s soundtrack.   Thanks to YouTube, you can experience the lovely song, best played on loud volume to accurately replicate the experience!

When two are yodeling, it’s quite the finale to the day!

See you on Thursday, internet willing!