Costa Rica 2021 – Cahuita

We had enjoyed our time in San José, but we were here for the animals, would Cahuita deliver the experiences we were after? A 4 or 5 hour bus trip, passing more banana farms than I had ever seen before, I mean there were miles and miles of them, and we arrived in Cahuita.

By far the worst part of our travels is moving on day. We are always excited by the prospect of visiting another place we hadn’t previously been to, but the excitement is balanced by the thought of packing up, again, because it really isn’t easy, and then having to carry our huge backpacks as well as a couple of fairly heavily laden rucksacks.

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Antigua – The Land of Sea and Sun 2021

Antigua and Barbuda is an independent commonwealth country in the West Indies, which lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean sea. Barbuda is 63km away from Antigua, and both major islands are part of the lesser antillies and are roughly 17 degrees north of the equator. Antigua is 14 miles long and 11 miles wide; and it encompasses 108 square miles. For an English comparison it is smaller than the Isle of Wight in both size and population and any two points on the island can be reached within around 45 minutes maximum. We had seen pictures of the beautiful beaches here but were curious if photoshop was involved and indeed what else this beautiful island had to offer.

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Dominica – The Nature Island 2020-2021

For us Dominica immediately takes a place in the Top 3 favourite countries we have ever visited, along with (in no particular order) Iceland and Fiji. We have now visited 3 islands in the Caribbean including Barbados and Antigua and as beautiful as their beaches are, Dominica will definitely be remembered as our favourite Caribbean island.

Visiting Dominica during times of Covid has meant we have had a different experience than most visitors to this lovely Island. During our time here England has locked down and many other countries have put in curfews, tiers and other measures to try and manage the virus. Here in Dominica however we were in one of the safest countries in the world; looking at covid stats Dominica was 199 out of 220 countries in term of covid risk and it has been managed very well here. At the time of writing there have only been 121 cases throughout the pandamic and no deaths. We were therefore not only visiting an absolutely beautiful island, but also currently one of the safest places in the world!

One of the problems of writing a travel blog, is that it’s a snapshot in time. New buildings will be built and some, such as those damaged in hurricanes, will be bulldozed – landscapes can change and a view of any place can be skewed by the size of the crowds. When visiting a bar or restaurant you don’t want to be the only ones there, because other people add to the ambience, but you also don’t want it to be crowded, or to have to queue. However having some fantastic beaches and snorkelling waters entirely to yourselves is a whole different matter. Absolutely beautiful. One thing’s for sure, thanks to the COVID pandemic, very few will ever see Dominica the way we saw it!

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Barbados – A Day at the Cricket

Now I know we’re getting very much into niche territory here, but I LOVE cricket. Days out with my besties Churchie and Tone always feature sunshine, alcohol, and laughter, all in huge quantities. Best not to mention our boy’s away trip to Bristol, where it rained for 4 days solid and we never even got to close to the cricket ground, let alone see any cricket. Usually, it’s all about sunshine, alcohol, and fun, and sometimes we even get to enjoy what happens ON the field lol. Actually, whether we’re supporting Hampshire or England, both teams have an excellent record of winning when we’re watching 🙂 These days out with the boys, whatever the weather, are always amongst the highlights of my year, I love ’em!

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Barbados – November 2020

Where do you start when talking about Barbados, or Bim as it is affectionately known by the locals? The beaches right? It’s all about the beaches. Well I imagine that for many people, that’s all it’s about. And why not? They’re spectacular, picture postcard scenes featuring palm trees, gorgeous sunsets, white sands and the loveliest shades of crystal clear blue water we have ever seen.

One absolutely fantastic thing about the beaches here, is that there are NO private beaches. I imagine it’s a law long since passed by the government, who incidentally managed to place their headquaters right next to the best beach. The result is no matter who you are, be that a rich corporation running a 5-star resort or two, or a multi-millionaire Bajan pop-princess snagging the best real estate on the island (One Sandy Lane) you cannot buy the stretch of beach between you and the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Barbados is NOT in the Caribbean Sea, contrary to popular belief, but is still considered to be part of the Caribbean region.

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Entering Barbados During Covid-19 – Our experience November 2020

As many of you know who have followed our social media know we have been in Barbados for the past month. Although never originally on our travel plans, we decided to come here quite last minute from Turkey. This was our first trip where we had been subject to strict quarantine laws including a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival and a period of isolation before a second test. Once the negative result was received then we were free to explore the island.

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Istanbul – One City, Two Continents

How do you follow a blog on a place as unique and exciting as Cappadocia? Well, in short, with great difficulty. Well, if your next stop is Istanbul anyway. We rounded off our tour of Turkey with a visit to the vast metroplis, official population 15,190,000, though unofficially some say up to 24,000,000. We took a night bus from Cappadocia with Metro Bus, and with stops it was a 12-hour trip, arriving at 7.30am. As bus trips go it was ok and we managed to get some sleep and there were a few comfort breaks on the way. It cost 100 Turkish lira or £10.

The weather was normal for November, but with every passing day and with every mile we moved northwards, the climate grew colder, and wetter. In 4 of the 5 days we were there, it rained pretty much non-stop. This did, as you can imagine put some limitations on what we could do, however we were lucky in the first couple of days to have some sunshine and to see a few of the must-see tourist highlights, each of them sadly a little disappointing in their own way.

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Cappadocia / Kapadokya

WOW! Just wow!

Of course we’re all different, we have our own likes and dislikes, but I think if you were to add visiting this place to your bucket list, especially having a trip in a hot air balloon, and made it happen, we don’t think anyone would be disappointed!

This could make many a person’s Top Ten, and as overused as the word may be, we think it’s awesome! A 7-hour bus ride from our previous destination, Eğirdir, for a fiver each (50tl), we found the long journey to be totally worth it. A unique landscape, and I don’t think I have the vocabulary to do it justice; so I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Below however is a summary of our experiences here.

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Eğirdir

A bit of Turkish we have learned; the symbol above the g makes it a silent letter, so this place is pronounced something like Ay-a-deer, and not Agadoo as Carol was fond of saying. We reached Eğirdir from Antalya using a bus which cost a grand total of £2.50 each and took around 3 hours to reach via Isparta. We had never heard of the place before; however, we headed for Eğirdir on John and Sharon’s recommendation as a place for just pure relaxation; some calm away from the Antalya storm! oh and because it is somewhat cooler than Antalya.

There is very little to do here, there is no nightlife, no entertainment, and I highly recommend it. What there is in abundance here is natural beauty. If like we did, you stay in Yeşilada you are surrounded by it, literally in every direction. Yeşilada is an island promontory, connected to the mainland by a manmade causeway, but essentially you are situated in the middle of a huge lake surrounded by beautiful mountains.

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Pamukkale – From Antalya

We spent 3 hours at Pamukkale through an organised tour but as it is unique we decided it deserved a page of its own.

Due to tectonic, rather than volcanic activity there are many hot springs in this area. The water is calcium rich and as it trickles down the mountain side it forms calcium ridges filled with azure blue water. As a tourist attraction it doubles up with Hierapolis; a world UNESCO heritage site which is adjacent to Pamukkale and includes the Tomb of the Apostle. If ancient history is your thing you would definitely be in your element here!

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