Our Top 5 Regions to Visit in Spain
We recently posted about five lesser known Spanish destinations that are worth a visit. Now it’s time to discuss our top five destinations – well-known or not – that we plan to visit while living in Spain for a few months. Since we’re so bad at planning ahead, writing this post is a good way for us to get the ball rolling on planning side trips around Spain. Plus we just bought our first guidebook. Yes, we’ve been traveling for nearly a year and have never purchased one! With internet resources and personal recommendations, we never saw the need. But now that we’ll be in Spain more long-term it’s was time. Our plan is to be based in Madrid because we love it so. Therefore, it’s not included as one of our desired side trips since, duh, we’ll be living there!
Bus Journeys to Parati, Brazil
Iguazu Falls was the perfect way to cross the border from Argentina into Brazil and from there we continued our journey to Rio for Carnival, but we had one more stop on the way. Parati is a former Portugese colonial town with well preserved cobblestone streets (or as Auston calls them: cobbleystone) and historic buildings (mainly churches). Getting a bus from Iguazu to Parati wasn’t easy though. We were told that we could take a bus to São Paulo and easily catch a second bus to Parati from there. This proved to be much more difficult than that.
Keeping A Cruise Affordable Plus Our Dream Cruise Destinations
Back in 2010, Auston and I went on an Atlantis gay cruise together for our honeymoon. It was a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was charted by Atlantis Events. We spent seven glorious days sailing the coast of Mexico. The trip had been paid for by friends and family because in lieu of wedding gifts we requested contributions toward our honeymoon. But even though the tickets were paid for, we still wanted to keep our extra expenses on the ship cheap and affordable. We had to booked the trip well in advance because at that time our dates were not flexible since we both had full time jobs and limited vacation time.
Touring Mendoza’s Many Vineyards
From the large and lively city of Buenos Aires we headed next to the small and calm city of Mendoza, Argentina in search for the promising vineyards it’s well known for. We had hoped to visit some vineyards all over the world while we traveled, especially while were in Italy, Spain and Portugal. However, we never made the time for such activities so our visit to the vineyards in Mendoza was long overdue.
Leaving Peru For A Spice of Chile
While visiting Peru, we spent our last four days there trapped in Puno, desperately trying to figure out whether to take a bus from Peru to Chile, or to Bolivia. This was mostly because our travel buddy, Megan, had a flight to catch on from Puno back to the U.S. and we waited there with her. But in addition to that, I also got sick again (but not like the shits from Mexico) with a bad cough that was passed to me by my older sister. As if that wasn’t enough, my upper lip started falling off. It was super weird and the skin just peeled away – not from sun exposure because I am obsessed with Chapstick (SPF 15). Then my eye starting swelling slightly and I gave up. It was time to stay put and rest. I couldn’t even drink wine!
Booking Trains in India
India has a great railway network for getting around the entire country and we were counting on it during our time there. There are two websites you can use to book your tickets online: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and ClearTrip.
A Tip for Jogging in New Delhi
Eating all the deliciously fried food in India meant it was time for a jog. But there was no way I could go running in Karol Bagh, the area where we were staying in New Delhi. It would’ve been a disaster.
Important Update to Our Tavel Plan!
We will no longer be backpacking around the world!
Instead, we have decided to “shopping cart” around the world. We have found our backpacks to be way too heavy and our bodies are far too lazy for such a task. I’m really looking forward to this new way of travel and am sure it will catch on quickly for others.
In smaller news, we actually won’t be making it to Israel and Egypt as we originally intended. I’m SUPER bummed! After looking at all the logistics of it though, it makes the most sense (financially and time-wise) to continue traveling in Europe for our last few weeks before we leave for Ghana. It wasn’t ideal, but it does mean we have more time to spend in Greece, Portugal and Turkey!
Apps That Don’t Work Abroad
I was disappointed to find that Pandora does not work in Central America nor outside the U.S. in general (as far as I’m aware).
Then I also found out that Netflix is available in Central America, but does not necessarily offer the same content that is does in the States. However, it did offer content relevant to where we were traveling. Which is kind of nice since we can watch some Spanish shows and movies while in Central America that aren’t available in the states. This map shows in which countries Netflix is available. Basically, in almost all of North and South America and almost none of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Lastly, yesterday Auston just found out Skype does not work in Belize. I guess Belize blocks all internet phone calls like Skype and Google Voice.
Just some heads up for when traveling abroad. Don’t get too attached to your apps like we did!
Note: This post was last updated on August 29, 2013.
Getting Seperated While Traveling on the Mexico City Metro
So one day Auston and I were taking the train in Mexico City and we saw that it was coming so we quickly ran toward it. Auston barely made it into the train in time and the doors closed on his foot. I was right behind him but didn’t make it in. We both just stared at each other through the window and quickly gestured that we would meet at the next stop.
So I waited for the next train, found him at the next stop and we continued on our way. However, this scenario prompted us to come up with a plan should it happen again. We decided that if one person makes it on the train, he should get off at the next stop and that’s where we’ll meet since it worked out fine that first time.
And wouldn’t you know it, the same thing happened again last week while Auston’s brother Robert was visiting. All three of us tried to cram ourselves into a packed bus and once again I didn’t make it on. My backpack was getting caught in the doors and I had to step out. Luckily I found Robert and Auston waiting for me at the next bus stop!
So meeting spots aren’t just for when you’re in a crowded tourist spot. It’s also a great idea when taking public transit in a big city!