Max, at his overnight spot near the town of Žiri, Slovenia..
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Žiri, Slovenia.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Croatia.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

We will soon be back to exploring...without glasses!

I know that this eye surgery stuff has been taking up a lot of our daily activities for the past two weeks. But it's almost over! By next Monday we will be back to our normal programming showing you some more of the sights of Turkey.

An interesting thing has happened since we stopped posting to Facebook. Now, maybe it's a combination of factors, since it seems that many of you have been interested our progress with this eye surgery, but our daily readership has actually increased since stopping the Facebook posts.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Eye Surgery #2... no more glasses!

My first new eye... the one that was done last Friday, is now at about 90%. It will still improve a little more over the coming days. But it was time to get the second new eye!

Yesterday, Tuesday, was a total write off. It poured with rain all day and we just stayed inside. So it felt great to do the 8.2 km (5.1 mile) walk to the hospital this morning. Our appointment was at 9:00am, so we left the apartment at 7:30am... it was still dark out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Our highs and lows of 2020

Most of the world is happy to be leaving 2020 behind and watching it disappear in the rear view mirror. 2021 just has to be better. But while there were some challenges for us in 2020, we certainly wouldn't call it a disastrous year, as it has been for many people!

The first three months of 2020 were fantastic. January, February, and March we were in Mexico leading a group of other motorhomes on a four and a half month tour. It was a great group of people and we enjoyed the trip as much as we think the participants did. It was a lot of fun!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Things continue to improve

Yesterday was another lock down day and we didn't leave the apartment. But, we have our freedom back for the next three days until the four day New Years lockdown happens here in Turkey. While Christmas is not a big deal here, New Year's Eve normally is. It's going to be tough to get out and do anything though over the next three days. We have an eye doctor appointment at 11:00am today, and then it's supposed to rain for almost 24 hours through to Tuesday afternoon.

And then of course Wednesday is eye surgery number two! Of course Wednesday is supposed to be a beautiful day. We don't know at what time yet though, so we're hoping it will be in the afternoon so that we can get out and do something Wednesday morning.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Eye report... the day after surgery

Woke up Saturday morning with a 9:30am appointment at the eye doctor ahead of us. 

The first thing I wanted to do was to remove the patch to see if I could see! The doctor had said it was okay for me to remove it in order to confirm that I would be okay to drive.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Day eye surgery

Christmas Day morning, we got out and went for a walk in the big park across the road from our apartment. We figured we had better get some exercise since Saturday and Sunday we are back to weekend lockdown.

The park across the road is huge... in fact I read that it is the 9th largest park in the world that is located in a suburban city area. For comparison, Vancouver's Stanley Park is 405 hectares, New York's Central Park is 340 hectares, and here in Antalya, Zeytin Park is 263 hectares.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas from Antalya, Turkey!

By the time most of you read this, we will be at the hospital having our Christmas Day eye surgery done. It's being performed at 4:00pm this afternoon Turkish time, so that's about 8am Eastern time in Canada and the U.S..

The eye surgery is our Christmas present to each other! They are only doing the one eye today... the second eye will be done next Wednesday.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Got our new car, and time in Turkey extended

At about 11:30am Wednesday, only 14 hours or so after the car accident happened, another car was sitting outside our apartment building delivered by the car rental company from 200 kms (125 miles) away. I don't know what to say except that I am amazed by the great service!

We had to drive the two men (one was the owner of the company) who brought the new car back to the place where our damaged car was sitting. I had to pay the owner 5,000 lira ($850 CAD, $650 USD) in cash. No paperwork, and no receipt. I'm confident it's all good though. And if he's putting it in his pocket, well then it's none of my business.

Killing Time on Long Train Journeys: 4 Excellent Tips

 Killing Time on Long Train Journeys: 4 Excellent Tips

Train journeys can be very frustrating. Unless you’ve prepared well, you’re usually stuck staring out of the window for hours, waiting to arrive at your destination. It’s even worse when there are delays! Fortunately, there are lots of ways to start enjoying your train journeys more. The trick is to realise that by not driving you're actually giving yourself some time. That time can be spent on work or play, but sitting and staring out of the window does not have to be your only option. Here are the best ways to kill time on even the longest of train journeys.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

This car accident story takes up a whole blog post!

This is part two of yesterday's events. If you missed part one, you should read it first...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/12/hiking-eye-doctor-and-fairly-major-car.html

So we're driving home from the eye doctor's appointment at around 6:30pm. It's dark out by this time, and I don't enjoy driving at night to begin with. And we had a bunch of tests done to our eyes, and they maybe haven't totally recovered. But, they are probably 95%. However, none of that had anything to do with the accident.

Hiking, eye doctor... and a fairly major car accident!

Well, what a day we had. As Ruth says, our life is never boring! But as you'll see, sometimes boring might actually be a bit better.

There is so much to tell you that I think we will break this into two blog posts!

Let's start at the beginning. As I explained in yesterday's blog post, I woke up feeling quite a bit better. Almost totally normal. And, we had been cooped up in the apartment for three full days. It was time to get outside and get some exercise.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

We thought I had Covid

Slept well Sunday night, and woke up Monday morning ready to go for a hike and looking forward to our eye doctor appointments.

But it didn't take long to realize that something wasn't right. In the time frame of less than half an hour I went from feeling fine to running to the toilet. I had some kind of a stomach bug.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Another video of our new motorhome

We survived another two days of weekend quarantine and now have five days of freedom in front of us. But, we won't know what that five days is going to look like until we have our eye doctor appointments this afternoon. It could be that surgery happens fairly quickly. And we'll probably have to alternate somewhat who gets what done when to allow at least one of us to be able to drive and look after the other depending on how things go. We'll find out more later today.

And Christmas is coming up on Friday, but we're not sure how much that will affect things here in Turkey... a mostly Muslim country that doesn't typically celebrate Christmas, although we have seen some Christmas trees and things in some of the stores. From what I have read, this coming Friday could be a fairly normal work day here in Turkey.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Good news received yesterday, and some Kilimanjaro planning

Now into Sunday, day two of our weekend quarantine here in Turkey. The weekend quarantine is supposed to last through the New Year's Eve weekend which will actually be a four day lockdown lasting from 9am Thursday December 31st until 5am Monday January 4th.

Too bad, because it's been a beautiful weekend. But, we are doing our part to follow the rules. Fortunately, we can get out and about for the next five days. We feel bad for the locals who have to work for five days and then quarantine for two.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

A new twist in our eye surgery story!

If you haven't read yesterday's post, you really need to do that before reading this one.

And so, given the events of Thursday, we had pretty much given up on getting the corrective eye surgery done while here in Turkey. But you never know when fate is going to change your direction in life. And so it was yesterday. What a strange story!

Friday, December 18, 2020

The eye doctor visit didn't go exactly as planned...

Yesterday morning we had our eye doctor appointments here in Antalya. 

Turkey is known as one of the cheaper places in the world to have corrective eye surgery performed. They even have a (normally) booming medical tourism industry related to that fact. But in trying to research it, I had a really difficult time coming up with actual prices. We figured that since we are already here, we would look into doing away with our glasses!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The ancient city of Termessos... possibly the best ruins site yet!

Only 30 kms (18 miles) from our apartment in Antalya is the ancient city of Termessos. But while Antalya is virtually at sea level, the city of Termessos was built in the mountains, 3,000' above.

I had done some research and seen some photos, and the site looked spectacular. Despite it being so close to Antalya, it is a fairly quiet ruins site because it's not accessible to the masses. Most people drive from the entrance gate to the parking area, and even then it is a fairly steep 1 km (.6 miles) hike to actually get to the ruins.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Moving day, and the ancient city of Olympos

We were out of the apartment in Finike at about 10:30am and headed for the big city of Antalya (pop 1,000,000). But we didn't want to arrive in Antalya until mid afternoon, so we planned to do some sightseeing along the way.

First, we headed towards the little village of Karaoz, with the thought of maybe doing some more Lycian Way hiking. But the weather was still not great and there was a 60% chance of rain. Besides, with all the rain we had three days prior to that, the trails would likely be pretty muddy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

It felt great to get outside again.

Our weekend curfew was over yesterday morning, but we woke up to more rain. The forecast called for a break in the showers after lunch, so as soon as that break occurred, we put on our raincoats and headed out the door!

I carry a set of exercise bands with me, and between pushups and other exercises I managed to get some activity in during our almost three days stuck in the apartment. But getting out for some fresh air and a fast paced walk really felt great. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

The credit card is getting a workout!

Pouring rain here all day yesterday. Not nice being cooped up due to the weekend quarantine here in Turkey, but it does make it a little more bearable knowing that we likely wouldn't have been outside anyhow. Man, did it pour buckets!

So, I spent a lot of time on the computer yesterday. 

We knew when we made the decision that a trip to Tanzania was going to be expensive. It's one of those countries where tourists pay far more than locals to do just about anything.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Why do they make things so difficult?

Seems that anything the government in any country touches, they make it difficult. It's either complicated... or it's confusing.

We need to have tourist visas in order to visit Tanzania. It's really just a money grab, because I haven't read of anybody being turned down for any reason. As Canadian citizens, we qualify for Visa on Arrival. It's a fairly simply system whereby you get off the plane and fill out some forms and maybe stand in lines for two hours while you get your visa processed. Then you pay your $50 USD, get your passport stamped, and away you go.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Appointment with the hospital

Not an emergency though... don't worry! Full story below.

Yesterday was an interesting day. We had to get a legal file printed off and mailed back to Canada. Just some stuff related to Ruth's father's estate. So we had to find somewhere to do that. I thought about a library, and a computer store, or an internet cafe but couldn't find any decent looking options using google maps in the town we are in. Guaranteed there would be somewhere, but instead we chose to drive a half an hour to the larger town of Kumluca.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Having lunch with the goats

Well I guess now that we have confirmed that we are going to climb Kilimanjaro, we need to stay in shape! Or hopefully get in better shape! 

We've been making an effort though... doing regular hiking and walking, and whenever possible involving some climbing. So yesterday we did a fairly short 1,200' climb to another ruins site. I know... you're probably getting tired of ruins sites.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

We decided where we are going next, and it's booked!

We got ourselves settled into our new apartment for the week. It's okay, except that it has no WiFi, and the cooking supplies are not the best. Ruth showed me one of the fry pans, and I said "you wouldn't use that in your own house" so why are they supplying us with it? But, that's what you get for $20 a night!

And we realize that. But in looking at more expensive places, you really need to spend double that and even then you have to be selective. The problem is that many Airbnb rentals are used by people on holiday, and generally people on holiday eat in restaurants.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Moving day, and the ancient city of Kyaneai

Tuesday was a travel day, so the blog post was a little late. If you missed it, you can read it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/12/more-beautiful-turkish-scenery.html

We were only going from Kaş to Finike, a distance of about 75 kms (47 miles). Slow going on some curvy roads though, so we figured maybe an hour and a half drive.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

More beautiful Turkish scenery

Kind of surprised that we didn't get a little more audience participation on yesterday's post. We think we have made a decision, but we won't tell you about it until we actually book the flights.

Yesterday we were released from our weekend quarantine, and it sure felt good to get out for a hike. It was only two days, but when you have no backyard you do start to feel a little cooped up. We could not do 14 days of quarantine in an apartment... or a motorhome, for that matter.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Where are we off to next? Help us decide!

Our tourist visa to Turkey expires January 11th, so we are trying to sort through the options of where we want to go next. The plan is to arrive in Germany around March 22nd in order to pick up our new European motorhome. Of course that is still a ways off and we don't even know if that will be possible at the time. But that's the plan.

So we have between January 11th and March 22nd to go somewhere different. Almost two and a half months.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

That was the final straw

The last in a series of unpleasant events that finally makes you feel that you cannot continue to accept a bad situation.

And that is exactly the way we feel about Facebook.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post detailing the problems we were encountering. Since then, with no explanation or apology I was able to start accessing my account again, and the temporary block that was on Ruth's account was lifted.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Curfew, market day, and more Lycian Way hiking!

The whole week they had been calling for rain. But fortunately their original forecast of steady daily rain has turned out to be wrong! Instead, we've had some rain overnight, and an occasional hour or so of late afternoon rain, but otherwise it has been a very pleasant week with high temperatures of between 18C to 20C (65F to 68F). 

Turkey announced new lockdown measures earlier this week that include a full weekend curfew, among other things. This time, compared to previous announcements, it didn't specifically mention an exception for foreign tourists.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Hike to the ruins at Phellos

Once again, the weather turned out better than forecast. Yes, there has been rain every day but it's either in the evening/overnight, or maybe a shower in the afternoon. Otherwise, it's been really nice. And perfect temperatures for hiking.

So on Thursday, we drove inland a bit to the tiny village of Pınarbaşı to find where the Lycian Way hiking trail intersects the village.

We had to go up a steep road to get from Kas, and the views were spectacular!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

We could almost swim to Greece

It's a bit odd that all of the major islands in the Aegean Sea belong to Greece, when so many of them are so much closer to Turkey than Greece.

On Wednesday, we walked the Kaş peninsula... an area of land sticking out into the beautifully colored Agean Sea. It is home to many high end hotels and private villas. It also offers up close views of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Day trip to Simena Castle and the ruins at Kaleköy, Turkey

Yesterday's weather turned out to be far better than what they had originally called for. So we decided to drive about 35 kms (22 miles) west of where we are staying to a castle and very different village and ruins site called Kaleköy.

The village of Kaleköy can only be reached by foot or by boat. The village has been continuously inhabited for over 1,600 years.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

What does it cost for a month exploring Turkey? - November Expenses

Our expense reports are always the least read blog post of the month. It seems that most people simply don't care how much or how little money we spend! But I publish them because they occasionally have a little bit of information in them that might help a fellow traveler.

And for anybody thinking of a visit to Turkey, this will be an informative post.

We arrived in Turkey mid month, and so October's expenses didn't give an accurate indication of what prices are like here. But November was a full month of exploration within the country so it tells you what it costs for a whole month if you do things the way we did.

Monday, November 30, 2020

The ancient city of Patara and some beach time...

Sunday morning, we drove about 40 kms (28 miles) west to Patara Beach. I hadn't done any research into the place, and knew nothing about it other than it was a wide long beach and there were some ruins nearby.

So we were a little surprised to find that you actually have to enter the ruins site in order to get to the beach. We bought the ticket that was 30 lira ($5 CAD, $3.85 USD) in order to explore the ruins, and visit the beach. Many people come just for the beach and pay a little less.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Good times with new friends

We had a note the other day from another traveling couple who are also here in Kaş. They invited us over to their balcony for tea, and we quickly agreed. Joe and Josee just finished doing a five year trip in their XP Camper Overland rig from Canada down to Ushuaia, Argentina so we knew that we would have a lot in common.

It was a beautiful morning, so we decided to walk the 4.5 kms (2.8 miles) over to their place.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

High above Kas, Turkey

On Friday, we went for a hike that leads up a trail to the top of a cliff high above the town of Kas, Turkey. It wasn't a long trail, but from the bottom you can see some flags that somebody put up there, and it sure did look a long way up.

My mapping program told me that it was a 1.7 km (1.1 mile) trail, but that it would take an hour and twenty minutes because it's pretty much straight up. It gains 350 meters (1,200') in that short distance.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Photos of our new motorhome, and a fantastic canyon visit

Lots to talk about today!

First off, happy 59th birthday to the better half of this website... my beautiful wife and traveling partner Ruth! She figured out the other day that she has spent her birthday in 7 different countries since we set out 13 years ago.

Next up, we received some photos of our new European motorhome. Unfortunately they aren't the best quality and they are just low resolution iPhone photos, but I'll show you a few of them. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The town of Kas, Turkey

Just a lazy morning yesterday, although we should be saving those lazy periods for next week when there is a fair bit of rain in the forecast. They did say that rainy season is in December, but we didn't think it would begin so accurately! They say it's going to start Monday and rain every day, but it is yet to be seen if that means a steady rain all day, or just a thunderstorm for a couple of hours each day. 

But, we have rain coats with us, and we won't let it stop us from getting out there and doing things.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Our new motorhome has arrived!

We had a busy day yesterday and there is a lot to share with you. It was moving day, and we stopped at another interesting and quite different ruins site along the way, so we have quite a few photos of that. And, our fantastic little apartment where we are staying for the next two weeks.

Overall, it was a great day... but it was made even better when we got some exciting news... our new motorhome has arrived at the dealership in Germany!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

One of the world's best long distance hikes...

The Lycian Way is a 540 km (335 mile) long hiking trail along the southern coast of Turkey between Fethiye and Antalya. It is internationally recognized as one of the world's top long distance trails.

It normally takes people about 30 days to hike the entire route. We had thought about it, but we don't have all the right gear and so we would have had to pay a company to bring our bags from one overnight stop to the next. Also, we have no ambition to be out hiking in bad weather, and rainy season (although apparently a bit late getting started this year) is just around the corner.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Hiking in Tanzania?

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of rest. And for the morning, it was. We sat around and did some computer research.

But we needed to pick up a few things and go to an ATM, so in the afternoon we went for a walk. Our day of rest turned into an 8.5 km (5.3 mile) walk. Oh well... we needed the exercise.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Back where we started

Someone asked the other day why we don't spend more time in one place. Well number one reason is that we like to explore. We aren't "destination" people... for us, the enjoyment is in the journey, not the destination.

But it gets more complicated than that from a logistics perspective. When we are traveling in a motorhome, we rarely need to make plans for where we are going to overnight. But traveling by car and using Airbnb accommodation, we need to book onward lodging. We've learned that we normally like staying in one spot for at least a week, but possibly two weeks depending on how much we think there is to do in the area.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

It's good that we don't all like the same thing

A beautiful day yesterday with a high around 20C (68F) and lots of blue sky and sunshine. So we hopped in the car to go for a drive around the Bodrum Peninsula.

I had mentioned in another blog post that the only reason we are here is to break up the drive back to Fethiye. I had read about the city of Bodrum, and didn't think it would be our thing... too busy and touristy. But the area looked like it would make a good stopover for a couple of days just to see for ourselves.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Turkey announces new lockdown measures

Like almost every other country in the world, Turkey is experiencing a spike in Covid numbers. The other day, they announced new measures to help curb the spread. These measures go into effect today (Friday the 20th) at 8:00pm local time.

Among other things, schools will be closed, lot of various curfew hours put in place especially for people over 65 or under 20, and in person restaurant dining closed. 

Fortunately, not very much of it affects us at all.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Our new location... and a stop at the massive Temple of Apollo

Mighty. Colossal. Massive. Huge. 

Some of the words describing the Temple of Apollo in the coastal town of Didim, Turkey. And since it was directly along our route yesterday, it only made sense to stop in and see it!

We got packed up and hopped in the car around 10:30am. There was no direct route to either the temple, or our destination at Yalikavak, so we first had to drive around the industrial city of Söke. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Out for a hike... and today is moving day!

 Tuesday, we relaxed for the morning and then drove the short distance into the national park on the other side of where we are staying. We had done a short section of the trail last time we were there, and we wanted to do some more.

It's actually about an 18 km (11 mile) hike one way, but you have to either have someone meet you on the other side, or take a Dolums (local minibus) back home. It would have been an all day event and you would have to get an earlier start than we did. Still, we managed to do an in and out hike of 12.2 kms (7.5 miles) so we were happy with that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ephesus area... part two...

This is the second blog post from today. Make sure you check out the first one if you missed it at https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/11/the-ancient-city-of-ephesus.html 

We had a busy day yesterday. The first part of the day was at the Ephesus ruins, but then we checked out a few other things in the area. We thought about driving up to the House of the Virgin Mary, but I read a couple of reports that said it wasn't worth the 45 lira ($7.75 CAD, $5.90 USD) per person entry fee, so we didn't go there.

The ancient city of Ephesus

Monday was a busy day for us, so I'm going to break it into two separate blog posts again. Check back later today for part two!

The ancient city of Ephesus is the most visited archeological site in Turkey. In 2019, two million people passed through the turnstiles. That's an average of 5,500 people per day. Many of them are on cruise ship day trips because the port of Kuşadası is nearby.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Weekly market, and a visit to the cruise ship port city of Kuşadası

 We had asked our hosts here when the weekly market is so that we can buy our fruits and veggies. They said there is one in nearby Davutlar on Sundays, so we stopped in there yesterday morning. It turned out to be quite a bit larger than any of the other markets we've been to, and it included many other goods besides fruits and veggies. Ruth bought some socks, and I bought some shoes!

And, of course we got our supply of fruits and veggies.

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A steep hike with a beautiful view

First of all, thank you so much for your supportive comments here, on our facebook page, and on our MeWe page regarding the passing of Ruth's father. It means a lot to us.

On Saturday, we decided to go for a hike up in the hills of the national park behind where we are staying. There is no official access to the park at this point... it's simply a bunch of old dirt roads and paths, and in fact we're not even certain that where we were is part of the actual park because there are no marked boundaries at that part.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Some sad news from home

Ruth's father, Tony Crowe, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday night. He was 85 years old.

We knew it was coming, and in fact there is a bit of a feeling of relief that it has now happened. Of course it's still sad, but he had no quality of life the last year or so. If any of you have ever dealt with a family member with Alzheimer's disease, then you know that it doesn't get better... only worse. And the worst part of it is that many people can hang on for many years while their minds and eventually their bodies slowly disintegrate.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Well, we have been in Turkey for one full month now

But we have two more to go! We feel like we've seen a lot in our one month here so far, but we haven't done as much hiking as we would like to have done, despite the fact that we have now walked a total distance of 220.1 kms (136.5 miles) in Turkey. 

But much of that has been walking in ruins sites, doing a power walk, or just out exploring. The last week of November, we move to Kaş where we will have access to the 500 km (300 mile) Lycian Way hiking trail. We plan to do several day hikes on the trails in that area where we plan to stay for two weeks.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Travel day... and the Nysa ruins, and a look at our new accommodations!

Wednesday was a travel day as we drove from Denizli to Güzelçamlı. I had looked at the route ahead of time, and it didn't look very exciting. Mostly four lane highway that went through some larger towns. It was not a limited access highway, so when it went through towns you had traffic and traffic lights to deal with. 

So I had found a stopping point around half way where there was supposed to be an interesting looking 2,000 year old Roman bridge. I didn't do any further research, and just dropped a pin on my mapping program.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

We are moving to MeWe

I've mentioned several times the problems that we've had with Facebook. I got into detail about it in a blog post titled Facebook has some big problems, and I've mentioned a couple of updates recently about our ongoing issues with them.

What Facebook now offers is not the same as the Facebook we signed up for ten years ago. At that time, what you saw in your newsfeed was what you wanted to see. If I "followed" a page or a group, it's because I was interested in it. Now, Facebooks algorithms only show me what it thinks I should see. Along with hundreds of advertisements.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Pamukkale Part Two - The ruins of Hieropolis and Laodicea

This is the second blog post today... if you missed the first one, you should really read it before this one...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/11/the-travertine-calcium-pools-of.html

So yesterday we went to the calcium pools at Pamukkale. But at the same location, and included in your ticket price, is the ancient city of Hieropolis.  To us, it makes sense to explore both, but it seemed that most people were only interested in the water and the calcium formations. 

The travertine calcium pools of Pamukkale, Turkey

When most people come to visit Turkey, they have three things in mind... Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Pamukkale. It's almost like nothing else matters.

Something like visiting Machu Picchu in Peru, or Niagara Falls in Canada.

And normally, a popular tourist attraction is popular for a reason. There is something about each of the places mentioned above that makes it worth visiting. That is, if you can put up with the hoards of tourists and the inflated prices that go along with it.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Turkey... the country where random strangers invite you for tea

What a great day we had on Sunday!

First off, our host here at the Airbnb had sent us a message saying that Sunday was the big market day for this area and we really should go even if we don't need anything. But we were due for some fruits and veggies. He said it starts between 9am to 10am but that the whole thing is up and running by 10am at the latest

As in Mexico, most cities and towns here in Turkey have a weekly market. It's where you typically get the best prices and the freshest produce, so most of locals will buy as much as they can carry to last them until the following week until the market reappears again.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Walk around the park, and a facebook problems update

Although we totally enjoyed ourselves at the Aphrodisias Ruins site on Friday, we didn't really get much in the way of exercise. We had to make up for that a little bit on Saturday, so we had a bit of an early lunch and then walked over to the big Adalet Park here in the city of Denizli.

Adalet Park is the largest city park here in Denizli, a city that prides itself on its park space. There are sports facilities, a cafe, a large picnic area, a duck pond, walking paths, and lots of places to just sit and watch the world go by.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The ancient city of Aphrodisias... best ruins site yet!

There's no easy way to get from Denizli to the Aphrodisias ruins. You can either take the longer but faster route on the main highway around the mountains (which is what almost anybody would do), or you can drive the slower but shorter narrow curvy roads through the mountains.

But you know us fairly well by now. We are not "almost anybody", so you should be able to guess which route we chose!

Friday, November 6, 2020

Walking around the non tourist city of Denizli, Turkey

We relaxed for the morning and then went for a walk over to the big 5M Migros store. It was 1.6 kms (1 mile) each way, and we made a bit of a detour into a covered market area just to have a look.

We needed some things for lunch, and the plan was to go out for a drive in the afternoon and then stop in with the car to pick up some more stuff that would have been difficult to carry that far.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Interesting drive to the city of Denizli, and our new accommodations

We got the car packed up and we were on the road just after 10:00am. It wasn't that long of a drive... but we ended up doing some detours and back roads and we had told our next host that we would probably arrive around 3:00pm... which we didn't because we found a few interesting places to stop along the way.

First stop was for gasoline. The price of fuel has dropped a bit in recent days, plus the Turkish lira continues its downward slide, making our fuel stop a few dollars cheaper than the last time. It was 6.73 lira per liter ($1.04 CAD) compared to the last time we bought it when it worked out to $1.18 CAD per liter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Walked over to see the kite surfers

It was a little bit cooler here yesterday. High of 20C (68F), and sunny for the morning, but clouding over in the afternoon. Far better than the odd mix of early winter that Canada is starting to see! Looking at Cabri, Saskatchewan where the park is that we worked at for four summers, the high today is supposed to also be a mild 20C (68F). By Monday, five days from now it's supposed to go down to -17C (1F). Yikes. Talk about flipping the switch from summer to winter!

We relaxed for the morning, then after lunch we walked over to the kite boarding beach to see if we could get some up close views of the action.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Our cottage stay has been good, but not great...

We didn't do very much on Monday. We're trying to take a day off every now and then! But that doesn't mean we don't have things to talk to you about. Besides, it took forever to get yesterday's blog post online for you. Our internet connection is overall not bad, but the upload speed is a little slow. So with all of the pictures we had to show you, it was a time consuming process.

But we did some reading, and got some exercise and went out for our 5 km (3 mile) power walk. And of course there is a never ending supply of onward travel research to do on the internet.

October Expenses

Well, we knew that October was going to be an expensive month. We spent $3,182 CAD ($2,405 USD) for the month.

But, considering that we started the month in Ottawa, Canada and ended the month in Turkey, I suppose that's not bad. And, since our Ottawa to London airfare was actually paid for way back in May, it doesn't actually feel as hard on the bank account. 

Here's how it all broke down...

Monday, November 2, 2020

Day trip visit to Dalyan and the ancient city of Kaunos

Too many photos! We took over 100 photos yesterday. I've whittled them down, but there is so much interesting stuff to show you that this is going to be a long blog post.

Sunday morning we made our way over to the ancient city of Kaunos, which is located beside the modern town of Dalyan. For whatever reason, not many people visit Kaunos. It's a little difficult to get to, and most tourists who go to Dalyan seem to go for the river boat tours.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Earthquake! And a very cool cave...

Thanks for your responses and comments regarding yesterday's post. It feels good to know that most of you will find our daily blog posts without clicking through facebook. Because we post every single day when we're traveling, all you have to do is to manually check in here (either by booking marking this site, or typing www.travelwithkevinandruth.com into the address bar above, or searching "Kevin and Ruth" on Google)... and you will be brought right here without the need for facebook. If you do that every day at around the same time, you can't miss a post!

Most of you will know by now that parts of Turkey and Greece experienced a fairly bad earthquake on Friday afternoon at around 1:50pm local time.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Facebook has some big problems

I wouldn't normally talk about something like this, but other than our 5km (3 mile) power walk we didn't do much due to the weather yesterday. And I think this is important.

We've been using Facebook for more than 10 years. We keep in touch with our kids and friends through their messaging system. We join various discussion groups that we might be interested in. We operate an RV'ing in Mexico group that has over 5,000 members. We operate a Travel with Kevin and Ruth page that directs people to this blog. And lastly, we make money from an Amazon group that has over 24,000 members.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Life in Turkey... we can understand the attraction!

We've only been in the country for two and a half weeks, but we wanted to go over with you some of the interesting things we have learned during that time.

Admittedly, we did not know very much about the country prior to our arrival. And really, we didn't even know we were coming here until three days before we arrived. So we didn't have much time to educate ourselves about our destination.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Beautiful views overlooking Marmaris, and onward accommodation booked

For quite a few days, the weather forecast had been calling for a 100% chance of rain on Wednesday afternoon in Marmaris, Turkey. They kept on changing the projected start time of the rain, varying it between 3:00pm and 5:00pm. But either way, they were 100% sure it was coming.

And they were right. But it started a bit early at about 2:30pm. Fortunately we had already completed our 10 km (6.2 mile) hike in the hills behind Marmaris, and were just finishing doing a quick grocery shop when it started coming down.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Exploring some more Turkish waterfront scenery

Thanks for all of the suggestions and comments regarding yesterday's blog post. We have decided that we will not go to Cappadocia on this trip. It's too much driving and we would feel too rushed. We are confident that we will return someday with a motorhome when we will be able to explore more of what Turkey has to offer (including the northern area closer to the Black Sea), at a better time of year related to the weather, and at our own pace.

On Tuesday, we took a drive down a coastal road to a viewpoint overlooking the town of Oren. We left at about 10:30am did some exploring and made a couple of stops along the way and didn't make it back to the cottage until almost3:30pm!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

We need to come up with a plan

On Monday, we took a touring day off. So we relaxed for the morning and did some research about onward travels. We have to be out of our current location on Wednesday November 4th and we don't yet know where we're going. More about that further down!

After lunch, we went out for a walk. There are still quite a few back roads around here that are worth exploring... gravel roads that we can walk to right from our location here in the village.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Daytrip visit to the ancient city of Knidos, Turkey

We tried to get an early start, and managed to get on the road by 8:40am. It was supposed to be a non stop drive of just over two hours to get to the tip of the Datça Peninsula where the ancient city of Knidos is located.

Some cities in Turkey are among the oldest in the world. They say the capital city of Ankara has been continuously inhabited for over 3,000 years. But some very vibrant cities did not last despite being inhabited for very long periods themselves. Knidos is a perfect example.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Around our village of Gökçe, Turkey. Everyone is really friendly!

The village where we are staying is called Gökçe. I would try and tell you how to pronounce it, but we would only be guessing ourselves! Gökçe is actually bigger than a village... I would say it's probably about 1,200 people. A small town.

We went out for a walk Saturday just to explore the area. We ended up on a dirt road and we had no idea where it went, so we just went and did some exploring. The dirt road led us to a really neat spot!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Nice views and more rock tombs

On Friday we drove inland, up into the mountains. I had scouted out three possible things to see along a route of about 100 kms (62 miles).

From our village, we can see the first ridge of mountains rising 3000' above the Mediterranean Sea. We had seen a major roadway leading up into that area, and I used the maps.me app and google satellite view to find things to do in the area that we might not otherwise know about.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Day trip to Marmaris, Turkey and a nice lunch out

Friends Heather and Volkan had invited us to join them for lunch in the seaside resort town of Marmaris, Turkey. I say "town", but really it's a small city and quite a bustling place. 

It's located only a 20 minute drive from our cottage. One of the reasons we chose this location is that there are a lot of places to go and things to see within a 100 km (62 mile) radius, so we have lots of day trips to do over the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

We have wheels!

Wednesday was a travel day but in order to travel, we first had to pick up our rental car. 

We have rented cars in various countries and the procedure isn't always as standard as what you would expect. When we were in Romania, we rented a car and the guy came to meet us in a grocery store parking lot where I gave him some cash and he gave me the keys!

Yes, we could have paid the big bucks and done a standard tourist rental with Avis or one of the other brand names. But that wouldn't be like us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Ghost town of Kayaköy, and hike to the Af Kule Monastery

Another busy day for us yesterday. We finally made the effort to get a reasonably early start, and we left the apartment just before 9:00am. It was only a five minute walk to the dolmuş stop. Dolmuş is the turkish name for a local minibus. The ones we were in seat perhaps 16 people. Because of Covid, they do not take cash payments right now, nor do they take standing passengers. Apparently in normal times they can get quite crowded.

There is a regular route between Fethiye and Ölüdeniz so we didn't have to wait any longer than five minutes. For payment, most people buy a prepaid "tap" card and then top it up with credit as necessary. But I had read that you can also tap your credit card, and sure enough it accepted my Visa card and I instantly got an email notification from my bank that my my account was charged. What a great system!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Do not pet a stray dog!

You might notice at the bottom of each daily post we are now listing the total distance we have walked while in Turkey. I'm not quite sure why, but we are keeping track of it. We always think that the best way to see an area is to walk it... and we are doing a lot of walking so it will be interesting to see how many kms (miles) we actually do!

On Tuesday, we decided to walk down to the other side of the Fethiye harbor area. Ruth had read of an old Roman amphitheater that we wanted to see.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Walk to Çalış Beach, and we spotted some Turkish motorhomes

We had a nice relaxing morning on Sunday, then after lunch we decided to walk along the waterfront up to Çalış Beach. This beach is another area that is popular with British tourists. So much so that you see signs that advertise "Full British Breakfast" with all the writing in English.

We knew it was going to be a fairly long walk because the beginning of Çalış Beach is 8 kms (5 miles) one way from our apartment. But other than the one steep stretch leading back up to our apartment, it was mostly flat.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Baba Tekin's Boat Tour near Ölüdeniz, Turkey

Blog readers Judi and Charles had sent us a message asking if we wanted to join them for a full day boat trip around the coastline of this area. We don't normally do these types of touristy things, but the price was right and it seemed like a relaxing way to spend the day and see some of the local scenery.

We contacted the Baba Tekin's Boat Tour Company through their facebook page and they were quick to respond. It turned out that the cruise for Saturday October 17th was their last one for the season, and it was a one way trip around the shoreline between Ölüdeniz and Fethiye, with lunch included. Special price for this trip was 100 lira ($16.65 CAD, $12.60 USD) per person. Normal price during the season was 150 lira per person.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Grocery prices in Turkey, and our first hike here

Friday morning, we left the apartment at about 10:30am. We were actually aiming for earlier than that, but it just never happened. We wanted to hike up the dirt path I found that leads into the hills behind our apartment building, and of course the morning is the coolest time to do it.

And it was definitely starting to warm up by the time we got going. They were calling for a high of 27C (81F).

Friday, October 16, 2020

We are going to like it here!

Thursday was a day of rest, for the most part. We spent the morning planning, although we still didn't come up with a firm choice as to where we are going next. Not that we're in a huge rush to figure it out because we are here until next Wednesday.

I know, that's only five days away, but there are a LOT of empty accommodation options available. Normally the British would be starting to come to this area for a holiday. But Turkey is not on the quarantine exemption list for Britain, so although they are welcome to come here, they have to quarantine for 14 days when they return home. So not nearly as many will be coming.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Fethiye and the Amyntas Rock Tombs

We are just getting ourselves into a blog posting routine here in Turkey. I know that it feels to most of you like you missed a daily blog post along the way, but our activities take place 7 hours ahead of eastern time and this blog post actually gets us caught up. You haven't missed a thing! 

We will try to post during our morning here which means when those of you in North America wake up each morning, there will be a blog post waiting for you and you will be able to read Travel with Kevin and Ruth while drinking your morning coffee.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

First impressions of Turkey

As I write this, we have been in Turkey (country #39 for us!) for a total of about 7 hours.

And our first impressions are that we are really going to like Turkey!

Let's back up a little bit to our overnight stay at London's Gatwick airport. We had booked a cheaper and better than expected room at the Premier Inn Hotel located right across the street from the airport terminal.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Made it to London, England... and another glitch...

Our flight from Ottawa to Toronto was uneventful. It was just a small two propeller turbo prop plane, and it was probably 80% full. It was a one hour flight.

Then we had a five hour wait for our Toronto to London flight. We arrived Toronto at 4:00pm, and our London flight was scheduled to depart at 9:00pm.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Big change of plans!

We were in Gravenhurst, Ontario (about 2 hours north of Toronto) yesterday visiting with our son and his girlfriend. Our daughter and the grandkids showed up as well! It was a great family send off for us!

However...

Just before lunch I got an email from our Airbnb host in Berlin. She said that Berlin has been declared a Covid hotspot and that we would have to quarantine for 5 days after we arrive in Berlin. Not only that, but we might have difficulty moving on to another spot in Germany depending on the rules of the German state that we would happen to be moving to. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Road trip!

 We had a bunch of last minute stuff to do at Ruth's dad's house. You would think that after having been there for more than two months we would have been totally organized to leave, but we still found ourselves rushing around at the last minute.

We didn't leave the house until around 12:45pm, and then we still had to drop one last load of stuff off at the charity shop, and go to the bank and do some other running around.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Looking forward to a road trip!

Well, we are done at the house... for now. There is still a lot to be done, or at least a lot that could be done. But eventually it will be up to the people who buy the place. In the meantime, Ruth's brother Colin will take over where we left off and it will be up to him to get some more things done over the winter.

The plan is that we will return here for the last two weeks of May next year. We have the auction arranged for Saturday ,May 29th.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

We had been hoping to visit England

Ruth's parents came to Canada from England back in the late 1950's so she still has relatives there and we like to visit every few years. But the last time we were in England was in July of 2012!

So we really were due for a visit, which is why we originally booked our upcoming flight to London. The price was cheap, and when we booked it back in June we figured that maybe they would have lifted the quarantine for arrivals from Canada by now. Of course that hasn't happened which is why we are now carrying on to Berlin.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Packing for our trip

We always travel light, but I think this time will be especially light! We each have a Chester carry on size bag, so we can only take so much with us in the first place. 

We will be bringing all of our Tilley travel clothes... including our fresh supply of Tilley socks and underwear. Ruth will also be bringing a pair of jeans, but I am sticking with my Tilley travel pants and a pair of Columbia hiking pants.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The start of our 14th year

Thirteen years ago yesterday, we closed the sale of our house and moved into the motorhome to embark on a different lifestyle. We have no regrets at all... we love our life!

And so begins the fourteenth year of Travel with Kevin and Ruth. And we think it's going to be a great year!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Weekend with granddaughter Sadie, and Berlin accommodation confirmed

Lots of fun having granddaughter Sadie (7) with us for the weekend. She's a really good kid to look after, and such a little sweetheart. Of course that is just the grandpa's opinion, so it might be a little biased!

We didn't do anything special though. The weather wasn't the best, and you can sure tell that winter is coming!

Sunday, October 4, 2020

One week to go!

A week from today we fly to London, England. Not that we will be seeing any of London, but we have been there several times in the past. We will not be leaving the airport terminal, and will be connecting to Berlin, Germany after a long layover.

This week will go by quickly! 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Things are coming together and we are starting to get excited!

Yesterday, I had thought that we might wait a few more days to book accommodation in Germany. But I had a quick look through AirBnb and came across an inexpensive one that caught my interest. I sent the host a couple of questions, which she eventually answered, but by the time I went to book it, somebody else had already done so!

So, while there are lots of choices available in Berlin because tourism is down and the weather is quickly cooling off, the good ones still do go quickly. I figured I had better spend a bit more time looking for one that is suitable for us.

Friday, October 2, 2020

What's the plan?

Back in to Ottawa yesterday where we had a nice visit with my mother and older sister. Then it was off to pick up Ruth's dad and we brought him out for a drive. We also had some running around to do, including a stop to change some Mexican pesos into euros.

When we were preparing to leave Mexico last March, we thought we had our cash situation figured out so that we wouldn't have very much left over when we actually crossed the border. But because of Covid altered plans, we ended up staying in one spot the last ten days and that actually meant we didn't spend as much cash.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Day trip to the U.S. border, and final paperwork on the new motorhome

Yesterday evening we posted our expenses for the month of September. If you missed it, you can read it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/09/september-expenses.html

We picked up the grandkids yesterday and took them out for a field trip day. The weather was kind of iffy, but we brought raincoats. The destination? The border town of Brockville, Ontario (pop 21,000) ... the site of Canada's first railway tunnel.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September Expenses

Well, a pretty good month, all things considered.

We spent a total of $1,736 CAD ($1,304 USD) for the month. And once again, the amount reinforces the fact that we spend as much money staying in one place here in Canada as we do when we're traveling and seeing new sights virtually every day when we're traveling in a motorhome.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

It's all just gambling

Insurance of any kind is simply gambling. You pay the premium (place your bet) that something bad will happen to you and your insurance will pay for it so you can collect your winnings.

The difference is of course that you really don't want to win!

Monday, September 28, 2020

We leave in less than two weeks!

Canadian income taxes are normally due at the end of April. But because of Covid, the Canadian government kept delaying the date at which you would be charged interest and/or penalties and eventually the date became September 30th. So I bit the bullet and paid them yesterday. It sure did look better in my account than in theirs!

I feel like we didn't get very good value for our money. They don't tend to spend it very wisely.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Beautiful fall colors

 After a late Friday night campfire with one too many shots of bourbon, we got up and after breakfast drove up to the ski resort village of Mont Tremblant.

We made our way to the Nez-de-l'indien trailhead to find the parking lot already full, but managed to find parking nearby. Not surprising about the number of people... it was a gorgeous day with the fall colors in full bloom.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Good start to the weekend

Just a few photos today. 

I got a 9:00am start to drive up to a friend's cottage. A bit of a drive from Galetta, and I had to go through the city of Ottawa and into the province of Quebec. And, I had to make a quick stop at his house to pick up something he had forgotten.

Friday, September 25, 2020

I will not be buying eyeglasses here in Canada

So, yesterday morning we drove into Ottawa again. We had an 11:45am get together with my mom and sister, and I figured that we would stop at an optician ahead of that. But when I looked them up, they don't open until 11:00am, and I figured that might not give us enough time.

So we met with my mom and sister and had a good visit, then went to the Hakim Optical store in the Carlingwood Shopping Center.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Broken glasses!

I was outside yesterday pressure washing the siding on the house. The beige colored siding hadn't been cleaned in probably 15 years, and it was starting to turn green in some areas. Of course a lot of the water comes splashing back at you at times, and my glasses were getting pretty wet.

I took them off to give them a wipe, and one of the arms broke right off!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Just an update...

We're having a stretch of really nice fall weather here in south eastern Ontario. It's supposed to continue on through the weekend, so that's good news for my annual get together with the guys. Maybe a chance of some rain on Sunday, but that's still a few days away.

In the meantime... we'll take it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

What a frustrating job that turned out to be!

Busy day yesterday as we went in to Ottawa again. 

When we had picked up grandson Cameron the other day, we stopped in at Lowes and bought some new drawer slides for the six large drawers in the kitchen here at Ruth's dad's house. The old ones were simply worn out. Rather than replace them with cheap ones, I made the decision to get the pricey nice ones that have that fancy "soft close" mechanism.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Wir sind Kevin und Ruth

We are Kevin and Ruth.. in German!

We have several regular readers here that have German backgrounds. And in fact, Ruth and I both have some German background, but it goes back a couple of generations and unfortunately the language was never passed down.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

The property where we are staying

The property where we are staying has belonged to Ruth's father Tony since they bought it in 1966. 

So he lived here for over fifty years. Ruth was only four years old when they moved in, and she lived here until she left for Ottawa at age nineteen.

When I met Ruth in 1983, her parents were actually living in the house next door which they had also purchased, and they lived there while adding a major addition to this house. They moved back into this house when the addition was completed in 1985.

Friday, September 18, 2020

It's Friday again? Already??

I had thought that maybe the next month would go by slowly because the stuff we are doing here at the house is starting to feel like work. But, I honestly can't believe that it's Friday again already!

And next Friday, it is my annual guys weekend away and I am really looking forward to seeing my friends.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Exploring caves with the grandkids, and some lucky good news!

 Hmm. Do we tell you about our day out exploring first, or do we tell you about our good luck first?

I think we'll save the good luck news for the end of the post. Keep reading!

Yesterday, we made arrangements to meet daughter Lindsey and the grandkids in the parking lot at Lac Philippe in Gatineau Park on the other side of the river in the province of Quebec.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

If you want to travel internationally these days, you had better be prepared to be flexible with your plans

Our original Westjet flight booking was Ottawa to London's Gatwick airport with a connection through Halifax, Nova Scotia. That got changed a few weeks ago with a connection in Toronto instead, and of course different flight times.

We had also booked an onward flight with easyJet from London to Berlin that departed three hours after we landed in London.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

It looks like we bought a brand new motorhome!

So, after going back and forth with a few last minute questions with our dealer contact in Germany, it looks like we have bought a new motorhome.

The final paperwork isn't completed yet, but the sales contract is in process. In an unexpected twist, we are not even required to place a deposit yet, and we don't make final payment until we pick it up...  which likely won't be until the end of March 2021.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Nice visit with our family. And Larry the spider!

We had a mostly rain day yesterday until mid afternoon when the clouds started to break up a bit. And we had visitors coming over... our daughter Lindsey and her family, and our son Alex and his girlfriend CJ. We haven't seen Alex and CJ since last fall, so we were looking forward to getting caught up with them.

But, CJ's parents are in a high risk group and so we did our best to maintain distancing measures. We had been planning on spending most of the visit out on the back deck, but because of the rain, we set up plan B.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

We love our Tilley hats!

Tilley makes good quality stuff. Of course the company is most famous for their popular hats, but they also have a line of clothing that is both durable and practical.

We both have Tilley hats, backed by their famous lifetime guarantee. We got them at the same time in 2013, but they were slightly different models. Mine was made out of nylon and polyester, while Ruth's was made out of organic cotton.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Our choices for Worldwide Medical Insurance

We plan to be away from Canada for at least two years. Part of the plan includes eventually applying for German resident permits, which state that you have to have your own private medical insurance. But even if we obtain German resident permits, we would want to be doing quite a lot of travel outside of Germany as well.

So we have been shopping for worldwide medical insurance that would include coverage for when we return to Canada for family visits.

Friday, September 11, 2020

We think it is safe to fly

We took a rare blogging day off yesterday! The morning just seemed to disappear, and I simply never got to it.

But, we are back on schedule today.

I was asked the other day if we thought it was safe to fly. Of course, if we are to be in Europe next month to look at and buy a motorhome, we have to somehow get there right? And the only way to get there from Canada is by airplane.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Yesterday, we went to see a numismatist

"A numismatist?" you say. "What is that? Some kind of doctor?"

Nope. A numismatist is an expert who deals in coins and banknotes.

I mentioned the other day that we had found a box of old coins in the basement. I did some research and found out that Alliance Coin and Banknote in the nearby town of Almonte is the best place to go in the area to get an appraisal. So I made an appointment and we went for a drive over there yesterday morning.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Here's the spec sheet for the motorhome we're looking at

There is a big RV show going on right now in Dusseldorf, Germany and of course all of the European manufacturers are there, although in a reduced capacity to deal with Covid distancing restrictions.

And the RV dealer that I am currently speaking with has some of their people at the show checking out the new models. One of which is the 2021 Adria Matrix Access 520 ST that we are interested in.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Another nice European motorhome

I've been in contact with an RV dealer in Germany that was recommended to us. This is one of the largest dealerships in Europe, and the guy says they are extremely busy. I told him what we were looking for... a 2017 or 2018 model with under 40,000 kms (24,000 miles) as well as our list of specifics... he said that it was highly unlikely that we would find exactly what we were looking for in a used model.

However, he has a new 2021 that is already on pre-order with an expected December - January delivery.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Bike ride to the pretty little village of Pakenham

It's been a little windy this past week and so we haven't been out on the bikes. But yesterday, the wind had calmed down a bit and so we got out early on the bikes for a ride down to the village of Pakenham.

We had to bike on the highway for about half the trip, but on the second half we got onto a rail trail. Not that scenic, and pretty much flat. But we knew that in advance, and it was the destination that makes it worth it.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Well, we knew this time would come

When we are out traveling, we are typically good for maximum one month in the same spot. And that's if we really like the spot! It's usually time to move on after two weeks.

So we had a good idea that staying here in Galetta for over two and a half months was going to be too long, but we didn't know exactly when the feeling would hit.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Back to where it all began

We were back in Ottawa again yesterday, first for a morning visit with my mom and older sister. After that, we were supposed to meet up with a guy to sell a little 12V Bosch drill that we used to travel with in the motorhome. But stupid me, we got half way to Ottawa when I realized that I hadn't put it in the car! Dummy. I hate when I do things like that.

So I managed to contact the guy and we are dropping it off on Saturday since we have to go back into Ottawa again anyhow to renew the little red car rental contract after the first month.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Feel like we didn't get much done yesterday

It was supposed to rain on and off, but it never did until we got a thunderstorm around 4:30pm. Actually, I did manage to get outside for an hour and a half and I put back together what I could of the old wood splitter. It's pretty much good to go now, at least the mechanical part of it.

I bought a used battery for it for $50, and tinkered with things enough that you turn the key and it fires right up, whether the engine is hot or cold. Not bad, considering it sat for close to ten years.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Bought some more flight tickets...

We already have tickets to fly from Ottawa to London, England (Gatwick) on October 12th, less than six weeks from now. The original booking called for us to fly Ottawa to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then connect to London.

I received notice last week that they changed the routing so that we now fly Ottawa to Toronto, then connect to London. And I'm not surprised. There probably wasn't enough demand for the flight from Halifax to London.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September is the best month to be in Canada.

Or perhaps more accurately, it's the best month to be in the Ottawa area.

I joke (sort of) that Ottawa really only has one good month of the year, and that is September. After all, we have a brutal winter that lasts from November through March. Both October and April can be iffy though, and I would certainly not count on getting any half decent weather in either of those months. Out of the twelve months of the year, those seven can be scratched.

Monday, August 31, 2020

August Expenses

Well, here we are at the end of August. Not a bad month from an expenses perspective, although if we are spending this kind of money we should be seeing more than we are. We gotta get back on the road!

We spent a total of $1,433 CAD ($1,100 USD)... only $6 less than we spent last month. But we sure saw a lot more last month than we did in August.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Chester the Rottweiler

Friday morning, our daughter Lindsey dropped of their dog Chester, the 135 lb Rottweiler for a weekend visit with Grandma and Grandpa while the family went canoe camping.

Chester is almost 4 years old, but he's still just a big puppy. And he loves me, and won't leave me alone!

Friday, August 28, 2020

What's the point of holding onto something if you never realize the appreciated value?

Going through the basement here, I came across an old cigar box full of old coins. I almost wish I hadn't though because it only means more work. At some point someone will have to go through them and see what is worth money, and what isn't.

Obviously the silver coins are worth their value in silver. But the other ones, even though they are old, are not worth much more than face value.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Interesting things that we find

So I'm going through some more stuff in the basement, and there's a bin with a bunch of old clothes in it. Looked like some of it belonged to Ruth's mother at some point. And there's an old purse. So of course before you send the stuff off to the op shop, you check the pockets and the purse to make sure that nobody inadvertently left a wad of hundred dollar bills in there.

And of course there was no money. But there was something interesting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

We'd rather be out hiking or exploring

Well, we're still puttering away at the work around the house. Ruth is probably 3/4 done the gardening... she only has one bad section left to do.

I started cleaning the exterior siding on the house. The beige colored vinyl siding is turning green. It probably hasn't been cleaned in over 15 years. I started with the worst part first... the hardest to get to area at the top of the back of the house.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Our preference is to die while still in good condition!

I hesitated to write this article because I don't want to come across as preaching. After all, we are far from perfect. But, I had an email from someone yesterday who said that this blog had motivated them to exercise more... and that's a good thing!

It's pretty common knowledge that exercise is good for you. And yet statistics say that most parts of the world don't treat exercise as the medical wonder drug that it is.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Are we rich? No, but perhaps we are wealthy...

Of course it's easy to think that the two words are interchangeable. The dictionary definitions are certainly similar... essentially both words mean "the abundance of valuable financial assets or physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used for transactions."

But I read about a new book coming out next month called "The Psychology of Money" where the author makes a definite distinction between the two. I've only read previews of the book of course, but it seems that one can be rich... without being wealthy. And the other way around.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Four weeks

Hard to believe we've been back here in the Ottawa area for four weeks already. Two of those weeks we were under house arrest, and even then they went by fast enough, but the last two weeks went by much faster!

And we feel like we've got a lot accomplished already, but when we look around there is still sooo much to do. And we're only here for another 7 weeks. Not rushing things by any means, but it will be October before we know it!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Before and after

Ruth's mother was an avid gardener. In fact, when she looked after the property years ago, it was suitable for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. And in fact, she won local awards for her garden.

 I don't have many electronic photos of what it used to look like, but I can give you an idea...

Friday, August 21, 2020

Busy day, with Black Forest cupcakes!

Busy day yesterday as we once again headed into the city. It was our daughter Lindsey's 34th birthday and we were headed in to visit with my mother. My sisters were going to be there too, so it only made sense for us all to visit at the same time.

Lindsey brought Cameron and Sadie with her. The kids hadn't seen their great-grandmother since Christmas!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

We are shopping for a European motorhome to use in Europe

Our original plan was to be traveling Europe in a European motorhome by next April/May time frame. However, we plan on being in Germany by the end of October... at least temporarily. This will be a kind of a scouting trip, however we may end up buying and traveling then and there... or we may end up buying and storing something for a few months, or we may end up ordering something brand new, for use the following spring!

I never ever thought I would consider buying a new motorhome. In North America, I just don't see it as a good value proposition. There are a ton of much cheaper used options available, and new ones lose 20% as soon as you drive them off the lot. Of course not everything has to be a financial decision... if you have lots of cash, then it may not matter to you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Lots of fun with the grandkids, but it's good to get back to our own schedule too

Once again, Ruth took the grandkids over across the road to the river yesterday morning to look for critters. They sure do love doing that!

Then we had an early lunch and hopped in the little red car to take them back home. It was great fun for 2 days, but it's also nice to be able to give them back to their parents!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

If they're going to hang around with us...

They had better like to be outdoors and do some hiking! Day two with grandkids Cameron and Sadie and what a busy day we had! Poking around looking for snakes and other critters, then hiking and more critters, then some time at the beach!

By 8:30am, they were ready to go across the road to look for more bugs and things. I was still doing some computer work, so Ruth took them over there.

Monday, August 17, 2020

More time with the grandkids

We went for a bike ride fairly early yesterday morning. They were calling for some showers, so we figured we had better get out while the getting was good. Plus, our son-in-law Justin was dropping of grandkids Cameron and Sadie after lunch for a two night stay with Grandma and Grandpa!

There are lots of back roads that we can ride on in this area... mostly gravel country roads, although some of them are paved.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Where do we keep our "stuff"?

Comedian George Carlin once did a funny piece about where you keep your "stuff", and how owning a house is really only because you need a place to keep all of your stuff. In fact, I'll look it up for you.

Here it is...

George Carlin - stuff

When we sold our house in 2007, we no longer had a place to keep our stuff. Of course we sold most of it, but there were a few things we wanted to keep. So for a few years, we had some of our stuff stored in the basement of my sister's house.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Goodbye Sherman... it was a great run!

Yesterday, we drove an hour and a half away to drop off Sherman to his new owners. The drive was fine, and he didn't let us down on his very last day with us. Rather than being sad, all I could think about while driving was "please don't break down now, buddy!"

And we are not sad. The time had come, and we knew it. But, we sure do have lots of memories... and photos! In fact, if I go into our photos file and search for "Sherman", 1,400 photos are displayed. Sherman has to be the most photographed motorhome on the internet!

Friday, August 14, 2020

We are off to deliver Sherman

We are heading across the border this morning to deliver Sherman in the province of Quebec. Sherman will have to learn how to speak French, because he's about to become a Quebec resident. I hope he does alright with the road signs... they are all in French as well.

Yesterday we sorted through what is going with Sherman and what is staying. Of course we now have all of our "stuff" to get rid of. It almost feels like when we sold the house back in 2007.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Turtles on top of turtles!

Ruth's brother Colin is a retired machinist, but he enjoys his new work life as a part time (closer to full time at this time of year!) bicycle repair technician. Ruth had asked him if he would take a look at our bikes and do some adjustments, and sure enough he took them away last week.

He brought them back on Monday... and wow! They looked like they were brand new! Being a machinist in his past life, he's pretty good with attention to detail. So with everything now operating within their designed specifications, the bikes are a pleasure to ride. They were even before this, but now they are like new!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Good news and sad news

Which do you want first? The good news, or the sad news?

Well, it doesn't matter... because they are both the same thing.

Sherman is sold!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Fun visit with our daughter and grandkids!

Yesterday, we were looking forward to seeing our daughter and grandkids... and the visit did not disappoint!

We haven't seen them since the beginning of last November. Grandkids sure do grow a lot in nine months!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Into the city again, and an update on Sherman

We were in the little red car at 9:45am yesterday and headed back into the city of Ottawa to visit with my mother and sisters.

I had mentioned yesterday that there was a problem with the left rear tire and that I had topped up the air pressure on Saturday night, and when I check it on Sunday morning it was still perfect.

So we got on the highway, and headed out. About 20 minutes into the 40 minute drive, another "low tire pressure" warning came on!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Into the big city of Ottawa to pick up the little red car!

Our car rental was booked for pickup at 12 noon yesterday, but the rental location was on the other side of the city so it was a 50 minute drive to get there from Ruth's dad's house. Ruth's nephew lives next door, and he drove us into the city using his car.

Of course there are lots of other car rentals closer, but they were also quite a bit more expensive. And when you're renting by the month and you're not getting a fantastic deal to begin with, it made sense to go with the cheapest one despite the bit of an extra drive to get there.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

We're free!

Yes, our 14 day quarantine is over! We've been stuck on Ruth's father's property since we arrived here, but now we are free as a bird! Well, as free as anybody else around here, anyhow.

And what is the first thing we did with our freedom? We went for our 5 km (3 mile) power walk at 6:30 am this morning. And it felt GREAT!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Our most memorable hiking experiences Part 3

I didn't set out to have this become a 3 part series! But once I got into it, I realized just how many fantastic hikes we have done. So this is the last of it. Then on Saturday, we can get back to some normal posting because... we will be free!

In February of 2016 we were just outside of Guanajuato, Mexico waiting for the Mexico RV caravan to show up. The day before they did, we went for a hike in the hills opposite the RV park.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Our most memorable hiking experiences Part 2

When Ruth went over yesterday's blog post, she reminded me that I forgot one important hike! And I'm not surprised... there were really too many good ones to remember them all. But this one really should not have been forgotten!

In July of 2011, we hiked up Mount Washington. This is the highest point in North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Our most memorable hiking experiences Part 1

Our regular readers know that we love to go hiking. After all, hiking is great exercise, you see things that you would not otherwise see, and it's normally free!

We haven't always been as avid about hiking as we are now, but even when we had young children we took them on some good hikes. In fact our first really big day hike was when our son had just turned 6 and our daughter was almost 8.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Quarantine day 10

Nice day yesterday as the sun came out to dry things off, and the temperature was a comfortable 24C (75F).

I did some more weed pulling and then tackled a more enjoyable job.

This house used to be entirely heated by wood. There was a wood furnace in the basement, a fireplace in the living room, and a wood cookstove in the kitchen. Ruth's father had a 90 acre wood lot where he would cut all his firewood for the winter and bring it back to the house.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Just rambling...

When you live and travel in a motorhome for extended periods of time, you get conditioned to doing things a certain way. And especially when you are boondockers and you have to conserve your resources for days at a time.

The three main limiting factors when we are traveling in a motorhome are water, electricity, and holding tank capacity. So when we get back to a "normal" place to live, we find ourselves still trying to limit these things. Which is of course a good thing anyhow, but it sure makes you think about how much is wasted by people living in houses.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

When one job leads to another

Yesterday, I went to do some serious vacuuming of the family room here at Ruth's dad's house. This is the one room that gets used the most here, and it's been ages (years??) since furniture has been moved to be able to do the job properly. I even vacuumed the lamp shades!

Anyhow, when I first started the job, I noticed that the central vac system didn't have as much suction as it should. Hmm.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Quarantine Day 7

We are half way through! And yes, it does seem to be going by quickly. Once again, the only thing that really bothers us is not being able to go for our 45 minute power walk. It will be the first thing we do when we wake up next Saturday morning!

It's a real shame we can't get out and do things though because the weather has been just about perfect. Highs of about 27C (81F) and mostly sunny. Today should be warmer though with a high of 30C (86F), and then rain tomorrow.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The lowest month we've had since September 2017!

Finally, we had a reasonable month with no unexpected expenses! Let the bells ring out, and the banners fly!

Considering we started the month in Red Lodge, Montana and drove all the way to Galetta, we didn't incur many expenses along the way... except for fuel, of course.

We spent a total of $1,439 CAD ($1,071 USD) for the month. The lowest month we've had since September 2017!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Passing time

But at least there is no shortage of things to do.

I cut the lawn yesterday. That's a half an hour's worth of light exercise right there. And, I've been slowly picking weeds. I'm not great with gardening... it's just not my thing. But I can handle a few minutes at a time of cleaning up some of the overgrowth to make things look better. 

The whole time though, I was being watched.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Quarantine Day 4

We will be free as of 6:30am on Saturday August 8th.

So, 10 days to go. And so far, we're totally fine. The only thing we miss is our daily 45 minute 5 km (3 mile) power walk that we normally do when we're staying here.

There is lots for us to do here though. And, it's a pleasant change for us to have an unlimited source of internet like most people normally do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sherman is for sale

Yesterday's blog title was "The final drive", and it may well have been.

Sherman the motorhome has taken us to many fabulous places, but it's time for him to move on. We think he's best suited to become a "cottage" at a rural property somewhere, but if someone wanted to fix him up enough to continue driving him, well that could happen too. And he is priced according to both possibilities.

Monday, July 27, 2020

The final drive...

We were on the road at sunrise on Sunday morning in order to beat the weekend traffic. We still had 300 kms (185 miles) to do, so we planned on stopping for breakfast and then another break later on in the morning, and arrive at Galetta well before lunch.

But with so little traffic, and a bit of a tail wind, we kept going until well past the half way point and ended up stopping for breakfast in Deep River, Ontario.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Back in Canada!

We had the alarm set for 5:30am Saturday morning with a plan to get across the border by 6:00am. We didn't quite make it! It turns out that sunrise is at 6:10am, so we waited at least wait until there was a little bit of light outside.

From the downtown area of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan it is only a 5 minute drive to the International bridge that crosses over to Saul Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Getting ready for our long drive

By the time most of you read this, we will already be across the bridge into Canada and on our way to Ruth's father's house in the little village of Galetta, Ontario.

From Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, it is a 740 km (463 mile) drive that we are prepared to do in one day. Depending on what we are told when we cross, we may be able to do it in two days. We will see.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Beautiful scenery at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

And, it was just an all round beautiful day.

The only downside was too many people. But of course, we were some of them! We tried our best to go to the less popular areas though, including an 8 mile (13 km) hike that we did where we hardly saw anybody else.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

If you don't ask, you don't know!

Woke up to rain and drizzle Wednesday morning. First, they said it would stop around noon... then they said, well maybe it will stop around 2:00pm. But it was actually closer to 4:00pm!

We drove closer to Marquette. I was planning on stopping at the Lowe's to wait out the rain with some decent free WiFi, but as we passed through the town of Negaunee, I saw a sign at a propane place advertising 99 cent a gallon propane.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Knock, knock, knock... again!

Tuesday was a bit of a rain day. It actually started off overcast, and when we woke up at 6:30am the rain hadn't started yet. It was coming from the west, and we were heading east so we figured we could outrun it a little. So, we did some driving right away.

We got in 79 miles (127 kms) before breakfast, and pulled into the town of Hurley right before the Michigan border.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

That was a fun bike ride!

We had a really nice day, but it's a good thing we're not really on any kind of a schedule because we sure didn't drive very far.

We got up and did some driving first thing... even before tea and coffee! We find that there are a lot of benefits driving at 6:30am... very little wind, and very few cars on the road. And, then you can get parked up early and enjoy the rest of the day.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Well, that was a fun hour!

On Sunday, we did a fairly long (for us!) drive from Foley, Minnesota to Minong, Wisconsin. We had a really strong tail wind for most of the drive, so we figured we might as well take advantage of it. Pretty sure that Sherman must have got at least 12 mpg... felt like I hardly had to touch the gas pedal at all to keep him at 55 mph.

But, there sure was a lot of traffic. Fortunately, most of it was in the opposite direction. Still, you really have to watch out for people who are in such a rush that they want to pass at what might not be exactly the right time!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

More quarantine confusion, and a visit from the police

Saturday morning, we drove into the small city of Saint Cloud (pop 68,000). No ambition to hang out at all... we were only there because it was directly along our route and there was a Walmart at which we could do our weekly grocery shopping.

A couple of interesting things we noticed. A much higher population of Muslim residents shopping in that particular store. In fact, I doubt we have seen that many obvious recent immigrants in total over the last three and a half months as we saw at that one Walmart yesterday. Might be because we are so close to the big city of Minneapolis.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Finally got the kayak out!

We've been doing lots of biking and walking... but it was time to mix things up a bit. We did the short drive from Spicer to Paynesville and used the free RV dump station there, then headed over to the shores of Lake Koronis.

We've been taking a page out of the Tioga George playbook. Anybody who followed Tioga George knows that his way was to find a great place to hang out with his RV during the day... and then around dusk go to his "Night Camp" that he would have already scoped out during the day.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Oh well... it's only water

As some readers have mentioned, there are a lot of bike paths in this part of Minnesota. Yesterday morning, we drove back to the park in Willmar where we got the bikes off and tackled a pathway that leads about 40 miles (65 kms) up towards Paynesville.

We didn't do the whole thing... but we did pretty well!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Hello Minnesota!

When we crossed the border yesterday into Minnesota, both Ruth and I thought "we haven't been to Minnesota for a long time". But then we thought again... we were actually here last summer! When we returned from Australia, our oddball flight routing took us from Hawaii to LA to Minneapolis to Saskatoon. So, we were actually in Minnesota last August 23rd!

And when we crossed into Minnesota, we also remembered that it's not as easy to find free overnight spots as we get into the eastern area of the U.S.. Minnesota State Parks are expensive, and even county and municipal parks we are seeing some at upwards of $30 USD ($40 CAD) per night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Long bike ride!

Well, yesterday's blog post was an interesting diversion. Even if you disagreed with me, the many comments give you an indication of what other people think about the situation as well. I found it an worthwhile commentary. But today, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming!

On Monday we drove from Tulare to Redfield, only a distance of about 10 miles (16 kms)! It was supposed to be a fairly windy cross wind day and Sherman doesn't like driving in the wind. We are in no rush, so we sat in the motorhome by the library, and got some work done.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

My thoughts on Covid-19...

We don't normally comment on world events, or our health, or politics or religion because opinions are almost always too divisive. And sure, of course we have an opinion on all of those things. But this blog is about our life and travels, so those things mentioned above are usually just noise and so we consider them unrelated.

But of course Covid and the reactions to it has affected almost everybody's life, including our own.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Our little buddy

Not much in the way of scenery to show you today. We drove from Pierre to Tulare, South Dakota and it was pretty much flat and farmland. We ended up in the town of Tulare because I had read of a town park that offered three RV sites with electric hookups, and I thought maybe we could waste today there because it's supposed to be too windy to drive.

And I thought maybe with only three sites we might not get a spot, but when we arrived there was nobody there... except for our little buddy who was quick to greet us.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fresh air and exercise

Saturday was a beautiful day here in Pierre, South Dakota. High of about 86F (30C) with blue sky and sunshine. Only downside was a bit of wind.

We took the bikes out in the morning and went across the causeway to the trails on the island. We planned on doing the other trails in town as well, but found it too windy. Maybe things would calm down later.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Detour!

It was a bit of a late start from the town of Faith as we didn't head out until almost 10:30am. And as we were leaving town, we saw that there was some kind of horse event going on at the arena. So we stopped in to see what was happening.

But we had to walk across a field to get to the side of the fence to get a better view. We really didn't want to walk around to the actual entrance, and we're not big horse people so it's not like we were going to pay to go in. We just wanted to see what was going on.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Why?

No particular reason. It occurred to me last night that I always look forward to tomorrow! What's the point of living if you don't have anything to look forward to?!

But, tomorrow hasn't happened yet, so let's talk about yesterday. We left our spot by the lake and made our way into the town of Newell where we used their free library WiFi to get caught up on things.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Nice quiet spot by the lake

The sun comes up at about 5:20am in this part of the world right now, so we like to get up early and do some driving. There is hardly anybody on the road, and there's very little wind, if any at all.

So Wednesday morning, we were on the road by about 6:15am and headed further east. The only problem with getting up at that hour and heading east is that the sun is shining right in your eyes!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Nice visit to Devil's Tower, Wyoming

Woke up Tuesday to a windy morning in Moorcroft, Wyoming. It looked like we were going to have a heavy crosswind for our drive up to Devil's Tower, but once we got on the road we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had a nice tailwind helping us along.

Devil's Tower is located kind of in the middle of nowhere. Arriving at the entrance, we found ourselves in tourist land. A big KOA campground on one side, and a tourist trinket shop on the other side.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

We found a local park with a big tree...

The eastern part of Wyoming (and Montana for that matter) is not very exciting. The mountain scenery that we so enjoyed for the month of June is gone.

And so it wasn't a very photogenic day yesterday as we made our way further east towards South Dakota.

Monday, July 6, 2020

More beautiful Wyoming scenery, and some nice bike paths...

We were on the road at 6:30am Sunday morning in order to do the steep climb into Bighorn National Forest. At that hour, temperatures are much lower and Sherman would have less risk of overheating.

In fact, now that we've done it I have little doubt that we would NOT have made it had we tried to do it on Saturday afternoon. Sherman had to work hard for a solid 8 miles (13 kms) while he climbed another 3,000'and there was very little opportunity to pull over and let him rest.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Well, that was a pretty good day!

We set off at about 10:00am Saturday morning. Used the nice clean dump station at the free Lovell municipal campground before we left and filled our fresh water tank with the available potable water.

Thanks Lovell!

And then we headed up to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. I had never heard of this place before, which is kind of surprising. When you see the photos, you'll understand why we are surprised that it's not more popular.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

We wandered over to the local grocery store here in Lovell, Wyoming to pick up a few things. Things are typically a bit more expensive at these independent stores, but they have sales too, so you never know what you're going to find.

First stop in the produce aisle, we saw iceberg lettuce at $1.69 USD ($2.29 CAD). A bit pricey, but you have to eat! We hummed and hawed between that and the romaine, but eventually grabbed an iceberg.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The strange people you meet in a laundromat

So I was looking at the map the other day, planning our route east. I saw that Lovell, Wyoming has a free campground in town with a 3 day stay limit and I figured that might be a good spot to ride out the American 4th of July long weekend.

With that in mind, I started to look for things to do in the area. We had been through these parts back in April of 2016 but we were on a mission at the time and so we didn't stop to see anything along the way. This time, we are in no real rush.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Red Lodge, Montana is a nice little town

We woke up on the ridge above the town and the forecast was for mostly sunny skies with a high around 70F (21C). So we decided to stay one more day in the area around Red Lodge, Montana.

We were doing some internet work first thing, and I got a text message from Telcel (we still have a Mexico SIM card in our phone) saying that our data had run out, and so had our balance. I'm usually pretty good at keeping an eye on it and recharging it the day before it runs out... but I missed it this time. And normally a screen comes up asking how you want to recharge, but this time I couldn't get it to do that.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June Expenses

Well, it was a pretty good month other than the fact that Sherman needed a water pump and a battery at the beginning of the month. That's 3 expensive months in a row, averaging $2,845 CAD per month. Good thing the first 3 months of the year were fairly reasonable while we were in Mexico. (They averaged $1,715 per month.)

We spent a total of $2,785 CAD ($2,047 USD) for the month of June.

Blizzard at the end of June

Well, yesterday was officially the day we begin the trek east to Ontario. And did we ever start it off with a bang! We knew the scenery heading east through the northern part of Yellowstone park would be spectacular, but the weather forecast was far from great.

It turned out that overall it was a little better than expected... until we got to the top of the Beartooth Pass where we encountered near blizzard conditions!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lots of wildlife around Gardiner, MT

We spent the morning waiting for the rain to let up. Fortunately, we have a fast free WiFi connection from where we are parked opposite the Gardiner Library. We used some of that time to do a bit of research on our upcoming drive across Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan during the month of July.

Then, I spent 45 minutes on hold waiting for a live person at Saskatchewan Government Insurance. When I got connected, I was number 43 in the queue. Usually, they are really fast so I don't know what happened yesterday. I renewed the motorhome for another month.

I also tried to fix our oven. That didn't go so well.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bought some more flight tickets!

Back in April, we were scheduled to fly with Delta Airlines from Kansas City to Ottawa. Of course that flight was cancelled by Delta, and eventually Delta gave us a total refund when the U.S. Department of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection Division mandated that they had no choice in the matter.

Unfortunately, not the same story here in Canada where the government stands behind big business instead of the consumer.

We also had purchased Westjet tickets for our daughter and grandchildren to come visit us at Cabri Park at the beginning of June.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Looks like we're in for some bad weather

The main reason that we are heading south east instead of directly east is because we wanted to drive the Beartooth Highway. It's supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in the Unites States. It only opened on June 1st and we thought about doing it back then, but the weather was not great at the time.

Well it turns out that the weather might be even worse now!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

You can actually rent this fire tower...

On Friday, we drove down from Whitefish down to Seeley Lake. A scenic drive, but a little too much traffic at times for our liking. Even though Montana has a low population for the size of the state, it's all very concentrated and if you're in one of the busy areas it can seem quite populated!

We're headed southeast now, back to Yellowstone Park. The eastern part of Montana is not as scenic to us, so we're going back to Yellowstone to head east through the park and exit on the Beartooth Highway.

Friday, June 26, 2020

This is why we came to Montana!

We woke up to blue skies and sunshine and it was forecast to stay that way all day.

There are a ton of great hiking trails in Glacier National Park. We wanted to do one that was away from the crowds and offered spectacular views. Hard to find one like that because the really good hikes are often also very crowded. And some are not even accessible for use yet. Ruth did some research and came across the Scalplock Mountain Lookout Trail.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Our first visit to Glacier National Park

One of our favorite Canadian National Park is Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. It borders Montana and actually is part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park which is the union of Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park in the United States.

So it stands to reason that we would like Glacier as much as Waterton.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Even in town, you have to slow down for the deer

We left our spot near the Canadian border, and headed down to the town of Eureka (pop 1,100) where we wandered around a little outdoor museum and used a free dump station and filled our fresh water holding tank.

From there, we drove southeast on highway 93 towards Whitefish. Along the way were some National Forest Campgrounds. And also a lot of National Forest service roads, but it was tough to find somewhere to stay for the night without knowing for sure how far in there might be a suitable spot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

We had a great day... until right at the end...

Woke up to blue sky and sunshine. What a treat compared to the overcast on again off again rain that we've been having for the last week or more. Blue sky always makes photos turn out so much better, as you will see below!

There were only two other RVs parked in our area, and one of them had a small generator running on Sunday evening until about 8pm, but it was pretty quiet. Could hardly hear it when we closed the window on that side.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Camped only 3 miles from Canada

Pouring rain Sunday morning in Libby, Montana. When it finally let up around 10:00am, we said goodbye to Bob and Denise again. But we will probably see them in August or September in Ontario!

We went for a walk around "dowtown" Libby just to stretch our legs before driving to our next spot. Not much to see in downtown, but then again it was a Sunday so things were pretty quiet.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

First day of summer!

Yesterday was the first day of summer. I remember when that used to mean a lot, but not so much any more. It used to be that summer holidays were coming up, and you could pretty much bet on shorts and t-shirts weather.

But now, we do our utmost to stay year round in climates where it is shorts and t-shirts weather! So the only thing that means much to us about the first day of summer now is that the days are so long in this part of the world.