We’ve seen way too many tourists this summer. Europe always has a lot of tourists, there’s a reason it is most people’s favorite continent (including ours). We’ve spent the last 3 summers in Europe. But I think we’ll be taking a break from that over the next few years. It wasn’t just our recent stay in Lisbon – we were in Split (Croatia) in July and it was unbearably packed with tourists. Split is one of the places we love but, as with Lisbon, the character of a place changes when there are too many tourists at one time: prices rise dramatically, locals are suddenly not as friendly, food quality drops. Parts of Europe also get unbearably hot in summer. [Read more...]
If you’ve read the last few posts you’ve probably figured out that I wasn’t crazy about Brazil. I’ll say it now: Brazil was for me the most disappointing place I’ve been on vacation. My opinion is based on 2 1/2 weeks of travel within a small portion of Brazil, so take my opinion for what it’s worth…but as equally as I can say that I loved Colombia during my 2 visits, I can also say that I really didn’t enjoy Brazil.
I’ve seen all these websites comparing which side of Iguazu is best, the Brazilian or Argentinian. My opinion is that you absolutely have to see both – they’re both different and if you’ve come all the way to this part of the world to see the falls you have to see both sides. But if I HAD to chose then I would choose the Argentinian side. [Read more...]
I expected Brazilians to be like those friendly, beautiful people you see in the travel ads.
My first upfront experience with a Brazilian was at the airport when I was taking my backpack off the luggage carrousel. I suddenly felt a whack on the back of my heel. [Read more...]
Taganga is a small village popular with backpackers. It also has a reputation for drugs, theft and muggings – I read a description of the town that basically summed it up like this: “Great if you are the hippy backpacker type who likes drugs and selling beads”. [Read more...]
Parque Tayrona is worth seeing for it’s wild, rugged beauty. Isolated, you can walk along its beaches and not see anyone. The surf in many places is violent, the breeze strong. The coast is made up of many bays, usually separated by huge round boulders. Some of these bays are safe for swimming. Looking inland you see the heavily wooded hills of the Sierra Nevada which further adds to the sense of peace and isolation. We loved it, it’s a beautiful place. [Read more...]
Above: The beach at El Rodadero
Two hours east of Cartagena is Santa Marta. My Lonely Planet guide had gone into quite a lot of detail on Santa Marta’s attractions. Really, in all honesty, there is really no reason to be in Santa Marta. The attractions are the towns and parks around Santa Marta: El Rodadero, Taganga, and Parque Tayrona. [Read more...]