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Old 07-19-2016, 02:34 PM   #2981
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Nickel I'd love to hear a report of your trip to Colombia. Always wanted to go and hope that we will get our road trip to Ushuaia together in the next few years so we can take the ferry across and visit Cartagena on our way south.
I went on a short trip to Colombia in January 2014. Since then, the Colombian peso has lost 50% of its value against the US$, so the country should be a bargain for Americans now. I was in Bogota and some colonial towns & parks north of Bogota. Very friendly people (I speak Spanish reasonably well). Beautiful landscapes. I enjoyed Bogota, which has some good museums and a fine botanic garden. I traveled within Bogota and between towns mainly by bus. I also took colectivos to get to a couple of rural places, and a taxi or two. I also rented a bicycle in Villa de Leyva to visit several sights out of town.

Since my trip was short and inexpensive, I mainly exchanged US cash, but also used an ATM once. You can exchange cash in the baggage claim area of Bogota airport. You can exchange cash fairly easily in banks. As I recall, there were fairly low limits on how many pesos you could withdraw from most ATMs.

I stayed at an airbnb property in Bogota, and small hotels elsewhere. Quality was good. Food varied from excellent to so-so. I thought that some restaurants in Bogota were pricey for dinner, but they should be reasonable now at the current exchange rate. I had hoped to return to Colombia 6 months ago with a friend, but family matters intervened.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:18 PM   #2982
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Anethum, thanks for the report! It sounds marvelous! Though we don't speak much Spanish, we operate from a "big smiles" playbook that helps a lot.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:19 PM   #2983
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Getting ready to leave in a few days for a solo trip to northern Belgium and northern Germany. DW will be taking her own separate trip with a few friends (we have very different hobbies).

For me, this is the greatest area in the world for interesting beers, so I'm always up for a visit. Also, Belgian mussels and fries (moules and frites) are arguably the world's best. Frites were really invented in Belgium, despite having picked up the name "French fries" and are nothing at all like the fries we know in the US. A few places in Canada know how to do proper frites, but I've never encountered them in this country.
Love Belgium, especially the beer and lambic! Have fun!
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:20 PM   #2984
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Anethum, thanks for the report! It sounds marvelous! Though we don't speak much Spanish, we operate from a "big smiles" playbook that helps a lot.
A big smile will get you far in Latin cultures!
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:33 PM   #2985
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Leaving this week for a three generation fanily vacation to Cancun. Our first time at an all inclusive, which should be fun, but really, it's all about the grand kiddies. We'd pretty much go anywhere Mom and Dad want in order to spend time with them.

Of greater interest to DH and I, we just booked a trip to walk across northern England next May. More commonly known as the 190+ mile Coast to Coast walk, we'll be doing this with a guide and about 10 other folk. From there we'll travel up to Scotland and then Iceland on our own before returning home.

Between now and then we have Mexico, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand and Fiji. Life in ER is rough.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:17 PM   #2986
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Leaving this week for a three generation fanily vacation to Cancun. Our first time at an all inclusive, which should be fun, but really, it's all about the grand kiddies. We'd pretty much go anywhere Mom and Dad want in order to spend time with them.



Of greater interest to DH and I, we just booked a trip to walk across northern England next May. More commonly known as the 190+ mile Coast to Coast walk, we'll be doing this with a guide and about 10 other folk. From there we'll travel up to Scotland and then Iceland on our own before returning home.



Between now and then we have Mexico, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand and Fiji. Life in ER is rough.

I was just thinking about doing the coast to coast walk - would you mind sharing which guide outfit you went with ? So far I looked at REI and national geographic


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Anyone got any travel planned?
Old 07-21-2016, 06:37 AM   #2987
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Anyone got any travel planned?

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A big smile will get you far in Latin cultures!

I haven't had done much Spanish Speaking in 20 years since high school but Duolingo app is doing wonders for me so at least in 6 months time I should have somewhat passable language skills.

Thank you for the info on exchange options. My next biggest problem will be having so many low denominations. I read that 50k and 20k bills are often counterfeited and also more difficult to break
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Old 07-21-2016, 01:56 PM   #2988
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Here I go again... This will be my fourth driving trip there in the past 12 months. The drive seems to be getting longer each time. Maybe I should just think about moving there!
Just got back home today. Fortunately, the tables in Vegas were as hot as the weather.

And OMG, it was really hot and very dry! Driving thru Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas I often saw the outside temperature in the "teens" (+100) I saw 119 several times later in the afternoons. Not sure if my outside temperature gauge would read over 119 since I saw it stay there for a few hours one day?

It was fun, but a very long drive. I'm glad to be home!
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:57 PM   #2989
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And OMG, it was really hot and very dry! Driving thru Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas I often saw the outside temperature in the "teens" (+100) I saw 119 several times later in the afternoons. Not sure if my outside temperature gauge would read over 119 since I saw it stay there for a few hours one day?
We are just back from a similar trip. We spent the 4th of July weekend in El Paso -- 104º every day... and I suspect at night also.

Silver City was pretty nice, though. In fact, it was 53º when I woke up in the morning. Then It was Hot! again as we went to Tuba City, Arizona (overnight) and up to St. George and Bryce Canyon. Thinking it would be cooler in Salt Lake City... Wrong! Still too hot.

Beautiful country though. From Gallup NM to St. George via Tuba City is a drive that shouldn't be missed. (It is very lonely, however.)
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:06 PM   #2990
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Since, as per the Aneurysm thread, there's possibility/probability that my overseas traveling might be curtailed due to my inability to obtain insurance, (or worse, my demise ), we're making certain presumptions:

a)- That we'll still be able to take our Fall trip; if not, then b) is rendered nonviable.

b)- If we're still able to travel next Spring (we already have a deposit on a transatlantic, Costa Rica to Portugal) we'd consider staying on the same ship up the west coast of Europe to Rostok, Germany. From Rostok to Amsterdam by train. Pick up another ship in Amsterdam for a 12 night Baltic cruise, (which includes St. Petersburg).......that's as far as we've gotten for now.......we should know about 'a' next month, and if 'a' is a go, and upcoming CT scans indicate that 'b' is still a possibility, we'll expand from there.
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:56 PM   #2991
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Since, as per the Aneurysm thread, there's possibility/probability that my overseas traveling might be curtailed due to my inability to obtain insurance, (or worse, my demise ), we're making certain presumptions:

Nemo , You have had incredible adventures . I do not think your adventures are over but maybe you will have to modify them . I have COPD so Machu Picchu is out and hiking Everest is a no no( heck any hiking is a challenge ) but I can still travel I just need to dial down my experiences and make sure I have everything I medically need to travel safely .Maybe you should consider seeing the USA in a Chevrolet .
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:11 PM   #2992
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.Maybe you should consider seeing the USA in a Chevrolet .
Same thing applies to the US as elsewhere, (probably even more so), if I'm unable to obtain medical travel insurance I won't be leaving Canada.

DW's never been west of Ontario, so catching the train to Vancouver is an option, or visiting Newfoundland,(where neither of us have been), or...or...or......

(Good luck with the COPD, I imagine that's very restrictive?)
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:26 PM   #2993
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Same thing applies to the US as elsewhere, (probably even more so), if I'm unable to obtain medical travel insurance I won't be leaving Canada.

DW's never been west of Ontario, so catching the train to Vancouver is an option, or visiting Newfoundland,(where neither of us have been), or...or...or......

(Good luck with the COPD, I imagine that's very restrictive?)
Nemo, as you know, Canada is beautiful and there are a lot of great places to visit. I've even been to Norman Wells!

My DW has COPD and it has put us in the mode of limited travel with medication and knowing where medical care is nearby. Plus, we travel with portable oxygen too. Hiking is out of the question.

Because of this handicap, we only travel in the U.S. now.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:33 PM   #2994
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Only as restrictive as you let it be . I am not on oxygen just a lot of meds and my swimming has kept it at bay . I only smoked in college briefly and not much so it is just one of those things .Most of us will get something as we age the clue is how you deal with it .Sure it restricts my life somewhat but it can always be worse .
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:51 PM   #2995
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but it can always be worse .
I'm not totally sure that this is what will eventually cause my demise, but having lost a spouse and friends to cancer, there is no question that, if I had my 'druthers..............

We now return to regularly scheduled programming...sorry for the tangent, folks.
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:33 PM   #2996
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We have this booked for late September. My highlight is to fly a MiG 15 out of Santa Fe. We will also visit Chimayo to put the healing dirt on my wife's knee.
From there we will visit Taos and meet a friend we found through a sister site-Discuss Cooking.
I recommend that you try The Shed (just off of the Plaza) in Santa Fe...#5 blue corn enchilladas with red chile, posole and beans. Also, while in Chimayo, lunch or dinner at Rancho de Chimayo is a must!
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:03 PM   #2997
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A big smile will get you far in Latin cultures!

True, but far less helpful in Russia and Kazakhstan, unfortunately.

Nemo, I really hope your health problems are resolved soon.

And Machu Picchu is still possible, perhaps just not the Incan Trail hike. We went there from Cuzco on the train, then a bus up to the ruins. The walking around onsite wasn't too strenuous, I promise.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:06 PM   #2998
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....

And Machu Picchu is still possible, perhaps just not the Incan Trail hike. We went there from Cuzco on the train, then a bus up to the ruins. The walking around onsite wasn't too strenuous, I promise.
Didn't realize this was a possibility. Hope that we don't need it, but thanks for a thought that I'll keep filed away!
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:21 AM   #2999
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Not catching too many, but enough walleye for a dinner. At Kettle Falls, in the boundary waters.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:32 AM   #3000
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Not catching too many, but enough walleye for a dinner. At Kettle Falls, in the boundary waters.
Great pic!!
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