Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Major change of plans.

I mentioned the other day that there's a lot going on behind the scenes here at Travel with Kevin and Ruth, and that is proving to be totally true.

Our original plan for July was to continue through the Balkans, with quite a lot of time spent in Serbia, a country that we have never been to. Then perhaps Georgia for August, before heading back to Canada in September.

Well, all that has changed.

As you know, we've been looking for some type of campervan/motorhome that would be set up the way we want for travel through Central America and maybe even South America. Whether or not we buy it in Canada or the U.S. or Mexico, or maybe even South America, I'm learning that it's not easy to do from way over here.

The second problem, is that if we buy something in Canada or U.S., I will need to renew my U.S. visa waiver, and that procedure can take up to three months. And I need to actually be in Canada to start the process.

The last thing that has come up over the past couple of weeks is that my mother's health is deteriorating. She's in her 89th year, so it's not unexpected. My older sister has been dealing with all of this, and she could use some assistance.

So after our Albania hike ends on June 24th, we are heading back to Canada. And we'll probably be there for four months.

The Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Nothing booked yet, but I will look after that over the next day or two before our hike begins.

So... summer in Ottawa. Humidity and mosquitoes. Not ideal, but we would certainly rather be there in summer than winter! No idea where we'll stay yet, but I've already applied for a house sit. We'll need to figure out some transportation as well. Might even buy a car, since rentals are so ridiculously expensive ($1,850 CAD, $1,350 USD per month!).

On the plus side, there can be some nice days as well. And we'll be able to spend more time with family and friends. And we'll be able to eat our own food for months at a time which has certainly got to be better for our health than all the restaurant food we've been eating so much of. And join a gym and get back into great shape. We also need to renew our passports. They don't expire until 2026, but they are almost full!

We knew this time would come eventually, so we're just going to deal with it. It is what it is.

Yesterday, we drove from Peak District National Park, to the big city of Birmingham. About a two hour drive. We dropped off the car rental, problem free, and did the 4 km walk back to our accommodation at the Ibis Budget Hotel. It's actually more like a hostel, and at £30 ($38 USD, $52 CAD) for a private room and bathroom, we have no complaints.

This morning, we will walk to the bus station and hop on the bus to London's Luton airport where we have the afternoon to wait for our flight to Tirana, Albania which departs at 7:10pm this evening. We have a hotel booked at Tirana airport, then tomorrow we have a rental car booked, but only for the day in order to do the drive up to Shkodra. 

Next blog post coming to you from Albania!

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Big price drop on the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

And in Canada...

6 comments:

  1. Very few mosquitos in Ottawa so far this year :-)

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  2. This all makes perfect sense to me. I have family needs here in the US that were a large part of why we returned from Mexico. Although I miss our lifestyle there in so many ways, there are other things that are better here anyway (fewer mosquitoes, for sure!). And sometimes we have to put the needs of others in front of our own desires, at least for awhile. With the RV thing too, you have two main reasons for returning to Canada for a bit. And before then, an incredible adventure in Albania as your send-off!

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    Replies
    1. We were prepared to come back to Canada at some point to help with Kevin's mom so it isn't a real surprise. At least it isn't winter there.

      Hopefully it will give us time to look for an RV that will be suited to our needs in the process and we can get our passports updated. It will also be nice to spend time some extended time with family and friends.

      Two more days and our big hike begins, we are pretty excited about that.

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  3. good to hear you are going to back for Mom. Your summers are so short.....no? 3 months ?

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    1. We are glad that we have the ability to go back and help Kevin's sister out with his mom. I am sure they will both be happy to see us.

      Generally we only get about two or three really good months of summer but May, September and October can be nice too but they can also be not so nice, it just depends on the year.

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