Year: 2016

Galapagos Lessons

The Galapagos Islands are an amazing place. We saw plenty of wildlife and were surprised at how great the beaches are. Still, visiting ‘on the cheap’ wasn’t all smooth sailing. There’s such a thing as a permit to get a permit. National parks cost money, but $20 for a form to apply for a permit that costs $100? Yup, that’s a thing. Oh, and there’s a another permit for Isabela island. Are you there yet? Nope. Travelling in the Galapagos can feel a bit like Frodo’s journey into Mordor. Getting from the mainland to your hotel may involve a couple of planes, a couple of buses, a boat or two and a taxi. But the volcanoes are lovely. Don’t lick your ice-cream before it’s paid for. Hardly anyone on the islands seems to have change, but you’re expected to. And if you don’t have change you’re expected to find it. Or you can do as David did and give back your ice-cream cone to the cashier who didn’t have change for a $10. Be prepared to check yourself out. Checking out of a hotel …

Me Gusta Cartagena

A short five hour flight from Montreal and we arrived in Cartagena. We stayed a total of five nights in the city. The first two nights in the historical centre and the last three nights in Bocagrande. Getting from the airport to the historical center was easy in the authorized city taxi that costs 10,000 pesos (about $5). Cartagena can be a little overwhelming at first. The city has a different rhythm that we are used to. The drivers navigate the streets with disregard for street signs and pedestrians. The noise is another issue. The constant honking makes it a little difficult at first to relax. We arrived at our hotel in the centre and immediately noticed that the safety box in our room was broken and the password could not be reset. The man at the front desk reassured us that the problem will be dealt with the next day. We laughed when the next morning he came and removed the safety box from the wall and replaced with another one that had a …