Sherman, enjoying the sunset at St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Photo taken March 24, 2011.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Where are they going next? We're here at the park until late September!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

California, here we come!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Ruth's cousin Helen and her husband Tony from England had been scheduled to come visit us here in Mexico, but Helen broke her leg and they had to cancel. Well, the leg is on the mend and they've rescheduled their trip.

Now, we're meeting them in Los Angeles, California!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Thanks for a great 2015!

2015 was a great year for Travel with Kevin and Ruth. Both for the blog itself, and for the people who write it!

And we couldn't have done it without your support. So this blog post is to say thanks!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Brrrr.

Well, winter has finally arrived across much of North America. Our daughter Lindsey back in Ottawa, Canada sent a note with a picture of their snow covered back yard, saying that her husband Justin has the day off and roads are terrible and there has not yet been any sign of a plow.

Meanwhile, temperatures in snowbird-friendly Arizona have been well below normal.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Colombia, on $39 USD per day

We recently spent just over six weeks (47 days including travel days from Mexico) touring Colombia. I wanted to detail our expenses over that period of time so that others can judge if they can afford to do the same type of trip.

Including our airfare from Mexico City to Medellin, Colombia, we spent a total of $3,062 CAD ($2,250 USD) for the two of us. That figure includes all food, travel, accommodation, booze, and entertainment.

A birthday party in Mexico

Sunday is market day in Valle de Bravo, and we went into town with our friends Paco and Oti who drove us in their car. It was getting close to lunch time and so we went to one of the many food food stalls and they asked if we wanted a bowl of menudo...a popular Sunday soup dish in many parts of Mexico.

But the main ingredient in menudo is beef stomach! Not our favorite part of the cow!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I wish we knew about this before...

We decided we had better get out and get some exercise, and we had been told of a nice hike in the hills behind where we are parked up, so around 10:30am we set off to try and find the trail.

And we found it! I think this is the fifth time we've been to Valle de Bravo and we never knew this trail existed. It's actually an old road that has obviously not been used as a road for many years.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Smile for the camera!

We had a good Christmas Day. We even got to watch our grandchildren open the gifts that we gave them! Through the miracles of modern technology, we were able to sit in our motorhome in Mexico while connected to our daughter Lindsey who was visiting the rest of the family back in Ottawa, Canada.

Not quite the same as being there, but certainly the next best thing!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas to all of our friends, relatives, and loyal blog readers! We hope that you are exactly where you wanted to be today.

We are very happy where we are, with perfect weather and good friends. We are only missing our family this Christmas. Sure would be fun to spend Christmas with the grandkids, they're at the perfect age. Perhaps another year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Our first Mexican posada

As with past days here, yesterday morning wasted away without a problem. Then, we received an invite from Luis and Lorena to come over to their RV at another marina as they were having friends over for food that afternoon, and did we want to join them? Yes please!

So Ruth made a big salad to take for everybody and Luis said he would pick us up around 2:00pm.

We got a fun surprise we got when he arrived!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A good bottle of scotch!

Yesterday afternoon, we took the collectivo back in to town. Ruth wanted to get her hair cut (for the first time in 13 months!) and we wanted to pick up some booze that had been on sale at 20% off. I say had been on sale, because when we got to the store it turns out that the sale ended the day before!

But, that doesn't mean there weren't some deals to be had...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Our top 10 campsites of 2015!

As you can see, we've got a few top 10 lists on the go. We're also counting down our header photo over the next few days with our top 10 header photos of 2015.

Our regular readers already know that we're not "RV park" type of campers. We don't like to have neighbours too close by and we like to have a nice view out of our windows. That's just what's important to us. That usually entails some form of boondocking, and we sure did our fair share of that this year!

So...in chronological order...(if you click the date, it will bring you to the blog post from that day)...

New friends. Some with two legs, and one with four!

It's pretty easy to pass the mornings here simply doing nothing. Not nothing really...but just puttering around. Internet time, washing a few pieces of laundry, cleaning Sherman. Just hanging around the motorhome. Seems like the morning just disappears.

So we try and make an effort to do something in the afternoons. Yesterday, we went and visited some neighbors!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The very best place to buy your fruits and veggies!

Just about every town in Mexico does a weekly tiaguis market. There is no English translation for the word "tianguis", since this is essentially a Mexican and Central American event. The tianguis market can take place on any day of the week, but it usually takes place on the same day of every week in each particular town. Here in Valle de Bravo, the market takes place on Sunday of each week.

We have found that the weekly tiaguis market is the very best place to go and buy your fruits and veggies in Mexico.

Plus, it's fun to go to the tianguis market!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Plans change, but we adapt and move on...

We had been looking forward to a visit from Ruth's cousin Helen and her husband Tony. They were scheduled to arrive here in mid January and stay with us in the motorhome for two and a half weeks. They live in England, and have never been to Mexico and we were really looking forward to showing them the real Mexico...the one outside of the tourist havens and all inclusive resorts.

But last week, Helen broke her leg.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Well that was fun day!

Around 9:30am yesterday morning, we were sitting at our laptops when we noticed some activity going on out front. A truck had arrived and they were unloading some tables and chairs. We knew right away what this meant. There was going to be some kind of fiesta!

Our friend Chago (who owns this marina) often rents out the green space overlooking the waterfront to various groups. Sometimes wedding parties, or family reunions. Whatever. So we wondered what it would be this time! It's usually a good party, and we have often been invited just because we happen to be here.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A great way to do laundry!

Normally when we're in Mexico we get our laundry done at a "lavanderia". It's usually relatively inexpensive. You simply drop off your clothes, they weigh them, and the price is based on what your dirty laundry weighs. If I remember correctly, prices are usually between 10 and 13 pesos per kg, and your clothes are washed, dried, and folded and you pick them up fresh and clean later that day or the next morning. Normally, our total cost is between $5 and $10 CAD depending on how much stuff we have.

It's a great way to do the laundry! However, where we are parked up just now there is no lavanderia within walking distance.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Now...that's better!

We arrived here on Tuesday afternoon, and since then we haven't had very good internet. We've been using our BearExtender long distance antenna and it was picking up a very weak unsecured signal. And of course only one of us could be online at a time...and even then, the internet would come and go.

Very frustrating, so that was the first problem we had to fix!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A 20 hour transportation marathon...part 2

This is the second post of today...if you missed the first one you can read it here...

http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2015/12/a-20-hour-transportation-marathonpart-1.html

When we left off there, we had just got on the airplane and taken off from Medellin, Colombia. It was a four and three quarter hour flight that left at 1:00am in the morning. And then the first thing they do is serve you some food and put on a movie! Pretty sure that all everybody wanted to do was to sleep!

A 20 hour transportation marathon...part 1

We are happily back with Sherman (our motorhome) in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, after a 20 hour transportation marathon from Medellin, Colombia.

We left our couchsurfing host Andrea's house at 4:00pm on Monday. The Medellin international airport is located about about 50 kms (30 miles) outside of central Medellin, and we were leaving during rush hour traffic. We could have waited until the traffic subsided, but the area where you have to get the bus from is a bit sketchy and we didn't want to do it after dark.

Monday, December 14, 2015

What a fun public transportation system!

Note to city planners:

Want people to use the public transportation system? Then make it so that it's cheap, easy, and efficient. Then, add an element of fun, and everybody will use it!

Yesterday, Ruth and I used the public transportation system here in Medellin, Colombia to go from the Robledo neighborhood situated high on an eastern hill to the Parque Arvi (Arvi Park) situated high on a western hill on the opposite side of the valley that contains the city itself.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

They were right.

Medellin, Colombia is one of the top 10 places in the world to view Christmas lights!

So, yesterday we had a busy day! The Medellin Botanical Garden in the afternoon, and the Christmas lights displays in the evening. And, a ton of walking.

I didn't measure out how much walking we did, other than knowing the distance from the house we're staying at to the Botanical Gardens...which was 6.0 kms (3.8 miles). Ruth and I decided to walk that route and we met our couchsurfing host Andrea at the gardens because she had some work to do prior to that at the University near there.

First, the big news...

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we were working on an exciting development that would affect our normal travels during the month of February. And yesterday afternoon we signed the deal, so now we can tell you all about it.

We had committed plans between now and February 2nd. Tomorrow (Monday) night, we fly back to Mexico City. Early Tuesday morning, we take the bus from Mexico City back to Valle de Bravo where Sherman (our motorhome) is waiting for us. Then, we're going to relax in one spot for a month. I think we're due for that. And on January 14th, Ruth's cousin Helen and husband Tony are coming from England to spend two and a half weeks with us so we can show them Mexico for the first time. They depart on February 2nd.

And then a new adventure begins for us!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's Colombia, NOT Columbia

One of the most commonly misspelled countries in the world, there has been a movement afoot since 2013 to educate people about the proper spelling of Colombia's name.

Maybe it's because many people are familiar with the Canadian province of British Columbia that it's easy to get the "o" and the "u" mixed up.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Well, that was a pleasant surprise!

We departed our little cubical room in Guasca at just before 11:00am yesterday. Enjoyed our stay in the countryside...far better than staying in the city of Bogota. But, we were not totally done with Bogota because we were heading for Bogota airport for our flight to Medellin yesterday evening.

We found a bus marked "Terminal" and asked the driver if he was going to the main Bogota bus terminal. It's located relatively close to the Bogota airport, so that would be ideal. And he was...so we hopped on.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Would you go for a walk along a random dirt road in the countryside of Colombia?

As we were doing this yesterday, that was the question that came up. Our guess is that not many people would do the same things that we do, and yet these country road walks have been among our best experiences in Colombia.

There are no other tourists. In fact, I said yesterday that I figure we're probably the only Canadians to ever visit the little isolated town of Gacheta, Colombia.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Day trip to Guatavita, Colombia

Took a little day trip yesterday to the town of Guatavita. It's a tourist town on the Tomine Reservoir...a man made lake formed back in the 1960's to provide hydroelectric and drinking water to the city of Bogota.

The actual town of Guatavita was flooded at the time, and rebuilt at higher altitude.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Exhausted!

We slept just okay in our little cubicle above the noisy restaurant here in the town of Guasca, Colombia (pop 13,000). As we said yesterday, it's not ideal and it's a little overpriced compared to what we've been paying during the last five weeks, but we think we're going to stick it out here until Thursday when we go to Bogota airport for our flight to Medellin.

Because while our accommodation isn't great, the little town itself is nice enough and the scenery surrounding it is beautiful. And there are lots of areas to go for walks.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Hilton, it is not...

We stayed at the Explora Hostel in the big city of Bogota for seven nights. The hostel itself was great, but seven days in Bogota was about five days too many. It's a big, busy, dirty city, in our opinion. Some may enjoy the "art" that adorns almost every empty space of exterior wall, but to us, it was just a mess.

Bogota, we gave you a chance, but first impressions rang true. You are not for us!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

20km (13 mile) hike to Colombia's highest waterfall

They say to get an early start if you're going to visit Colombia's highest waterfall, but it was still after 10:00am by the time we found our way to the small bus terminal at the corner of Calle 6 and Carrera 15 beside the police station.

Chorrera waterfall (Cascada de Chorrera) is located off the road leading to the town of Choachi, only about 30 kms (18 miles) from the center of Bogota.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Change of plans...

We got up yesterday morning all set with a plan to go for a hike to Colombia's highest waterfall. But we made our way down for breakfast to see that it was raining!

So...change of plans. I went to the front desk to see if we could stay here yet another night.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Enough of Bogota...we needed some country fresh air!

We've seen almost all we want to see in the big city of Bogota, but we're booked in at the hostel here until Saturday morning. And we needed to get some fresh air and see some countryside. So yesterday we took a short bus ride to the little farming town of Guasca...only 50 kms (30 miles) from the hustle and bustle, yet rarely visited by tourists.

I figured out where to catch the bus at the corner of Calle 72 and Carrera 13 and we walked part of the distance before flagging a taxi.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Watch your camera, this is a dangerous place!"

We've been trying to figure out our plan between now and the evening of December 14th when we fly back to Mexico City.

We're in Bogota now, but our flight leaves from Medellin. We had wanted to get up to Bucaramanga, but that's still 400 kms (250 miles) north of here and then it's not easy to get to Medellin from there. Buses don't go anywhere fast here!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Interesting day exploring Bogota, Colombia

We've booked in for yet another couple of nights at the Explora Hostel in Bogota. It's a little pricey at 75,000 pesos ($33.75 CAD) per night, but the room is decent,we have a private bathroom, it's quiet at night, and it's well located in the downtown area.

We had breakfast at the hostel. For 4,000 pesos ($1.80 CAD) you get coffee or hot chocolate, a little bowl of fruit, two eggs, bread, butter, and jam. For 1,000 pesos ($0.45 CAD) more, we substitute a corn arepa for the bread.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Expenses

We'll do another update mid December after our Colombia trip is over to be able to show you what it cost in total for the entire six week trip. In the meantime, we'll continue with our standard monthly report, detailing what we spent during November.

We spent a total of $2,175. All figures are in Canadian dollars. (For USD perspective, you can take about 25% off!)

Back to the doctor!

The reason we came to Bogota a few days early is because I (Kevin) have had a very bad rash and itchy, blistering skin for the last two weeks or so. I would show you a picture or two, but it's nasty. So I'm not going to. Use your imagination.

Originally, this started small, on my right calf, and left forearm and it simply got a little bit worse every day...for the last two weeks!