The village of Ducaj near Boge, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Tirana Airport, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Six months in Mexico

Other than a week in Las Vegas, we have now been six months in Mexico. I'll do an update on our monthly expenses later, but we have proven to ourselves that we can live and travel the country quite comfortably here for under $1,000 a month.

Friday, March 30, 2012

What does a week in Vegas cost?

Well obviously there are a lot of variables. But it certainly doesn't have to be expensive, especially for first time visitors. If you've been reading our posts over the last week, you know that we kept very busy doing free things, although there is certainly the opportunity to spend LOTS of money if you want to.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back at Hacienda Contreras

Well, that was a bit of a long 24 hours, but now we're back and can spend the next 5 weeks or so relaxing. We had a great time on our Vegas vacation, but it was certainly not relaxing!

Back in Mexico

No time to do a proper update, just letting you know we're safe and sound in Mexico. Taking the bus back to Hacienda Contreras (or possibly several buses!). Will post again later this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Red Rock Canyon

Yesterday we headed out to Red Rock Canyon. Once you get there, they have a 13 mile (20 km) scenic drive on a one way road. Cost is $7 per car and there are various parking areas along the way with lots of hiking trails and rock climbing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Last day in Vegas

Well, not really. We don't leave until Wednesday afternoon. But yesterday was the last day for visiting the strip because today we are going hiking in Red Rock Canyon.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A "big" casino win!

Yesterday morning we left Mick and Sandy's and headed south. We wanted to go the the Outlet stores at Primm, Nevada which is right on the border of Nevada and California.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam

Yesterday, we took a break from the glitz and lights of Vegas. Our couchsurfing hosts Mick and Sandy have a motorhome and Mick wanted to go camping! So we took the motorhome to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, only about 18 miles (30 kms) away.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vegas at night

Yesterday morning we went for a hike with Mick. Their house on the outskirts of Henderson is on the base of a hill overlooking Las Vegas.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vegas (day 2)

Busy day yesterday! Started off by driving down to the strip. Lots of free parking, so we pulled into the self park behind the New York, New York buildings near the end of the strip near the airport.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vegas, baby!

Barb and Sal drove us to Guadalajara airport, and we made it with time to spare. When we checked in, we turned in our tourist visa and the check in guy at Volaris airlines made us go to the immigration office where they checked it, kept it, and issued a new one. Then they stapled the new one to our boarding pass and when we boarded the plane they kept it! Very strange system, but it didn't cost any money, so whatever.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day before Vegas

Ruth hiked up to the top of a nearby lookout yesterday with a group of the other campers while I stayed behind. Normally I would have gone, but I won't be as near to the computer as normal for the next week so I wanted to catch up on some stock market stuff.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One more sleep 'till Vegas!

Lots of planning going into our cheap Vegas Vacation. I have a list of 15 different casinos that give away free money. These casinos give you between $3 and $10 in free slot machine money when you sign up for their "players club".

Monday, March 19, 2012


What a party we had yesterday! But before we get to that, we have some other pictures to show you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Barb was going into town anyhow and so six of us hopped in the pickup truck to go to the Saturday market.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vegas planning

After we got our cheap flights booked a couple of weeks ago, I started looking for a cheap car rental deal. I found a great deal for a week at $160, tax included, so I reserved it. Since then, I checked back every day and sure enough, the price changes!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Back at Hacienda Contreras

Got a decent start yesterday morning, pulling out of the Atzimba Parque Aquatico in Zinapecuaro at around 9:00am. Found our way to the entrance to the toll highway that runs between Mexico City and Guadalajara.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


We didn't have much of a drive yesterday so we didn't leave Laguna Larga until almost 10:30am. The road heading down was very twisty windy so it's a good thing there was no traffic on it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Laguna Larga, (day 2)

Just a relax kind of day yesterday. Went for a hike in the morning, and part of our walk was on a trail that took us above the hot springs pools. And what did we see?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Laguna Larga, Michoacan

We left Valle de Bravo at around 8:30am and stopped to put 1,000 pesos ($80) worth of gas in the motorhome. Then a steep climb out of the valley, and headed towards the city of Morelia.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Apartment for rent near Valle de Bravo

Figured I'd do a little free advertising for our host Santiago. He has this nice little furnished apartment for rent at the marina, and it sits empty almost all winter. If we drive down in our little car next fall, this is where we will stay for a month or so!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Deal of the day

We love going grocery shopping in Mexico. There's always something that stands out as the deal of the day! Yesterday, it was boneless rib-eye steaks!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Back to Valle de Bravo

We left the house yesterday morning around 9:30am. Made our way to the Metro station and took a couple of different trains to the Observatorio Terminale de Autobuses. Found our bus line and paid the 130 pesos ($10.40) each for the two hour and fifteen minute ride back to Valle de Bravo.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Yesterday morning we waited for rush hour to subside and we hopped on the Metro (subway) at around 9:15am. We had to take three different trains to get to the North bus terminal where we took the bus to the Teotihuacan ruins site. Cost for the bus was 36 pesos ($2.88) each for a one way trip.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to downtown

Yesterday morning we headed back to downtown. It is so simple to hop on the subway. It let us off right at the central plaza. Such an efficient system, and only 3 pesos (24 cents) per ride! Warning...lots of photos from yesterday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Yesterday morning, Edith dropped us off at the nearby Metro station and we took the subway to it's end stop on the line. Then, we took a light rail train further south to the borough of Xochimilco.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A day of rest

And, it was moving day. We said goodbye to Adrian as he left for work early and we just relaxed at his apartment until just before 1:00pm. Then, we walked to the metro to take the subway to our new couchsurfer host.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mexico City (day 3)

El Centro. Downtown. On a Sunday, Mexico City's downtown core is PACKED with people. The main avenue running through the central core is closed to traffic and only bicycles, runners, and rollerbladers take over the pavement.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mexico City (day2)

We only had coffee and tea yesterday morning. I think we were still full from the tacos the evening before! Finally getting hungry around around 10:30am, we left the apartment with Adrian taking us to a "sandwich" place. What a sandwich!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mexico City

We took the 11:00am bus from Valle de Bravo. We had been on most of these roads with Sherman, so didn't take any pictures of the ride there. We had been told that it was a two hour and fifteen minute bus ride, and sure enough we pulled into the Observatorio terminal at 1:10pm.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A new adventure!

We are off to Mexico City this morning. We only have six days planned in what is one of the largest cities in the world! The metropolitan population is estimated to be close to 22 million people! So we will be taking advantage of every day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


The Spanish term "mordida" literally means "the bite". It is when an official is asking for a bribe. For our purposes here in Mexico, the term is most often used in relation to a traffic police officer who is asking for money for a bogus, or maybe even legitimate, traffic infraction.