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Which Beach Would You Choose?

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  Isla Mujeres is an island surrounded by beaches and depending on the weather, you can choose the best beach. Having a choice of 4 unique beaches is really quite fun, and the best ones are all within walking distance of the North third of the island.   If it is very windy, you can go to the calm West side of the island, facing Cancun, where it is protected by the mainland. You can get a reasonably priced massage here too.   Cancun across the water at dusk…   If it is just a little breezy, The North Beach (Playa Norte) on … More…

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Take A Walk On The Wild Side

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  Isla Mujeres, Mexico, has a wild side, a very wild side. In fact, it has two wild sides.   It’s worthwhile to rent a golf cart and drive the length of the 7 km island.   Along the way, you will find Chedrauil, the big grocery store, a village, the natural bush land of the island, treed roads, a turtle farm, a dolphin experience, roadside food and seashell crafts.    As the Southern tip of the island narrows you can see both sides of the island at once and it is quite spectacular.   Usually there is a Mayan … More…

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The Golf Cart Pole Dance (and Other Golf Cart Disasters)

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  The day after we arrived at Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), a tiny island off the coast of Mexico near Cancun, we were all set to enjoy a lovely afternoon at the gorgeous North Beach, when the rain started. A downpour filled the streets to overflowing within a short time, climbing over the sidewalk opposite our hotel. So much for our first beach day.   The next day we started looking for a golf cart to rent and were barraged with salesman trying to convince us that they had the best carts for the best prices and beckoning us to … More…

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Flores: The End Of The World

  I became quite ill after the rough flight to to the tiny island of Flores (The Azores). In a wild storm, and after several aborted landing attempts and a rugged one-wheel landing, I could barely stand up when getting off the plane. There was dark magic in the roaring winds that sent wild waves crashing onto jagged rocks and a fearful wind that tore the leaves and branches of every tree on Flores. It sent waterfalls flying backwards into the air and onto the highway. Yes, backwards! Photo Credit http://www.thisiscolossal.com   Flights were cancelled indefinitely. It seemed that the earlier … More…

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The Shortest Runway In The World

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  Given our preference for little known and quieter places, we headed to the smaller islands of the Azores. The smaller islands also have the most rich green countryside, and the most genuine people. Of the nine islands of the Azores, Sao Miguel, Terceira and Faial are the three islands with the most amenities. Six of the nine islands – Sao Jorge, Pico, Santa Maria, Graciosa, Corvo and Flores are the smaller, least-commercialized islands.   We chose tiny Flores with its many lakes and waterfalls, and its abundance of flowers; it is known as The Flower Island. Flores and Corvu are also the … More…

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Why Are The Azores So Horn’y?

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  There was one contrast on The Azores islands that we found intriguing. While the countryside was serene and quiet, the pastoral settings unavoidably relaxing, and the people quiet and gentle, the main streets of the towns echoed with the clamour and whine of car engines and constant horn honking! One might just get ear damage.   Drivers zip along the narrow winding streets, their engines reverberating off the buildings as they pass through the small channel perhaps up to 150 decibels! If a driver is unsure of whether a vehicle or pedestrian is aware of their oncoming approach, especially at … More…

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The Azores Diet Plan

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  The problem, you see, was that almost every restaurant we went to in the Azores served only fish dishes.  At first we thought we had accidentally chosen “fish-only” or “seafood-only” restaurants, but after the 4th or 5th restaurant, it finally dawned on us that perhaps, just perhaps, people in the Azores ate mostly fish because fish were abundantly available in the ocean around every island!   Now maybe that is not a problem at all for you “fish-lovers”.  And maybe you’re healthier than all get-out, but I cannot stand fish. I wish I liked it; I really do, but … More…

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10 Reasons Why “I Love My Island”

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  “I love my island” the guide said, gazing across the majestic vista of land and sea.   She fell silent for a few moments, then, when she turned toward me, I saw that her face was flushed with emotion.   “Every time I come up here, it seems to catch me anew.”   She was referring to Terceira, one of the islands of the Azores, and then she continued to point out and explain various historical sites and points of interest. Her love of the island was not difficult to understand. Dreamy panoramas of ocean, hills and sky caused … More…

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The Best Bits of Ireland

  We don’t agree! T and I, that is. Usually we pretty much agree about a country. Not only do we disagree about our favourite best bits of Ireland, but we can barely decide which of half a dozen places we individually feel are our favourites.   T says, “The most fascinating place was Ballynahinch Castle (see Ballynahinch Castle) because it seemed like stepping back in time. It felt real and authentic.”   “For me, it was Wicklow County. Those amazing rolling green hills and deep valleys were mesmerizing to me. I could easily live there.” I say.   “Yah, it was nice, … More…

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Sumptuous Mayan Chocolate

  The real highlight of our day to the Uxmal Ruins was discovering the Chocolate Museum just opposite the Ruins. The place was absolutely fascinating.   What incredible insights to the Mayan culture! Who knew that they used chocolate beans as currency at one point in time? You could buy a rabbit for 10 cocoa beans, while a slave in good health would cost 100 cocoa beans.   The trade routes in Central America…   The museum was in the thick jungle and among the cocoa bean plants were little palapas (thatched roof huts) joined by a walking path. Inside … 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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Uruguay: Private Chauffeur, Body Guard, Chef & Surf Instructor

  We were lucky to have a friend who had a friend in Montevideo, Uruguay, and he was enthusiastic about meeting us.   Montevideo, Uruguay, is just across the water from Buenos Aires, Argentina, so with a 3 hour Buquebus ferry ride across the very wide Rio de la Plata, which opens into the Atlantic Ocean, we arrived. We met a lively woman from England on the ferry who helped us call our friend in Montevideo.   We took a taxi to his house and there we met his wife and son. They were a sweet and kind elderly couple … More…

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Argentina: How To Kayak Without Getting Wet

  Had we gone canoeing here on our own, we would surely have been lost for days.   The Parana Delta in Argentina is a maze of tiny waterways through a wetlands jungle forest. It is one of the largest deltas in the world covering over 8000 square feet. The Parana Delta is only smaller than the Amazon river system.   The Parana Delta is also called the El Tigre Delta because El Tigre is a town between the delta and Buenos Aires. Tigers used to roam the area, hence the name. The dark orange part in the photo below … More…

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