Lots of people enjoying another beautiful day in Istanbul, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

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


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...


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


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!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Travel day! Villavieja to Bogota, Colombia

We were up a little late again yesterday morning. Because of the itchy rash, I haven't been sleeping much and so when I am actually sleeping in the morning, Ruth just allows me to sleep. That's all fine and dandy, but we should be getting up earlier on travel days.

We paid our bill at the hotel in Villavieja. Nice friendly little town and we would have liked to have stayed longer if it hadn't been so darned hot!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Amazing scenery at Colombia's Tatacoa Desert (part 2)

We're in Bogota now (that story will come tomorrow morning!), but we still wanted to continue this morning's post. So you might want to read that first if you haven't already. It's available here...


Okay...so if you've read that part we can now continue with our desert tour!

A bumpy ride to Colombia's spectacular Tatacoa Desert (Part 1)

The only reason we came to Villavieja was to see the Tatacoa Desert. But during the day from 10:00am to 4:00pm, it's too hot to do anything else but laze around. So other than going for breakfast, that's exactly what we did until about 3:00pm.

At that time, we walked down to the central plaza and made arrangements with a "moto-taxi" to take us into the desert.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Travel day! San Agustin to Villavieja, Colombia.

You never quite know what to expect on a travel day. Sometimes everything goes smoothly, and other times it does not.

Yesterday was a "does not" kind of a day!

Friday, November 27, 2015

The odd statues at San Agustin, Colombia

Yesterday morning, we walked down to the main road and took the local bus to the archaeological park. It's only a 3 km walk, but we decided to take the 1,200 peso ($0.55 CAD) bus.

We had already paid the admission fee via the park passport we had bought during the tour yesterday.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Busy day, including Colombia's highest waterfall...

Yesterday morning we were sitting at the table here at the hostel, having a hot chocolate and just finishing up writing the blog when the girl from the hostel comes over with a guy who does jeep tours of the area. We had wanted to do one of these tours because it's the only way to see some of the sights we wanted to see.

But he was leaving right then! In fact, the jeep was waiting outside with four other people already in it, and he was looking for two more passengers to fill the vehicle.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Not many birds, but lots of butterflies!

We came to San Agustin to visit the archaeological park here, but we heard rumors that it was to be closed on Tuesday. It's supposed to be open every day of the week, so we figured that the only way to find out for sure was to walk on over there!

The main part of the park is 3 kms (1.9 miles) from town, so if it ended up being closed at least we would get a walk out of it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Travel day! Popayan to San Agustin, Colombia.

Had to get up fairly early yesterday to get to the bus station at a decent hour. We had read that the road between Popayan and San Agustin is in pretty bad shape at some parts, and that the 135 km (84 mile) journey would take 5 hours.

Got up, went out to get some take away breakfast stuff, stopped at the BanColombia ATM to get some more pesos then back to the room to grab our bags. As we left the hotel, we flagged down one of the thousands of little yellow taxi cabs, and paid him 3,000 pesos ($1.36 CAD) to take us to the bus station.

Monday, November 23, 2015

No better, but no worse...

Went for a walk around town yesterday morning. Stopped into a place for breakfast and ended up having lunch. We weren't really presented with a menu, and by the time we finished talking to the guy about what to have we ended up with plates of rice and meat again. A little expensive too...with the hot chocolate it came to 24,000 pesos ($10.92 CAD) for the two of us.

Too funny. I know that's still dirt cheap, but it's more than we have paid at other places.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A visit to a Colombian doctor...

Not for Ruth this time though. Fortunately, her kidney infection from a week or so ago seems to be all better.

This time, it's my turn.

About five or six days ago I noticed a rash appearing on the left side of my right calf. I've had this twice before in the past couple of years, both times while in Mexico. But this time it got much worse.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Travel day! Buga to Popayan, Colombia.

Yesterday was a travel day, and while some travel days go smoother than others...this was one of the worst. Not terrible, really...just not one of the better travel days we've had.

At least we woke up to some sunshine and blue sky.

The bus terminal in Buga was located just over 1 km from our downtown hostel, so we decided to walk it.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Six miles in the Colombian jungle

Yesterday, we signed up for a guided tour to a waterfall done through the Buga Hostel where we're staying. There is a local guy, Pipo who runs inexpensive tours to several nearby locations.

There was one other couple who went with us, Courtney and Joel from Florida. The five of us met in the lobby here and then walked a few blocks to take a local bus into the countryside.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Exploring the city of Buga, Colombia

Went for a walk around the small city of Buga, Colombia yesterday. Population here of about 98,000 people. It's not on the international tourist trail at all. Most people head straight to the city of Cali, about 70 kms (43 miles) away.

But in doing the research, we couldn't find much of interest to us in Cali, plus we've had several locals tell us it's not the safest city. So we are going to skip it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Travel day! Filandia to Buga, Colombia.

We paid our bill at Bidea Hostel in Filandia. 186,000 pesos ($88.35 CAD) for three nights. A little overpriced compared to some of the other hostels we've stayed at in Colombia. Two things that typically have bothered us about these hostels...the kitchen facilities available to the guests have been substandard in our opinion, and they seem to have a massive shortage of hooks and hangers in Colombia, because none of the hostels that we have stayed at have enough of them!

Seriously, for something so simple...buy some hooks for the walls and put up some shelving in the rooms! And yes, we did mention this to the young owner before we left.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The fascinating scenery at Valle de Cocora, Colombia

This area is why we came to Salento to begin with. Of course we had seen pictures on the web while doing our research for this trip, and that was the instigator to come here. But pictures never do it justice, and that's certainly the case here. Being there in person is far better.

Ruth had not been feeling well last week, so we never made it there on our schedule. But we weren't leaving the area without seeing the giant wax palm trees! So we hung around a few more days until Ruth recovered. Yesterday, was the day...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nice lookout tower...but it's closed.

Supposed to be breakfast included at this hostel, but as we watched the girl put it together yesterday morning we realized there wasn't much for us. Sure, coffee and tea, but we had already made our own hot chocolate anyhow. She brought out a big plate of chopped up papaya, and there were a couple of bananas and some bread and jam. That's it. Of course we couldn't eat the bread...so we left for our hike still a little hungry.

We stopped at a bakery. It's common in this area to get "pan de bono" which is a really soft cheese bread made with corn flour. It's really nice actually!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Travel Day! Salento to Filandia, Colombia

We really enjoyed our stay at El Mocambo farm hostel near Boquia, Colombia. It's a beautiful, tranquil spot. But, we had to move on...mostly because we couldn't extend our stay there, otherwise I think we probably would have!

El Mocambo has a shuttle service to bring you in to Salento at 8:00am, so we were up at 6:00am yesterday morning in order to get packed up and have breakfast before we left.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The town of Salento, Colombia

Yesterday, we relaxed for the morning and then went into Salento in the afternoon. This morning we are checking out of where we are staying and they only accept cash. We stayed two days more than we planned, plus we have to pay cash at the next place we are staying too so we had to find an ATM.

Otherwise, our cash supply would have been running low.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hike to a waterfall

Ruth doesn't like being cooped up, so despite the fact that she was not feeling 100%, she wanted to get some fresh air. So she said she felt well enough to try the hike to the waterfall, and if we had to take our time and rest along the way, then so be it.

She did come for breakfast and get some food down, so that was a good start.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Not a great day

Yesterday's post was titled "Ruth is feeling better" but unfortunately things went downhill shortly after that and she had a bit of a rough morning. She spent most of the day in bed, and by afternoon was resting and feeling a bit better. Not much of an appetite for dinner, but she did come and sit up in the common area for a while in the evening.

So, no hike to the waterfall to show you yet, and we've extended our stay here until Saturday morning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ruth is feeling better...

Ruth has been having some pain and irritation from a bladder or kidney infection of some kind. Like most women, she's had these before at times. Not fun, and they're even less fun when you're traveling. So yesterday we decided we had better do something about it and get some antibiotics.

One of the girls at the hostel had some with her and gave some to Ruth to get treatment started before we went in to town.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Travel day! It's always an adventure...

Before we left Kolibri Hostel in Pereira, we walked over to the nearby Bancolombia and used the ATM. This time, we hit the button for 600,000 pesos ($292 CAD) and it worked fine. So we seem to have found a bank that works with our Canadian debit card. Two out of two times so far.

We went back to the room and packed things up. The bus to Salento was supposed to leave the terminal at 11:30am, and we wanted to be there early in case it fills up. Supposedly there's not another one until 4:30pm.

Monday, November 9, 2015

We've had enough of city life...

When we woke up yesterday morning, the sun was shining. We were trying to decide between a walk up the road into the hills behind the hostel, or a walk into downtown to see the cathedral. I checked google maps, and the road up into the hills only goes for 2 kms (1.3 miles) so we decided to head into the city.

Pereira is a modern looking city of about 380,000 people. Not a lot to do here in the city itself, and it's certainly not on the radar for most visitors to Colombia.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A lot of effort goes into the perfect cup of Colombian coffee!

What a fun and interesting day we had yesterday! No trip to Colombia is complete without a visit to a coffee farm, and when we heard great reviews about a small family run operation that was nearby, we knew this was the perfect one for us.

Don Manolo coffee farm is located just ten minutes outside the Pereira city center. It cost 9,000 pesos ($4.41 CAD) to take a taxi from Hostal Kolibri to the farm itself.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Travel day! Manizales to Pereira, Colombia.

We got up yesterday morning, had the included hostel breakfast at Hostal Kaleidoscopio, and asked the owner Martha if we had time to go for a walk to the monument overlook before check out time. She said "sure", and so we got our bags packed first, and then went for a walk.

This is the monument we were trying to get to a couple of days ago when it started raining and then we were sidetracked by paranoia!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Change of plans

Originally, we were planning on going from here (Manizales) directly to Salento. However staying at a hostel means that you're often talking to other travelers from around the world and sometimes that can give you ideas for different things to do in the area.

I had read that Pereira was more of a working class town, and there's not a lot to do there. But we spoke to five young guys visiting from Ireland and they had toured a small coffee plantation near Pereira and they insisted that it was such a good tour that we really should do it.

So we are going to!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Better to be cautious...

Yesterday morning we did some internet and then went to the common room for breakfast. Breakfast is included in our room cost of 60,000 pesos ($28.00 CAD) here at Kaleidoscopio Hostel, and our host Martha even cooks it for you.

She was a little surprised when we asked for arepas instead of toast...most people want the tourist breakfast. And she was so apologetic that she didn't have any and promised to have some for this morning's breakfast.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October Expenses

Yes, I know...we never did publish our September expense report. I've been trying to be so good about that too, because I know that some of you are interested.

But rather than rehash old news, I'll just give you the total. We spent about $1,400 CAD in September. About $550 of that was motorhome related...new shocks, a new inverter, and the inspection and registration for Saskatchewan plates. Not a bad month overall...I wish October had been that cheap!

Travel day! Medellin to Manizales...

Yesterday was a travel day for us. It's only 192 kms (119 miles) from Medellin to Manizales, but it's on a twisty two lane mountain road where you're lucky to get over 60 km/h (36 mph).

Lots of beautiful scenery though, to keep you occupied for the four to five hour bus ride!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Grocery shopping in Medellin, Colombia

Yesterday was a day of rest...up until we had to climb the hill back up to the house where we've been staying!

The city of Medellin is in a valley, but the suburbs have grown up into the very steep hills of the surrounding mountains. So it's not bad walking down to the grocery store, but walking back up is definitely exercise.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The best view in the world?

Maybe. It certainly ranks right up there among the best views that we've ever seen.

Yesterday we did a day trip to El Penol and the little tourist town of Guatape. El Penol is a rock monolith that has 740 steps that you can climb to get to the top, and it overlooks a beautiful lake that was formed when the Colombian government built a hydro electric dam in the early 1970's.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Exploring central Medellin

Spent the day yesterday exploring central Medellin. The temperature has been great...lows at night around 16C (62F) and highs during the day around 25C (77F). But, it's only just now getting towards the end of rainy season, so although it can be nice and sunny one minute, it can be raining the next minute.

And that's pretty much what happened yesterday.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

First day in Colombia

Our flight went well. Actually managed to sleep a little bit on the plane, which is not normal for me. We flew with AeroMexico. I had bought the tickets during the summer when I saw them on sale dirt cheap.

Mexico City to Medellin return for $216 USD ($276 CAD) each. Not bad for a four and a half hour flight.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Arrived in Colombia!

We have arrived in Medellin, Colombia. Lots to talk about, so we'll break this up a little and back track to yesterday morning.

We left our motorhome Sherman parked up at Embarcadero Chago...our friend's marina at the lakeside near Valle de Bravo. We walked up to the roadside where many collectivo (shared) taxis pass by, sometimes more than one per minute. So it didn't take long for one to stop with room for two more people.

However, no matter how full they already are, they always think there is room for two more people!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

We're on our way!

Got everything done yesterday despite the fact that it rained pretty much all afternoon. We've never seen rain like that here in Valle de Bravo, but then we've never been here this early in the season. We've ever only been here December through March, and it's always been sunny. We're told this is the end of the rainy season.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

One day to relax, and one to get ready to go!

Normally, we take a full month to drive from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. We find that's a pretty good pace and it allows us time to relax and see things along the way.

So when we booked our flight from Mexico City to Medellin for October 30th, my thinking was that it would only add about 1,000 kms (620 miles) to our one month journey. Not really that much, when you spread it over the 30 days.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We made it!

(This is a catch up post, so if you missed this morning's, you might want to go back and read it first.)

Slept fine at the water park on Sunday night. Monday morning, we headed out early. Pretty much woke up and hit the road. Didn't even make a hot drink. The goal was to find some internet and then relax for an hour or so and have breakfast then.

Quite a lot of traffic heading south through Tequisquiapan and San Juan Del Rio. In fact, the entire drive on Monday was pretty hectic and with a lot of bad road surfaces, including on the cuotas (toll roads)!

Some days don't go according to plan...

Well. Quite the day we had on Sunday. Sometimes you can plan all you like and it just doesn't come together.

First, we had to get out of the town of Guadalcazar. The plaza had been located very close to the entrance to town, but we didn't want to leave that way. We wanted to take the back way out because it looked by the map that it was a logical way to go.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The little town of Guadalcazar

(We went almost 48 hours without internet, so this is our day from October 24th...we'll try and put up another post this afternoon to get caught up!)

Raining on and off when we got up this morning, and if we didn't head further south quickly, we might see some residue from the hurricane. A short drive today though...we only did 136 kms (84 miles).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Parked up in Matehuala

Good drive yesterday under overcast skies with a few light rainshowers. Fortunately, we were heading south and away from the path of hurricane Patricia that was scheduled to pound the Pacific coast south of Puerto Vallarta yesterday evening.

We did 320 kms (200 miles), part of it through the mountains where we  climbed from 375 meters (1,230 ft) to 1,900 meters (6,200 ft). It was a bit slow going, but lots of nice mountain scenery.

Friday, October 23, 2015

There's a big storm coming!

Exactly as we wanted, yesterday turned out to be a day of rest. Never left the house except to go to the motorhome to get things ready to depart this morning. Ruth baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and left some behind for Chris and Juan.

And I spent some time researching our route further south.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Monterrey, Mexico...a beautiful downtown river walk!

We've been around the Monterrey area a couple of times before, but we had never seen the downtown area. And we had heard that they had a river walk here that rivals the famous one in San Antonio, Texas.

And now, having been to both river walks...we think Monterrey is a step up over San Antonio.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Doing things on Mexican time!

Spent yesterday morning catching up on computer and internet stuff. What a luxury, having an unlimited supply of high speed internet for a change! I know that's a normal thing for most of you, but for those of us that don't normally have it, you really appreciate it when you get it.

That took up our morning, just lounging around. Then, around 1:00pm, we set out to get some food!

Culture in Cyprus

Nestling in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is the last stop in Europe before you hit the Middle East. Its subtropical climate, warm seas and beautiful beaches make it the perfect place to kick back and relax no matter what time of year you travel.

There’s a lot more to Cyprus than sun, sea, and sand though - the country is steeped in culture, history and tradition.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

First day in Mexico!

Long day for us yesterday. We drove 286 miles (457 kms)...about double what we normally do.

We woke up at around 7:00am and hit the road right away. When we travel in the motorome in Mexico we like to get as early a start as possible. Never know what snags you might encounter along the way and you want to have as much time to fix them in daylight as possible.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Boondocking night #14...peace and quiet

Not a very long drive yesterday, our last full day before crossing the border into Mexico. We stopped in the town of Carrizo Springs at the H.E.B store to see if there were any other things we should pick up. H.E.B (not pronounced Heb!) is a major grocery chain in southern Texas and Northern Mexico.

Unfortunately, not much to be had. We bought a bottle of wine for tonight's dinner, and a couple of bags of dried split peas!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Boondocking night #13...if you don't ask, you don't know...

Enjoyable drive yesterday through Texas Hill Country. For our route, the nice part of the hill country drive started in Junction, Texas and lasted right though until just north of our destination, Uvalde.

We were headed through Uvalde mostly because it has a big Walmart SuperCenter and there were a couple of things we needed to stock up on. Items that are more difficult to source in Mexico.

We don't like overnight parking at Walmart...but we still like shopping there.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Boondocking night #12...Sherman is a happy camper!

Yesterday, we went to the outskirts of Abilene (pop 117,000) to a big RV dealership to look for some things for some friends of ours in Mexico. They were looking for four specific items, and based on the two summers I spend running the parts department at an RV dealership, I figured the odds were that they'd have three of them in stock.

But no such luck. Actually, they did have two of them, but there were three different varieties of the one item so I couldn't buy it without being sure. So I had to send an email and wait for an answer that may not come in time.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Boondocking night #11...nice spot, but...

From Guthrie, Texas we continued south yesterday morning. Heading towards Abilene to an RV dealership to pick up some parts for a friend in Mexico. But we never made it that far!

We had a hard time finding free internet yesterday. Stopped in two towns, but neither had a library. Finally made it to the town of Anson (pop 2,400)  where they have open Anson wifi in the "downtown" core.

Traveling Through Europe

Most people associate traveling through Europe with heavy expenses and often talk themselves out of going for this very reason. However, it does not have to be as costly as you have been led to believe, as you can use coupons for target.com to save money on a number of different expenses and take advantage of various other special occasions. For additional tips on traveling through Europe on a budget, read on to learn more!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Boondocking night #10...the plan didn't come together

Before we left Perryton, Texas yesterday morning, we stopped in at a nice new little laundromat and did a couple of loads. Then at the gas station for some cheap fuel. Almost all of the stations in town were charging $2.19 USD a gallon, but two of them were at $1.89 USD a gallon. Pretty easy choice for us!

At $1.89 USD a gallon, that's $0.66 CAD per litre. That's some pretty cheap gas! Sherman is a happy camper with a full tank of that stuff!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Boondocking night #9...better than Walmart

It must be the route that we are taking, but we haven't come across a whole lot of nice free boondocking spots the last couple of days. Unless you like parking beside corn fields!

Quite a few of the towns have free and cheap campgrounds, but that's not really what we're looking for. They tend to be not very well kept, and are usually close to busy roads or noisy railway tracks. Sure, they have hookups, but that usually means nothing to us. We only need somewhere to dump our tanks and refill our water once a week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Boondocking night #8...Lake Scott State Park

We had some internet work to do yesterday morning, so we left the free city RV park at McCook, Nebraska and headed for their local library. They had a nice parking area there and even though the library was closed when we arrived, the wi-fi internet signal was on and unsecured.

Last year we bought the Bear Extender long range wi-fi antenna, and it works really well. It enables us to sit in the comfort of our motorhome and use our laptops while connecting to a sometimes distant wifi signal such as a library, coffee shop, hotel or McDonalds or many other fast food places. Also, most Home Depot locations have an unsecured signal available.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Boondocking night #7...not our style.

Many of the little towns in the mid west offer a municipal campground. Most are very inexpensive, and some are even free. It's a great way for the city or town to entice people to stay for a few days and spend some time exploring and contributing to the local economy.

And so we headed for McCook, Nebraska where we had read about a free campground that even had a washroom and shower building.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Boondocking night #6...does it get any better?

A bit of a longer drive yesterday, at 179 miles (286 kms). It was hot, in fact we saw thermometer signs in two different towns...one said 89F (32C) and one said 91F (33C). Definitely shorts and t-shirts weather!

We purposely planned a longer driving day in order to get ahead of ourselves a bit. Hopefully this afternoon (Sunday) we will make it to the town of McCook, Nebraska where we have read that they have a very nice free city RV park that has showers and all the amenities. Only 7 sites, so hopefully there's a vacant one for us! Anyhow, we're due for a day off so if everything works out, we'll take a break from driving on Monday and just explore the town and relax.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Boondocking night #5...Toadstool Geologic Park

After our internet stop at Custer, South Dakota yesterday, we headed for Wind Cave National Park. We like caves, and thought about doing one of their tours. But at $12 USD ($16 CAD) per person we decided instead to do a hike. For free. :-)

Wind Cave National Park has highway 385 running right through it. There are a lot of bison in the park, and so you have to watch for them!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Boondocking night #4...near Mt. Rushmore!

We know now why we usually take a full month to go from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. There is simply too much to see, and we feel a bit rushed doing it in two weeks.

For those of you new here, there are two reasons we're doing it quickly this time around. One, the current strength of the U.S. dollar means that anything we buy in the United States costs 35% more than it should. It will be much cheaper for us in Mexico.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Boondocking night #3...quiet as can be!

An overcast day yesterday, but warm enough and we never did see any rain. We did 133 miles (213 kms), which is still slightly lower than we need to be doing on average.

But...we made it into South Dakota, a new state for us! And, we're kind of excited that we're headed for Mount Rushmore this afternoon. Always wanted to see that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Boondocking night #2...better!

We only did 94 miles (150 kms) yesterday. It was a beautiful day and we wanted to get out for a hike. Made it to the north section of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Really pretty area!

We actually thought about staying in the park since we have a National Parks pass that we had bought in the spring. We stopped in at the visitor's center which was right by our highway so we didn't have to go off route.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Boondocking night #1 complete...into the U.S....

We left Wendy and Phil in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada at around 1:00pm. We had a plan to get across the U.S. border and into North Dakota so we wanted to get going right away. We don't drive any faster than 55 mph (90 km/h) unless we're going downhill with a tailwind, so we needed to get some miles done or we wouldn't make it across the border that evening.

We stopped in the little town of Wilcox, SK (where the Canadian TV series Corner Gas was filmed) for a late lunch and that was pretty much the last time we would be on the internet for the day.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Border to border boondocking challenge

Had a simply fantastic long weekend away in Ottawa area. It was too short of course, and next time we'll plan a little more time to be able to spend with family and friends. But overall, we did what we planned to do and now we can get back to our RV trip to Mexico.

This morning, we flew from Ottawa to Regina with a connection in Toronto.

Our last day with the family.

Yesterday was our last day with the family.

Kevin had made arrangements with Lindsey and Justin to meet with them just after lunchtime to view a couple of houses they were interested in buying. One of them has been on their mind since the very beginning and is quite a bit cheaper than most of the houses but it is a very small house that is outdated and will require a fair amount of work but it is in the price range that they would like to be in.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What the other half is doing!

(Written by Ruth)

Well it sounds like Kevin is having a really good time with his friends at their boy's getaway weekend at the beautiful cottage in the country and I am really happy for them. Having said that we haven't been sitting around here either and we have had a house full of people and a ton of laughs, especially last night!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ready for the weekend!

Had a nice breakfast yesterday morning with friends Kimberley and Bruce. They had some questions about our lifestyle and how we do things because they're both around our age and from the conversation, they're obviously looking for something different at this stage in their lives.

So, they asked all the right questions and hopefully we were able to help them with their decision.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Family time

When we landed at Ottawa airport yesterday around 1:00pm, our daughter Lindsey was there to meet us, along wth our grandkids Cameron and Sadie!

Great to see them again!

We drove from the airport to my Mom's apartment where we visited with her for a couple of hours.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Made it to Ontario!

Writing this from Toronto airport waiting for our flight to Ottawa.

We enjoyed our first drive in the motorhome yesterday to Moose Jaw. A little late leaving, we were shooting for 9:00am, but didn't get out of the park until around 10:00am. We made a quick stop in Cabri to drop off the keys, and then hit the road.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

That's it...we're outta here!

In a couple of hours. Still a couple of things to finish up here this morning because we simply ran out of time (and energy) yesterday. It was almost 7:30pm when we called it quits for the day! Hmph. Gonna have to be more organized next year!

So...what's the plan?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I had to do a double take...!

Last day of work today. Yay!

Most people, on their last day of work, would be relaxing and not getting anything done. That is not the situation here at the park. A lot of last minute stuff happening here today.

So...a neat story to tell you from yesterday evening.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Moving into the motorhome...and supermoon photos!

Getting Sherman all cleaned up yesterday and transferring things over because today is moving day!

It's amazing how dusty it was inside after five months of sitting. Sure, we were in and out of there a few times and I did some minor work in there, but still...it was dusty! Everything had to be wiped down. But, better to move into a clean house, right? Ruth did the stove and oven, and the fridge, and the bathroom and we got the fresh water tank filled and the waste holding tanks flushed.

We're going to sleep the next two nights in the motorhome, and then we're off!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Flyboarding! Now on our list of things to try!

City Chase is billed as Canada's largest urban adventure. Where teams of two compete in a variety of physical and mental challenges and race on foot or by public transport from one event to the next event.

It's become pretty popular in this country, and there were five regional races this year...in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Toronto. Each race had over 300 teams competing, and our son Alex and his friend Matt finished 2nd in their regional event. This gave them a spot in the National Finals which took place yesterday.

Wow...what a day!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Four more sleeps

Until we're out of here and on the road (and in the air) again! It'll go by pretty fast because we've still got a lot to do.

Yesterday, I moved Sherman (our motorhome) down to the campsite nearest our house trailer so that we could start getting him cleaned up and ready to live in again. Over the next two days we'll transfer everything over to him, and then by Monday night we'll be sleeping in the motorhome again. Yay!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Whenever I work under the motorhome, I think of my grandmother...

So yesterday I changed the fan clutch on our motorhome.

I had read a few stories online of other people who have done them, and it was described as a "knuckle busting operation". It's really quite simple on most vehicles because you can access the area. On a motorhome...it's not so simple.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What a day...

Yesterday was our last day this season for going into town. We did one last bottle recycling return for the park, and had to pick  up a few more jugs of plumbing antifreeze for the washroom buildings. And some latches and locks for the doors on the newly renovated washroom.

And our last grocery run, although this time we had to include a bunch of things that we have a hard time getting in Mexico. So there was a bit of stocking up to be done.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I like the way they do things here!

I sure do like the way they do things with vehicle and insurance registration here in Saskatchewan. Compared to Ontario, it's a breath of fresh air!

Today when we go into town, I will get the new licence plate and insurance for Sherman, our motorhome. He has been registered in Ontario, but because he's been sitting since we arrived here last April I just hadn't bothered to switch the registration over yet.

The only downside was the mandatory vehicle inspection. But with that done...everything else is a piece of cake.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

An enjoyable day off

We decided to go for a drive to another Saskatchewan Regional Park.

There are over 70 of these parks in Saskatchewan, in addition to the Provincial Park system. We worked the one summer at Sturgeon Lake Regional Park, and of course two summers here at Cabri Regional Park. But we've never been to any of the other Regional Parks.

So yesterday, we took a drive over to Clearwater Lake Regional Park.

Monday, September 21, 2015

We're taking a day off!

Well, the place is just about empty. Today is the last day for our seasonal campers, so there are only about five trailers left in the park. And those should be gone by the end of the day today.

We don't get very much opportunity to explore this part of Saskatchewan, despite the fact that we spend the whole summer here. So today, we're going to hop in the little blue car and go for a drive to another regional park. Just to have a look and see how they do things and hopefully go for a hike.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Travel medical insurance - stuff you should know!!

I saw two posts on two separate forums yesterday that made me want to write about this, because there is so much misinformation out there. And it amazes me how many people travel and don't know the rules.

The first post made me shake my head...

I understood that if you got sick in Mexico (hospitalized) and had all your receipts BC Medical would reimburse you. This was not how it worked in my case - got $630.00 back from $3,000.00. Can anyone explain this to me...? 

Yep. I can.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Out for another hike

Beautiful fall day yesterday, so we made a point of going for another hike. Only out for an hour and a half or so and 5.5 kms (3.5 miles), but enough to get the blood flowing a little bit anyhow.

We had gone through a couple of days of rain, so it was nice to see the sun shining again.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Family update

Sorry for the boring post...but sometimes we must put things up here just for ourselves!

Daughter Lindsey with her husband Justin and the two kids moved back to Ottawa in June, and they've been living at Ruth's dad's place ever since. Still a temporary situation, but it's less temporary than they expected it would be.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to take your motorhome to Mexico

I've been refreshing my memory on the procedure because we'll be doing exactly this about a month from now. Always good to be totally prepared and to make sure you've got all the necessary paperwork in order, plus I wanted to check and see if anything has changed since the last time we completed the permit process in the fall of 2007.

Mexico motorhome permits are valid for 10 years. But when we left Mexico last spring, we weren't certain that we were going to be returning this year, and we had even tossed around the idea of selling the motorhome. Which meant that it made more sense to turn in our old permit when we left in order to have more options available to us.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

RV fire alert

I was skimming through the news headlines the other day and noticed one about a fire in an RV. You hear about those every so often, but it's actually a little disturbing just how common an event it really is.

In fact, if you search for the term "RV fire" in Google news, here's the listing that you get...

Recent RV fires

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Satellite internet now costs less

And it's faster, and you're allowed more data.

We're stuck in a valley here at the park, and while our cellular internet works...it doesn't work very well. And it's slow, and we're limited by how much we use because it's expensive for what you get.

So while most of you are at home with unlimited high speed data plans watching videos and using skype to talk to your grandchildren...we are here for five months with none of that.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The place is starting to empty out...

We have 80 seasonal campsites here at the park, and around 35 daily campsites. The daily campsites have been empty since September 7th.

I went around on Thursday night and there were still 43 seasonal trailers here. Yesterday evening Ruth and I took a walk around and there are now only 25 trailers here. It was a beautiful day on Saturday and many people came to pack up their things.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Good news and bad news...

Both of them to do with traveling! Actually, the good news is great news. And the bad news isn't really so bad...just an annoyance. So, since the bad news isn't really that bad, lets get that out of the way first!

Our return flight from Medellin, Colombia to Mexico City on December 15th was supposed to depart at 8:00am, and arrive Mexico City at 11:41am.

But I had an email waiting for me this morning...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sherman's rear shocks

Well that was a little more difficult that I expected.

Changing shocks is typically a pretty easy job, provided you've got the tools to loosen the bolts. Normally, you don't even need air tools, although an impact gun is certainly handy to have. Not totally necessary though because sometimes there isn't room to fit the impact gun to where the bolt or nut is located. Otherwise, a half inch socket set and ratchet with a two foot long "cheater" pipe should do the job.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Three weeks to go!

Actually, three weeks less a day. Until we get to see our grandkids. And our kids, and my mom and Ruth's dad, and some of our friends. Really looking forward to seeing everybody, despite the fact that it's going to be a very short visit.

Our daughter Lindsey posted a picture on facebook this morning, and it sure made us realize how fast time goes by.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Yay! He passed!

I was up at 6:00am this morning because I had to have Sherman at his insurance inspection for 8:00am.

I was a little worried about a couple of things, but it turned out they were pretty minor. I had a burnt out licence plate light bulb, and piece of hose for the windshield washer was split. Other than that, Sherman is ready to get a Saskatchewan licence plate!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

End of season camping special?

Gorgeous weather is forecast for this upcoming weekend. Pretty much perfect. Sunshine and blue skies, with a high on Friday of 24C (75F) and on Saturday 28C (82F). Beautiful camping weather.

And lows around 10C (50F)...a little chilly, but that's what campfires are for, right??

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Getting our hiking legs in shape

We finally made it out for a hike yesterday afternoon. For the first time since we've been here this season! Only an hour and a half, but we still managed almost 6.4 kms (4 miles) and weren't at all tired.

I love having the iPhone with me and using the MotionX GPS app.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Photo editing, and how we do it

Most of you know that we change our header photo every day. When we're not traveling, we choose a photo from past travels. But when we are traveling (soon!) we strive to take a fabulous photo to display for you every single day.

But not every photo we take turns out "fabulous". In fact, more often than not, every photo we take requires some kind of editing. Here's how we try and change a not so great photo to one that is suitable for display.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

If you would have told me this five years ago...

It poured with rain all Friday night, and most of Saturday. High temperature was 11C (52F).

We had 13 reservations for Friday night. Six of them called to cancel, three didn't bother to call and simply didn't show up. Four die hard campers did show up, and one more came in for the night who was passing through.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Taste of Spanish Wine

Spanish wines have always been a favourite with people travelling around Europe, and with good reason; they produce beautiful wines that are not only tasty and easily accessible, but are also much more affordable than similar wines from more-established wine destinations, such as France.

If you want to discover and fall in love with Spanish wine, the most enjoyable way is to explore the different flavours of the country is to go on a trip to Spain. You can travel with a tour operators that specialise in taking tourists to the wine-making regions of the country. These tours can take you to the biggest and most popular vineyards, as well as smaller, more traditional vineyards. However, if you're not planning a winery tour any time soon, then you can find a lot of good quality Spanish wines for reasonable prices at retailers like Tesco.

Friday, September 4, 2015

It couldn't be worse...

Labor Day weekend is supposed to be the last hurrah for the camping season. Where the park is full of people enjoying one last session around the campfire before everyone heads back to work and school.

But this year is messed up.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

August Expenses

Better get this posted before I forget. A pretty good month, really. Especially considering that this is the year both Sherman (our motorhome) and the little blue car have both needed a fair  bit of maintenance work. Once again, I'm glad that I can do the majority of this work myself and save on the labor costs.

Oh, and there's more motorhome expense coming up this month.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Motorhome swap update

We had visitors for a couple of days. Blog readers Barrie and Lorrie stopped by with their Class B campervan. They were on their way from Winnipeg to British Colombia and wanted to say hello! They picked a good time to stop by because we're not busy at the park so we could spend some time with them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

RV Rubber Roof Coating

Here is our review of the procedure necessary to successfully increase the lifespan of your RV rubber roof.

When the rubber roof starts to deteriorate, you have two choices. You can either replace the rubber membrane material that protects the substructure of the roof, or you can re-coat the rubber roof with a special material designed to penetrate the pores of the original tired dirty rubber material.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Today is RV roof coating day!

Perfect weather forecast for today. Clear and sunny, with a high of 25C (77F). And no rain in the forecast until Thursday which gives the roof coating plenty of time to cure before it gets wet.

Really looking forward to getting this done! One of the things that has bothered me since the day we bought Sherman eight years ago is that I could never get his roof to look clean. Not that anyone ever sees it but me, but it still bothered me. So this procedure today should make his roof look like brand new according to the many reviews of this coating product's capabilities that I have read.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Possible motorhome swap!

We weren't going to buy a new inverter this year, but one has come on sale that will do us nicely for the winter so I think we're going to buy it.

For those of you who don't know, an inverter is what changes the 12 volt DC battery power into 115v AC household electricity.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A dangerous journey

With the recent strength in the U.S. dollar, there is even more reason for Mexican people to want to work in the United States. We personally know two young Mexican men in their twenties who have made the dangerous, expensive, and illegal journey north across the border.

One of them tried on his own a few months ago and was caught by the U. S. Border Patrol and sent back. So what do you do?

You pay and you try again. Why? Because it's worth it...

Friday, August 28, 2015

When you need to use the facilities...

We've been in some interesting bathrooms over the years. And when you need to go, you will use whatever facilities are available! Some of the bathrooms we have had to use haven't been very nice. Such as the one when we were hiking in Guatemala where you had to crouch into this little hut that was only about three and a half feet tall. Not easy for a guy who is six feet tall! But, you do what you have to do.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Interesting stuff found on the internet

We don't watch TV, but we do stare at the computer screen quite a bit during our spare time.

Sometimes, we come across some interesting items. But there sure is a lot of stuff that's a complete waste of time. Most of it is on facebook! We like keeping up with the activities that our family and friends are doing, but we increasingly find that political stuff (from all sides) is totally annoying. And with election crap coming from both sides of the border, it's getting to be a bit much.

Obviously we spent a lot of time on the internet researching our travels and finding deals related to that. And we like keeping up with other RV'ers too. I also check the news and the weather at least once a day to keep up on things.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spain is on sale!

Man, you Americans have it made right now with the (somewhat odd) strength of the U.S. dollar versus other world currencies. And the low oil price is making for a lot of cheap flight deals.

This morning, you can buy tickets on Delta Airlines from Dallas, Texas to Barcelona, Spain for just $600 return.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Poor little Whip-poor-will

I may be in charge of cutting the grass here at the park, but Ruth is definitely the official gardener! She's put a lot of work this year into her flowers and making the park look beautiful for the campers and the day use people.

Since things have slowed down a little bit, she's been able to spend more time building another garden...

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Ancient Ruins of Mexico

A lot of people are familiar with the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza because they are located only a two hour drive from the popular tourist city of Cancun. And so a lot of people will do day trip tours to visit. The other ruins sites close to Cancun are Tulum, and Coba.

But those ruins sites have become very touristy, and in fact there are much better sites to see if you explore the country a little further. There is much more to Mexico than the beaches of Cancun!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Thinking of Puerto Escondido

Those of you who are regular readers will remember when we asked for your help when our friends in Puerto Escondido were having some medical problems. The operation that little Gael had in 2013 was a complete success and he seems to have grown into a normal, active little boy!

We sometimes get photos sent to us, and thought we would share a couple of recent ones here.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Well that was a bit of a job!

And it's not quite done yet.

Yesterday, I changed the timing belt in the little blue car. It's supposed to be done as a regular maintenance item...every 100,000 kms (60,000 miles).

The little blue car is at 203,000 kms, so I figured I had better get at it.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Another package arrives

Actually, two more packages! But that's it...our shopping for this year is done. We spent very little money over the past eight years, but this year it seemed like everything needed to be replaced all at the same time!

We did a fair bit of repair work and improvements to the motorhome this year. New awning, replacement fridge parts, new inverter, new Mr. Buddy propane heater. And of course I'm in the process of re-coating the rubber roof.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sculptures from our travels (part 2)

When I did the original post last month, we received a few emails from people saying "yeah, but what about this one", and "you forgot this one". That post was never meant to be inclusive, however we realized there were many more interesting sculptures and statues that should have been on the list.

So, here is the rest of them...part two!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

National Forest Boondocking gets easier!

As it is, there's no reason you shouldn't have an easy time finding free and cheap camping spots in the U.S. or Canada, especially if you use a great resource like http://www.ultimatecampgrounds.com/ .

But now, the USFS is using a new map symbol to display areas where National Forest "dispersed" camping is available.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Beautiful City of Venice

Venice is a wonderful city that lures visitors in with its Italian charm, elegance and beauty. From the indulgent but fresh food to the renowned art scene to the romantic gondolas that float through the water streets, a vacation to this magical city in the heart of Europe is a must.

Here is a list of things to do in Venice that only gives a taster of what it has to offer guests...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Busy season is over

We knew from last year that this park is really only busy from the end of June until the middle of August, and sure enough that's what happened again this year. Of course we still have some trailers in the daily rental sites, but not very many. And most of the seasonal campers still have their trailers here, but there are sure not many people around. The place is nice and quiet for a change.

And not many reservations on the books either.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Now I have the materials...

Had a heavy box arrive at the post office the other day. I knew what was in it. The materials to do Sherman's roof refurbishment.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kevin's doctor's appointment

So I went for my full "poked and prodded" physical examination yesterday. All bought and paid for by the Canadian government (the taxpayer). I suppose it's about time that I took advantage of the system, since I am one of the taxpayers!

All said and done, I guess I am going to live for a few more years. Not without some issues though...

Friday, August 14, 2015

If It Were My Home...

We're quickly realizing that six weeks in Colombia will not be long enough. Just the same as when we spent four weeks in South Korea, and South Korea is a lot smaller than Colombia.

I came across an interesting website the other day that compares various statistics from all the different countries in the world. Interesting stuff!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

And the winner is...

Our latest contest was to win a one year membership to Boondockers Welcome, and yesterday evening we did the draw to find out who the winner was.

And we're happy to announce that it's our friend Renate Hoven. No offense to those of you who aren't regular readers, but we really do like it when one of our friends wins!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

C*ck of the rock

I was doing some more research for our upcoming Colombia trip and I had read that Colombia has the largest bird list of any country in the world. You'll remember that we were impressed with some of the birds we spotted and photographed during our South Africa and Namibia trip and we're now looking forward to seeing some more interesting and colorful birds in Colombia.

There are over 1,850 different species of birds in Colombia!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


We haven't had many visitors this summer. In fact, other than when our son came for a surprise visit in June, we haven't had any visitors.

So we were happy to hear that some fellow Mexican RV travelers were coming to say hello!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ruth's doctor's appointment

It had been quite a few years since our last "annual" physical checkup.  Personally, I think that these annual physical checkups are a total waste of the system's resources, but I understand that is just my opinion. Others think differently, and that is apparent from the different provinces health care plans.

In Canada, even though we have "free" or "universal" health care, the program is administered by the provinces and each province does things quite differently.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The best beer in the world

The other day, I was thinking that it's been a while since I've had a beer. A long while. About three months actually.

And I think that's probably the longest I've gone without a beer or three since I was about 18 years old!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Another update from Volkan and Heather- Reporting from Sweden

Back in May, you had all enjoyed a guest post from our friends Volkan and Heather who were visiting United Arab Emirates.  Here is a link to that post...


Now, our traveling friends are in Sweden and they've sent another interesting update for you all to read!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Power outage

Up until the last two weeks or so we had been having an exceptionally dry summer, however that has changed! We had a couple of inches of rain at the end of July, and the last day has been cloudy with thunderstorms on and off and we have woken up to rain again this morning.

Won't have to water the grass or the flowers for a few days! But, it is supposed to be a nice weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Another RV'er giveaway!

When we travel, we like staying with people who are local to the area. That's why we're members of the couchsurfing community for when we are traveling without the motorhome. So when we heard that there was a similar website for people out exploring with their RV, we signed up right away!

And now, the good folks over at Boondockers Welcome have offered us the opportunity to give away one free annual membership so that you too can have a free place to overnight and meet some great local RV people in your travels throughout Canada and the United States!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Straight south!

Took a rare blogging day off yesterday.

I was looking at the map again...I must be getting itchy to get on the road! We'll be heading for Moose Jaw when we leave here, and then pretty much straight south from there. At least this way it'll be easy to choose a route that we've never done before.

Monday, August 3, 2015

We survived!

Well, we made it through the busy August long weekend here in Canada. The campground was sold out, and had been booked that way since the end of June. Today is the holiday Monday and so a lot of people will be leaving throughout the day.

Fortunately, we had great weather and it sure looks like everybody enjoyed their time despite things being a little bit crowded.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sherman's roof

Sherman (our motorhome) is 20 years old this summer.

That means that the rubber membrane roof material that keeps the water out is also 20 years old, and near the end of it's useful life. In fact, even the Dicor company that makes  the roofing material says that their roof membrane is guaranteed for 10 years, but will likely last 20 years.

So that leaves two options if we want to keep Sherman healthy.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

July Expenses

We did pretty much all of our necessary shopping in one month! Most of the items that we bought won't even get used until September or October, but it was going to have to be bought anyhow and we got some good deals.

So, grand total of expenses for the month of July... $1,685. (Keep in mind that these are Canadian dollars. For the U.S. equivalent you can subtract almost 25%!).

Friday, July 31, 2015

We don't often comment on news items

But the recent killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion by an American trophy hunter has us wanting to give our own perspective on the incident.

First of all, the research I've done shows that there are approximately 3,000 lions in Zimbabwe. The country issues between 50 and 70 trophy hunting permits per year to hunt a lion. The lions are almost all located on public and private nature preserves.

Want to know how easy it is to hunt a lion?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Just about done with forums.

I used to sign up on various discussion forums, but I simply don't have the patience for wading through the useless posts and the lack of moderation. Drives me crazy, so for the most part I just avoid them now. I have tried two facebook groups recently, but I'm pretty much done with them now too.

Some of the discussion just makes you shake your head. Check this out...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Our top 10 blog posts

I noticed that yesterday was our 2,600th blog post. Almost eight years of our life, detailed for all to see. There sure is some interesting stuff in there. When I looked back at some of the early blog posts, I almost removed some of the stuff...things that I wouldn't write about today. But, they are part of the past and they reflect what I was thinking at the time so they can remain there.

The following are our 10 favorite posts, not necessarily yours, nor necessarily the most popular.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One more busy weekend to go

And then the worst is over.

The Canadian August long weekend is the busiest weekend of the year for us here at the park. This year, it's this coming Friday July 31st through Monday August 3. For those dates we've been sold out since the end of June, however there has been the odd cancellation due to harvest coming a little early this year. But when somebody cancels, the vacancy is usually filled the same day.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro...?

Came across an airfare this morning from Mexico City to Rio de Janeiro. Around $350 USD return for each of us. Definitely a good price, but not a great price. I think if it was a great price, and the Canadian dollar exchange rate was just a little better then we might have booked it.

But going to "Carnival in Rio" does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Traveler finances

Those of you who never leave your home country don't need to worry about this as much, however for budget world travelers it totally makes sense to keep an eye on what the currency markets are doing.

And they are doing some interesting things lately.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sculptures from our travels

First off, today is the last day to enter our current contest. For those of you who love (or want to try!) boondocking, this is for you...


Ruth mentioned the other day that we have a lot of pictures of statues and sculptures. So we thought we would show you some of the more interesting ones. Plus, I don't expect we've ever posted them here before. I tend to put up more landscape type photos here and skip over the artistic ones.

So, here are some photos you've likely never seen here before...

Friday, July 24, 2015

It was better than Christmas!

We've been doing a lot of online shopping recently and I had waited until all of the packages had been received at the local post office so that I only had to make one trip into town to pick them all up.

Man, there were a lot of packages!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Top countries in the world for RV camping

Although it's pretty much a given that the United States of America is at the top of the list as far as the easiest country in the world for RV camping, it is most certainly not the only place where RV'ing is popular and a worthwhile way to explore.

So we came up with a list of countries that we think would be the top places where you can enjoy RV travel. And why!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tilley sold, but the quality will remain...

It was announced last week that Tilley Endurables was sold to a UK investment firm for an undisclosed sum. The founder Alex Tilley was wanting to retire and at age 77 who could blame him?!

Too bad he couldn't have found a Canadian buyer, but at least it sounds like the company and it's production will remain essentially Canadian.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Booked another flight!

We finish our contract here in Saskatchewan on September 30, and the very next day we'll be in Ottawa, Ontario!

Yes, we'll still be driving the motorhome down to Mexico City area in time for our flight to Colombia at the end of October. It'll just be a slightly more rushed drive.

Here's the plan...

Monday, July 20, 2015

For our RV'ing readers!

Our regular readers know that our style of RV'ing is different than most. If you're new here, I'll explain. We love camping with our motorhome, and we love it even more when it's free. Usually, camping for free means that you are not hooked up to any services, and you need to rely on your own self sufficiency...sometimes for days on end. And ideally, without another RV in sight.

To us, this is the definition of the term "boondocking".

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Can you walk on water?

We had a busy day yesterday with a lot going on here at the park. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and it was a successful day. Two different fundraisers taking place here, one to support the park and one in aid of ovarian cancer.

Oh, and the results of our son's race yesterday!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Busy day today...

Busy day today! Up early at just after 6:00am in order to help some of the campers set up the hamster balls pool. You'll see pictures tomorrow! And that was after hardly getting any sleep last night due to a group of drunk teenagers. Didn't properly get to bed until almost 3:30am, so I'm going to have to make time for an afternoon nap...if I make it as far as the afternoon!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Rise and shine!

It's time to get up!

Do you have trouble getting up in the morning? I don't know what it is, but over the years we've gotten to the point where we can't sleep in. Even if we stay up late, we're pretty much always awake by 7:00am.

Or, are you the type who hits the snooze button on the alarm three times before dragging yourself out of bed?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lots of empties

Here in Saskatchewan, all drink containers (cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles, and tetra paks) except milk have a deposit of between 10 and 20 cents added on when you buy them. Then, you bring the empty container back to the return depot, and get your money back.

Many people who camp here leave their empty containers as a donation to the park. We try to bring as many empties as we can back to the depot every Wednesday in the little blue car, but of course the little blue car can only carry so much!

And after a busy weekend, we simply have too many empties!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Want your own blog?

The young son of one of our best friends back in Ottawa is about to set out on his own travel journey and he had asked us about how to set up a blog. I've had several people ask that over the last month or so, so I thought it would be worthwhile to share publicly.

There are many reasons to set up a blog. Most blogs, such as ours, start out for personal reasons. We simply wanted a way to keep our friends and relatives back home informed about where we are, and what we're doing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Camping with Dogs

We had our first dog complaint this past weekend. And since we put our strict policy in place this season, I'm positive that there are less people actually bringing their dogs into the park compared to last year. Man, there were weekends last year when I thought there were more dogs than people in the park!

But the problems only start when the dog owners don't realize that not everyone loves their Fido as much as they do.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Another winner, and another contest!

We love giving stuff away here during our time at the park when we're not actually traveling. It's fun for us, and it's fun for you! Our current contest ended Saturday night, and we picked a winner. And our next contest is starting this week. Possibly even tomorrow, we'll see. This next one will definitely be of interest to our RV'ing readers, so stay tuned!

But for now, let's see who won a $200 leather jacket from MotorcycleHouse.com ...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I like when it's busy, however...

I consider the most important part of my job here at the park is to make sure that every camper is happy and enjoys their time here. That's the number one most important thing.

Yesterday evening, I spent from dinner time until 10:00pm trying to make people happy!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Another busy weekend here at the campground

We're definitely busier this year than we were last year. I guess word is getting out! The prettiest park in Saskatchewan. In our own unbiased opinion of course. :-)

Almost sold out this weekend. I think there are two or three empty sites.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Account Hacked!

But before we get to that, we have some good news too!

We occasionally have the opportunity to publish sponsored posts, where we get paid to advertise or publish outgoing links to another website. We try to keep them travel related and have often turned down opportunities that we don't think are suitable to this blog. Some of the opportunities that we turn down are in fact fairly lucrative.

Yesterday's post was what we call a "non promotional sponsored post".

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Having fun outside of Vegas

We've been to Vegas twice. The first time was to experience all the glitz and glamour there is to be seen. And there is a lot of glitz and glamour to be seen!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Off to the doctor!

But before we get to that, thanks to everyone for reading yesterday's post. Not a very good response though. You know how many donations came through?


But, I get it. Apparently things are a little tight these days. Still, I figured they might get a couple of hundred bucks. Or at least a few comments wishing the boys good luck. Oh well. You don't know unless you try and now we know not to try again. I have a plan though.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Looking for a top five finish!

Our son Alex has always been very physically active and has been involved in sports and competition of some kind since he was a little kid. Last year around this time, he entered a race of sorts with a buddy of his, Matt.

It's called CityChase, and it's really taking off here in Canada. It's now held in 5 major cities, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and Toronto.

You have to enter and run the race as a two person team. And there is a limit of 300 teams in each CityChase race. Alex and Matt entered as a team for the first time in last year's race...and they finished 7th, out of 300!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Bought a new GPS, and June Expenses

I've been waiting for few months and watching every day for a Garmin GPS to come on sale here in Canada that includes maps of Mexico. And today was the day! Details down below.

And I never published our June expenses, so they follow below as well. Our expenses are pretty consistent while we're here at the park, so unless we buy something extra (like a new GPS!) then there's not much to talk about. But we list them here mostly for our own records, but we know that some of you like to follow our expenses as well.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Checking in camping stories...

We were almost sold out this weekend. And so when it's this busy, there's always a couple of campground stories to tell. Thankfully, none of them are bad. Yes, I still got up at 1:30am and went for a walk around the park to make sure nobody was out there being too stupid. But fortunately, things were pretty quiet, so I don't have any drunk people stories to tell.

But I do have a feel good story...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day from up here in Canada!

Today, Canada is most certainly the apartment above the house having a big party as our American friends down below celebrate their day of independence.

It was actually on July 2, 1776 that congress voted to approve a resolution declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.

On July 3rd, John Adams (later to become President) wrote this to his wife...

Friday, July 3, 2015

What's with the F word?

Is it only us? It seems to me that the use of obscenities, swearing, and expletives has become more commonplace. Almost to the point of where it has no shock value anymore.


Sometimes, I'm still shocked. Not by the use of the word itself, but by how much people don't care if they use it.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Invited to Algeria

There are friendly people the world over. It's all in your own attitude as to whether or not you get to meet them.

We've been following a fellow travel blogger, Johnny Ward, a young man from Ireland. He's on a mission to visit every country in the world and is currently in South Sudan. Not exactly a country that many people have on their destination bucket list!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day - East to West

Happy Canada Day!

Yes, today is a national holiday for those of us up here in the Great White North.

We've been all across Canada. Several times, actually. So we have lots of photos that were taken in Canada. (We've never been to the northern territories). It's tough to choose, but today we're going to show you ten of our favorite pictures of Canada...one from each of the ten Canadian provinces...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thick with forest fire smoke!

A fairly quiet Monday yesterday as people went back to work for a day or two. Not sure what to expect for tomorrow though as it's the July 1st Canada Day holiday taking place right in the middle of the week. We do have quite a few reservations for people coming in between today and tomorrow, and the weather is supposed to be decent.

That's if  the sun can make it's way through the smoke!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Leather jacket giveaway, starting today!

We've partnered with Motorcycle House to give away a prize credit valued at up to $200. You can use this credit to buy anything on their website...even a men's or lady's leather jacket!

Motorcycle House has been online since 2007. They started out the same year that we did! They sell over 500 different styles of motorcycle jackets.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Three cheques and a gift card!

Our mail gets delivered in town, so we only pick it up once every couple of weeks. Yesterday, the girl who picks it up for us came out to the park, so she brought our mail with her. We don't normally get too much mail (remind me again why they still have mail?) but yesterday brought a windfall!

We opened things up, and ended up with three cheques and a gift card.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

It's not fair to the rest of the park!

Got everybody checked in yesterday afternoon on the first of our busy summer weekends. It was a hot one. Once again, we saw the outdoor thermometer touch 34C (93F), and it's forecast to do that again today and tomorrow and Monday. Summer is here!

Glad we have air conditioning in the house when it's like this.

Friday, June 26, 2015

$10 free...from Amazon.com

I was just alerted to an oddball special that Amazon.com has going on right now.

Simply buy yourself a $50 gift card using your Amazon.com account, and Amazon will send you a $10 promo code valid until August 15th.

I just bought one for myself. Pretty hard to go wrong!

Leather Jacket Giveaway!

We're excited to bring you another contest giveaway. When we're sitting here in one place for a while, it's nice to be able to liven things up a little by giving away free stuff to our readers.

And this time, I think it's our biggest giveaway yet. We've partnered with Motorcycle House to give one of our readers a leather jacket valued up to $200!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I just about jumped out of my skin!

We have a few snakes slithering around here at the park, and especially now that things have warmed up a little bit they have come out of hiding and are enjoying the sunshine. They're just bull snakes, and they're not poisonous but they can grow up to eight feet in length.

And I don't mind snakes, but when they surprise you, it's still a bit of a shock!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You shouldn't be afraid to use the campground bathroom!

This weekend is the start of our six week busy season here at the park. We've been busy doing some improvements. Two of our newer bathrooms needed painting, so we did one last week when our son Alex was here to help, and Ruth and I have been doing the other one this week.

Our main bathroom has been under renovation for the past six weeks. How can it take that long? Because the construction guys that were hired don't put in more than about 4 hours per day, and that's when they show up to begin with!

Monday, June 22, 2015

We're hosting another giveaway!

It's been a long time since we have hosted a giveaway. Actually, we're hosting two more giveaways. It never rains, it pours! But I'm not telling you about the second one yet. I expect we'll get to that one later this week.

So first up, we're giving away two books.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Colombia's Lost City

Doing some research for our six weeks in Colombia this coming November, and I came across a hiking trip that we've decided we want to do. Only problem is...it's not cheap.

But I think it's one of those things that is worth it.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Ruth!

She had been totally missing her Tilley hat and we hadn't heard back from them as to whether or not her old hat was repairable. So we were surprised when a package arrived yesterday. Apparently, the day they received her old hat, they inspected it right away and immediately sent out a new one.

Now that's good customer service!

Friday, June 19, 2015

The world's fastest RV

I happened upon an article the other day that described the world's fastest RV...they call it a motorhome, but that's a bit of a stretch. More like a campervan of sorts. But, it does have a toilet, sink, and stove and there is a sleeping area.

And, it's for sale...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The most interesting places we have ever camped

After seven years of RV'ing, we've overnighted in a lot of interesting places. The best and most interesting of them have not been in campgrounds. Isn't there a saying..? The best things in life area free?

Well not all of them have been free, but certainly a lot of them were.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Important Tips for Your USA Holiday!

When people travel to a destination like the USA, it’s rare that they worry about cultural differences, or even culture shock, as most of the world has been exposed to so much American culture through the media. However, despite all this exposure, there are plenty of quirks individual to the USA that you might not be aware of, so here’s a list of things to get you prepared for your holiday to the USA.

That went by fast...

We did our weekly run into town yesterday instead of today. Our son Alex has to leave tomorrow (that week went by quickly, didn't it??) and he's got a 3 hour drive back to Regina for his flight tomorrow so we figured it would give him today to relax before having to head back to Ottawa.

We're going to do some painting today. Two of our newer washrooms were built a few years ago, but they were never completely finished on the inside. So we've taken it upon ourselves to finish them. Plus, we have a helper (our son!) with us so it'll get done fairly quickly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Saskatchewan's Regional Parks

In a comment on yesterday's post, reader Lori Gunter asked about our job here at the park and I think my post wasn't very clear regarding expenses and just how things are run. So I'll provide some clarification here.

We're all familiar with National Parks and Provincial parks...but Saskatchewan is unique in that we also have a Regional Park system.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Another weekend gone

Not a bad weekend here at the park. A little cooler than it should be...highs of only around 18C (65F), but there were still quite a few people around. A few more campers than last year, and I think we're ahead of where we were last year at this time with regards to revenue as well.

I do a tally of campsite, entrance pass, and firewood revenue twice per month and submit the receipts to our treasurer. So I get a good idea of how the park is doing. Today's the 15th, so I'll add things up this morning, but I have a feeling we're going to be higher than we were last year at this time.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer RV parking at schools?

Here's an interesting thing I came across. And if more school boards opened their minds to the idea, it might really take off.

Apparently, with schools being closed in the summer, that's the time of year when vandalism occurs. So the Anchorage School District started a camper host program so that there would be a presence at the schools, figuring that would discourage the vandals...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Can't win.

Yes, I know...we've been wanting rain. Haven't had any rain to speak of since May 2nd. Well, we  finally had a storm go through yesterday around dinner time. It gave us a solid half hour of fairly heavy rain so the ground got a much needed soaking.

But, along with the rain came very high winds!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Big time surprise!

A couple of months ago, we pulled off a nice surprise for Ruth's dad's 80th birthday. Our son Alex was instrumental in helping us with that at the time, and I guess he really enjoyed the final moment.

Because he just pulled off another big surprise. On us!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cellular data use

Because of our lifestyle, we're almost always on cellular internet. And because cellular data is expensive, we've grown accustomed to being careful with our usage.

I mentioned a while ago that I thought our iPhone was using a lot of data. And, the internet in general has become more geared towards high data use. All you have to do is look at the amount of video and HD graphics that  are used on a lot of websites now and you'll understand. All of that data adds up quickly.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

RV storage ideas

One of the problems most RVs have is a lack of storage. With a very small kitchen area, and not many cupboards, where do you put all your kitchen stuff? Especially for someone who likes to cook. Ruth uses our oven a lot as well, so we don't use the oven for storage...we use it for cooking!

And, you don't want stuff rattling around. So Ruth has come up with some great ideas to fix that problem too...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Canadian Tire...the final chapter!

I had put in a formal complaint with Canadian Tire's head office because I felt that I was overcharged on the little blue car's inspection and wheel alignment a month or so ago. Yesterday, I was able to register a partial victory, and put the whole episode behind us.

I received a phone message from the local store yesterday morning. Strange, because I wasn't expecting a call from the store...I was expecting a call from the head office.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Turning up the heat

Hottest day of the year so far. At 8:00am this morning, the temperature is already 26C (79F) and they're calling for a record high 34C (93F) today.

It's gonna be a hot one!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Clothing, footwear, and eyeglasses

The three things that are not always easy to buy online. We've done all three, and we've been reasonably successful at it. And, we're happy enough with our purchases that we feel it's worth it to continue, especially when you're dealing with companies who really want to make you happy with your purchase.

Our most recent experience was with Firmoo Optical.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Hey Mister...wanna buy some hot sauce?

Sometimes there are funny things that happen during our travels that we never get a chance to tell you about at the time. Maybe because other things happened that particular day that took up the entire blog post and so the blog post gets too long with all of the photos and narration.

I looked in our fridge the other day and saw an unmarked bottle of hot sauce. This reminded me of a funny story that I had to tell you.

Friday, June 5, 2015

It's all in the numbers

Before we carry on, I wanted to bring up a very relevant comment from yesterday's discussion that was made late in the evening so you may not have read it. And I bring it up because all of this discussion about travel "safety" is relative.

And this comment gets across exactly what I was trying to. Although those who think we are "innocent travelers who have the blinders on" will probably never get it...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Colombia - More negative than Mexico?

As you may know, we are going to spend 6 weeks touring Colombia this fall.

When we announced this, the first thing my mother says is along the lines of "Can't you pick a friendly country?"

Well, I think one of the reasons that we want to visit Colombia is to dispel myths like this that are still floating around.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ruth's famous gluten free pizza recipe

We had pizza the other night, and Ruth thought she'd like to share the recipe. This is exactly the same pizza that she makes when we're traveling in the motorhome.  Usually, she'll make it with lots of chicken chunks and peppers. Yummy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Oh, no!

Ruth did a load of laundry last night, and tossed in her Tilley hat. She's been wearing it quite a lot while she's been working up a sweat out there cleaning up leaves and doing her gardening. They recommend that you wash your hat regularly.

This morning, she went to unload the washing machine, and I heard a shriek.

Monday, June 1, 2015

One month down

...four to go. I notice that I posted the exact same phrase last year on this day!

Well, the first month went just "okay". We're ahead of the game because we didn't have the water leak problems to deal with that we did last year. But we're behind on the leaf cleanup because it's been so windy. Most areas are actually done, but there's still more to do whereas last year at this time we were finished.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Expenses

Not a bad month, all things considered. More than we'd like, but we had to get the little blue car registered in Saskatchewan, and with the rip off government mandated vehicle inspection it's not cheap to do that. But, we had no choice.

We spent a total of $1,143. (Note: These are all Canadian prices. Subtract 20% to get the approximate American equivalent.)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Go west, young man...

This phrase was first used in 1851 concerning westward expansion. The fertile farmland of the west was considered an ideal place for people willing to work hard for the opportunity to succeed. The phrase came to symbolize the idea that agriculture could solve many of the nation's problems of poverty and unemployment that plagued the big cities of the East.

My grandfather was born in Nova Scotia. When his older brothers became of age, every summer they hopped on a train to Saskatchewan to work the harvest. Eventually, it was my grandfather's turn, and he headed to Saskatchewan as well.

Friday, May 29, 2015

What's it like to visit a Middle Eastern country?

I had a note yesterday from our traveling friends Heather and Volkan. We had met them in March of 2014 in New York City after communicating several times by email. We only met for a quick hour and a half lunch at the time, but I know we'll see them again some day.

Heather and Volkan don't have a blog, but they send out regular emails to their family and friends and they've given us permission to share their last email with you. I think it's really interesting. They're in Paris now, after having spent three weeks in United Arab Emirates. We love visiting different places, and middle eastern countries are certainly different. UAE is very  different, and Heather's email details their visit to this world of indoor ski hills and Lamborghinis. So, without further ado, here is Heather...