Costa Rica 2021 – San Jose

We ended up having 3 separate stays in San José, at the beginning, in the middle during Santa Semana, and at the end just before going to the airport for our next destination. It seems only right therefore that we include San Jose in our blog posts. On our gap year travels this turned out to be the first country we had visited that was part of our original plans. We arrived with high hopes of seeing things we had never seen before. In that time we saw much of the capital, which included both highlights and low-lifes.

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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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Vilnius, Lithuania – September 2019

Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania and has a population of over ½ million people.  It is known for its baroque architecture and cobbled streets.  It is a bustling city with something for everyone from art, history, trendy bars and restaurants and street art.   It wouldn’t be right to see so much of Lithuania without a trip to the capital!

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The Hill of Crosses & Kaunas, Lithuania – September 2019

On our journey back to Kaunas we did a detour to The Hill of Crosses; located 12km north of the city of Šiauliai in northern Lithuania.  The origins of the place are unconfirmed however the original crosses were thought to have been placed during the November Uprising or the Polish – Russian war of 1830-1831.

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Trieste, Italy – December 2019

For our New Year break we did a lot of research and wanted to visit Ljubljana, Slovenia and Zagreb, Croatia.  This incorporated a bus trip between the two.  Zagreb looked amazing for New Year and Ljubljana just looked really lovely so we decided we wanted to visit both.  Trieste was not somewhere we had planned to go; initially we had booked direct flights to Ljubljana with Wizz Air; unfortunately they decided to cancel their route there very last minute for us.  When we went to check on our flight status they had changed our flights to Prague! 

We had done a lot of research as to where we wanted to spend New Year and we were dead set on Zagreb so we found a work around…. We found we could fly to Trieste in Italy and get a bus to Zagreb and Ljubljana so with some rejigging we had the unexpected and delightful addition of visiting Trieste for just under 24 hours!

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Kyiv – Ukraine – July 2019

As part of our quest to conquer Europe by visiting every single country, Ukraine is somewhere we hadn’t been and were interested in going to.  As it worked out it was also a good time to go with flights being very reasonable and due to the higher media interest in the area due to the recent TV series based on the events of Chernobyl we decided now would be an excellent time to go for a 4-night break.  We flew with Ryanair from London Stansted.

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Budapest, Hungary – June 2019

It was time for another ladies holiday away but this time with the purpose of celebrating Ginny’s 60th Birthday.  She was given the task of deciding where she would like to go and Budapest was a popular choice due to the fact none of us had been there but had all heard good things.  After some travel planning earlier in the year we managed to find reasonable flights from Stansted with Ryanair and a lovely looking apartment from Booking.com and away we went.

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The Great Wall of China – April 2019

If you want to head for somewhere in South East Asia, there’s a good chance your cheapest route will take you through Beijing, or to be more precise Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). For some reason, our experience here is that arrival isn’t very well coordinated with your onward flight. We’ve been through this airport a number of times, with delays before the next flight of between 5 and 15 hours.  So what to do in these circumstances? Just wait it out, or make time to squeeze in another adventure in your limited travel opportunities?

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Bangkok, Thailand – April 2019

We had travelled through Bangkok a few times en route to other places including Cambodia and Phuket but never actually spent any time there.  Our schedule did allow for a few days on our return leg so we thought why not! We left Ho Chi Minh City and travelled with Air Asia back to DMK Airport (Don Mueang).  This was the most uncomfortable journey thus far with a very cramped plane.  Upon arrival, we were unable to book a transfer to the accommodation with them directly and therefore used the Taxify App to book a transfer from the airport.

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