Monday, December 5, 2022—Adventure of a Lifetime

I was up early this morning—1:45 AM early! I picked photography friend Dan up at 2:30 AM, and we were off to the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport for a 5:30 AM flight to SanJose, Costa Rica, via Atlanta. Both legs of the Delta flight were uneventful, but the seat space was small and we were big—cramped quarters. I carried on all camera gear (about 50 pounds worth), CPAP machine, and carry-on suitcase with enough clothes for 9 days (little did I know).

We arrived in San Jose after lunch, and at our hotel about 3 PM. We came to Costa Rica for the Road Scholar (RS) program Digital Photography in Nature: Capturing the Best of Costa Rica. Road Scholar was very efficient in our transfer from the airport to the hotel, and hotel check-in. The RS program manager was at the hotel to meet and greet us. We had a late lunch at the hotel, and rested until our orientation meeting and dinner in the early evening.

Here’s what RS has to say in their brochure introducing Digital Photography in Nature: Capturing the Best of Costa Rica: “Learn to get the most out of your digital camera as you join experts to practice exposure, composition and wildlife and landscape techniques in the colorful landscapes of Costa Rica.” The program manager was Carlos Calvo. Carlos Calvo is a Costa Rican naturalist and a gifted wildlife photographer and photography instructor. He studied education (Modern Languages) at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and earned his professional guide qualifications from the National Learning Institute (INA). In 2012, he added freelance photography to his credentials and before long was being asked to provide photography workshops and lectures as well as lead natural history groups. Carlos’s photos have been featured in magazines and natural history publications as well as gallery exhibits.

At the orientation meeting we met Carlos, introduced ourselves, and listened as he briefly talked about the trip itinerary and basic technical aspects of digital wildlife photography.

There were seven of us: four men and three women from Arkansas, New Mexico, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and Texas. After the lecture, we had dinner and retired to the rooms, respectively, for sleep before departing early the next morning.

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