Jubilados (Spanish for retirees) savouring the journey

Chosen carefully, planned well and travelled independently

Stories of global travel adventures from Gloria and Kerry, a.k.a. Spice and Magellan


For days my brain jumped around trying to figure out how to tell you about the capuchin monkeys that thrilled us on the Osa Peninsula. Monkey mind. Not, that’s an insult to the capuchins. I couldn’t settle on a story thread, so today’s post is a knotted string of thoughts, yours to unravel.

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If a congress of naturalists were to gather to choose the seven wonders of the animal world, they would be compelled to include the bizarre and mighty civilizations of the attine leafcutters.

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At the bar in the Marriott after we introduced ourselves and began nibbling plantones and guacamole, our guide Ben asked the six of us what wildlife we hoped to photograph in Costa Rica. Marion’s answer surprised us. In a country of Resplendent Quetzals, White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, Blue Morph butterflies and yellow-beaked Toucans, she said “Sloths.”

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If you landed here after consulting Ms Google about a sexy night out in Drake Bay—gottcha!

Also, be forewarned. If you’re afraid of scorpions, snakes, spiders or frogs, this might not be your favourite nocturnal adventure. For us, it was total pleasure, thanks to Tracie Stice and her husband Gianfranco Goméz.

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Mariposa: poetry in a single word. Better than butterfly?

A paradise for butterflies, Costa Rica has 1,200 individual species, ten percent of the world’s mariposa population. Throughout the country butterflies are a kaleidoscope of colour, petal wings nectaring in blossoms.

A butterfly’s life cycle is a natural source of poetic inspiration—egg to imago (adult) in forty-eight weeks, imago to death sometimes a mere three days. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly,” wrote an anonymous poet. Since April is Poetry Month, we have paired photos of the delicate beauty of butterflies with the lyrical imagery of poets. After all, as Vladimir Nabokov wrote, “Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.”

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“I don’t want to be there for Easter that’s for sure,” I told Magellan while planning a trip to Sicily. But after reading about its Easter festivities, we landed in Palermo on Holy Week.

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