View from City Rock in Permet, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? On our way to Gjyrokaster, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Berat, Albania on October 12th.

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.

This actually could be a good thing, if there is a bright side. Our cancellation insurance may then come into play. I'm going to phone the insurance provider this morning to see what they suggest. I think we'll need a doctor's certificate or letter, but we're thinking of heading back to the doctor today anyhow.

They may let us cancel the whole thing and issue a full refund of the price we paid for the very cheap tickets. But they may also suggest that we delay the start of the trip and they pay the penalty charges. We've never had to deal with trip cancellation insurance, so I guess we'll find out some things today.

Had Ruth been well enough to travel, we had thought about sending her on to Australia alone and I would play catch up when the visa gets approved. but that could be another 2-3 weeks and we really don't want to be apart that long. We like traveling together! So, I think even if the insurance does not cover it, we may cancel anyhow and simply pay the price.

Then, when the visa comes through we would buy some very expensive tickets to get over there.

Like I said, what a circus.

Other news? We are looking at buying property here in the town of Cabri.

The system doesn't make it easy to be a nomad as a Canadian citizen. Both the banks and the government require you to have a residence address. Many people rely on family for this need, and to collect their mail. But our family is all in Ontario and we really don't want to be Ontario residents again. We like Saskatchewan and the way they do things here.

Also, some countries (both the U.S. and Australia included) are getting more fussy about "ties to Canada" as one of the things they look at when assessing whether or not they will let you into their country as a visitor. One of those ties is property ownership.

So, it turns out that the little town of Cabri is one of the cheapest places in Canada to buy property. You can buy a serviced building lot in the town for $2,500 CAD ($1,875 USD).

By doing this, we would get a physical residence address (even though the lot is empty) as well as a free postal box at the post office to receive mail. The ongoing cost would be about $400 a year in property taxes. And thinking long term, we might build a small house on the property eventually. We're tired of relying on other people for our situation and this would make us independent of that.

So we will likely put in the offer before we leave here and finalize the purchase when we return in August.

What else...? Oh yeah.... we got pulled over by the police last night.

We had been invited yesterday evening to friends on one of the grid roads near town. About 3 miles away. Just a social visit, so we were offered a drink or two.

Sitting on the deck with Sharlene last night.

Coming home three hours later, I was driving through town and we saw a police vehicle sitting in the dark. As soon as I passed by, the lights came on and he pulled onto the road and followed behind. Then the flashing lights came on.

He asked for my drivers licence, asked if I had been drinking. I said "Yes, I had one light beer and two glasses of wine over a three hour period." He said they were doing roadside spot breathalyzer checks. He read out a statement saying he had reason to believe I had been drinking and was I voluntarily submitting to a breathalyzer test.


The legal limit is .08% and the "warning" limit is .04%. If you blow over .08% you will be charged with drunk driving. If you blow between .04% and .08% you will have a 3 day suspension among other things.

I blew .035%, so I was fine. He gave me a bit of a lecture, and sent us on our way. He was a good guy though, and was just doing his job. Not a fun feeling getting pulled over by the cops. I bet it's been ten years or so since the last time that happened.

Anyhow... stuff to do today. Better get at it!

Big price drop on the popular and highly rated Zinus Ultima Comfort Memory Foam King Mattress. Note... this is a full King Size Mattress! Don't forget to clip the $3.43 coupon as well!

And in Canada...

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  1. Hey, 'good' stuff comes in threes, my mom always says. (Actually, she says that about funerals.) So now you've had your three -- your visa issues, Ruth's sickness...and now being pulled over.
    So everything is going to get better now!
    Seriously, I hope it've gone through enough for a while.

    1. Yep, let's hope all that is behind us now and we can start off on a new foot. Good thing we don't let things like this bother us, we know things could be worse and that only we can make things better and we intent on doing just that. :-)

  2. I was a travel agent for 20 years fyi - the way trip cancellation insurance works is you may need documentation to claim so best to call insurance company now and explain what is happening with Ruth. Ask what documentation is required to claim, usually involves a letter from a Dr indicating she is not well enough to travel and you both can cancel as are spouse/travelling companions. Each insurance company is different but usually they don't suggest changing dates ever, just refunds. I hope she does feel better soon. The only fly in the ointment is that vehicle you bought there, I hope it all works out. Wow, those lots are cheap!

    1. We have already read all the information that comes with the cancelation insurance and we also called to qualify exactly what was needed and would a kidney infection be considered a viable reason to cancel the flights and the person at the other end seemed to think so. We got the doctor's note yesterday so hopefully we have all that is needed and we know that anything to do with insurance takes time. Nope we aren't going to change the dates, we are just going to straight out cancel the flights. When I am feeling better we will then look at the cheapest way for us to get to Australia which may require us taking a flight to some other country staying for a few days and then taking another one to Australia. Kevin will definitely have some research ahead of him once we know when we can fly again.

      I hope I am feeling back to normal soon as well. I am very frustrated because this is so unusual for me to have to deal with under the weather like this. :-(

      We aren't worried about our truck camper it is in storage, we will just have to pay a little more to store it for a little longer, that's all. As long as we make it there we will be happy.

  3. With those issues maybe things will now work out for you, at least you can hope.

    1. We will make things work out, one way or another! :-)

  4. I hope Visa comes through for Kevin soon. Yes maybe Ruth needs to go to hospital to get evaluated to see if it's more to it and get proper meds...might be stone that needs to be dissolved. Luck is on your side with buying the travel insurance. Cheapchick's comment says you both can get a refund but no change in date travel ever. Good idea to buy an empty lot to get an address & po box. Get better Ruth.

    1. We hope so too!

      I have already been to the hospital. I went last Friday and it has been determined that I do indeed have a kidney infection both with a urine test and with the CT scan and the CT scan ruled out the kidney stone as that is what the doctor thought I might have had but found that I didn't. It is just a matter of finding the right medication that will work best for me that seems to be the issue.

      We didn't buy the travel insurance, it is one of the benefits of our credit card providing of course that you paid for your flights with that credit card which we of course did. And, yes we both will be able to get our flights canceled and a full credit back.

  5. If you bought a lot in Cabri, would it be permissible to park Sherman there?

    1. We could park Sherman there but we cannot live in him!

  6. I hope your visa comes soon and hope Ruth is feeling better soon. Since you are near the famous tree just outside of Swift Current. Pass it and make your wish. The locals have stories to tell about it.

    1. Thank you very much, we are hoping for the same. :-)

      If we drive past it again before we leave, we will be sure to do just that. Never realized it was so famous and had so many stories. We will have to find someone local that knows about some of these stories. :-)

  7. I'm a fairly recent reader but love your travels in Mexico as we have been to quite a number of the places you love. I'm curious as to what brought you to Cabri, Sask. since you say your family is mostly in Ontario? Did you consider anywhere else before deciding?
    I understand the problems of not having a permanent address. We relied on relatives for years while we were cruising. Not always easy.

    1. Work brought us to Cabri. Back in 2013 when knew we needed a job for the summer and we had talked to a couple who managed a campground for the summer in British Columbia and from the research that Kevin did Saskatchewan was one of the best paying and is one of the only provinces in Canada that have Regional Parks and they have a lot of them and are always looking for employees and managers. We applied for several and got a job for the summer in northern Saskatchewan. It worked out well but we weren't sure whether we wanted to return to that park again or not. As it worked out we didn't go back there but got another position managing the Regional Park just outside of Cabri for the following summer. We enjoyed it more there and stayed on there working for a total of 4 summers before stopping for at least a 2 year break which was last summer and this summer. We may go back again next summer for at least one more year but won't make that decision until sometime in the fall. During our second year at the park here in Cabri we decided to become residents of Saskatchewan and haven't looked back since. We really like the way things work here and the local community of Cabri is fantastic and friendly.

  8. Kevin, be careful drinking and driving in the US (shouldn't do it anyways; a lot of people are in prison who only had a few drinks, had a car crash that wasn't even their fault but because they had alcohol in their system, they owned it). There are many areas throughout the U.S. that any alcohol in your system will get you arrested and your RV will be up to you and your high dollar American lawyer to prove you weren't impaired. There is no national standard in the U.S. as to what constitutes drunk driving. It's a long way from Canada to Mexico if you have to go around the and sober travels....

    1. I have nothing to worry about because I have never driven the motorhome with alcohol in my system.


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