Friday 15 December 2017

From aboard NG Quest in Costa Rica: Hippy love birds in the Jungle

#expeditioncruising #LindbladExpeditions .

It's a beautiful hippy love story that began in Germany in 1969. Trudy and Ron were footloose and fancy-free when they met in Cold War Hamburg and fell in love. They hooked up and travelled to Australia where they were married before heading back home to the US.

With the Vietnam War going sour for the US, the pair decided to head to South America but only got as far as Costa Rica before their old van broke down and the money ran out. Long story short, they bought some beachfront land on the Golfo Dulce in 1974, set up a cocoa and banana farm, built a new house, had two children and stayed in Costa Rica ever since.

When a blight wiped out much of Costa Rica's cocoa trees in the '80s, the pair shifted to tourism and today at Casa Orquideas, we're visiting a beautifully manicured and maintained miniature botanical garden alive with birds and bursting with colourful exotic blooms.

“Lindblad first came here almost by accident about 20 years ago,” Trudy tells me, “and I hope they keep coming, but the upkeep is starting to wear us down.”

With the children gone, Ron and Trudy have put the 70 acres of Casa Orquideas on the market, so if you are looking for your own slice of tropical paradise, Trudy would welcome your offer.

These images were obtained in about an hour just sitting and watching the birds come to the feeding station. I would have ticked a few new species off my list if I'd had one. I'll let my birder friends have some fun spotting the species before I add captions.

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