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Ireland: What You Need To Know

  The first thing you need to know if you’re driving around Ireland is that there are no traffic lights. That’s right, no traffic lights. Instead, there are 50 million roundabouts.   On arrival the ten or more roundabouts just to get out of Shannon airport caused us great anxiety. As a Canadian, driving on the left side was plenty enough challenge, but to make any attempt to understand the rules of a roundabout at the same time was well nigh impossible! Is there one lane or two, sometimes it’s clearly marked; other times it is not. Do you use … More…

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Ireland: Playing In The Rain

  Even if it was raining all the time in Ireland, we loved it. I’m sure you’re wondering how anyone could love rain, but just wait a minute; there is some real evidence of the beauty of the Emerald Isle.   After spending a few days in Limerick, we drove the 100 km to the coast to see the famed Cliffs of Moher.   The Cliffs of Moher in the rain are so beautiful… especially in the rain.   This is the lookout tower, O’Brien’s Tower, at 214 meters or 700 feet above sea level, built of local stone by Cornelius … More…

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Driving On The LEFT

  “Now why in God’s creation would you take yourself ever go to Ireland if yer didn’t havta? The weather is bloody miserable! For God’s sake, it rains all the frickin’ time. Are you daft man? And the wind’ll go right through ya… give yer head a wee shake.” T’s solidly Irish friend said, just before we left. “The people in Ireland go away for the winter themselves!” he exclaimed.   We laughed. Our philosophy is that rain is better than snow, and 15 degrees above zero is better than 20 degrees below zero. And T had a vested interest in Ireland … 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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Our Favourite Place In Europe

  What a surprise! This country’s lush green countryside was as beautiful as Southern France!   It was very clean and tidy, with beautiful highways and modern conveniences everywhere. Very warm helpful people too, with a great sense of humour.   This country is relaxing, easy, friendly, and has fewer tourists than France, with the same gorgeous scenery.   Where are we? Croatia!   Our destination that day, after getting lost and ending up in the wrong country… http://travellittleknownplaces.com/oops-wrong-country/,  was Plitvice, Croatia, home of the exquisite layered waterfalls.   It was pouring rain…    The mist hung over the forested hills…    But when the … More…

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Trieste: Full of Surprises

  The trip from Venice to Trieste by train follows the curved coast of Italy and has some spectacular views of the towns dotting the hilly green coast and the Adriatic Sea.   We met the sweetest couple on the train. A Chinese couple that helped us with our luggage, offered the most delicious Chinese nougat candies, and shared rushing to the windows to get that perfect photography shot. They were very concerned about our comfort and very kind people. How silly that we didn’t get their contact information. (You know who you are, so perhaps if you read this you … More…

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How Do You Have Fun In Spite Of Altitude Sickness?

  We both felt the nausea and dizziness of altitude sickness in the giant Andes Mountains, yet somehow enjoyed the incredible experiences we had in Ecuador. In fact, I had forgotten how sick we were until T reminded me long after the trip was over. Amazing that I only remembered the good stuff. Altitude sickness starts at about 8000 ft and we were often up over 10,000 ft. The highest point in the Andes is over 22000 ft. As air density drops, there is less available oxygen and hydrogen, so it feels like having the flu or a bad hangover … More…

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Car and Driver In Ecuador, Cheaper Than Car Rental

  Usually we rent a car and explore a country on our own. There is such a joyous freedom in being able to stop when you want and where you want, or take that little side road, or stop at that quaint little village.   This time though, after a few days in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, a week with an Ecuadorian family in Otavalo, and a week on the Amazon Riverboat, we decided to try renting a car and driver for our last two weeks in Ecuador. Mauricio at www.guanguiltagua.com came highly recommended on Trip Adviser, so we decided to do a … More…

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