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Not Your Normal Travel Site

  Travel to Little Known Places is not your normal travel site. What you’ll find are down-to-earth experiences of a crazy couple travelling to little known and off-the-beaten path places. We like to get out of the big cities as fast as we can. We like to rent a car, and just go exploring. It is absolutely amazing some of the things you find that are not in the guidebooks.   Locals, Not Tourists We’d rather meet local people than other tourists. We’d rather eat local food, or go to a small town celebration than be part of a tour group herded from one … More…

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Sassy Travel Style: Travel More, Spend Less

World In Your Hands

  Our style is sassy because it is a bit different, a bit bold, a bit adventurous, and as inexpensive as possible. Follow along for travel tips galore.   Trends are more and more toward adventure travel, which we love, but we like comfort too, so we don’t do hostels and backpacking. On the other hand, luxury travel is out too because we like to experience the local culture, and like the average person, we simply cannot afford luxury travel.    Still we travel somewhere every year, for at least a month, to one country, usually a little-known place. Our logic for spending a month or more in visiting that … More…

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Ring 1: Beara Peninsula’s Remarkable Scenery

  The Beara Peninsula is untouched and has very few tourists. It has some of the most remarkable and unusual scenery.     Starting at Glengarriff, and driving around the entire peninsula to Kenmare, we saw some astounding terrain. This is a photo journal.   School children in Beara Peninsula`s small towns generally wear uniforms.   We loved these charming moss-covered cottages.   Dunboy Castle near Castletownbere had an interesting history.   The Dunboy castle grounds were covered thickly with greenery.   The scenery on the Beara Peninsula was quite dramatic and constantly changing.   Can you believe these pretty … More…

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Should Have Stayed In Mexico

    Thursday, February 26:   A few days ago, February 22, in Mexico, the cat sitter emailed us that the pipes are frozen in the house, and that there is no water, so no bathrooms either. Car is also unlikely to start and is buried in a mountain of snow. They have had record-breaking cold temperatures between 20 and 40 below in the last few weeks. Colder than the Canadian Prairies! It seldom goes lower than –10 in Southern Ontario. Coldest winter in 30 years.   We got home about 11 pm last night, checked the pipes, no water anywhere in … More…

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Mosquitoes, Markets & The Art Of The Yucatan Sale

  This is our modest rental home in Merida, Mexico.   Our huge Roman Bath on the rooftop deck. You could fit 15 people into it.     The house has everything we really need, accept for the uninvited guests – mosquitoes! The little buggers get in everywhere and they are so tiny you can barely see them. (There is no need to seal doors and windows in tropical countries to keep out the cold.) You don’t feel the sting of these mosquitoes until some time later when you start scratching and look down to see a big red welt. … More…

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Locked Out Of Our House in Merida

Here we are in sunny Merida, Mexico, skin soaking up the luscious moisture and the warmth of the sun like a sponge. It’s easier to breathe here. Such a dramatic contrast to the cold dry air of winter in Canada; it’s almost a shock to the system. It was a long line-up through Customs and Immigration in Cancun this time, and we had some hassles with the rental car, as usual, but after an hour got it all sorted out, and headed down the highway from Cancun to Valladolid. We know better that to drive at night here, but it was … More…

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The Cure For Boredom Is Curiosity

  We’re off another adventure! I’m a little nervous though and I have no idea why. Maybe it’s just excitement, or the stress of wondering if I have covered all the bases. Staying in another country for four months is not quite the same as a one week or one month vacation where you move around all the time, but it will be so wonderful to be in a warm country during our frigid winter.   The house is booked – nothing extravagant, just a little two-bedroom, two-bathroom house in colonial Merida, on the Mayan side of Mexico. This is the side … More…

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Argentina: Coffee, Croissants And Cads

  D and I decided to rent a car and explore the beaches South of Buenos Aires. Stopping at beaches along the way, we stayed overnight in a few places, but it was late afternoon when we got into San Clemente and saw the beautiful beaches.   We definitely wanted to stay for a few days, and started looking for a hotel. For three hours we drove from hotel to hotel to hotel, on and off the beach, and all hotels were absolutely full. We were actually exhausted from jumping in and out of the car running in to ask … More…

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Paraguay: Pride of the Guarani

  We left Iguazu Falls on a high of blustering waterfalls surrounding us in a circle of thundering water, but we forgot to tell you about our excursion to Paraguay.   We booked a catamaran boat excursion down the Iguazu and Parana Rivers into Paraguay.   The Iguazu and Parana Rivers cross each other at the three-country border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.   The catamaran wasn’t a sailboat: it was a motorized pontoon boat, but we needed it for shallow areas of the river.   Along the way we were going to see an original Guarani Indian site in … More…

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We’ve Seen Beautiful Waterfalls, But Not Anything Like This One…

  Sitting in the Buenos Aires airport, we were lazily waiting for an announcement to board, when someone said we had to find a shuttle out to the plane. What? Scrambling to figure out what and where, we finally found the right shuttle boarding at the very last moment to Puerto Iguazu, far up into the NE tip of Argentina.   We had purchased a flight package from Buquebus Turisimo that included 4 nights hotel with air from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu. Buquebus is an Argentine-Uruguayan company that operates ferry services from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Montevideo, Uruguay, and also offers … More…

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With My Eyes Closed

  “Want to go to Argentina?” I said to my friend D. “What? Argentina? Hmm… I don’t know… how long?” “Just a month. There is a great price out of LA.” “A month! I can’t get that much time off work.” “Are you sure? Have you asked?” “No. Ok, I’ll ask… but I don’t think so… it’s always been two weeks.” The next day, she called to say they said YES. I think she was in shock. But she was excited and so was I! Since we were both ballroom dancers, the idea of going to the birthplace of the … More…

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Places We Regret Going

  We’ve travelled to over 30 countries, and each one had something special, unforgettable and memorable.   But upon careful review, do we have any travel regrets? Have we travelled to any places that we wish we had not gone to?    There are a few that stand out above others as the best with no regrets whatsoever, like Tonga, New Zealand, Uruguay and Venice, but then there was also China, and Ireland… oh, and Croatia, and Scotland… and France and Mexico and Hungary… there are so many incredible memories, and so many fantastic places!    So… ummm… let me … More…

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Cyclone In Tonga

  Our dear friends survived a major cyclone in Tonga this spring. Their beautiful private island, Uoleva, and their amazing cabins on an absolutely perfect South Pacific beach were destroyed. Their entire resort was smashed and they were were lucky to withstand the cyclone alive.   First, here are some photos of what Serenity Beaches looked like when we visited: Arriving at Uoleva Island, Tonga… notice the lush and green jungle…   Our beautiful cabin home made of imported Indonesian hardwood…   Our spa bathroom with outdoor shower…   Solar lights line thick jungle path to gazebo restaurant…   The perfect … More…

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The Taxi Ride Of Our Lives!

In Budapest, we took a Danube Riverboat Cruise down the river to a little town called Szentendre.   We enjoyed great views of the bridges and Parliament Buildings as we cruised slowly down the Danube…   Jaws dropped though when we saw a bus floating in the river…  Oh My God.   A few minutes later we realized that it was a bus boat! Hilarious.   After a nice cruise down the river, Szentendre came into view…   Szentendre was a charming little town…   But what really was unique was the Marzipan Museum. Yes, marzipan, the almond paste that can be … More…

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A Powerful Voice

How many times have we said we don’t like something, only to find that an authentic first-hand experience of that very thing astonishes you, and you come away with a complete change of mind… and so it happened with us in Budapest.   First of all, Budapest is an extravagant and exciting city, ranging from magnificent to modest. Architecturally, it is beautiful. Many original historic buildings have been maintained, and these elegant structures seem to be valued much more in Europe in general, than they are in North America.   Much of the charm of Europe is in the magnificent … More…

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The Garden of Happiness

  One day I was out shopping at the mall in downtown Budapest at West End City Centre Mall…   It’s a huge five-level mall!   Not without its charms…   A bit disgruntled that I could not find a single thing I particularly wanted to buy, I was equally tired of walking and walking back and forth on five endless levels with no palpable results. Perhaps I should have been happy to save my money, but I was looking for things I thought I needed (you know how that is).   Finally, peeved, I stepped outside a back entrance … More…

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Heal Thyself in a Roman Turkish Bath House

  It seems that Hungary sits over a steaming inferno of water…   Hungary has a reputation for having the best Roman Turkish bath houses in Europe.   People from all over Europe, as well as from other parts of the world, visit their famous medicinal hot springs.   Thermal baths are literally spread all over the country. There are over 140 registered thermal baths in Hungary and over 1300 thermal springs.   The city of Budapest holds the title of having the most thermal and medicinal springs than any other city in the world.   The Roman Turkish bath houses are … More…

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White Cinderella Castle On The Danube

  With the River Danube running through the centre of the city, Budapest is a spectacular city!   Did you know that there are two separate cities that make up Budapest? Buda is on the West side of the Danube and Pest (pronounced Pesht) is on the East side of the Danube.   One of the most impressive things about Budapest is its diverse architectural buildings, ranging from Gothic to Soviet-era, to Baroque to Roman Ruins to Art Nouveau. This is a result of Hungary being invaded an unbelievable number of times!   Hungary’s history goes back to over 350,000 years. Considering … More…

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Cote D’Azur, The French Riviera and Provence

  So what is the difference between the Cote d’Azur, the French Riviera and Provence? It was confusing, but eventually we sorted it out. The Cote d’Azur in English is The French Riviera. Provence is the short form of the entire region, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. There are still all kinds of regions, districts, departments and sub-divisions, all of which seem to overlap.   At any rate, the Cote d’Azur is that area between Cassis and the Italian border (see map below), literally translated as ‘the blue coast’ of the Mediterranean Sea.   The history of the Cote d’Azur goes back forever, and there is extensive … More…

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Crazy Adventure in Morden, Manitoba

  It all started quite innocently. We planned a trip to visit T’s adult children in Manitoba: one in Winnipeg, another in Morden. T would travel from Ontario and I would travel from Saskatchewan.   About three months ago, we spoke a little about getting married, about how much fun it would be to have a special ceremony on some exotic island, about whether it was easier to just live common-law, the merits of formal comittment for our children and families vs a silly piece of paper.  We have been together, so to speak, for over eight years, mostly travelling … More…

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