That's what I'm driving now

taking pictures for trucking and RV magazines.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dominica 2007...Leaving the resort.

Yes, life is good inside the resort but it’s boring after a while. It should rather be called a Reservation where locals can watch visitors from far away getting drunk, fat and sunburn. You see nothing from the country, nothing from the locals so we decided to leave the resort and go to Alex’s place in Santo Domingo. The 4.5 hrs trip with the bus cost about 40$ and for 50/day you can rent a nice little car with unlimited mileage. We rented one rather then the bus ride and headed for the capitol. Out in the country the drive was nice and quiet between sugarcane plantations but when we got to the first big city ( La Romana ) I was shocked and asked Alex: the light is red how comes nobody stops? -You better get used to it: those lights are just a show off for tourists; locals don’t really care-Alex said. Same thing with the Drivers License. Probably half of the drivers never had one and you need one only if you want to show off to your visitors from those funny countries with traffic lights and driver’s license. We also had a downpour on the trip and I badly needed a drink when we finally arrived in Santo Domingo. He even offered me to take over the wheel; I said maybe in a few days. But…..that’s why we are here! We want to see the city and come home with a lot of pictures. Here are some….

Life is good inside the resort....for a while.

The resort is so big it takes a 45 minute train ride if you want to see everything.

We rented a little Suzuki but were better off with a 4X4.

Our Dominican plate.

We finally made it to downtown the next day. History at every corner. Columbus used to live in this house. More pictures next week.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dominican Republic 2007

Long story short: we had a nephew in the Dominican Republic who has been living there for a few years. When we called him he always said: why don’t you come to see me? You don’t have to worry about anything, I have a big house, room enough for a big family but it’s only me and my wife. Think about it in the Canadian winter, it’s always nice and sunny here!! We resisted for a few years then I heard from my daughter that she is going on a Caribbean cruise and after that a week in Punta Cana DR. Called nephew: your time has come, get ready, we are coming! Still have to try to find a good deal, it was the end of March, end of the season, there has to be some last minute deal. Years ago I signed up with they always send you an e-mail about deals. The good last minute deals are ” real deals” but you have to be ready in 72 hrs. (Employers nightmare) I was close to give up hope when I’ve got an e-mail: Punta Cana 99 dollars plus tax, no typing error it is really 99 $. The trick is: lots of charter planes are flying to those resort destinations but not always full. The plane has to fly no matter what, selling a seat for a 100 bucks means an extra 100, better for the travel agent than an empty seat. Paid online, printed my own ticket, quick appointment to get the needed shots and we were ready to rock and roll. We had to go to Vancouver the day before because of the early departure. It was easy with the camper van, we slept and left the van in the long term parking at the airport and got on the free shuttle ride in the morning. Another good advice: if you are planning to use the long term parking lot you can save about 10 bucks a week with an online ticket, you just have to print it before you leave. Smooth sailing to Calgary where more passengers are boarding the plane; it’s still not full but we are delayed by 1,5 hrs because of a snow storm. Now I really want to see some Caribbean sunshine. Landed in Punta Cana early in the evening after an 8,5 hrs flight, the best part of the day: nephew, my daughter and her boyfriend are waiting together for us at the exit. They’ve met while waiting for us, so we are driving to the same resort where she is staying. Same story as with the plane, resort is not fully booked, we can get a room, all included and headed for dinner. It takes some time to adjust to the temperature; after the Calgary snowstorm just hours ago it is 25 CÂș and the pools are still lit up, all the bars open, what do we use to say? Life is good here.

One of the many pools inside the resort. On the other side of the palm trees.... the beautiful, sandy beach.

How can you beat a good bar with Caribbean cocktails? Build it in a pool and call it a Swim Up! It is simply a matter of safety: if you are full you do not fall; you just float.

That’s why you pay the big bucks in the Canadian winter! The color of the water is incredible and makes you feel so good.

Nephew Alex in the middle, his wife Orquidea ( right) my wife Magdi (left) enjoying the good life in the resort.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

2006 Round Trip # 6

After we were spoiled in Idaho and Montana with free camping we are finally back to Canada because we wanted to see the Lake Louise area. We made it to Banff late in the evening just to find out that every square inch is marked in town with: No RV Parking. Campsite is OK, far out of town tough and almost 40 bucks a night probably won't see us again soon.

The Rockies in autumn: unbeatable views everywhere you turn.

Even the Trans Canada towards the Rockies and the BC border is a breathtaking view.

Lake Louise with it's crystal clear water.

Pictures like this one show why we like to travel after the peak season. Weather is still great but no crowd, campgrounds are still open but half empty. Kamloops Lake just west of town on the Trans Canada hwy.

This hotel is also a well known landmark with it's red roof east of Kamloops.

After 22 days on the road we are back home (in Victoria BC back then) feeding the birds at the Esquimalt Lagoon and are already planning the next trip. Stay tuned for our next adventure.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

2006 Round Trip # 5

We have seen way to many freeways; that's the reason why we prefer the country roads, much slower pace, peaceful and beautiful countryside. We decided to head north on hwy 93 all the way to Montana and even further. Picture was taken at the Nevada-Idaho border. What could be the name of the crossing? Jackpot of course.

Only an hour to Twin Falls Idaho, you have to take some time and see this place. The Snake River canyon is just north of the city, amazing view from the visitor center and there is even a golf course in the canyon.

The bridge over the canyon is an engeneering masterpiece.

Further north on hwy 93 you cross into Montana at an altitude of over 8000 feet.

After driving just one more hour you really start to understand why it is named Big Sky Country.

Montana is a camper's Paradise. Campgrounds all over the state at the most beautiful spots for free. All you see is a sign: please limit your stay to 14 days!!! After 15 miles there is another place with the same sign.
Life is good in Montana.

Of course some people do abuse the freedom and use the traffic signs for target shooting.
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