Category Archives: beach

OMG! Where has the time gone

It is April now. APRIL! I have failed to write anything about the places we have visited for the past month. My excuse will be that we have been visiting friends and family.

Brief breakdown:
New Zealand – had the pleasure of sharing this travel experience with my dad and sister who met up with us on the North Island. We spent time in Rotorua, Auckland, 90 mile beach. Highlight was definitely 90 mile beach where we had the best beach house with an enormous deck. Another highlight was the skyswing in Rotorua. Video posted in previous post.
Dani and I then went on a campervan adventure on the south island which was amazing. Highlights include Milford Sound and really just the entire camping experience. I am inspired to get a tear drop trailer on returning home.

Australia – a quick stop to visit friends in Melbourne and then Perth.  After visiting Melbourne, it is easy to see why it tops the most liveable cities lists constantly. It is a city that reminded me of Vancouver but with the right amount of Toronto mixed in. It was also amazing to catch up with friends who took us down to Port Campbell via great ocean road. Beautiful scenery. Perth was also an amazing city! So much green space! Many lovely beautiful parks and hot hot hot weather surrounded by ocean. Sharks are a problem though. On more than one occasion while talking with locals (and our friends who live there) sharks are a real problem. This is very foreign to me. Also, we loved Fremantle! So many cute shops, restaurants and a general great vibe!

It was also interesting to be in these two countries while the world cricket championship was going on. NZ and Australia making it to the final game is akin to a Canada-USA gold medal hockey match.

**No photos from either of these since I had to reset my phone..only in Flickr to be included later***

Bali, Indonesia – We have now spent a week in Bali. Well, kinda. The day we arrived we did a significant amount of touring around with a driver including but not limited to seeing some traditional dancing, viewing a waterfall, hugging a luwak, seeing a temple, getting in a minor car accident, eating satay and buying mangosteens at every fruit stall we passed (total consumption – no joke – nearly 12 kilos). After that day we were interested in catching up with our gay boyfriend from Calgary and have spent the entire week at the Sheraton Kuta Resort by the pool or getting massages(mostly for free!! Thank you points!!) We have ventured out to see some things and eat. Highlight meal being the Indonesian feast where our food was preceded by a drumming procession to announce its arrival. We should have known it was too much when they provided us with an additional table for all the food.

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See. Boring. Adventure begins Sunday again when we start our Filipino adventures!!!

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On our way across the ocean from Easter Island we stopped at another beautiful island, Mo’orea French Polynesia.

Our arrival to the island of Tahiti was amazing. The entire flight is greeted by Polynesian dancers and singers right on the tarmac as we disembarked the plane.  True sign that this is a tourist destination I think.  Our transfer to our hotel greeted us with leis as well.  They are beautiful but made me sneeze uncontrollably.

Dani wearing multiple leis
Dani wearing multiple leis

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Cartagena

After such an amazing time in Medellin and Bogota, I had fairly high expectations for Cartagena. What could be more perfect than heat, sun, sand, Colombian hospitality and a richly preserved colonial city.

Unfortunately, our accommodations here left us with a pretty terrible first impression. It was the first time in our five months that we decided to leave a booking early. I don’t really want to go over the details because in the simple life Dani and I lead we have talked about it non stop for the past three days. I am over it.

Thankfully moving to the old city completed reversed this poor impression! Cartagena does feel much different compared to the other cities we visited. There is a definite Caribbean vibe here which is super interesting. The old city is colorful and full of life and people (who all dress quite fancy… I do feel a bit underdressed going out in travel clothes at night)

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We have been fortunate enough to be here during some sort of music festival so we were able to listen to some live orchestra music yesterday evening.

Also, what I can not get enough of is mango with salt and lime. There is SOOOOO much fresh fruit in the streets here it is amazing to have it so readily available for snacks. Thankfully all the fresh fruit is curbing my ice cream habit (for the time being anyway)

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The weather has been hot, hot, hot! It still gets dark quite early so peak sun is about from 11-2 where it has been 30+! Pretty amazing!

Only one day left here and we are going to be spending it on Baru, on playa blanca. We saw some photos from some fellow travelers and it looks amazing! More photos to follow!

Barcelona Recap

We arrived in Barcelona a few days ago which was different from our original plan so I didn’t have a ton planned. Instead of scrambling to figure stuff out we just booked an apartment for a week and decided to hang out.

Our apartment is in El Raval which is ideally located to many major sites. The area is not completely gentrified yet so a bit rough around the edges but that makes it a bit more interesting.

Highlight of the first day was the boqueria where we were able to get some delicious snacks. Figs are still in season so I am content with that. Dani was pleased to find they serve meat in paper cones. Tiny sausages and serrano ham. Obviously this will be a contained stop through out our time here

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We then wandered down in the area taking in all the sights and sounds and obviously drink sangria.

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Maui

We have arrived in Maui! Warm humid air, surrounded by the ocean and lush greenery. A welcome contrast to the snow at home!

Our first two days we stayed at an off the grid place near Haiku. This was Dani’s find and I was both nervous and excited for our ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping) experience.

We were greeted by three guard dogs. By guard dogs I mean dogs lazing in the sun unwilling to move so we could park our car. Our host, Brooke (also known as Heaven) showed us to what we would be calling home for the next two nights.

This amazing little hut was fully open to the outside. There was a single basin for washing up, a bed, a single propane element for cooking and a cooler for storing perishables. In the corner was a yoga mat, yoga ball and yoga bricks. It seemed whimsical with all the scarves draped around and the smell of essential oil and fresh air. There was also the most amazing hammock chair

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Heaven showed us around the property. The composting toilet, outdoor shower and ‘hot tub’ which was a porcelain bath tub on cinder blocks with a fire pit underneath. There was also a sweat tent. In her tour she picked spinach from the ground for us to try, picked leaves from trees for us to eat and searched desperately for ripe passion fruit to share. This was absolutely another world.

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With no access to internet and our phones already nearly dead, total relaxation was in our immediate future.

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The next morning I woke up to mediate in the peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately Dani’s attempt at meditating was foiled by a dancing dog (a dog with fleas trying to scratch his back while sliding down a hill)

We walked to a juice stand to get some fresh pineapple and smoothies. We then hiked around a bit

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We drove around to take in some of the views and they were magnificent. This included a trip to a lavender farm, goat cheese farm and winery.

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We bid farewell to our few days as hippies and moved on to the Westin Resort on the other side of the island.

The change in pace was immediately noticeable. All the people, noise and traffic. We settled in our room and explored the resort. Dani made it her personal mission to gather as many SPG points as possible. This included signing up for a sales presentation and filling out a punch card for different things at the resort. She was successful.

More driving to see amazing views, running each morning and row boating. Also bought and rescinded a timeshare. You know a regular vacation.

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I am also obsessed with both sunrise and sunset and was not disappointed.

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All and all a lovely vacation. And we will be back…by rescinding the timeshare offer…a good deal was presented to us to visit again. And we will..before 2016!!