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Old 09-08-2013, 12:58 AM   #1061
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In 16 days I fly to Osaka for 14 nights in Japan using 2 base camps: Kyoto and Okayama.

Why Okayama? It's 90 minutes to Naoshima Island and 40 min by bullet train to Hiroshima. Both will tempt me to return for a second day but I've also found more half day trips (which don't involve temples) then I'll be able to fit in.

After a week using Kyoto as a base camp (Nara, Osaka, Toyota museum(s) in Nagoya) it's Mt. Koya-San for a night then Osaka and the airport.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:04 AM   #1062
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Hey, the boys are in Japan right now,
on their way to Yokohama. All I can say is that wifi is really hard to come by, but they have the toll road truck stop/convenience stores down to a science there!

It has been an easy drive except for police stops. They arrived at the port of Sakaiminato by ferry from Vladivostok on Friday and need to get to Yokohama by Wednesday, so been enjoying a few tourist stops along the way. The tolls are quite high if you plan to use the major highways, but the back roads are pretty nice, just harder to navigate when going cross country.

Hope you enjoy your trip! It has gotta be easier than driving a 24 foot bus the long way across it! Although they did really enjoy the ferry ride and spending three days on the Sea of Japan.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:39 AM   #1063
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Bad luck, we had to cancel the trip to Namibia that was planned to be the first trip in retirement.
DH' s spinal problems increased and it looks like he is heading for 2nd surgery soon.
Life is what happens...
Best wishes to all fellow travellers!
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:37 AM   #1064
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Wow Chris, really sorry to hear that. Best wishes for a successful outcome and that you get to take the trip to Namibia once recovery is complete.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:53 AM   #1065
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Hey, the boys are in Japan right now,
on their way to Yokohama. All I can say is that wifi is really hard to come by, but they have the toll road truck stop/convenience stores down to a science there!

It has been an easy drive except for police stops. They arrived at the port of Sakaiminato by ferry from Vladivostok on Friday and need to get to Yokohama by Wednesday, so been enjoying a few tourist stops along the way. The tolls are quite high if you plan to use the major highways, but the back roads are pretty nice, just harder to navigate when going cross country.

Hope you enjoy your trip! It has gotta be easier than driving a 24 foot bus the long way across it! Although they did really enjoy the ferry ride and spending three days on the Sea of Japan.
Western guys driving a yellow school bus through back roads in Japan? That must be causing quite a scene.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:22 AM   #1066
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Western guys driving a yellow school bus through back roads in Japan? That must be causing quite a scene.
Haha, probably! I got lots of emails when they were in Siberia from folks who saw them, and even a dashcam photo from one guy! But always friendly. Even the cops, after a while.

They are in Nagoya now, taking a rest for a couple of days for the first time. Almost done with that end of the world!
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:08 PM   #1067
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North and South Carolina for two weeks starting next week, then a week north of Toronto for a family visit and wedding.

Cruise in South America in Feb so we will spend time in Chile before the cruise and about three weeks in Argentina/Uruguay before returning home.

Working on an April/May trip to Greece. We will pack light and tour at our own speed through the mainland and islands. Then back through Malta.

Why stay home?
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #1068
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North and South Carolina for two weeks starting next week, then a week north of Toronto for a family visit and wedding.

Cruise in South America in Feb so we will spend time in Chile before the cruise and about three weeks in Argentina/Uruguay before returning home.

Working on an April/May trip to Greece. We will pack light and tour at our own speed through the mainland and islands. Then back through Malta.

Why stay home?
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:30 PM   #1069
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I am adding Mazatlan to my normal trip of visit mom in Oregon, visit friends in the SF Bay area trip. My buddy went to high school there and his very nice friends own a hotel, so that make lodging much simpler.

Haven't been for 30 years I wonder if I will recognize anything.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:31 PM   #1070
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Next Saturday, we are driving across the state to board the Carnival Dream in Port Canaveral. We will be cruising for 7 days to Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya. Nothing fancy. Just a getaway that doesn't involve dealing with airports and where someone else does the cooking!
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:09 AM   #1071
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Western guys driving a yellow school bus through back roads in Japan? That must be causing quite a scene.
In my limited perception of Japan, most back roads were barely wide enough for a full-sized car...
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:06 PM   #1072
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In my limited perception of Japan, most back roads were barely wide enough for a full-sized car...
DH would not disagree. But the wider toll roads are such that, in the words of our buddy traveling with him: "the toll fares are emptying pockets of money sooner than another ATM can be found".

A far cry from the desolate but free roads in Siberia. They've made it sea-to-sea as of today, in the suburbs of Tokyo prepping the bus for her trip across the Pacific.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:06 PM   #1073
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DH would not disagree. But the wider toll roads are such that, in the words of our buddy traveling with him: "the toll fares are emptying pockets of money sooner than another ATM can be found".
That's why the trains in Japan are an attractive option. Roads aren't free or cheap.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:59 AM   #1074
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Been back from AK for a month, now going to head to Michigan. BIL has a new sailboat in Muskegon, we have a new Ally 17 canoe to play with, and there are numerous bike trails to explore. Only haves couple of weeks, though - our son has his professional acting debut coming up. Can't miss that.

I'm loving retirement....
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:07 AM   #1075
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Next Saturday, we are driving across the state to board the Carnival Dream in Port Canaveral. We will be cruising for 7 days to Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya. Nothing fancy. Just a getaway that doesn't involve dealing with airports and where someone else does the cooking!
Let me know if you have any questions about Cozumel. DW and I FIRE'd here in late May. Enjoy your visit!
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #1076
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Flying into Cancun later this month and will probably spend some time in a few of the towns south of there, maybe even hop the ferry over to Cozumel for a few days. Not many firm plans yet except for a lot of time spent wandering the beaches and watching the ocean.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #1077
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Let me know if you have any questions about Cozumel. DW and I FIRE'd here in late May. Enjoy your visit!
We are going to be in Cozumel for a day on a cruise in February. Some years ago we did the Carlos and Charlies thing along with shopping. Not much of shoppers anyway.

This time we are thinking of a day pass to the Nachi Cocom resort. $55 pp drinks lunch and use of facilities/beach for the day.

Any other ides would be appreciated.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:16 PM   #1078
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Flying into Cancun later this month and will probably spend some time in a few of the towns south of there, maybe even hop the ferry over to Cozumel for a few days. Not many firm plans yet except for a lot of time spent wandering the beaches and watching the ocean.
Let me know if you head over this way and the first margarita is on me.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:19 PM   #1079
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We are going to be in Cozumel for a day on a cruise in February. Some years ago we did the Carlos and Charlies thing along with shopping. Not much of shoppers anyway.

This time we are thinking of a day pass to the Nachi Cocom resort. $55 pp drinks lunch and use of facilities/beach for the day.

Any other ides would be appreciated.
You might want to consider Paradise Beach as an alternative. Free admittance but they expect you to eat/drink a minimum of $10 pp per day. They also charge $2/day for lounge chairs. A bucket of 4 beers for $17. I would think you could have a great time here and still not spend $110 on food and drink. Very nice facilities, especially the pool area which is about one year old.

Cozumel beaches - Paradise Beach Cozumel beach clubs
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:48 PM   #1080
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You might want to consider Paradise Beach as an alternative. Free admittance but they expect you to eat/drink a minimum of $10 pp per day. They also charge $2/day for lounge chairs. A bucket of 4 beers for $17. I would think you could have a great time here and still not spend $110 on food and drink. Very nice facilities, especially the pool area which is about one year old.

Cozumel beaches - Paradise Beach Cozumel beach clubs

Thanks!! I will check it out.
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