January 25 . Issue 164

“We ourselves cannot put any magic spell on this world. The world is its own magic.”  Shunryu Suzuki

Hello all, welcome to my monthly journal, a place for me to share with you five points of interest. Things that have piqued my curiosity or kept me entertained, as well as an up-to-date reference on where my writing is at.

As promised, I’m coming to you from Costa Rica this month. My beach cabin is in a small town, Cahuita, located on the Caribbean side of the peninsula. The featured photo is a two-year-old two-fingered sloth that gave me great photographic opportunities.

Normally I publish my journal on the last Friday of the month but tomorrow I am off at the crack of dawn on a new Costa Rica adventure. I’ll be traveling to the capital, San Jose, and there, I will settle in for a little while. 

1. Working on book no. 6, that’s my plan for spending my time in San Jose. That and keeping in shape. I  will no doubt do plenty of walking. Also, I’ll be sure to do some yoga, tai chi, and karate and continue my practice of jodo and iaido. Yes, I plan to keep busy.

2. The trip to Cahuita has been well planned. My purpose in being here on the Caribbean side of the country is twofold.

First, I have never been, and all of my local Costa Rican friends told me it is a must-see.

Second, there are three places I wanted to investigate as they tie into my future writing projects. 

The Jaguar Rescue Center, The Sloth Sanctuary, and The Cahuita National Park.

All three have associated with them other events, such as snorkeling the longest coral reef, Kayaking the sloth sanctuary, and a behind-the-scenes peak at what goes on at the Jaguar rescue center.

3. Well, I can cross two things off my list; after four attempts, I finally got into the Cahuita National Park. It’s one of those free entrance parks, but they would like you to donate. They also don’t allow any snorkel equipment, among other things. I didn’t have any other things, but I did have mini flippers, and these they consider snorkeling equipment.

It’s a beautiful hiking trail that puts you in close proximity to many wild animals and amazing vistas. The trail runs along the coastline, and you pass by sandy beaches that are almost deserted.

The animals that I saw were white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, and lizards of all types, including iguanas. There are lots of raccoons and many different types of birds, including some cool-looking storks.

4. The Jaguar Rescue Centre is the second thing I can cross off my list. An incredible experience and a fantastic facility that is doing great things to rehabilitate the animals in their care. Our tour guide, Anjou, introduced us to many of the residents of the facility. She explained how they ended up here and the efforts that went into their rehabilitation.

My favorite animal on tour was the Margay, a cousin to the Jaguar. The alpha female spider monkey was incredibly entertaining, and the star of the adventure was Oscar, the tiny two-toed sloth.

5. The beaches near me are amazing. There is not much of a tide in these parts. The levels have been fairly constant. However, these past weeks, they’ve been too high to snorkel the nearby coral reefs. I have been using mini-flippers, and they work wonderfully in the strong undertow.

There is a Sunday Farmers Market, and I love my visits to the market. The first visit I even got to jam with another visitor. A ukulele player from France who was busking.

Once a month, there is a pop-up market. The market had eight vendors. Mostly, artisans from other countries who now call Cahuita their home. Some street food was available, tasty mocktails, and plenty of wellness activities, massage, yoga, and homemade essential oils.

A handpan musician was there, and he was playing meditative music during the event. I pulled out my “C” harmonica and started to play along. We had a great jam session and thanked each other upon the conclusion of our improvised song.

Speaking of harmonica. I recently interviewed harmonica maestro Filip Jers. Check out my interview with him at That Canadian Magazine.

Thank you for reading; if you know of someone who may be interested in this Monthly Journal, please share. Please check out my newest books, a children’s picture book, Samba in Switzerland, and a middle-grade reader, Dojo in the Woods. All my books are readily available online through your favorite bookstores.

Be well, stay safe, and keep reading.

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