WELCOME!

Hello, and welcome to Travel To Little Known Places. My reason for starting this blog is just to share our crazy travel stories and misadventures, many compiled from letters home to family and friends while travelling. Our style of travel is a little different from most, and after so many people have asked us how we can afford to travel so much, I thought I might try to explain. See Sassy Travel Style: Travel More, Spend Less.   Our choice of places is almost always a bit off-the-beaten-path. So if that tickles your curiosity, follow along. You can sign up for … Continue reading…

Half-Asleep, Half-Awake

Half-asleep, half-awake, over-stimulated in airports, under-stimulated on long flights, out-of-sorts, out-of-routine, off-keel, and off-base, much like when you wake up after surgery with the effects of heavy-duty drugs. In short,  jet lag.   And in this condition, you are expected to navigate new airports…   And take off your jacket, sweater, shoes, belts and jewelry, have your Boarding Pass and Passport ready at all times, and God Forbid if you should forget to put your liquids and gels in that clear plastic bag.       We had 3 flights to get to Marseilles, on 3 different airlines. Flights were all fine and … Continue reading…

French Riviera – Get Packing

  In a few days we will be landing in Marseilles, France. It’s a little surreal that you can be on the French Riviera in Europe on the other side of the world in just one day, your whole environment completely changed in a few hours.   We are house sitting near Toulouse for a few weeks (4 dogs and 4 chickens), then driving down the picturesque coast of Southern France, then taking the train to magical Venice, Italy. Next we’ll drive through Slovenia and Croatia to the 16 cascading lakes at Plitvice Falls and back up the Croatian coast of … Continue reading…

Never Too Old (Guest Post)

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*This is a Guest Post by a Dear Friend, Irmi NEVER TOO OLD December 13th: A Real Commotion First I was worried about the date. On top of it being the 13th, it was Friday. I had to leave that thought loose and not start making up something in my mind. Monika had given me a present and I would enjoy the trip and never even think about the date. I must admit I packed for two weeks and unpacked for two weeks, several times. But finally, I also knew that I always pack too much so I had to … Continue reading…

The Gilligans’ Island Experience

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Internet Hut: After receiving 3 or 4 completely different directions for getting to the only Internet access on Little Corn Island, we traipsed through the jungle to the East side of the island and after ten minutes came to a tiny Gilligan Island style hut with two old computers. We paid $12 an hour to use the computer. It was a necessity at the time, because we were selling a house. Many other times we walked across the island through the jungle only to find it closed, or the Internet down.   The setting at the Internet hut was a … Continue reading…

Bad To The Bone and Tall Boy

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  It was another warm sunny day, and we were down for breakfast at the Lobster Inn on Little Corn Island. Everyone was friendly and chatting, including the staff and locals.   One of the staff, the owner’s niece, tells us that there was a big fire on Big Corn Island last night. Two people died and it looked like the people may have been tied-up.   The next thing we know local police and several army men carrying machine guns are standing at the doorway of the restaurant. Two of the men are wearing black balaclavas. Everyone in the restaurant looks shocked … Continue reading…

Someone Stole My Shoes!

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  We couldn’t take enough pictures of the demure children of Little Corn Island.   One morning when we walked past the school on the path through the jungle to the centre of the island, we took some photos of the school children on a break.   We stopped to talk to the teacher. He said that they desperately needed new buildings, classrooms, computers for the school, and so on. Later we found out that teachers only make $120 per month on the island. It was sad that the school lacked a lot of supplies, and we vowed to gather … Continue reading…

Chocolate Withdrawal & Turtle For Supper

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  For such a tiny island, we had some amazing varieties of food on Little Corn Island. There was mostly Nica (Nicaraguan) food, but our favourite restaurant was the Cuban Café, which served delicious Coconut Lobster and Baby Beef Steak.    The dinners at our hotel, the Lobster Inn, were typical Nica food: fried pork or ribs or chicken, rice and beans, coleslaw and plantain chips for $3. Always good.   One morning we asked Erika, the cook, if she could make us some hash browns. She looked totally confused. We said that you just fry onions and potatoes, chopped. She still … Continue reading…

Bags of Money Floating On The Ocean

Someone told us that bags of money and/or drugs have been found floating in the ocean around Little Corn Island.   Drug dealers on the ocean might see another boat, perhaps a police/army boat, get scared of getting caught and quickly dump the drugs or money overboard.   When we asked what people who found such bags did with the cache, no one would answer.   So guess what we did the next few days?! Of course. We went to the virgin west side of the island to spend the day at the beach, eyes peeled intently for anything floating … Continue reading…

Little Corn Island – No Cars, No Roads, No Worries

At last! Big Corn Island disappeared far off in the distance. No more threatening thugs, no more loud music, no more hurtling cars – just crystal clear blue water, soft sand, and the sweet sweet quiet of Little Corn Island.   That’s right – there are no roads on Little Corn Island, and no cars.   A taxi driver on Big Corn had recommended we stay at the Lobster Inn, instead of Los Dolphines, so we were delighted to meet Momma Cornelia, and negotiate a rate of $15 per night, rather than $20. http://littlecornisland.net/accomodation/     We were right on the … Continue reading…

Valentine’s Day On A Dangerous Island

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  We didn’t want to go to crime-and-drug-ridden Big Corn Island but we had no choice. It was the only way to get to gorgeous Little Corn Island on the virtually unknown Caribbean side of Nicaragua.   First we had to fly from Managua to Big Corn Island, then take a small boat to Little Corn.    We had contemplated a long river boat trip down the rivers across Nicaragua to the Caribbean side, but it was across vast uninhabited parts of Nicaragua, and it looked like a rough week-long voyage.     Taking the local bus from Rivas back to Managua for … Continue reading…

A Free Luxurious Villa

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  We had been offered an opportunity to stay at  a new upscale development of villas on the Pacific coast near Rivas, Southern Nicaragua, for a free luxurious weekend. Rancho Santana was spread over 2700 acres on the rocky Pacific coastline with 5 beaches.  The homes were for sale of course, and they hoped, by offering a free stay, you might invest in a vacation/residential home.   After a pleasant drive by taxi through the countryside from Granada to Rivas…     We arrived at Rancho Santana…     It was brand new, sparkling clean and quite modern… a huge contrast from our … Continue reading…

No Food, No Water, No Phone

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  It was hard to leave charming and colonial Granada. After playing like children on an uninhabited island, being amazed on our walk in the cloud rain forest and screaming through an invigorating zip line across the top of the Nicaraguan jungle, it was hard to imagine that anything could beat those experiences.   But we had this idea that we should check out off-the-beaten-path San Juan del Sur, where Playa Gigante was known as the most beautiful beach in Nicaragua. The not-so-friendly taxi driver said it would only be about $10 to get to the Bahia Majagual Eco-Lodge, which was billed … Continue reading…

Flying Across Jungle Treetops

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  While we were still enjoying the lovely town and relaxing atmosphere of Granada, Nicaragua, we wanted to see the Volcano Mombacho, still active we had been told, as well as the cloud forest in the mountains and to experience the jungle zip line.   We were both a little worried about the zip line and whether we could manage climbing a makeshift ladder, 100 metres up a tree! But embarrassed to admit it, we bought the tour and determined to try.   Both tours were private tours with only the tour guides and the two of us. Nice.   First … Continue reading…

2013 Year in Summary for Travel To Little Known Places

 

A very special thank you to my top readers/commenters in 2013!

 

Marnee, Wendy, Ashley, Tami and Joanne – you are the best!

 

Connie and Marlene, thanks for sharing on Facebook.

 

We’ve had over 6000 views and we now have 1500 subscribers – that’s 1 in 4 readers who subscribe – not bad for 6 months since launching the site.

 

Thank you to all of you who read our travel stories and we hope we can continue to amuse, confuse and enthuse.



Check out the link… fireworks and all…

 

and click on the map to see how many people in countries all over the world read Travel To Little Known Places.

 

 http://jetpack.me/annual-report/50477331/2013/

 

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ALONE On A Deserted Island

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  After missed and delayed flights, and a cramped old hotel in Managua, arriving in Granada was a delightful surprise.     It was a pretty town with a gorgeous town square featuring a huge pink and white gazebo, food vendors selling all kinds of snacks and sweets, vendors selling jewelry and hats and balloons, children playing, adults chatting, and everyone just enjoying the splendid sunshine. We spent almost every evening sitting in the town square waiting for the birds to start chirping and sweeping across the square as they nestled into the trees for the night.     The Hotel Alhambra, … Continue reading…

Stomping Your Feet Does Not Help

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It started with a comedy of errors. Freezing rain cancelled our flight out of Toronto to Nicaragua so there were 40-minute line-ups at the pay phones just to try to re-schedule. T was relatively new at “travel glitches” and was wringing his hands in anxiety. After many years of travel I was used to flight delays, but this long forty-minute wait was getting to me too.      We finally gave it up and suddenly found direct line phones where we quickly got re-scheduled on a flight the next morning. Then it was back to the hotel overnight.     The … Continue reading…

Bored With Typical Travel?

Are you totally bored with typical canned packaged same-old holidays? Longing for something a little different?   Are you tired of walking half a mile down corridors, waiting for elevators, then walking another half mile of paved walks to get to an over-stuffed pool or a crowded beach with people lined-up like dominoes?   Are you sick of having to race down to the pool to put a towel on a chair to save it? Or worse yet, paying for a chair?   Are you tired of lining-up to book a restaurant table days before you even know what kind … Continue reading…

The Friggin’ Truth About Christmas

  Ok, here’s the thing. Everybody is too friggin’ busy at Christmas to read (or write) a blog post. So we’ll keep it short and sweet.   You’re not the only one freaking out about all the things you still have to do before Christmas. Everyone is! Well OK, maybe it’s more likely the women in every family.   If you’re one of the lucky ones (or smart ones) to avoid all the stresses of preparing for Christmas, tell us your secret… pleeeeeese… tell us…   We are begging you…   Because, damn it, next year, we will be more … Continue reading…

Mr. T is Mr. Christmas

  T is Mr. Christmas.   You’ve heard about his smart remarks and wry sense of humour in previous posts, but I think we shall reveal a little more of his character, since he is always the silent partner in our escapades around the world?   Did you ever in your life hear of someone having 30, yes thirty, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause dolls, most of them 2-3 feet tall?!   One set is even a Vintage Animated Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Aren’t they the cutest?   But that’s not all – no, no, no, not by a long shot.   He … Continue reading…

Full Moon Over Beijing

  The Chinese people were warm and sweet, smiling beguilingly at Westerners, offering quick assistance, showing deep respect, bowing slightly, and always using “you first” gestures.   A Chinese acquaintance told me that the government is very strict that the people make Westerners feel welcome, but I sensed, especially outside of Beijing and the tourist places, that people felt flattered and privileged to know, talk to, or have a picture taken with a Westerner. It seemed as if one gained status to have some personal contact with a Westerner. Several times I was invited to stand affectionately close to a … Continue reading…