Ruth, showing off the weird rock formations at Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New adventures coming up!

Our time in Peru is winding down. Considering this trip was a last minute replacement for what was supposed to be Ecuador/Galapagos, we are sure happy with the way things worked out.

And because it was a last minute thing, we had done absolutely no research into this trip until 48 hours or so before boarding the plane. It was kind of exciting doing it that way!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

How did we manage to do that?!

Up early yesterday to get ready for a big hike up to a lake in the Peruvian Andes near where we are staying here in Huaraz. We had read about this hike, and so we knew that it was going to be a tough one that needed an early start if we were going to complete it.

Our friends Lara and Luca came and met us at our apartment and we took the collectivo van to the village of Wilcahuain about 5 kms (3 miles) away where the trail begins to Laguna Ahuac.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

We love going to the market

We didn't sleep very well Sunday night, so when our friends Luca and Lara invited us to go on a hike with them, we declined. Not like us to do that, but we don't want to get run down.

Instead, we stayed in the apartment, and I had a late morning nap. By lunchtime, we were ready to go out.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Not the best lunch

We made a plan to go for a hike up to a mirador (lookout) overlooking the city of Huaraz. We sent a note to our new friends Luca and Lara and asked if they wanted to join us. We met them at their hostel around 10:00am and set off up the hill.

It was about a 3 km (1.8 mile) hike up the hill. But most of it was through the city itself, so it really didn't start to become scenic until we got quite a lot higher up.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Fantastic road through the mountains to the Chavin Ruins

We had made a plan to (once again) do a group tour through the people at Peruvian Mountain Adventures.

It's not our normal travel style to do group tours. And in fact, if we were to do this particular one again, we would probably chose to do it on our own. Only for the simple fact that we would have loved to stay in the area for longer!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

A rare evening out...

Yesterday was a rest day. We didn't leave the apartment until after lunch when we made our way down to the central area to pick up some more supplies.

There is a small archaeological museum at the central plaza, so we paid the 5 soles ($2 CAD, $1.50 USD) entrance fee per person and went to see what there was to see.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Pastoruri Glacier Tour - Peru

We've pretty much figured that we are going to stay here in Huaraz for the balance of our Peru trip. There is simply too much to see and do in this area that we don't see the point of moving somewhere else just for the sake of moving. We love our accommodation, and the area itself is spectacular.

Take yesterday, for example. Once again we booked a day tour with Peruvian Mountain Adventures. The cost of group day tours is usually around 50 soles ($19.50 CAD, $15 USD) each and that is for the full day tour. We've learned that it wouldn't be much less to get to any of these places on your own, so the day tours make a lot of sense.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

What do we do on a day off in Peru?

Here in Peru, a day off is when we don't do any hiking! It's important to take a break after some of the strenuous hiking we've been doing.

So after doing the Laguna 69 hike on Tuesday, we made Wednesday a day of rest.  Of course that doesn't mean we just sit around and watch television all day!

Five Things to Do When You Have Just a Couple of Days at Home

Does it seem like you are constantly travelling? Maybe you have a job that requires you to be on the road at all times, travelling outside the country and even continent. Then again, maybe you just really enjoy travelling and try to book trips as often as possible. While the travelling part may be fun, exciting, and busy, it doesn’t leave you much time at home. When you are at home, that means you need to scramble to fit everything in before you’re off on your next trip.

To help you manage your time a little better, here’s a look at the top five things to do when you have just a couple days at home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Well, we did pretty good at 15,000 feet...

...for a couple of almost 58 year olds!

We had booked a day tour hike to Laguna 69. It's a fairly popular hike, but the trailhead is located in Huascarán National Park and it's a 3 hour ride to get there from the city of Huaraz. Normally, we would try to arrange our own transportation and do the hike on our own, but it makes more sense in these mountains to go with an experienced guide. Plus, the cost isn't much more than you would pay for transportation alone. In this case, we chose Peruvian Mountain Tours as our operator.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Downpour!

By the time you are reading this, we will be somewhere up in the Peruvian Andes. We are being picked up at 4:45am for a 3 hour bus ride to the trailhead for the Laguna 69 hike.

This is a popular hike that leads to a turquoise glacial lake located at 15,000 ft elevation. Are we ready for that? Not sure, but I guess we'll find out today!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Our first day hike in Peru

We are at the beginning of the rainy season here, but that doesn't mean that it rains all day long. In fact yesterday we woke up to sunshine and blue skies. Perfect for our first hike in Peru.

There is a pre-Incan ruins site about 6 kms (3.7 miles) from our residence. And it's an uphill climb of about 1,300 feet in that distance, so it would be good exercise and we would see how our bodies are adjusting to the altitude.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A little bit of excitement last night

We are at the beginning of the rainy season here at the base of Huascarán National Park. Prime hiking months are apparently June, July, and August when you get mostly clear blue skies. So while we do get some sunshine through the day, it is mostly cloudy and there is a good chance of a shower every day as well.

We are getting our bodies used to the fact that we are at 10,000 ft altitude. Most of the good hiking is upwards of 12,000 ft, so it is good to take a couple of days to get used to the thinner air.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

We didn't expect this scenery

Most people who have never visited Peru have only a vision of Machu Picchu in their minds when they think of Peru. We were the same, of course, because we had never been here either.

So we were somewhat surprised to learn that the city of Lima and the surrounding area is all desert. That's one of the reasons there are very few trees in the city itself, and it's such a dusty dirty city.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Four dollars well spent!

One thing that we have learned about the city of Lima is that it takes forever to get anywhere. Traffic is horrendous, and while we've enjoyed our three days here, three days was enough for us. We probably could have done one more day in the downtown core, which would have been fine if we were actually staying in the downtown core. But we were not.

Most tourists who come to visit Lima stay in the "Miraflores" neighborhood. But Miraflores is an exclusive residential and upscale shopping neighborhood. It's not really our style, and it's certainly not what we came to Peru for.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

A busy day in Lima, Peru

Yesterday, we made our way to "el centro"... the downtown historical section of Lima. We had originally planned on taking the local bus, but it's not an easy system to figure out and even with our hosts help it seemed confusing.

Plus, Lima is a big dirty city of 8 million people, and not all areas are what could be considered safe for tourists. In fact, our Uber driver told us that "Lima is full of bad people".

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Beautiful photos of Peru

I know you are expecting us to show you beautiful photos of Peru. And hopefully we will live up to your expectations one of these days, but it won't be today!

Yesterday was our first full day in Lima. We are staying in a nice place with a very friendly local family who do not speak any English.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Arrived in Lima, Peru... country #38

Lindsey drove us to Ottawa airport at 11:30am yesterday. Lots of time for our 2:00pm flight to Montreal. We find that time passes quickly in airports, and it's always better to arrive at an airport early than late!

Sure enough, we were soon boarding our "puddle jumper" flight to Montreal.

Monday, October 14, 2019

We are off to Peru!

Yesterday, one of our readers asked about our trip cancellation insurance.

We have been using a TD Travel Visa that includes a variety of insurance provided you use that Visa card to book your trip. Now, we have a Scotiabank Passport Travel Visa and it includes the same suite of insurance products. Interestingly, in all of our years of travel, we have never had to use cancellation insurance, and this year we have had to use it twice!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Our trip to Ecuador is cancelled!

We've been closely watching the escalation of problems in Ecuador.

Ecuador does not have their own currency. They use the U.S. dollar. While this provides a level of currency stability, it creates other problems. When a country has its own currency, they simply print more of it. However in this situation, the Ecuador government was running out of money, so they went to the International Monetary Fund and took out a loan of $4.2 billion.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

We head to the airport at 7:00am

We are back at our daughter's place. Busy household right now because our son came for a visit yesterday as well and ended up staying the night. Great to have the family together.

Gave back our rental car yesterday, so we are carless for the rest of our stay here. No plans, although Ruth is going to borrow Lindsey's car to go to her 40th anniversary high school reunion.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

It was time for a change!

We've always been fans of Merrell brand hiking boots. We've probably owned more than five pairs each over the past 12 years or so. But the last pair we each bought did not seem to last as long as the previous pairs.

Especially the last pair that Ruth bought. They began falling apart less than three months after they were bought brand new! Sorry Merrell... that's not acceptable.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Problems in Ecuador

We don't ever talk about politics here unless it directly affects our travels. And in this situation, it might.

There is some civil unrest going on in Ecuador right now. Last week, the President removed the government oil subsidy and almost overnight the price of fuel doubled. So, people are upset... especially the transportation unions.

This has caused riots in the central Quito area and that in turn has caused the Government to move operations from Quito to the city of Guayaquil.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

It's all about the choices you make

Not too many people comment on our blog anymore. Most of the comments are made on our facebook page because for most people it's a lot easier to comment there.

One of yesterday's comments mentioned how "fortunate" we are to be doing all the traveling that we do. And people in the past have said how "lucky" we are. But we do not consider ourselves either fortunate, or lucky.

Monday, October 7, 2019

We have not yet been around the world

When our dog Whiskey was with us, we were pretty much limited to traveling in our motorhome in North America. And we were quite happy with that at the time. But when she passed away in the fall of 2011, we knew that would give us the opportunity to do more international travel.

And we have totally taken advantage of that! While we still love RV travel, we can now do it in other countries. We have RV'd in Africa, Europe, and Australia. And we have also taken many "backpack" style trips.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Off to the hospital...

Busy day with the grandkids yesterday as we had to get them to their swimming lessons right after breakfast, and then after swimming Cameron has his karate lesson in the town of Kemptville, located about 60 kms (36 miles) south of Ottawa.

There's a short gap in between though, and they usually go to a nearby park and play for a half an hour before going to Cameron's karate.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

One week to go!

We've been here in Ottawa area for 5 weeks now. Normally my limit would be 3 weeks, but we've been so busy that time has gone by quickly. Right now we're looking after the grandkids and Chester the dog, but Mom and Dad return home from New York City tomorrow.

This morning we have to take them to swimming lessons, and then Cameron has his karate lesson right after that. Then we are all going to visit my mom.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Ten years ago today...

Well, fall is definitely in the air today. With an overcast high of 10C (50F), it certainly feels like we have turned the corner. Fortunately, our time here is almost done and we will soon be at the equator!

We are at our daughter's house looking after the grandkids and Chester the dog. Of course the kids are in school all day, so we get to take Chester for some walks.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The cheapest way to do an official legal will

Getting lots done during our down time here. But, it's been busy! There's been something going on almost every day, and when there's nothing going on we are doing Ecuador research and planning for the Mexico RV trip this winter!

Life is never boring, that's for sure! We've also been looking after some personal things like changing our banking, credit card, and investing providers. Along that same line of thinking is updating our wills... something that hadn't been done since 1996!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

September Expenses

Well, it was by no means a cheap month, but it did come in pretty much where we expected it to... so there were no real surprises. We always spend more money visiting "home" than we do when we're traveling!

We spent a total of $2,731 CAD ($2,060 USD) for the month.

Here are all the details...