Monday, July 10, 2017

Potty talk

When you travel, the thing that is the biggest elephant in the room is how the bowels are running. 
Have you drunk enough water?
Are you going to be traveling all day without a clear option of getting to use a toilet.
Is the toilet going to be something you can see yourself using?
 Is it clean enough? 
Private enough? 
A squatty potty?
 A western toilet? 
Do you have a choice? 
Who knows? Not always. If you've gotta go. You've gotta go! 



If you haven't been drinking enough water and it's really hot, what will happen? 
The runs.
The quick trots. 
The squirts.
 Tourista. 
Monte zumza's revenge.
Cramps and diarrhea.
Our biggest question is.....
Have you cleaned out the pipes? 

Sometimes the opposite happens.Stage fright!
The fear of what might happen if you have to go and there may not be a toilet or the toilet is scary. 
You just hold it in. 
For days. 
Until all you can think about is how much has gone in and how much hasn't come out. 
How is that possible? 
What might happen at some point? 
Where will I be when that "some point" happens.
Will we be on a train in India? Nope, not going to happen! 


Ever seen an Indian train toilet? Yes, this just about sums it up. A big nope!! 




This gem of a bathroom above surprised me a bit. I walked into the bathroom at a tourist location and there was this row of toilets. Umm no.....just no.... Then I saw there was one in a private room. Phew.... 






So we talk about our bowels when we travel. Yup, pretty much whenever.
Hey Sandra! Have you been going yet? No? Me neither 🙄:(
Hey Craig! Have you cleaned out the pipes yet? Ya! Great! I can't wait till my pipes are clear! 😉

On another note! I LOVE the bum cleaners that lots of counties have. The ones that sit beside the toilets so that you can spray off your backside afterwards? So nice! A little shower for your bum 🤗.




Prince Rupert, BC fishing trip


Dean and I went on a long weekend fishing trip to see Dean's brother Jann and his wife Tina in Prince Rupert BC in June. Here is a short video of our time there.


https://youtu.be/IZSxC0M2JwY

Friday, April 14, 2017

India

It's 4am in the morning and I'm lying in our dark hostel room in India thinking of our last week here in Delhi. We try not to have to many preconceived notions of how a country or culture will be before we see for ourselves. But India was so easy to judge. There are so many tv shows and movies that depict a scary India. An India not safe for woman and children to travel within. But so far that has not been our experience. 




As a whole, I've felt safe, I've been respected as a woman with a voice. I have not been touched or looked at  inappropriately. We have all been stared at. A lot. But not so much out of anything much more than an honest curiosity. We stare a lot to. 




India is definitely stretching us. There is so much trash, so many people, thousands of tuk tuks, motorcycles and cars. The honking is insistent. I want to yell STOP IT. Just stop all the honking. We get it, you want to go faster. But it's their way. Not our way.  The smells are at times overwhelming. Sometimes the smells are so good. Curry, garlic and other food smells tempt us of some amazing food being cooked along the streets. Other smells are not so good. Cow dung, rotting garbage and the smell of poverty are the hard ones. In Varanasi, the smoke from the wood burning cremations that go 24/7  was at times stifling. Putting our scarves over our mouths was the only relief we got. Breathing was hard. I can't imagine the local people breathing in that smoke day after day. Do they ever get a lung full of crisp Canadian like air. Oh, we are so fortunate to live in a country with fresh air. 







The drivers go this way and that way, winding their mode of transport through the narrow streets, trying to find a path past the others, past the dogs sleeping in the streets, past the cows walking through the middle of traffic, oblivious to the rush of the city., past all the people walking in the streets. The crowds are unbelievable. So many people, vehicles and animals. It's hard to comprehend how it all works. Why don't we see more accidents? A few times as we were riding in a tuk tuk, we gasped at a close call. Yikes, that was almost an accident. The drivers seem to know within inches, how close to the others around them are. But other than a few slow touches, we haven't seen an accident. 


  



The early mornings that we've walked through the streets, we notice people cleaning up from the mess of the day before. Piles of trash swept up into piles. Sometimes cows are riffling through the trash like pigs, looking for a snack. Things are much more quiet in the early mornings. The shops tend to open closer to 8, so there are less vehicles racing around. It's a good time to explore with a little less chaos. 






So far, we have found an India worth visiting. A beautiful country full of ancient temples, forts, ghats, rituals, religions and beautiful smiles all mixed into a crazy chaotic space. Friendly people that are very much worth taking the time to talk with. They are as interested in our way of life as we are in theirs. Bring on the next 2 weeks! We are ready to learn and experience more of what India has to offer. 






Monday, March 20, 2017

Guatemala and Belize 2017

We decided to go and explore an area of central America that we haven't yet been to. Guatemala  was our last Central American country left unexplored. So off we went in Feb. 2017 to see a little part of Guatemala and go back to Belize for the 4th time to revisit.





We started our journey flying into Belize city and taking a small plane into Flores, Guatemala. We landed and went to our little guesthouse for a night. The next morning we took a bus to Tikal to hike around the ruins. We spent the day hiking the large Myan ruins and spent the night at a hotel in the jungle.






The next day we took a local bus back to Flores, where we spent another 3 days. We loved the friendly people, the great nacho platters and being on the lake.



Sitting on our rooftop deck at Flores Boutique Hotel with some guacamole, fresh salsa and chips. Plus a cold glass of white wine to sit on as we watched life pass us by on the lake.







 We took a 1 1/2 hour bus ride out to Tikal National Park. We spent the day hiking around the park, climbing the ruins and enjoying the area.







                                        I "PASARed just a little.



Sitting up top temple #4. The highest temple in Tikal 


One of our favourite places to have breakfast or coffee or a beer looking out over the lake.



After 5 nights we took a bus back to Belize to be on the ocean. We went directly to Belize city where we then took a boat taxi out to Caye Caulker. Back to the island that has held our love for almost 15 years. Caye Caulker had definitely changed.


                     Our favourite bakery on Cay Caulker 





 It is now much busier and the small mom and pop guesthouses have been replaced by larger hotels and restaurants. we were a little disappointed. We spent 2 nights on Caye Caulker and decided to move on to Ambergris Caye to explore a place we had heard was quite popular. We booked 2 nights at a small guesthouse and spent some time driving around the island on a golf cart and walking many miles, exploring beaches and small little streets. 


We found a rotisserie chicken place and our mouths watered. So we picked up a chicken with a cold watermelon on the side and had an amazing lunch on the beach. 




We realized that San Pedro was really to busy for us and decided that we needed to find a smaller different island to spend our last 5 days. So off we went to Tobacco Caye.



               We went scuba diving for my birthday. It was amazing. We saw the biggest turtle I've ever seen, different types of rays, lots of colourful fish and I even got to spear fish lion fish!!




We stayed the first 2 nights at Paradise cabins. Our little cabin sat right over the water. We spent many days sitting on our deck watching the stingrays swim past sipping our cold beer.




 Dean went diving for conch a few times and our kitchen ladies prepared some amazing ceviche and conch fritters. 


Our cabins came with sea kayaks and paddle boards. SO we took advantage of them and paddled around the island a few times. 







We met so many people on the island. We met this couple from BC that has been to Tobacco Caye 9 times or more. We will hopefully catch up with them the next time we go. We also met many other people that we got to hang out with for the 5 days hanging out on the island. We loved all the conversations we had and the fun times going out for a snorkel or looking out over the water chatting. 



We really loved Tobacco Caye from the moment we saw it. It is the size of a football field and is right on the reef. Love it!! We enjoyed walking circles around the island, visiting other tourists and locals, snorkelling, diving, fishing for conch, and sitting in the sun with a book. We will definitely go back.





15 days. 10 planes. 10 beds. 4 boats. 3 buses. What a trip!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

El Nido video



El Nido, Philippines

 We flew on Philippine airlines from Bali to Manila and then on Air Swift from Manila to El Nido. It is not an easy or cheap place to get to. But the beautiful islands and warm ocean made it all better once we finally arrived. The first place we stayed was called Shipwrecked Pension house. We booked it on line from Bali. It was right in the middle of town and not on the beach. We did not have a window in the room, which made it a little claustrophobic  but it was actually really quiet at night. We stayed there for a couple of nights, then moved on to the outskirts of town. We were now right on the beach and didn't have all the city busyness as soon as we walked out the door. 


The temp's were really hot!! We spent many an hour laying in the warm waters soaking up the sun. 


We also went for long walks to other nearby beaches. Jumping in the water along the way to cool off. 


Ahh!! This is the life!! We decided to stop on one of our hikes and take a dip and have a nice cold beer.


Miranda and I both love the water. So we hung out together laughing and finding things to talk about even after spending the last 3 months together 24/7


Sunsets in El Nido were fabulous!! 


Still having fun!!


More sun


More reading on the beach


Miranda talking on FaceTime with Brittany! SOOO exciting!! 


The streets of El Nido


Bikes, cars, people, motorized tricycles all trying to find space on the street. A little to chaotic for us. 


                   We found the best pizza joint in El Nido. Wood fired pizzas. So Yummy!!






We went on the island hopping tour A. We wished we had gone on it sooner, as we might have done another one while we were there. Very fun time going from island to island. Snorkelling at some and swimming at others. We saw where they filmed one of the survivor shows. Which we are huge fans of and really liked to see. 




We rented a kayak and paddled around the islands and into little bays that boats are to big for. Miranda jumped off the kayak to go for a snorkel and came flying back on just as quick when she saw massive scary looking jelly fish. It was very funny. 




The feast they made us on the boat during the tour. 



 The view of El Nido town from the water. It is a very bustling town full of friendly people and great food. It is a great place to go on island hopping tours and we had some of the most fabulous scuba diving ever. We found that 1 week was about enough for this area. Next time we would try to find an island that was less touristy. 



 Our place on the beach for 5 nights.


 The view from our little hotel on the beach. During the day, all these boats are out on tours




 We stayed at Entalula beach resort. It included breakfast and was right on the beach owned and run by a very nice lady and her family. She keeps the place running very smoothly. We had a great breakfast every morning delivered to our little deck.




After our time in El Nido, we could not take a flight directly to Cebu, which was where we were flying out of. So we had to take a 5 hour bus ride to a town called Puerto Princessa. This town is where most flights fly in and out of. Making it a little more difficult to get to when headed to EL Nido. Puerto Princessa is not really a town that you would travel to. Its a busy port town that you basically drive to to catch and plane to the island from. 

All is all our time in El Nido was good. We found the town to be much to crazy busy to really want to spend to much time in. There are very few really great places to stay here. It is more set up as a backpacker town and has grown to fast without much thought to planning out how things would work. There are some really nice restaurants and the scuba diving and snorkelling are what this place does really well.