The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride performing at Wesley Clover Park near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Ecuador on October 13th.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

A great day to go see the RCMP Musical Ride!

A few weeks back, daughter Lindsey asked if we wanted to join them at the Ottawa Fall Horse Festival where the headline act was to be the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride.

If you've never seen the RCMP Musical Ride, it's quite the special show. Ruth and I have probably seen it two or three times before in our lives, but it's been a long time. Plus, it sounded like a fun way to spend some time with our daughter and her family.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

You deserve to know why we are changing banks

I mentioned earlier this week that we began the transition to a different bank here in Canada. We have been with TD Bank for over 30 years, but their fees were no longer the best deal for our lifestyle.

During this transition though, I became frustrated with the fact that I had to do this at all. It's a pain in the butt changing banks. But my math said that we would save around $700 a year... so it's worth it!

Friday, September 20, 2019

No, we won't be doing any Galapagos cruises!

I spent far too much time yesterday on the internet doing Galapagos research. I read a lot of blog posts from people who have been there, and I researched prices and activities.

Many people say that you must do a Galapagos cruise in order to properly experience the islands. I don't think this is necessarily true. Plus, Galapagos cruises are ridiculously expensive.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Well, it looks like we are going to Galapagos Islands!

When we booked our trip to Ecuador in July, the idea was to visit a relatively inexpensive country for a change. And, we did get a great deal on the airfare, at $535 CAD ($410 USD) each, round trip from Ottawa.

I mentioned at the time that we were thinking of taking an intensive Spanish course while there, but we've decided against that. It would simply take up too much time that could be better spent exploring!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Yeehaw, our camera is back!

On September 9th, we approved the quoted $345 CAD ($260 USD) cost to repair our damaged Nikon P900 camera at the Nikon Service Center in Toronto.

They have an online portal where you can check the status of the repair. I had been checking it regularly, and under "Status" it still said "Shop". Last Friday, the status was changed to "Approved".

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Reflecting on our Australia RV trip

Well, it's already been almost a month since we left Australia! And while it's still fairly fresh in our minds, we wanted to go over the trip with you and tell you what we might have done different if we were to do it again.

So here's the good and the bad... but mostly good!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Thanks for sticking with us!

Back at the beginning of May, we began testing out a new advertising partner for this blog. At the time, most of the response was positive. The ads were kind of overwhelming though... and because you were so used to the clean look that I had given the blog without the advertising it was a bit of a shock at the time.

So now, four months have passed and I thought you deserved an update.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Yesterday, we stopped in to see the house we used to own

September is probably the best time of year to be in eastern Ontario, Canada. Daytime high temperatures tend to hover between 18C to 25C (64F to 77F).

The mosquitoes and black flies that are common in this area during the summer are pretty much gone. And the kids are back in school.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Two years without a car

It has now been two full years since we sold the little blue car. At first, it was odd not to own a car. But with our nomadic lifestyle, it was difficult to work out the logistics of where to store it when we are not in Canada, and of course there was still repair and maintenance and insurance costs to worry about.

Normally, I am pretty good at finding a reasonably priced car rental deal for our time in Canada. This time, nothing great ever came along... sometimes the deals just don't exist!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The calendar is filling up!

We've been here for two weeks now, and have just over one month to go. Time is going by quickly though, and the calendar is filling up.

Had an old friend over for dinner last night. My accountant from my collision repair shop days. He's 99% retired now, but we still try to see him every couple of years.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Absolutely no regrets

Yesterday, while I was outside cutting the grass here at Ruth's father's house, I was reminded that I do not for a minute miss owing a house and all the associated work and expense. Some people find it enjoyable... every time Ruth and I see a property with a big lawn, we say "they must really like cutting grass!"

And while it is good exercise... I would rather be out hiking somewhere!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Out for lunch!

Yesterday we were invited for lunch with Kimberly, a friend who lived near Ruth's father's place here in Galetta.

A couple of years ago, we spoke to Kimberly in depth about our RV lifestyle because she thought she might be interested in doing the same thing. But she ended up taking a different path.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Making some progress

Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions regarding what to do with our Nikon camera situation.

For now, we have decided to allow the new camera to be delivered. We have 30 days that we can send it back if we choose to, plus it gives us some time to test the repaired one to make sure that it is working properly. Hopefully the repaired one will show up towards the end of this week. I have read that the Nikon Service Center is fairly efficient, so I guess we will see.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

We're moving up in the world!

By the time we finish 2019, we will have been on 23 different airplanes!

And because we don't do very many direct flights, we spend a lot of time in airports waiting for connecting flights. This year, we will have spent time in 16 different airports.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

So, I heard back from the Nikon service center

Regular readers will remember that I dropped our camera last month while in Australia. It wasn't much of a drop, and it was in it's padded case at the time, but it was messed up anyhow.

And when we returned to Ottawa, I packed it up and shipped it to the Nikon repair facility near Toronto. It cost $38 CAD ($29 USD) just for that.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Wearing out our hiking boots

Well, this week flew right on by! It's Friday already, and we haven't got much done yet!

On Wednesday, we went and picked up Ruth's father at "the villa" and took him for a drive. We stopped at Tom Horton's because he loves their coffee. If he had his way, we would have stopped at Dairy Queen too, because "ice cream is good for you" he says. But, we'll save that for another day.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Planning for Mexico

We are returning to Mexico again this coming winter. And like last year, we are taking seven other RV's with us.

But this time, we're mixing things up a little bit. First of all, the trip will be 136 days from the time we cross the border, so we will be in Mexico about 4 1/2 months.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

We will have no problem keeping busy during our time here

So we are back in the village of Galetta, staying at Ruth's father's house. He is no longer here though... both physically and mentally he is deteriorating and he is now at an assisted living facility in the nearby town of Arnprior.

We are here until October 13th, so a total of six weeks. Normally, we don't come back to the Ottawa area for such a long time. But Ruth's brother who lives nearby needed a break from looking after their father and so he is taking off in his travel trailer for a much needed vacation down to the U.S..

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

August Expenses

Considering all the travel we did, it was not a bad month.

We spent a total of $4,310 CAD ($3,223 USD) during the month of August, however we also recorded a profit of $2,345 ($1,754 USD) on the sale of our Australian RV, bringing our net expenses down to $1,965 ($1,470 USD) for the month.

Monday, September 2, 2019

RPC Day 3... Picnic Lunch in the Pines

Day 3 here at Red Pine Camp. Sadie wasn't feeling well in the morning. Probably a combination of two late nights in a row, plus too much candy from the tuck shop the day before!

After breakfast, Cameron was off to Junior Program and we hardly saw him all day. At 8 years old, and with a few different friends to play with, it's not tough to keep him busy around here.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Archery practice at RPC

It was a little chilly in the morning, but it turned into a nice afternoon... sunny, with a high touching 24C (75F). Pretty much perfect! And, they are calling for the same thing today.

The kids are kept busy here. In fact, they are at the age where we don't really see them very often throughout the day. Really, only at meal time, and even then Cameron is usually off sitting at a table with his friends.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Beautiful start to the day at Red Pine Camp

We left Lindsey's house just after lunch and headed up to Red Pine Camp on Golden Lake, Ontario. It's almost a two hour drive from Lindsey's house... 170 kms (105 miles), plus we had some stops to make along the way.

First stop was a UPS store to drop off my camera and have it shipped to the Nikon service center near Toronto.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Off to Red Pine Camp

So we are off to RPC (Red Pine Camp) today. This is a family camp that my parents brought us to. I first attended in 1964! And I worked up there in the summer of 1978. Ruth and I brought our children up to that camp, and our children brought their children.

Now, Ruth and I are bringing our grandchildren up there for the first time and giving Lindsey and Justin a break.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Visiting with family

Although we love traveling full time, it is always nice to come back to Ottawa once or twice per year.

We purposely made it back here before August 28th because it's granddaughter Sadie's 6th birthday today, and we have never been with her on her birthday!

And school starts next Tuesday with Sadie entering grade 1, and her older brother Cameron (age 8) is starting grade 3.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

That was a lot of flying!

Wow.

That was a lot of flying over the past 9 days. In fact, we were in 7 different airports and on 6 different airplanes!

But, we are now at our daughter's house just south of Ottawa, and looking forward to seeing all of our Ottawa area family and friends over the next six weeks.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

What did our Australia RV trip cost?

Yesterday, I received the insurance refund for the original flights that we had booked to Australia. If you remember, back in May Ruth was ill with a painful kidney infection and we ended up cancelling the original flights that we had booked.

So, the cancellation insurance did in fact cover all of our expenses for the part of the trip that we cancelled. It was also processed fairly quickly, but we didn't get the payment until we arrived back in Canada to pick up our mail.

Monday, August 26, 2019

A nice day at the park

We slept in a little bit again. Not letting all that travel and time change stuff affect us though. Other than not getting up until 8:30am, we have kept to our regular schedule and feel no ill effects of jet lag.

Planned on going for a morning hike, but it was almost noon by the time we got out to do it!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Back at Cabri Regional Park

Last blog post we were in Minneapolis airport waiting for our flight to Saskatoon. The two and a half hour flight went fine, and we arrived on schedule at 9:00pm.

Had to be the fastest ever processing through Canadian immigration and customs. I think from the time we left the plane, went through immigration, picked up our bags, and made it to the lobby was maybe ten minutes! Welcome back to Canada!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Heading back to Canada

Our 5 hour overnight flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles went without a hitch. It's funny how, after doing a 17 hour flight from San Francisco to Singapore and a 9 hour flight from Sydney to Honolulu... a 5 hour flight is nothing!

Hardly slept at all though. Sometimes I can nap, but this time I just couldn't doze off. Ended up watching the original American Graffiti movie. 1974, I think it was made?

Waikiki Beach and Honolulu

We had to get on the road by 7:30am this morning in order to return our rental car which was due back by 8:45am.

You would think that an hour and fifteen minutes would be lots of time to drive 20 miles (32 kms), but it almost wasn't.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Exploring Oahu, Hawaii... day 2

Out of the house by 9:30am. We drove over to Diamond Head Crater where there is a popular hike to the top.

Parking was $5.00, so we found a spot right at the bottom for free, and walked up to the main parking area. Good thing too, because it was full. Some people were in line for a spot, and others were turning around to head back down.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Exploring the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Slept like a rock last night!

Whenever we do time zone travel, we always try to put ourselves right into the time zone of our destination as soon as possible. So other than the nap we had when we arrived yesterday, we stayed up until 10:00pm last night which would have been extra late. For the most part, jet lag does not have too much of an impact on us.

Because we were extra tired, we slept right through until 6:30am.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Hawaii... first impressions

We've only been here half a day, so first impressions are exactly that! We realize that we are only here 3 days, so even then we're not giving it much of a chance. And, of course there is more to Hawaii than just the island of Oahu where we are.

Weather... well, maybe it's different at different times of year, but right now, it is hot and humid. Highs of 86F (30C) and lows of 70F (21C). And humid. Did I mention humid??

Monday, August 19, 2019

Goodbye Australia, Hello Hawaii

Hawaii is a special place, because it is truly "the 50th state" for us! Yes, we have now been to all 50 of the United States.

We've also been to all 32 states of Mexico, as well as all 10 Canadian provinces and two of the three northern Canadian territories. (One day we will make it to Nunavut!)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Last day in Australia

Wow, we've had a great stretch of weather here in Sydney to end our time in Australia. Ever since we arrived here last Tuesday, it's been decently warm with clear and sunny skies! Could not have asked for better.

There is so much to see and do in Sydney. Yes, a lot of it is geared towards expensive touristy things but we found that we had no trouble using up our time just sightseeing the free stuff.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

More views of downtown Sydney

We relaxed for the morning because Ruth wanted to see the sunset from downtown on the other side of the Sydney Opera House. So we didn't leave the cottage until after lunch.

We figured that because it was a Saturday, the train wouldn't be very busy. And it wasn't busy at all... because it wasn't running!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Exploring downtown Sydney, Australia

We left the cottage at about 10:30am. A bit of a late start, but we wanted things to warm up enough that we didn't need to carry sweaters with us.

We walked the 2 minutes up to the Kogarah train station, and stopped in at a news stand to buy two Opal transit cards for the public transportation system here.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Not every day you see six lions...

Another beautiful day here in Sydney, Australia. Sunshine, and a high of 21C (70F). Perfect.

We are staying in the suburb of Kogarah. We are located about 5 kms (3 miles) from the airport, and about 13 kms (8 miles) from the main downtown area.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Saying goodbye to Bundy and Joyce

Yesterday afternoon, Garry flew up here from Melbourne to pick up Bundy and Joyce. He arrived at 4:00pm and brought along a couple of bottles of wine to share!

Ruth made dinner for us all, and we spent the evening chatting and drinking wine.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Last night was in fact our "last night"!

Our last night sleeping in our Australia camper, that is.

Does anybody else think that two and a half months went by really fast?! Man, it's a good thing we always have another adventure around the corner... wouldn't want to get bored or anything!

Today (Tuesday), we had to drive into Sydney.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Big blowholes in Kiama!

We headed into the town of Kiama this morning. It's a really pretty area, and with the rolling hills and green grass leading down to the sea, we think we could definitely spend more time here.

Unfortunate that we've only got the day, but it is what is is!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Only two more sleeps in the camper!

Well, things are really winding down now... we've only got two more nights sleeping in the camper!

Overall, it's been a good trip. But we will get into a little more detail in a future post, including our overall expenses and how we might do things differently next time.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

I am not impressed...

I dropped the camera today, and yes... it is messed up.

The camera was in the case. It only fell from a height of about a foot and a half, and it only grazed the corner of the dinette seat before landing on my foot. I honestly thought it didn't hit anything hard enough to have caused a problem.

But I was wrong.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Severe, damaging winds

We knew the winds were coming. We had seen the forecast, and they were calling for severe, gale force winds starting Thursday night. But the winds actually picked up earlier than that.

We had been trying to get to a state forest campsite, but the route we took became a private road. So we settled for second best and simply parked in a hydro corridor beside the forest road. Not ideal, but with the winds the way they were we didn't want to drive any longer, and we didn't want to be parked under any trees!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Have never seen so many whales!

What a great day we had.

It started off cloudy and cool, and it kind of deteriorated when the wind picked up as well. But the forecast still called for clearing skies so we drove over to the village of Currarong and the Abrahams Bosom Reserve Park where we planned to go for a hike.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Why are the beaches empty?

We drove into the town of Huskisson, and found a sunny spot to warm up first thing this morning. And it didn't take long... with another day of blue sky and sunshine in the forecast, we were soon ready to open the camper door and let the sun shine in.

After breakfast, we went for a walk to get the blood flowing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Cute things and funny things

So we're just taking our time exploring the little coves and coastal villages south of Sydney. Not in a real rush to get anywhere, and just relaxing.

We woke up this morning in a little forest area that borders a National Park. I got out of the camper, and looked over to see three kangaroos really close by! They didn't seem bothered by me at all. Further down the dirt road, I could see more of them.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Almost ran out of fuel!

We left the Milton Showgrounds at about 10:30am and headed back to the coast where I had seen a few short coastal walks.

The first one was about 3 kms (1.9 miles) round trip. Just enough to get the blood flowing.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

We went to Dolphin Point... and saw whales!

We're only 200 kms (122 miles) away from Sydney now. But there is still lots to see between now and our arrival there on the 14th.

Quite a few National Parks and State Forests along the way, and we seem to be able to go back and forth between the mountains and the coast with no problem at all... we will probably drive 400 kms in order to do that 200km distance!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

We were due for a good hike!

Our timing wasn't great though, because we ended up doing it on a Saturday. So there were quite a few other people taking advantage of yet another beautiful day who also planned on getting the same great views.

We decided on the Pigeon House Mountain trail. It's a popular hike because the views at the top are spectacular, and getting to the summit involves a series of stairs and ladders.

Friday, August 2, 2019

The coast is nice, but we are continually drawn back to the hills

Once again, we left our campsite upon waking up. It's been easy to find free overnight spots, but the last several have been located where we don't get any morning sun, so we move on right away to find a sunny spot to have breakfast.

And on that note... the sunshine and blue sky continues! Our Australian winter started off cool and wet, but the last few weeks have been nothing but gorgeous sunny skies.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The view from our breakfast table

We've actually been pretty lazy the last couple of days.

We made our way north back to Bateman's Bay, with a stop at the Botanical Gardens. I (Kevin) didn't find the gardens that interesting, but Ruth said she could have spent a longer time there.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July Expenses

Here in Australia we have finished off the month of July, while most of our readers are in Canada or the United States where they are just starting the last day of the month.

It is interesting for us to be able to show you that the costs to RV full time in Australia aren't much different than Canada or the United States. Our total expenses for the month of July came in at $2,113 CAD ($1,610 USD) and that included buying Ruth a new $752 CAD ($575 USD) laptop.

Beach kangaroos

Once again, we got up and started driving right away. We figure that it easily warms up in the cab, so we might as well do some driving to start the day. Then, by the time we park somewhere sunny, the camper warms up quickly as well.

But, we were out in a state forest area and we wanted to do a short hike and see a lookout before heading back into the town of Narooma.

Innovative ways to use scenes of Australia to decorate your home

New South Wales is a wonderful place. It has stunning wildlife, beautiful scenery and opportunities to enjoy all sorts of activities. In short, everything you can think of. Unsurprisingly, the area attracts a lot of tourists. Last year, they came in huge numbers numbers, over 100 million visitors.

Naturally, most of them took lots of photos. So, today, we thought we would take a look at some of the different ways tourists can use those images to decorate their homes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Glad that we look after each other so well

Woke up and put the solar panel out right away to collect as much of that free electricity as we could. Gotta make hay when the sun is shining. Or if no hay, at least some electricity!

Across the bay, I was watching some people interested in something on the shore line. This harbor has a resident seal population, and they were watching them work their way up onto the rocks to enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Monday, July 29, 2019

No sunshine today, but we've had a good stretch of fantastic weather!

We didn't hear a single vehicle drive by us all night, just as we expected. We got up at daybreak though, and drove into the town of Tuross Head.

We found a fairly level parking spot, close to a public bathroom. The only thing it was missing was some sunshine, but we had woken up to overcast skies so the shade in our parking area didn't make much difference!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

It's not that easy to find a free overnight spot, but we are pretty good at it!

The first stop of the day was the Congo Campground in Eurobodalla National Park. We had no intention of overnighting there, we just wanted to see if there were any trails to take advantage of.

It turned out that there wasn't much to see at that particular spot. And had we wanted to camp, it was going to cost $8.50 AUD per person. Not unrealistic, but there was no real reason for us to stay.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

What's on the schedule for the rest of 2019?

I mentioned yesterday that it is almost August. That means there is only five months left to the year. But, a lot can be accomplished in five months. So I thought I would tell you what's on our schedule for the rest of this year.

Our Australia trip is coming to a close. We've been here for two months today!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Every nook and cranny along the way.

Hard to believe we are coming up on August and that we have been almost two months already exploring Australia in Bundy and Joyce.

We're getting close to Sydney, which is only 300 kms (180 miles) away now. So now that we're back on the coast, we've slowed right down and will explore every nook and cranny along the way.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"Dolphins.... there are dolphins in the river!"

It's a great free campsite here at Clyde River National Park, but the two available sites are both in all day shade. So when we woke up in the morning, we decided to head right away to the town of Bateman's Bay, only 8 kms (5 miles) away.

I was busy getting things ready to go, and I heard Ruth yell about something.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A quick tour of Australia's capital city, then back to the coast!

When we woke up, we hit the road right away. The winds had died down and it was fairly calm for the rest of the day.

We drove to the city of Canberra (pop 400,000), which is Australia's capital city. Many people would think that the capital of Australia is either Melbourne or Sydney, but they would be wrong. The same way that many people think that Toronto is the capital of Canada!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Vigorous, damaging winds.

We had seen the wind warnings this morning, and so with no dire need to go anywhere we figured we were better off to stay put. Anybody who has driven with an RV knows that gusty wind days are no fun for driving... so while we do see other RVs out on the roadway, we have no ambition to put ourselves through that.

And our new friends Ian and Kaye decided the same thing!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Well, that's enough of that!

We had a totally peaceful evening camped beside the river in Numeralla, and we slept well.

It wasn't even that cold when we went to bed, so we were somewhat surprised that we were able to see our breath when we woke up... and there was frost on the ceiling of the camper... yes, on the inside!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

We are certainly not driving up into the snow!

Strange weather. When we went to bed Saturday night, the temperature had dropped like a rock, down to 2C (36F). We had even put our pajamas on! But by the time we woke up, it was 13C (55F). Not exactly warm by any means, but a lot better than when we went to bed.

We got up and did some driving right away. We had to go through a mountain pass area, which brought our elevation from essentially sea level to 1,000 meters (3,200 ft).

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Change of plans... heading inland...

We had such a quiet night in the middle of nowhere! When we got up, our immediate destination was a waterfalls I had read about... it was only 6 kms (3.5 miles) away on a dirt track.

And it only took us a half an hour to do that distance! Yes, driving.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Whale sighting!

We got up and drove right away this morning... just to warm up! They have typically been calling for between 7C and 9C at night, and last night was no different. But when we woke up, it was only 2C (36F) and there was frost on the hood of the truck.

We're okay sleeping like that, but it's kinda chilly getting out of bed.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

One of our first worthwhile Australian sunset photos!

Checkout from the "holiday park" was at 10:00am. FIRM. NO EXCEPTIONS, as we read when we had signed in.

That's a little early. I would have thought 11:00am or even noon made more sense. But, we knew the rules! So we were up at a half decent hour and getting things packed up.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Fortunately, if we were to slip and fall, the water was only about two feet deep!

There is a trail that goes around the lake here at Eden. Most of it is maintained, but there is a section of about  a kilometer (0.6 miles) where they haven't been able to negotiate with landowners enough to complete the circular route.

We did the trail the other day in the counterclockwise route, and had to negotiate our way through some private property. But we had seen a trail going in the clockwise direction that perhaps avoided that problem.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

We have decided for sure that we will be selling our Australian RV...

The main reason we are here at the holiday park is because I had some internet work to do. I manage a group RV deals page on facebook, and of course we are in the middle of "Prime Days" with Amazon. So it's a busy time.

And, while I can run this group no matter where we are in the world, it is a little more inconvenient when we are in this part of the world.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Lots of jelly blubber in this area!

It seems we're into a stretch of decent weather. No rain in the forecast to speak of. Plus... we're on holiday, staying at a well equipped holiday RV park for 4 nights in a row.

They have a nice boardwalk that goes part way around the lake. So we went for a walk this morning, hoping to accomplish the entire loop.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

We're on holiday for the next four nights!

We left the free Genoa Campground at around 10:30am and our route finally has us heading north. In Australia in the winter, most RVs are heading north because that's where the warmer weather is.

We didn't have far to travel though... we had our sights set of the town of Eden, and of course the Garden of Eden.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

More beautiful coast photos...

Since we have been here, we have found that the winter overnight temperature in the southeastern Australia area usually goes down to around 7C (45F). But it can vary between 3C to 11C (37F to 52F).

When we are sleeping, we are fine... even if it gets down to the lower end of the scale.

But when it is time to get up... we don't want to!

Friday, July 12, 2019

A bit of a rant, and then a beautiful day!

We were camped Thursday night at Binn Beach Campground... a free, unserviced spot in the middle of nowhere with room for maybe four or five rigs.

After dark, some kind of van arrived. It was dark, so we never saw the people themselves. But they proceeded to set themselves up and they were no problem at all.

Until about 5:00 o'clock in the morning!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Deserted Australian beaches

Yes, we are having to put up with some cooler weather here in the south of Australia. But the benefit is that there is hardly anybody around. People in Canada and the U.S. head south in the winter. But here in Australia, they head north when things get cold!

So we don't find too many other people out exploring like we do.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Booked a trip to Ecuador!

Our travel schedule for the balance of this year had been pretty much full, but we had a gap of about three weeks in October where I was actively looking for something for us to do.

We are going to be in Ottawa for all of September and the first part of October, and our flight back to Austin, Texas to pick up our motorhome isn't until November 5th.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Spoiled with our own bathroom and electric hookup

We slept great at the 36 hour RV rest stop. It was chilly when we woke up though... we didn't want to get out of bed! And even though the sun was coming up, we were in an area shaded by lots of trees. So the most logical decision was to get up and drive.

Bundy the truck warms up quickly though.

Monday, July 8, 2019

$200 fine for camping by the riverside

We woke up at 7:00am, but stayed in bed until 7:30am... just to stay warm! Actually, it was the warmest night we've had for a while, but there was a pitter patter of rain on the roof, and when we did finally decide to get up, we got up and drove.

Not that far though...  to the small city of Bairnsdale (pop 15,000).

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Mexico RV Caravan group is chosen!

Yesterday morning, we spoke to the final couple applying to come with us to Mexico this coming 2019-2020 season.

And yesterday evening, we made the tortuous decisions involved with choosing which of the six parties would occupy the three vacant spots. It was so tough to do because any of them would have been fine for this trip!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Another great free camping spot, and a colorful sunset...

Another beautiful winter day here in Australia. Sunny blue skies, with a high of 18C (65F). Very comfortable. It's still a little chilly overnight at 3C (38F), but that's almost over with.

We chose to use the brand new shower facilities once again at Heyfield before leaving. Then, we pulled in to top up the fuel tank at the lowest diesel price we've seen yet... $1.36 AUD per liter ($1.25 CAD per liter, $3.60 USD per gallon).

Friday, July 5, 2019

A nice day with some chores accomplished

It's not all fun and games for us RV'ing here in Australia. We still have to get things done... cleaning, maintenance, that sort of thing!

And with another beautiful day in store for us, we decided to stay put and get some of these things done.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A detour to the town of Heyfield... an RV Friendly Town

We slept fine in the marina parking lot in Sale. Woke up to fog, but it quickly burned off to a nice blue sky morning.

We set the solar panel out to take advantage of the sun. And, we had the door open enjoying the fresh air of the morning.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A new laptop for Ruth

We got up early and drove right away into the small city of Sale (pop 15,000). We found a big, nearly empty parking lot by the marina and set up there. It was a nice sunny morning, so we put out the solar panel and let the battery catch some rays while we did some internet work.

Such a nice morning that we even had the door wide open!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Ruth needs a new laptop

Slept fine at the free RV parking area at Port Albert. We went for a walk around town in the morning, but by the time we were getting ready to leave, the wind was picking up.

And, they were calling for gusty winds all day. Nice bright blue skies, but gusty winds!

Monday, July 1, 2019

We're sure he thought we were lost!

We did the full month of June traveling in the camper here in Australia, and I posted our expense report earlier today. You can read it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2019/07/a-month-in-camper-in-australia-june.html

This morning was July the 1st here in Australia. It's Canada Day! Except, it wasn't yet Canada Day in Canada! It won't be July the 1st until tomorrow in Canada.

Isn't it fun trying to wrap your head around all of this time change stuff?

A month in a camper in Australia... June Expenses

Well, we did pretty good. In fact, even though the grand total for the month is slightly higher than planned, our actual day to day living expenses here in Australia are pretty much right as we expected.

We spent a total of $2,175 CAD ($1,660 USD) for the month.

It's interesting, but most people told us prior to this trip to be aware that Australia is very expensive.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Cancelled due to fire...

So in yesterday's blog post, I had mentioned that we had booked a pretty nice Airbnb host for our three night Hawaii trip in August.

Today, I get a message saying that they have had to cancel our reservation... due to fire!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A few things to talk about today...

We said goodbye to our hosts Terrie and Patrick this morning. Really glad we made the detour to accept their invitation. They are about to set off on a big trip out to North America that includes a three week RV rental in Canada's maritime provinces, and we were happy to supply them with some tips.

But, as much as we enjoy visiting with people along the way (and the hot showers provided... thanks guys!), we are also happy to get back on the road with Bundy and Joyce.

Friday, June 28, 2019

This is winter?

Sure, we had a couple of chilly nights over the past week as a cold spell went through the area we are in in south eastern Australia. After all, it is winter here!

But yesterday and today have made up for it.

A great source of emergency internet access for travel

We're only half way through the year and we've already been in six countries. And when you travel as much as we do, one of the most important things is access to the internet. We normally buy a SIM card when we arrive in a country, but there are times when it's either not convenient or we arrive at an oddball hour and it's not possible to get internet access right away.

So a company called Keepgo has come out with a fantastic, convenient product for worldwide travelers to be able to access the internet.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Best weather day yet!

Slept great, but boy was it cold when we woke up! They've had a cold spell here in this area the last couple of days, but it looks like that was the last night of the deep cold.

Deep cold around these parts means that the temperature has gone below freezing!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Camping in the bush

I've been trying to post our daily blogs from Australia in the evening here so that it is waiting for our North American readers when they get up in the morning. But Wednesday night we were parked up in the middle of the bush and didn't have a cell signal. That hasn't happened very often this trip!

On Wednesday morning, our hosts Adam and Mary were off to work at 7:30am, and we were up to see them off. They had said we could stay behind and have showers and do laundry and so that's what we did.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Another RV Caravan to Mexico!

We had said that we would decide and announce one way or the other by the end of June, and so here it is...

Yes, once again we will be leading a group of RV'ers to Mexico!

Some animals and birds you might never see in the wild

It went down to -2C (29F) overnight, which is abnormally cold for this area at this time of year. Fortunately, we were nice and warm staying inside Mary and Adam's house!

They were headed off to work at 7:30am, so they left us on our own. The nearest attraction to us is the Healesville Sanctuary, so we decided to head over there.

Monday, June 24, 2019

First dinner out in Australia

We purposely slept in a little bit this morning. We had been fairly late getting to bed on Sunday night, plus we wanted to wait until after the morning Melbourne traffic had died down a bit

So it was almost 10:00am before we hit the road.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Impressions of Melbourne?

We only allowed for the one day to see some of the sights of Melbourne. We would honestly rather be in the countryside doing some hiking and exploring, but figured we had better see some city life while we're in the area.

So we left Bundy and Joyce at around 9:00am and headed in to the big city of Melbourne (pop 4.5 million).

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Up to the big city of Melbourne

We left Drysdale area after 10:30am. We planned to get on the road earlier, but we were enjoying time with our hosts. Ruth made pancake breakfast for everyone, and of course with real Canadian maple syrup on top!

Once again, we had some showers in the morning, but it did clear up at times. Still, they are calling for "the coldest temperatures of the season" in this area, and the news media is all over that.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Ready to go. Next stop, Melbourne

Once again, we woke up Friday morning to rain. But this time, it stopped around 9:30am and was cloudy with sunny breaks for the rest of the day. Not great, but not bad!

We have been so busy since we got here to Drysdale that we really hadn't had time to go out and explore the area. So we took a couple of hours off to do just that.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

New floor, and another camper modification

Woke up to another on-again, off-again rainy day.

So, with an unlimited supply of internet, I spent much of the morning working on our Mexico RV Caravan trip for next season. It's going to be a very different trip! Details coming next week.

By 11:00am or so, things started to clear up and I went out to finish the floor in the camper.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

New floor for Joyce

Well, it was a pretty good day despite the constantly alternating sunshine and showers.

After breakfast, I went right to work to replace the floor in the camper. It was just a laminate flooring, but it had bubbled in a couple of places and it was a very plastic looking woodgrain.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Taking a break from RV'ing for a couple of days.

As forecast, it started raining around 5:00am. We stayed in bed until 7:00am or so, and when it sounded like the rain was letting up a little, we got up and got on the road.

The idea was to drive to the town of Torquay and sit out the rain in the library there.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Too expensive here to be doing any stocking up!

When we woke up Monday morning, the first thing on our agenda was a short walk. We had bumped into a local who told us that we should hike down the path near where we had parked.

He was right!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Our first koala bear sighting!

When we are parked up in the middle of a rain forest and it's a bit chilly at night, it only makes sense when we wake up first thing in the morning to get up and drive... even if it's just for a little bit. This way, we can at least get into the cab of the truck, and it doesn't take long to warm up once the engine is running.

Then, we can hopefully park up somewhere in the sunshine to have breakfast. It doesn't always work out that way, but at least that's the plan!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Seashore sights and shipwrecks

We never planned on taking this much time to get from Adelaide to Melbourne. After all, it's only an eight hour drive! But, that's if you stick to the freeway and don't see anything along the way.

If you take the coastal route, it's about a twelve hour drive... again, if you don't stop to see anything along the way.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Day two on Australia's Great Ocean Road

We are doing the Great Ocean Road from west to east, although many people suggest the best way is the other way around. So far, we don't think it's made any difference, however maybe when we get to the other half, it will. I guess we'll see.

We started today just before Port Campbell. There were quite a few attractions to see on a 23 km (14 mile) stretch of roadway, so we got an early start.

Guide to Car Camping

Do you love to go outdoors and experience nature? Do you want to light up campfires whenever you can? Well, the adventure spirit in you should be complimented by something else - the right gear!
Camping is one of the few ways that you can escape from the activities of your everyday life. If you are not a regular camper, then you should begin your camping experience by car camping. If you are new to the whole idea of car camping down here is a guide that will help you with your next camping trip.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Beautiful Australian ocean scenery

We started driving early this morning, heading for the Great Ocean Road. We had purposely gone inland for the night because the Great Ocean Road area is pretty busy with tourists, and as such it is difficult to find free camping close to that route. And we are not Caravan Park (RV Park) type of people, and we're not interested in paying those prices.

So for us, it makes sense to spend just a little extra on fuel to find a free spot that we're happy with.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tomorrow, we begin Australia's Great Ocean Road!

Woke up Wednesday morning to the steady drumming of raindrops on the roof. Just like they said it was going to do. Fortunately, the temperature was comfortable. I don't think it went below 13C (55F) at night, so it was quite nice for sleeping.

With the forecast calling for rain continuing until mid afternoon, we got up and did 50 kms (30 miles) of  driving into the small city of Warrnambool (pop 36,000).

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Pub camping in Australia!

As expected, we slept fine Monday night. We were the only ones there! But, it was a chilly night. With the clear sky, the temperature dropped to 5C (41F), so when we woke up we didn't want to get out of bed!

We don't have a thermometer inside the camper, which is probably a good thing!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Here in Australia, every small town has a free RV dump station.

What a Sunday night we had! They were calling for high winds, and boy were they high! It was hard to get much sleep... there were times we thought the rig was going to take off... or at least fall over!

But, we survived to tell about it. Nothing much out of place in the morning, except a few of the fake flowers from the graveyard were blown around... and our entrance steps were a good 20' away from where they had been when we went to bed.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Parked by the graveyard... all of our neighbors are very quiet!

When we left you last, we were on our way to see the glow in the dark mushrooms. We had read about them in advance, so we had a good idea of what to expect and how best to find them.

The best thing you can do is to show up in the area during daylight hours so that you actually know where they are. Most people show up at dusk or nighttime with flashlights glaring and then they never actually see anything!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Off to see the glow in the dark mushrooms!

Just around the corner from where we had been camped is the Umpherston Sinkhole Garden. We got there around 10:00am, and it was already quite busy! It's free to go down and wander around, and I guess because it was a Saturday of the long weekend (Monday is a National holiday here in Australia) and it was a beautiful sunny morning, people were out and about.

Did you notice I said it was a beautiful sunny morning? Yes, we had blue sky and sunshine!

Friday, June 7, 2019

First paid camping in Australia

And it's not really "camping"... it's just somewhere to park for the night and be able to use some nice hot showers!

Friday morning, we tried to get an earlier start. It was a great spot to overnight in the village of Tantanoola! Still, it was probably 9:30am before we actually got on the road!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Keeping our eyes open for wombats!

Slept fine once again at our free camping spot near Beachport. Quiet as can be.

We need to try and get on the road a little earlier though! If we don't get moving until 10:00am, the day seems to fly by too quickly and before we know it, it's happy hour! Not that there's anything wrong with happy hour of course... we just want to get more done before the next happy hour arrives!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Answering some of your questions...

Woke up at the normal hour of 6:30am Wednesday morning, and looked outside to see drizzle in the air again. Decided that another hour in bed wouldn't hurt! By the time we got up, there was some sunshine breaking through.

One of our readers had asked if there are other campers around. And another reader had asked how we find these free campsites.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Four nights of free camping

In four different locations. And there will be many more.

I know it's only been four nights, but first impressions are that Australia is a free camper's dream. Yes, there will be special times where we know that we will have to pay for our overnight spot (National Parks?), but most of the time we don't see any need to pay to park somewhere overnight.

Monday, June 3, 2019

You can't see everything!

Australia is almost the same size as the lower 48 of the United States... so when people ask "how much of it are you going to see in ten weeks...?" We reply "not very much".

It took us four weeks to explore South Korea... a country half the size of Kansas! So to see everything we want to see in Australia would take us two years... or more... of steady traveling.

So right now, we're not worried about seeing everything. We know that we can't.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Another battery problem, but then another good day!

Up as usual around 6:30am Saturday morning. Slept fine... no other campers, and no other vehicles... it was an absolutely perfect spot to spend the first night in the camper.

Speaking of sleep, a few people have asked! So here it is.... we did sleep really well. The mattress is just a piece of hard foam, maybe 6" thick. Not even memory foam. I was kind of worried that it wouldn't be good enough, but it seems to be fine. Although yes... it's a little short for me.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

First day on the road in Australia

Well, our regular readers do know that we like to travel slowly! So when you see how far we went on our first day, some of you won't be surprised!

But we had a fantastic day anyhow.

We were saying goodbye to our fabulous Aussie hosts Pat and Louise at 9:30am.

Friday, May 31, 2019

May Expenses

Well, hopefully that was our most expensive month of the year done and over with!

We spent $4,967 CAD ($3,680 USD) in the month of May! But, we were also in five different countries and we were on six different airplanes during the month so a big chunk of that was travel and overnight expenses.

Here's how it all broke down...

Next stop... who knows?!

Bundy and Joyce are ready to go! And so are we!

I can't believe it took us about three days to get everything cleaned up and ready to go. We were being pretty fussy though... right down to installing shelf liner (mactac?) on the base of most of the shelves and cupboards!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Almost ready to hit the road!

We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Spent the morning finishing cleaning up Bundy and Joyce and got the electric systems figured out and working properly. The house battery seems to be fine, and the 160 watt folding solar panel kits works fine as well. Unfortunately, the engine battery did not pass the tests and needed to be replaced.

Our host Pat knows quite a few people in the auto parts and repair business and a few phone calls later got us a brand new battery wholesale for $150 AUD ($140 CAD, $105 USD). I had done some searching and the best I could find was $245 AUD!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Getting Bundy and Joyce ready to go!

Bundy is the truck... a 2008 Ford Ranger 4 wheel drive diesel with 128,000 kms (79,000 miles) on the clock.

Joyce is the camper that sits on Bundy's chassis. She was "home made", but very well made.

Today, we started getting Bundy and Joyce ready to hit the road!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

First full day in Australia... running around!

We made a sort of a rough list of things to do, and our host Louise had taken the day off work to run us around. We'll say it again... it has been so great having them look after us on our first couple of days in the country! Thank you so much Louise and Pat!

So we went out to get some things done. We were gone about five hours and I've already forgotten the order in which we did things, but here it goes...

Monday, May 27, 2019

Finally... arrived in Australia!

Bali airport has got to be the busiest airport we have ever been in. The problem of course is that it's simply too busy for the size of the airport. So they've got all of these flights arriving and departing at all hours of the day and night.

Our flight from Bali to Adelaide, Australia was scheduled for 12:05am... at a gate that had three other flights scheduled to depart within a hour or so time frame. There were people sprawled everywhere.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Our one day in Indonesia

Slept like a rock Saturday night, and up Sunday morning to write an interesting blog post about Singapore. If you missed it, you can read it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2019/05/singapore-to-bali-indonesia.html

Then, we went out to get some breakfast.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Singapore to Bali, Indonesia

Saturday morning, we checked out of our AirBnb apartment at 8:30am because Singaporean blog readers Han and Michelle were coming to show us some parts of Singapore that tourists wouldn't normally see.

And besides the tour, they gave us some interesting insight into how Singapore survives and thrives.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Singapore at night

This is the second blog post of the day! If you missed the first one, you can read it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2019/05/the-more-natural-singapore-and-we-are.html

Friday evening, we went to the light shows at Marina Bay. There are two of them... one behind the Sands hotel at the "Supertrees", and one in front of the Sands hotel in the bay itself.

The more natural Singapore, and we are going to Hawaii!

This morning, we didn't leave the apartment until after 10:00am... because I was busy booking our return to Canada in August. I had no plans to book it today, I was just doing a random check of the prices and I spotted something.

Normally, one way from Australia to Canada is about $1,000 CAD per person. And I would have been happy to get it for $700 each. But I saw a deal from Sydney, Australia  to Honolulu, Hawaii for $274 CAD each. Then, I saw a deal for three days later from Honolulu to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for $312 each one way. So, $586 per person and we get to spend 3 days in Hawaii to break up the distance!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Singapore - Our feet were done, but it was still a good day.

Singapore is the 20th smallest country in the world, with a population of about 5.6 million. It's located only 112 kms (70 miles) north of the equator.

It's a clean, modern, and very safe city.

It's also a global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population. Almost all of the signage is in English, despite the fact that 75% of the population have a Chinese background. And there are four official languages... Malay, English, Mandarin, and Tamil.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Arrived in Singapore!

Singapore is country #35 for us!

It's the first new country since we were in Barbados is October of 2017.

Let me tell you about the last 24 hours or so...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Next stop, San Francisco, and then Singapore!

We called our Uber driver  from our AirBnb in Calgary at 3:30am yesterday morning. Yes, silly o'clock!

I was a little worried that there wouldn't be many Uber drivers around at that hour of the day (or night!), but it turned out that we only had to wait about 8 minutes and there he was, ready to bring us to Calgary airport for our 6:05am flight to Los Angeles.

Monday, May 20, 2019

First stop, Los Angeles!

Yesterday we returned our car rental to the south end of the city of Calgary. Then, we walked the 5 kms (3 miles) back to downtown and wandered around for a bit.

The weather was still not great, but at least it didn't rain.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Exactly the way you would get them in Mexico!

It would be nice if somebody would tell the weather gods that it's supposed to be springtime. Because there is certainly no global warming happening here in Calgary just now!

Yesterday felt like March in Canada, not May in Canada. Pretty sure it must have been snowing in the nearby mountains.

And so, we were looking for something indoor to do. And apparently so was the rest of the city.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sometimes I think we must be a little bit crazy...

Just a little bit though!

Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day finalizing our trip plans to eventually end up in Adelaide, Australia where we will now arrive on May 27th... only 10 days later than originally planned.

But it's still a bit of a convoluted route as to how we get there.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Through the hoodoos to Calgary, Alberta

Well, despite a few rough patches over the last week or two it looks like everything is coming together.

Yesterday, we made our way from Cabri, Saskatchewan to Calgary, Alberta. Originally, we were going to have to be in Calgary by 11:00am to drop off the car rental, but now that we are not leaving Canada until Monday I managed to extend the car rental until Sunday.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Great news!

I opened my email this morning to find my Australia visitor visa approved!

The whole situation sucked though. It never should have been an issue to begin with. But, what's done is done, so there's nothing to do but look at the bright side. And the bright side is that we are now going to be seeing Singapore and Malaysia as well. It feels like we're getting a whole new trip out of the deal... which essentially we are, however it has cost us quite a lot more money as well.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

When life hands you lemons...

...you need to make lemonade!

So yesterday, we made our way to the fancy new medical center in the town of Leader, Saskatchewan (pop 870). About an hour drive, but worth it compared to having to go back to the hospital in Swift Current!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Well, where do I start?

Lots to talk about today.

Let's start with our Australia trip. I still don't have a visa to travel to Australia, but of course that could change at any moment. Still, we're now planning on it not showing up in time. So, our inexpensive Australia trip is about to become an expensive Australia trip.

What a circus this has become. And complicated more by the fact that Ruth is still not feeling well and may not be well enough to travel on Thursday anyhow.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Back to the pharmacist

Well, Ruth felt quite a bit better yesterday, but she was complaining of a debilitating headache that just wouldn't let up. We finally decided that it was one of the side effect of the antibiotic Trimethoprin that she had been prescribed.

But we really didn't want to go back to the emergency room at the hospital. And since the Trimethoprin had been available at the pharmacist without a prescription and he had said there were other substitutes available we decided to drive back into the city and get something different.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Just an update

Ruth didn't have a great morning yesterday, but by noon your well wishes were starting to make a difference. And it helped that the medication was kicking in too! The doctor had said that it would take 24 hours or so for the antibiotics to start to take effect, and about a week to totally get better.

While Ruth stayed home to recuperate, I went out to the park to see how I could help out.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Off to the hospital

We don't often talk about health issues, unless they directly affect our travels. And really, we don't have any health issues. We're both healthy and in good condition and neither one of us take any medications for anything.

So when something goes wrong, it's a bit frustrating.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Back at Cabri, Saskatchewan

Yesterday we did the long drive from Calgary, Alberta to Cabri, Saskatchewan. It's not a really exciting drive, and we wanted to do it all in one day. So we stuck to the main 4 lane highway.

It certainly could have been more interesting to use some back roads, but it would have taken at least an extra hour and a half, and as it was it took six hours. That's enough for us.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Smooth flight to Calgary

We had an uneventful flight to Calgary. Everything right on schedule. Arrived at 10:30am local time. A little chilly, at 7C (45F) though!

We hopped in an Uber from the airport to the car rental place. The Uber was pricier than expected, at $37 CAD, ($27 USD) for the 22 km (13.6 mile) ride, but it still made more sense than taking the local bus. And, our car rental is so cheap that we could justify the convenient but pricey Uber ride.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

On our way to Calgary

We are at Ottawa airport as I write this, waiting for our four hour and twenty minute flight to Calgary. This flight was a freebie, paid for with travel point from our Visa credit card. But, I still got a deal on it because it was on sale at the time for $210 each one way so I needed to use less points to cover the fare.

We will arrive in Calgary at around 10:20am, and will likely use Uber to make our way to the car rental place located about 20 minutes from the airport.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

I can't believe I'm still paying for this...

Okay, this is a long story... you better make yourself comfortable!

Some of our long time readers might remember that I (Kevin) need to get a special visa to visit the United States. I've talked about it before on this blog, but it's been a few years so I'll refresh your memory.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Ottawa River Flooding

It was a gorgeous spring day yesterday, so Ruth and I spent a fair bit of time outside. We had stayed overnight at a friends place near the Ottawa River, so we went for a walk on the paths above the shoreline.

You may have seen on the news that the Ottawa River has experienced record flooding this spring. The river flows from the north, starting at Lake Timiskaming and then making up the Ontario - Quebec border as it makes its way to the St. Lawrence Seaway at Montreal.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Visiting with some new full time RV'ers

Saturday afternoon, we went and visited with Judi and Ian, a couple we had met with a year and a half ago when they were contemplating selling their house and buying a motorhome to live in.

Now, they have done exactly that.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

You probably noticed some advertising

While we've been having some downtime here, I've been getting caught up on some things that we just don't have time to do when we're off traveling. I know it's a little boring for you right now (I can tell from our lower blog statistics!), but we'll be back in the air on Wednesday and off to have more adventures.

One of those things was to look for a new advertising partner for this website.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Our new Chester luggage

I promised to tell you about our new carry on luggage. It's quite a different style compared to the backpack type we had been using since 2012. But the backpack style ones were getting pretty rough looking, having traveled with us to somewhere around twenty different countries since we got them.

And, with airlines getting more and more strict about the size and weight of carry on luggage, we figured it would be in our best interests to look for something that is specifically designed for that purpose.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Cold start to May

Yesterday, May 1st, the high reached 4C (39F). With sleet, freezing rain, and some snow flakes. Definitely an abnormal start to the month up here in Ottawa, Canada. Still, we managed to get out for a hike in the morning with Bob and Denise (they were on the last Mexico RV trip with us) before the precipitation started.

They arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and it was actually quite a nice day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April Expenses

Well, you can tell we're not in Mexico any more!

But despite that, our expenses for the month came in about where we expected. We spent a total of $2,155 CAD ($1,630 USD) for the month. And considering that included our flight up here and the car rental, it's not bad.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Forgot the camera!

There was a little bit of blue sky and sunshine yesterday morning, so we figured we had better get out and take advantage of it because it was not supposed to last into the afternoon.

We figured we would walk down to the washed out section of road to see if the water had gone down enough to make our way across it.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Grandma and Grandpa on the trampoline

We were 24 years old when our daughter was born, and 26 years old when our son was born. We remember saying at the time that by having our children at a relatively young age, we would have it made by the time we were 45. And that was pretty much true. In fact, we were 45 when we bought our motorhome and began an unconventional lifestyle.

Coincidentally, our daughter and her husband also had children at a relatively young age. This means that now at age 57 and active we can enjoy our grandkids and be active with them!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Australia in the winter

Speaking of winter, it's still not over here in Canada!

Most parts of Canada only get four months of good weather per year, so we are not surprised by this at all. But, we had our fingers crossed for better than this. We got spoiled by a couple of decent days last week just after we arrived here, but sure enough, the cold has returned and it looks like it's not going to get much better over the week and a half we have remaining here.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Haven't sat at a bar for a while!

Well, we took a blogging break yesterday. Doesn't happen too often, but when there's not much to write about there is no point in posting anything!

We've been spending our time visiting family and friends. On Thursday night, our daughter Lindsey took us for drinks at the pub she works at and we met some of the regulars there.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

I don't think I've ever seen so much wildly churning water!

Yesterday, we went and picked up Ruth's dad and took him for a drive. It's been a long winter in this area, and they don't get out often enough at the senior's home. So we figured he would enjoy a change of scenery and some fresh air.

It was chilly though... only a high of 9C (48F) and a brisk wind.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

We're obviously up here too early!

The snow is pretty much gone in this area. Or so we thought! Sure, you can still see the odd patch here and there... but it's pretty much gone.

Yesterday we drove over to the Morris Island Conservation area to go for a hike.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Booked yet another flight ticket!

A nice spring day yesterday with sunshine and a high of about 18C (64F). So, better to get some work done outdoors.

We're staying here at Ruth's dad's house, but her father doesn't live here anymore. He's at a senior's home in town where his meals are made for him and he gets some personal care. But, just because nobody is living in the house doesn't mean that things don't have to get done.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Hanging out with the grandkids

Our daughter Lindsey and her husband Justin were headed back to the city, but grandkids Cameron and Sadie wanted to stay with grandma and grandpa! That's fine with us, so we spent the afternoon with them, and brought them to their parents again at my sister's place before dinner.

But, they did take Chester the dog with them!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The water level is higher than I've ever seen it!

First thing on the agenda yesterday was to pick up our transportation. We're here for 16 days and there's always lots of visiting to be done so we needed a car. I started looking for a car rental as soon as we booked the flight back at the end of January.

Car rental prices change regularly, so you have to check regularly. Also, when you make a booking, you can cancel that booking without penalty. So you need to book the cheapest you can find, and then continue to look in case a better deal comes along.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Austin to Ottawa... the scenic route!

Well, we are back "home" in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Despite the fact that we haven't spent very much time here in the last 12 years, we still consider it home.

Let me tell you how we got here...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Reflecting on our Mexico RV Caravan trip

We've had a couple of weeks now to think about this most recent Mexico RV trip. This was the third RV caravan group that we have led through Mexico, and it continues to be a learning experience for us.

Let me give you some background. The first trip we did in February of 2016 was just a trial run. We took over another group for 30 days.

5 Offbeat Travel Destinations To Include In Your 2019 Bucket List



The world is full of mysterious and amazing spots which are waiting to be found by travellers. So, how about making 2019 a year full of explorations and discoveries with visiting some unconventional destinations and experience the rugged untouched beautiful nature!


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

If you weren't going down... you were going up!

We had read about a good biking road that runs between Bastrop State Park and Buescher State Park. So when we checked into our campsite here, I asked the lady in the office about it and she used the word "grueling".

But, we decided to give it the old college try. First, we made a detour back to the office to check on moving sites for tonight. We mentioned we were off to do the bike road between the parks, and this lady used the word "challenging".

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

New luggage for our trip!

Yesterday we moved from Lockhart State Park to Bastrop State Park. Along the way, we met up with Tom at his land where he has volunteered to look after Sherman while we are gone. While we were with Tom and his dog Nizza (rhymes with pizza!) Tom presented us with a couple of packages.

We had an offer from a luggage manufacturer to try out a couple of fairly high end carry on suitcases. Our backpack style luggage that we've been using since 2012 is starting to look pretty beat up, and we were getting close to needing something new, so we took them up on their offer, and they shipped them to Tom!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Planning for Australia

I mentioned the other day that I've recently been spending a fair bit of my internet time planning for our upcoming Australia trip.

We bought the flight tickets back at the end of November last year, but other than buying an RV, we had been waiting until our Mexico RV trip was over before doing any more planning. We arrive in Melbourne on May 18th.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Short drive to Lockhart State Park

Strange weather yesterday... a little bit of everything. The day started with some rain when we woke up at the skydiving airport. So we waited that out until 10:00am or so, and then hit the road north towards the town of Lockhart.

We popped into the Walmart to get a couple of things, and we were getting such a good wifi signal in the motorhome that we just stayed put and did some free internet time.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Palmetto State Park and Skydiving.

This area of Texas is so different from the typical scrub brush landscape that you between the San Antonio and Laredo area. Nice and green, with trees!

We had spent Thursday night at Palmetto State Park, and we were trying for the Friday night as well, but they were sold out. The ranger told us to come back to the office around noon and see if there were any cancellations.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Only one week left in Texas

Time seems to be ticking quickly... a week from today we fly to Ottawa.

Yesterday, we made our way from San Antonio to Palmetto State Park.

When I was planning our route, there was no easy way to get out of San Antonio without using the Interstate. We see no joy in driving on the Interstate highways, especially around or through a big city.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

18 Miles (30 kms) worth of exercise

We set out on the bicycles early yesterday morning. They were calling for a hot day here in San Antonio, and various reports said the temperature got up to 95F (35C)... so yes, it was a hot one!

Anyhow, we knew to get out there early if we wanted to enjoy the bike ride. We set out at about 8:45am.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The San Antonio Missions

Yesterday morning around 11:00am, we headed out of Choke Canyon State Park, and north towards the city of San Antonio.

With an 86 mile (136 km) drive ahead of us, I figured that we would arrive around 1:00pm, just in time for lunch.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A nice stay here at Choke Canyon State Park, but two days is enough.

Yesterday morning, I took the bikes off and we went for a nice 15 km (9 mile) ride around the park.

We stopped in at the front office to ask about the alligators. There are signs warning of them, but we haven't seen any. The lady said "there's lots of them!", but she also said there needs to be a couple of really warm days in a row for them to come out of the water and sun themselves.

But, we did see lots of different birds...

Monday, April 8, 2019

What a storm that was!

Yesterday morning it rained from around 5:00am to 10:00am. We had been parked up behind the Fairgrounds buildings near the town of George West and we were on high ground so didn't have any problems.

But when we left, and headed to Choke Canyon State Park, we saw that some areas, including the park, did have some problems.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Perfect spot for a night

We packed up yesterday morning and headed out from Lake Corpus Christi State Park. A good visit, but four nights was long enough.

We headed north towards San Antonio. With most people on the I-35, we stayed to the secondary roads.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Private, Keep Out, No Trespassing, Beware of Dog

We went for a bike ride yesterday morning. It seemed like longer, but it was only for an hour. Still, we got 15 kms (9.3 miles) done. It sure is enjoyable to ride decent quality bikes.

From Lake Corpus Christi State Park, we rode outside the park boundaries to the small lake-shore community of Lake City.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Missing the sunshine

During the four months we were in Mexico, almost every single day was blue sky and sunshine. Now that we have crossed the border, it seems the weather changed immediately. It hasn't even been a week since we crossed, but we are missing the sunshine already!

However, our batteries and solar panels are still keeping us powered up.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Work Camper Position at Cabri Regional Park

This is the park that we managed for four summers in a row. So we're just helping them out by advertising that they are looking for some help. You never know who might be reading!

They're looking for a work camper, single or couple.

Here's the deal...

Some bird watching at Lake Corpus Christi State Park

It was supposed to be cloudy with sunny breaks yesterday, but the sunny breaks never came. We never saw the sun all day. And, they were calling for rain showers after lunch.

So, with overcast skies we set out on a morning walk to do some bird watching.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Relaxing at Lake Corpus Christi State Park

That's what we're doing for the next four days!

Yesterday morning, we left Freer, Texas and headed towards the thriving town of Alice, Texas. Found a place near downtown to park Sherman, and went for a walk to see what there was to see.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Back on our own...

Well, we are on our own again. Everybody said goodbye to each other yesterday morning and we each went our separate ways. After spending four months traveling with a group of other RV's, it's a little different to be heading off on your own.

And so with no schedule to keep, (other than being at Austin, Texas airport on the morning of the 19th) we set off a little later than normal, headed in the direction of Lake Corpus Christie State Park.

Monday, April 1, 2019

March Expenses and 4 month Mexico Expense Review

Well, we just ended four full months in Mexico. So, a good time to go over our expenses with you for that period.

But first, let's start with the month of March itself. We had a good month financially. We spent a total of $1,461 CAD ($1,100 USD) for the month. But, I need to caution that does NOT include campground fees which were covered by the RV Caravan group that we ran.

Just a relax day with some rain.

Yesterday was a lazy day. We woke up to rain, for the first time in four months. And cold. And windy. I think we all wished we had stayed in Mexico.

The rain was actually kind of refreshing. Didn't mind that, and we had electric heat inside the motorhome, so we were toasty warm. The rain let up around 10:30am and we figured we had better go out and get some fresh air.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Crossed the border yesterday...

And we are now back in the United States.

We had a good night's sleep in the parking lot at Garcia Caverns and we headed out at 8:00am. We had to make our way around Monterrey, and we took the very expensive cuota (toll road) to do it. Cost was 196 pesos ($10 USD, $13.50 CAD) to do the 20 km (13 mile) stretch. But, the road was in great shape and not much traffic. Worth it to avoid the Monterrey traffic.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Visit to Garcia Caverns

Yesterday, we headed from Saltillo to Garcia Caverns. Just a short drive of 83 kms (52 miles), but it involved a bit of bad roads going through the town of Garcia.

Ruth and I had been to Garcia Caverns our very first winter RV'ing in Mexico. At the time, we had camped out for the night in the parking lot at the base of the caverns. We figured we would be fine doing the same thing with the group, and we were.

Friday, March 29, 2019

We don't splurge very often

Yesterday morning, we took the group to central Saltillo. It's not the most exciting city, but the central area is still worth a visit in our opinion.

Some of us walked both ways, about 3 kms (1.8 miles) each way, and others took Uber.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Getting close to the border

Yesterday was the longest drive of our four month trip. We did 375 kms (232 miles) yesterday. Normally, that would be a super long day of driving in Mexico, but the route between Zacatecas and Saltillo has long straight stretches of 4 lane highway, so you are able to do most of it at highway speeds.

We set out at 8:00am with slightly overcast skies...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Well, our Mexico RV Caravan trip is winding down

Yesterday was a relax day. We never left the Hotel/RV Park. Puttered around, checked the tire pressure... had a nap... that kind of thing. We had been in need of a relax day, especially since today is a long travel day.

We only have three more nights in Mexico!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Finally made it to the mask museum!

I think this is our fifth visit to the city of Zacatecas. After the first one or two, we learned about the Rafael Coronel Mask Museum. It's located in a beautiful old Monastery that was built in the 1500's.

But every time we have gone to visit it, it has been closed!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Back to the scene of the crime...

The day started off saying goodbye to Wendy. She's headed to the border a couple of days early because her fridge went out and we think it needs a new board. Also, she's flying back to Canada and wanted to give herself a few extra days in Texas.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

La Quemada Ruins, and arrived at Zacatecas

We headed out of the Las Fuentes Water Park at around 8:00am. An early start considering it was less than a three hour drive to Zacatecas. But, we wanted to make a detour to show the group the interesting La Quemada ruins site a little bit south of Zacatecas.

Ruth and I had been here before... back in March of 2009, almost exactly ten years ago to the day!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Splishin' and a splashin'!

What a fun day we had yesterday!

We had stayed overnight Thursday night at the Parque Acuatico Las Fuentes (Water Park) in the middle of nowhere near Colotlan, Jalisco, Mexico. And we planned on staying overnight Friday night as well to give ourselves a full day of Friday fun at the water park.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Terrible roads and fantastic scenery!... photos updated!

We set off at 8:00am from Etzatlan.

We had to head through the outskirts of the big city of Guadalajara in order to take our exit road heading north to Zacatecas. This was going to be a new route for Ruth and I, and of course the rest of the group as well... normally we would take the Mex 54 highway heading north through Aguascalientes... but this time, we were happy to try something new for us.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

One of Mexico's amazing natural wonders...

Yesterday, we did a day trip to Piedras Bola... the Stone Balls. It's a little known natural phenomenon that apparently has only happened in two other places in the world.

And it's not easy to get to!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

And then there were six

Our Mexico RV Caravan is getting smaller as Brian and Kathy headed to the beach this morning. They live in British Columbia and decided to take the shorter (for them) west coast route out of Mexico.

So now we are only six rigs and 10 people!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Yet another fantastic day in Mexico

Yesterday morning at 9:00am we set out with our hiking partners Bob and Denise, with a goal of getting to the overlook behind the town of Etzatlan. Ruth and I have done this walk before, and it winds through the valley with a steady uphill gain on a quiet dirt road.

Once again, it was a beautiful day with clear blue skies. High 28C (82F), low 9C (48F).

Monday, March 18, 2019

And now we are seven...

Our group of eight RVs in this Mexico RV Caravan is now down to seven. Sadly, we said goodbye to Garth (http://wanderingwserenity.blogspot.com/ ) as his sister came up to join him to the trip down to Puerto Vallarta to visit family.

Also, he lives in California, so it makes sense for him to head up the west coast to California instead of up to Laredo and then through Texas.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Tequila!

We are close to the famous town by the name of Tequila... only about 40 kms (25 miles) away. But we've decided not to take the group there. Ruth and I have been before, and we found it a bit touristy, and with touristy prices to go along with it.

So instead, we found a local distillery in the next town. And what a great choice that was!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Only two weeks left!

We originally had five nights planned here at Delia's Trailer Park in Etzatlan. But there is so much to see and do here, and everybody likes it so we are extending our stay to seven nights.

Another reason that we have this flexibility is that we had been planning on visiting the city of Aguascalientes, but there is only one RV option close to the city and they have told me that they only have three available sites. So we've changed the route a little bit and we are cancelling Aguascalientes. That left us with a few extra nights.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Happy to be back in Etzatlan!

Yesterday, we did the drive from Chimulco Water Park in Villa Corona to Delia's Trailer Park in Etzatlan. Uneventful drive, but we took the route through the mountains just for the views. Ruth and I have been this way a couple of times before.

We think this is our fourth or fifth visit to Etzatlan.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Time for a change of scenery

Well, we had a pretty good week at Chimulco Water Park here in Villa Corona. But, a week in one spot is enough...we have more of Mexico to show these people!

So we're moving on to see Bonnie at Delia's Trailer Park in Etzatlan. It's a farming town with a population around 17,000 and it's located only 45 kms (28 miles) from the popular tourist town of Tequila.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Pizza Party!

Tuesday is market day in Villa Corona, so a bunch of us walked into town. We had actually planned on having lunch there, but we were a bit early for lunch so we just picked up some fruits and veggies and walked back.

Also, it was pizza day! We had made a plan to have pizza for dinner for the group, so we stopped by Mr. Bigs Pizza to place our order and have it delivered later in the day, but the place wasn't open yet.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

First thing we saw was Mexico's national bird

We had found an old dirt road that went from here at Villa Corona all the way to the town of Estipac 10kms away.

So yesterday morning we set out at 8:00am with our hiking partners Bob and Denise. It sure is nice to have some people in the group who are avid hikers like ourselves!

Monday, March 11, 2019

That's a lot of bull!

A relaxing morning for the most part yesterday, then at 11:00am we got together with whoever wanted to join us for a walk into the central area of the town of Villa Corona. Walking, it is 1.5 kms (just under a mile) one way to the central plaza. Some people took a moto-taxi.... one of those three wheeled combo motorcycle taxicabs.

We wanted to try to get to the Sand Church.... Templo de Arena. It's just one of those oddball small town attractions here in Mexico that you won't see anywhere else in the world.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Saturday is still a work day for a lot of people in Mexico...

Yesterday was a nice relaxing day.

We started it off with a 9 km (5.6 mile) hike. There were 7 of us to start off. We didn't really have a destination in mind, other than heading out along a causeway to see some bird life in a marshy area near the park.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

I can see!

Yesterday, we took six other members of our RV Caravan group into the big city of Guadalajara. We are staying at Villa Corona for 7 nights, so Ruth and I wanted to get into Guadalajara the first full day in this area so that I could try to order some new eyeglasses and have them ready by the time we leave.

The last pair I had were from Zenni Optical online in June 2017. They were pretty flimsy and the lenses were getting scuffed up. I really needed a new pair of glasses, and I think my prescription had changed as well.

Friday, March 8, 2019

The deal is done!

Well, the money has arrived in the Swiss couple's bank account and we have officially purchased an RV in Australia! They will bring the rig to the storage place on Monday where it will sit until our arrival around May 20th.

Many of you made suggestions on how to transfer the money.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A lot can change in only three years!

Yesterday was another relax day. Ruth went into town with a couple of the others to pick up some stuff at the market. This area produces a lot of berries... raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries and they are so delicious and inexpensive.

And while she was doing that, Sherman and I spent some quality time together.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Lake Chapala water level is high!

Yesterday, we walked in with some of the group to the nearby town of Jocotepec. We had been to a roadside restaurant back in 2016 that sells only birria. Birria is like a type of soup/stew usually made with goat or sheep, but we have seen in made with beef as well.

It was about a 45 minute walk from the RV Park to the restaurant.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Our life is a logistical nightmare sometimes...

Well, I just spent the last hour and a half this morning on the phone to various parts of the world trying to figure out how to pay for an Australian RV using a Canadian bank account to a couple in Switzerland while I am in Mexico!

Our life is a logistical nightmare sometimes... but we wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, March 4, 2019

We bought an RV for Australia!

Yes, the same rig we were talking to you about yesterday. We spent some time on the phone with the Swiss owners Raffael and Jasmin and they showed us some live video of the rig. The internet is wonderful sometimes, isn't it?

We came to an agreement, and now it is just the logistics to figure out!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

A possible rig for Australia

As our regular readers know, we are going to Australia for three months starting in mid May. I've been keeping my eyes open for an RV or campervan of some kind just to get an idea on prices and what's available down under.

There are a lot of backpacker campervans... ranging in price from $6,000 AUD to $15,000 AUD ($4,500 USD to $11,000 USD) (the Canadian dollar is almost on par with the Australian dollar).

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Just another adventure in Mexico...

Yesterday, we took the group ATV'ing! We had checked out one rental place a couple of days ago, and they had some pretty beat up looking ATV's for 300 pesos an hour. And some nicer ones for 500 pesos an hour.

We called some taxis to come and get us and bring us into Mazamitla. One of the cab drivers said he knew of a place that has better machines, so he took us there.

Friday, March 1, 2019

February Expenses

Well, we're off to a pretty good start on the year.

$1,430 CAD in January, and $1,471 CAD in February. (Subtract about 25% for $USD equivalent). This is pretty typical of our expenses when we are traveling here in Mexico. Food, booze, and restaurants are all reasonably priced... it is only gasoline that is now considered expensive to our travel expenses here.

Haven't done that for a long time!

Usually, a good hike takes us somewhere between 7 to 15 kms (4 to 9 miles).

Yesterday, we set off at 9:00am, and by the time we returned at around 3:30pm we had done 23.6 kms (14.6 miles). Yikes! Haven't done that for a long time!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Mazamitla, fish tacos, and waterfall

We took the group into the town of Mazamitla yesterday. It's a pretty little town, but really busy on weekends because it is a popular getaway place for people who live in the big city of Guadalajara. During the week is a better time to visit.

On the way, there is a new fish taco place that came highly recommended.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A visit to Whiskey's tree, and a fiesta!

Beautiful day yesterday, and we set off with a few others to walk down the road to the old Hacienda Contreras RV Park.

The main reason for Ruth and I was to visit Whiskey's tree, but we also wanted to show the others the park that we had spent so much time at over the years since our first visit in 2009.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I love going to the dentist!

Said no one.

Ever.

But if you need to go to the dentist, the one we go to here in Valle de Juárez is pretty easy to take. We've been to her several times in the past. The last time was three years ago in February 2016 when I had caps put on my two rear upper molars.

Monday, February 25, 2019

You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!

An old Irish proverb I once heard.

And it applied to a lot of us yesterday!

We took the group up into the mountains of Jalisco in behind the town of Valle de Juárez in order to visit an old working mescal distillery. For Ruth and I, this was our fourth visit to this interesting and beautiful place.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sherman gets another blemish

Another driving day yesterday as we made our way from Camecuaro National Park to Valle de Juárez and the state of Jalisco.

We have eight nights planned at Valle de Juárez, and I had noticed that there was a Walmart in the south end of the small city of Zamora. So I figured the group might like to do some stocking up on things.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Another one of Mexico's beautiful National Parks

Yesterday, we did the relatively short 128 km (79 mile) drive from Patzcuaro to Camecuaro National Park.

As is always the case, it takes a lot longer than you would expect to get anywhere in Mexico. Especially when you avoid the toll roads like we normally do!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Taking advantage of another gorgeous day

Nothing planned for the group yesterday, so it was just a day off to do as you choose. We chose to do a 15 km (9.3 mile) hike!

We headed off at just after 9:30am. Our destination was the overlook on a very old volcano crater on the opposite side of town. It's a great hike because you get views in all directions. And, it was another gorgeous blue sky day.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The copper production at Santa Clara del Cobre

Yesterday morning, we took 11 members of the group to the copper town... Santa Clara del Cobre. We ordered 3 taxis and it cost 200 pesos ($10.50 USD, $13.75 CAD) per cab for the 16 km (10 mile) journey.

They say that 80% of the inhabitants in and around the town of Santa Clara del Cobre are in some way involved in the production of copper items.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wow, what a busy day!

With lots of photos! Yesterday, we went to both Tzintzuntzan and Janitzio Island. Yep, Tzintzuntzan. C'mon, say it. It's pronounced just like it's spelled!

The area has been inhabited since the 12th century. When the Spanish arrived in the 1520's there was a population of around 25,000 people living there. One of the first things they did was to build a monastery complex, and it is the most popular attraction in the area.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Perfect weather

Here at Rancho la Mesa RV Park, we are above the city of Patzcuaro. The altitude here is at 7,400 feet. But the sun is shining all day long with clear blue skies. It is only at night that it gets a little chilly.

High temperatures at this time of year are around 22C (71F), with overnight lows around 4C (39F). Great for sleeping, and by 9:30am it is beautiful and warm outside. Not hot. Just perfect for us.

Monday, February 18, 2019

An early travel day to Patzcuaro

This group is great because they don't mind early travel days, even when it's a short drive.

We made a plan to leave Uruapan's Hotel Pie de la Sierra RV park at our leisure and meet at the nearby gas station with a goal of being able to leave the gas station with everybody filled up by 7:30am.

And that's exactly what happened!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Maintenance day

One of the things we worked into this year's Mexico RV Caravan trip is lots of down time at each location. This gives the group the ability to get their rigs washed, do whatever maintenance is requires, do some laundry, or simply relax and read a book!

So yesterday was one such day!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Beautiful day to take the group to the Paricutin Volcano

In 1943, a farmer was working in a corn field when he saw the ground start to crack and steam, and a fissure broke open. By the next day, lava had been flowing out of the fissure, and  there was now a cone the size of a house. This was the first ever recorded human witness of the birth of a volcano. The Paricutin Volcano continued to erupt for nine years until February of 1952 when it stopped as abruptly as it began.

There were two villages buried in the lava flow over the 9 years of eruptions. One of the villages was almost finished building a new church at the time when the village was overtaken by the lava.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Mexico's smallest National Park

The city of Uruapan itself isn't really anything special. But, there are a couple of special things in the area, and that's why we're here.

The first, is Mexico's smallest National Park. And, the fact that this National Park is located right in the city, only 2.5 kms (1 mile) from where we are parked up at Hotel Pie de la Sierra.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Interesting driving day in Mexico, and the Tzararacua Waterfalls

With lots of beautiful scenery.

Always with a plan to arrive at our destination by 2:00pm at the latest, we set off from Ixtapa RV Park at 7:00am. We made a gasoline stop early, and then hit the toll highway heading up into the mountains and the city of Uruapan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bike ride, Zihuatanejo and the Crazy Potato

Sorry for the delay! We were on the road at 7:00am to get our driving day completed as early as possible. You can read more about that on Thursday morning!

Yesterday (Tuesday), in the morning, Ruth and I went for a bike ride! There haven't been many opportunities on this trip to get the bikes off, but Ixtapa has a fantastic cyclopista (bike path) that we wanted to take advantage of.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

La Barrita to Ixtapa

A short driving day yesterday and so we didn't get on the road until 10:00am or so. Still, it took us about 45 minutes just to maneuver our eight rigs out of the Casa Rayo del Sol RV Park in La Barrita. Nice spot, and we will stop in again the next time our travels bring us to this part of the coastline.

But, despite the short distance of 69 kms (43 miles), it took us almost two hours to arrive at our destination.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Our beach time is coming to an end

We've said it many times... we are not beach people.

After traveling all over Mexico including all of the coastline of the entire country, we have learned that we are happiest where the temperature is a little less hot. Sure, it's pretty and it's nice to stare at the ocean and watch for sea life. But if you want to get any exercise, you have to do it at 7:00am in the morning. And then, what do you do all day?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

After lunch, I figured I had better do something productive

It's not very often that we just sit around and do nothing. The blog posts would be pretty boring if that was all we did every day!

But as I said yesterday... it's pretty easy to be lazy around here!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

"Hey, there's a whale!"

We are about 50 kms (30 miles) south of the tourist area at Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo at the town of La Barrita. La Barrita is not actually a town, as such. There are about 100 people living here... a few beachfront restaurants and a couple more out on the highway... and an elementary school. That's about it.

There isn't much in the way of shopping available, although there is a fruit and vegetable truck that comes in every couple of days. Yesterday, Ruth and I went with our host Lorraine into the small city (pop 20,000) of Petatlán.

Friday, February 8, 2019

It's always an adventure in Mexico!

Driving days are always interesting because you just never know what's going to come up! Yesterday was definitely one of the more interesting ones.

We were only doing 170 kms (105 miles), but as I've mentioned before, coastal highway 200 is pretty slow going. You'd be lucky to average 60 km/h (36 mph). So we planned to set off at 7:30am, with intentions of arriving at our destination by 11:00am or so. But we were a few minutes late leaving!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Boat tour and birds

Yesterday, we took 10 members of the group and booked a boat tour of the lagoon on the opposite side of Pie de la Cuesta.

The price was 150 pesos ($7.90 USD, $10.50 CAD) per person for what was billed as a three hour tour. We arranged it for a 10am start.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Acapulco

Yesterday, nine of our group took the local bus into Acapulco. Ruth and I have not been to Acapulco since 2013, but not much has changed. Although Acapulco doesn't receive as many international tourists as it once did, the city is still an ocean playground for many people from Mexico, especially since Mexico City is only three and a half hours away by car.

There are two things you have to do as a visitor to Acapulco... one is to see the famous cliff divers at La Quebrada... and the other is to take the local bus!

We walked out the gate to the road, and a bus was coming!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Saying goodbye to Tioga George

Sad news out this morning that long time vagabonder supreme Tioga George has passed away. I guess his family was finally able to post on his blog...

https://blog.vagabonders-supreme.net/2019/02/dear-readers.html

We first met George here in Mexico in 2013.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Playa Ventura to Acapulco

We weren't sure when we were going to be able to leave Playa Ventura. The problem was that they were holding their annual half marathon, and we were parked right near the finish line!

So at 7:00am, there was all kind of activity going on. Originally, we had been told it should be all over around 9:00am, but it did not look promising.