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Hiking in Cajas National Park – Part 3

Hiking in Cajas National Park – Part 3

During my extended stay in Cuenca, Ecuador, hiking in Cajas National Park was one of my favorite things to do. Every time I go there it just seems to get more and more beautiful. The hike on Route 1 was no exception. Even in shitty weather it was absolutely stunning. For more information about getting to Cajas National Park, and what you will need for your trip, please see my first post, Hiking in Cajas National Park – Part 1….

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Hiking in Cajas National Park, Ecuador – Part 2

Hiking in Cajas National Park, Ecuador – Part 2

As I was in Cuenca for an extended stay this time, I knew I had to do another day of hiking in Cajas National Park. Hiking in Cajas had been the highlight of my previous stay in Cuenca. Ever since then I couldn’t wait to check out more trails. Getting to Cajas National Park is really easy from Cuenca. You can read all the details on how to get here and what you will need in my first post in…

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How to extend your tourist visa in Ecuador.

How to extend your tourist visa in Ecuador.

Ecuador may not be a big country but there is definitely plenty to see. With beautiful cities, mountains, jungle and beaches, 90 days in Ecuador may just not be enough to see it all. But did you know how easy it is to get a visa extension in Ecuador? Well don’t worry. For a small fee and just a little paperwork, the Ecuadorean government will let you stay for another 90 days if you wish. As I had been enjoying…

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Hiking in Cajas National Park, Cuenca, Ecuador

Hiking in Cajas National Park, Cuenca, Ecuador

When visiting Cuenca, Ecuador a day of hiking in Cajas National Park is a must-do. Being less than an hour outside of Cuenca, it’s an easy day trip you can do by yourself. No need for an expensive tour or guide. How to get there. Easy. Take the bus. Buses leave from Cuenca’s main bus terminal on a regular basis. Most buses heading to Guayaquil will go this way. Just ask anybody in the terminal for buses to Cajas and…

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How is travel in Ecuador with COVID-19

How is travel in Ecuador with COVID-19

This post will be updated regularly as my journey continues. If there is one word I could use, to sum up how is travel in Ecuador with COVID-19, it would be “quiet”. I arrived in Ecuador for the first time on October 1st, 2020. I didn’t have a plan. It was just time to leave Panama after an unexpected 7-month stay. Although quarantine in Panama wasn’t the worst experience I’ve ever had, I desperately needed a change of scenery. I…

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Hiking in Ecuador – The Quilotoa Loop

Hiking in Ecuador – The Quilotoa Loop

One of the most popular trails to do when hiking in Ecuador is the famous Quilotoa Loop trail. The main destination for this trail is the beautiful volcanic crater lake, Laguna de Quilotoa. You can actually just take a bus directly to Laguna de Quilotoa if you want. But many people, including myself, choose to do the three day hike known as the Quilotoa Loop. You can do the trail in either direction. For me, I preferred to have Laguna…

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Hiking in Ecuador – Laguna de Mojanda and Fuya Fuya

Hiking in Ecuador – Laguna de Mojanda and Fuya Fuya

Most people come to Otavalo Ecuador for its famous Saturday market. It seems like few stay around for anything else. What a mistake that is. Laguna de Cuicocha is one of the most popular hikes in the area, and rightfully so. But it’s not my favorite. Laguna de Mojanda and the twin volcanic peaks of Fuya Fuya are much more of an adventure. How to get there. There is no public transport to Laguna de Mojanda so you will need…

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Hiking in Ecuador – Laguna de Cuicocha (Otavalo)

Hiking in Ecuador – Laguna de Cuicocha (Otavalo)

After a few days of recovery from my hike up Ruca Pichincha in Quito I decided to head north to Otavalo to try some more hiking in Ecuador. Laguna de Cuicocha is a beautiful volcanic crater lake about 20 km outside of the market town of Otavalo. Many people come to Otavalo just for the famous Saturday market but there is so much more to do here than just shop. How to get there. There is no public transport directly…

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Hiking in Quito, Ecuador – Ruca Pichincha Trail

Hiking in Quito, Ecuador – Ruca Pichincha Trail

After being here for over a week now I figured it was time to do some hiking in Quito. Trust me, you need to acclimatize to the altitude here before attempting any of these trails. Sendero al Ruco Pichincha is a popular trail for weekend hikes in Quito. It is easily accessible from the city via cable car and offers spectacular views of Quito down below. With the great views come the difficulties of hiking at high altitude. The trail…

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How is international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic?

How is international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic?

My last flight was exactly 7 months ago from Denver to San Jose, Costa Rica. I remember my friend and I making fun of the guy boarding in front of us because he had a tube of Clorox wipes in his backpack. A few people on the plane were also wiping down their tray tables with these soon to be hard to find wipes. What is wrong with these people I thought to myself? Little did I know that was…

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House Sitting in Panama City, Panama

House Sitting in Panama City, Panama

After almost six months of being trapped in Boquete, Panama I was definitely ready to move on. There were pretty limited travel options from Panama at the time and the idea of house sitting in Panama City had never occurred to me. It was a toss-up between Mexico and Ecuador. Ecuador wanted a $200 Covid-19 test to enter. Mexico wanted nothing. But I had never been to Ecuador before. Ecuador it was. When the hospital in David, Panama refused to…

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Hiking in Boquete, Panama – La Piedra De La India Vieja Trail

Hiking in Boquete, Panama – La Piedra De La India Vieja Trail

Hiking La Piedra De La India Vieja in Boquete, Panama is quite the challenge. It is probably the toughest trail I have hiked in Boquete so far. And it is also the toughest trail to find! Even with all my pictures and descriptions that will follow, I’m still not sure if you will be able to find it by yourself. Luckily for me, I didn’t have that problem. A few weeks prior to our hike, a local lady had seen…

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Hiking in Boquete, Panama – Cerro La Artilleria / Artillery Hill Trail

Hiking in Boquete, Panama – Cerro La Artilleria / Artillery Hill Trail

Hiking in Boquete, Panama can be quite challenging at times. Not just the trails themselves, but actually finding them is sometimes the biggest challenge. And Cerro La Artilleria is no exception. How to get there. The trail to Artillery Hill starts up a hard to find dirt road in Alto Jaramillo. This would be a long 1 1/2 hours walk from town so a car or taxi is recommended. The dirt road will be on your right after the field…

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My favorite places to photograph in Boquete, Panama

My favorite places to photograph in Boquete, Panama

There are so many beautiful places to explore here. Due to the lock downs, quarantines, closures and curfews of Covid-19 I haven’t managed to get to all of them (yet). But with that in mind, here is a list of my favorite places of where to photograph in Boquete, Panama. Let’s hope it gives you some good ideas of where to go if and when they open up for tourism again. 1. The Boquete Visitors Center (CEFTA) The Boquete Visitors…

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Hiking La Piedra De Lino in Boquete, Panama

Hiking La Piedra De Lino in Boquete, Panama

Hiking in Boquete, Panama is some of the best you will find in this region. La Piedra de Lino is no exception. I have been hiking on La Piedra De Lino a couple of times now. Both times were different but equally challenging. The entrance to La Piedra De Lino is a short drive or about an hour’s walk out of downtown Boquete. As I didn’t have a car, and public transport was not too appealing during Covid-19, I chose…

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Hiking Cerro La Estrella in Boquete, Panama

Hiking Cerro La Estrella in Boquete, Panama

After being trapped in Panama for 4 months for the Covid-19 crisis, I was getting desperate to get out and explore. I jumped at the invitation from one of the neighboring families to go check out a new trail. This is not a well-known trail, and you won’t find it on any maps around town. So join me and find out what it is like hiking Cerro La Estrella in Boquete, Panama! How to Prepare… Probably the most important thing…

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My 5 Favorite things to do in Nairobi, Kenya

My 5 Favorite things to do in Nairobi, Kenya

My 5 favorite things to do in Nairobi, Kenya are not your typical tourist attractions. Very few tourists spend much more than a night in Nairobi. Most just stop for a night of rest after a long flight and then head out on a guided safari the next day. Some don’t even stop at all. I was fortunate to be house sitting in Nairobi for a month and got to know the city and it’s people well. Nairobi is not…

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Surviving Quarantine in Boquete, Panama during Covid-19

Surviving Quarantine in Boquete, Panama during Covid-19

Never have I been in a place so long and seen so little! That was not my plan when agreeing to a three week house sit in Boquete, Panama. Surviving the quarantine in Panama for Covid-19 was about to be a new travel experience for me. After a quick 10 day stay to visit with friends in Costa Rica, it was time to head south to Panama. I spent my last two nights in Costa Rica staying in a dorm…

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Exploring the West Coast of South Africa

Exploring the West Coast of South Africa

With the high prices and lack of availability of award tickets around Christmas, I once again arrived in South Africa with about eight days to spare before beginning  my house sit in Cape Town. After previously doing the Garden Route a couple of times, I decided to explore the lesser traveled West Coast of South Africa. After a long but luxurious flight with Qatar Airways in their amazing business class Q Suites, I arrived in Cape Town late morning and ready…

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House sitting in Africa – Nairobi, Kenya ?

House sitting in Africa – Nairobi, Kenya ?

Have you ever wondered what’s it like to house sit in Nairobi, Kenya? I know I had never even given it a thought before this opportunity came along. House sitting in Africa so far for me had been nothing but luxurious homes in South Africa. Would it be any different in Kenya? One, day, while sitting in my comfortable beachfront home in Cape Town, South Africa, I decided to check the latest offerings available on Trustedhouseitters.com. Listings in Africa on…

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House Sitting in South Africa Part 3

House Sitting in South Africa Part 3

 I can’t seriously believe we had committed ourselves to this sit for the next two weeks. Really, I have to sit and drink wine or beer in this chair and watch the sunset every night for the next 14 days? Damn life is good! House Sitting in South Africa Part 3 was proving to be a good decision. Our next sit was only an hours drive from the last one. We agreed to meet Mary there in the evening before she left to…

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House Sitting in South Africa Part 2 – Cape Town

House Sitting in South Africa Part 2 – Cape Town

After an amazing eight-day road trip along the Garden Route of South Africa, it was finally time to meet our new friends, Tara and Bella. Welcome to House sitting in South Africa Part 2. Whilst house sitting in Cape Town we would be taking care of Tara and Bella over Christmas and New Year. Their home was on Woodbridge Island, a gated island community on the north side of Capetown. It was just a short drive or an easy and…

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The Garden Route of South Africa – Knysna to Capetown

The Garden Route of South Africa – Knysna to Capetown

Three busy days in Knysna left us wanting more, there is so much to do in and around there. But the rest of The Garden Route awaited us. A short drive out of town will bring you to the famous Knysna Heads which consists of beautiful cliffs and beaches that can be, and should be, viewed from up top or down below. This is a free attraction, with the only cost being a few rand in tips for the ever present…

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The Garden Route of South Africa – Port Elizabeth to Knysna

The Garden Route of South Africa – Port Elizabeth to Knysna

Our first stop after Port Elizabeth was the vibrant town of Jeffreys Bay, otherwise know as J Bay. The beach was long and flat and made for a great place to stretch the legs on the drive. We both got jealous of all the other people walking dogs on the beach, and couldn’t wait for our sit in Capetown to begin. After J Bay we took a little detour to Cape St Francis where we visited the famous lighthouse and penguin…

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The Garden Route of South Africa – Port Elizabeth

The Garden Route of South Africa – Port Elizabeth

After a 9 hour flight with Latam Airlines from Sao Paulo, Brazil (only twice as long as the 40km journey to the airport in traffic!), a 5-hour layover in Johanessburg, and a quick 2-hour flight with Mango Airlines, we picked up our little rental car from Europcar at the Port Elizabeth Airport and set out on the 3-minute drive to our Airbnb for the next few days. Twenty dollars goes a long way in South Africa. A full apartment in a nice location just…

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Day of The Dead – How I lived through it in Sayulita, Mexico

Day of The Dead – How I lived through it in Sayulita, Mexico

Seriously, forget Halloween. Stop dressing your kids up as Batman, princesses, and butterflies. Stop going to strangers houses and begging for crappy candy that your soon to be fat kids really don’t need. Get your ass down to Mexico instead for the celebrations of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of The Dead)! This year I got to experience both Halloween and Day of The Dead. My first day of being homeless again was on Halloween. While running all my last…

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House and Pet Sitting in South Africa Part 1 – Johannesburg

House and Pet Sitting in South Africa Part 1 – Johannesburg

Due to multiple repeat house sits in Europe, in January of 2017, we (Vanessa) were in need of some time out of the Schengen zone. EU rules only allow Vanessa to stay 90 days every six months on her Brazilian passport. Therefore we were looking for somewhere else to go, somewhere warm preferably. An opportunity for house sitting in Johannesburg popped up on Trustedhousesitters with almost perfect dates for us. After looking at flights I was amazed how cheap they were. Malaga…

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Three weeks in wellies in Wales.

Three weeks in wellies in Wales.

After a couple of animal free days exploring the pubs of Galway, we boarded the early morning ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard in Wales. The boat was big and pretty luxurious but ever so empty, meaning plenty of space to spread out and take a nap. I hope Vanessa realises that that was about as close as she is ever going to get to me taking her on a cruise.   Our host, Suzanna, met us at the port in Fishguard, and after…

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Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Part 2

Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Part 2

These roads are part of the reason you need so much time to see this beautiful part of the country. They are just so much fun when you meet an oncoming tractor! But the destination makes the journey all worthwhile. Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is worthy of more than just a day trip. This would be our second day exploring this area. Our destination one more time were the magnificent Cliffs of Moher. This time we decided to do the…

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Exploring The Wild Atlantic Way

Exploring The Wild Atlantic Way

It would take much more time than the 3 weeks that we have to fully explore this magnificent 1553 mile stretch of road that runs from Main Head in the North all the way to Kinsale in the south hugging Ireland’s West Atlantic coast the whole way. You could easily spend weeks exploring The Wild Atlantic Way. We were lucky enough to spend a few days exploring the County Clare area of the Wild Atlantic Way, which features the stunning Cliffs of…

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Do I need an onward ticket?

Do I need an onward ticket?

One of the most common travel questions I see these days is “Do I need an onward ticket when flying to ……..?”. I see this question asked almost daily in many different Facebook travel groups. The answer is usually yes. Most countries will want to see proof that you are going to leave again in the near future. But mostly it will be the airlines that will check for an onward or return ticket. If you do not have one,…

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Hiking in Cajas National Park – Part 4

Hiking in Cajas National Park – Part 4

Another week had passed and it was time for another day of hiking in Cajas National Park. As I had already tackled routes 1, 2 & 3, it was time to try Route 4. Similar to the previous week, it had been raining overnight in Cuenca. And it was still raining when I left my hotel for the bus terminal. For more details on how to get to Cajas national Park, and what you will need, please see my first…

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