Puppies!!!

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of taking dog maternity photos for my friend Delaney. This is Luna’s third round of puppies, and my goodness do they look cute! Shown below is some photos I took of Delaney and Luna.

On July 10th the Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Poodle) puppies were born. The puppies, all named after Disney characters, will most likely grow to 15 pounds, with exception to Minnie (10 pounds), and Pinocchio (20 pounds). Luna (the mom) is 20 pounds, and the dad is about 10 pounds. They will be ready to go on September 3rd. Picking happens when they are 4 weeks old on the August 6th weekend. They can contact Delaney at delaneyiatkinson@gmail.com.

Shown below is some pictures of the last batch of puppies.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Spring Update – Hiking, Yurt Camping, a New Puppy, and a Wedding

It’s been a while since I last posted here so I figured it was time to give an update as to what I’ve been up to.

Maligne Canyon Hike

Julie and I took a trip up to Jasper at the end of January to hike along the bottom of Maligne Canyon. This has been a bucket list item for me for many year, and I’m glad that I finally got to do it. The hike is only 15 minutes outside of Jasper and starts at the parking lot that you access the “Fifth Bridge”. From there you cross the bridge, follow the trail east, until you see a gate in the fence beside “Bridal Veil” waterfall. The waterfall is stunning to view, and a fun fact is that it never freezes, even in the middle of winter, as the temperature of the water never drops below 0°C. After viewing the beautiful waterfall you have two choices; you can either walk along the riverbed, and go up the little rock slide, or you can continue on the path and enter 200 metres further along the path. We chose to enter the difficult way, up the slide. From there you continue walking along the frozen riverbed and take in the amazing views.

During that weekend we also drove up to Pyramid Lake during the evenings in hope of trying to view the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights were unfortunately not active, however I was able to take some beautiful long-exposure pictures.

On the way back we also stopped at Abraham Lake, a place we visited for the first time last year. This year was much better, as there were even more trapped methane bubbles!

Work

In February and March I had to take two trips up to Red Deer for work to do some photography, which was fun. Our company was involved in the detailed design of a pharmaceutical grade ethanol production facility, and I went up to take pictures and video of the installation of the large distillation towers.

A New Puppy

In February we picked up a new dog named Ruby. She’s the same breed as our previous dog Grady; a wheaten terrier / poodle cross. She’s been an incredible delight to have in my life, despite being a terrorist at times. She recently just turned 6 months old.

Inner City Walks

In the spring we ended up going on quite a few inner-city walks with my dad, and occasionally Julie on the weekends.

Radius Yurts – Radium, British Columbia

At the end of March we drove out to Radium and stayed at the Radius Yurts for the weekend. That was incredibly fun, and I’d definitely do it again. I’ve always wanted to stay in a yurt, and this was a lot more convenient that going all the way to Mongolia to stay in one. One thing we learned was to travel substantially light than we did, because it was quite the walk to our yurt. While we were there we went on a nice long hike around the property, which lasted about 3 hours. There was some incredible views of the Bugaboo’s at the top of the property.

Hiking – Tunnel Mountain Hoodoo’s Trail, Chester Lake, Blackshale Suspension Bridge

At the end of April my father and I did a father-son trip out to Canmore for the weekend. We completed three hikes during the weekend; Tunnel Mountain Hoodoo’s Trail, Chester Lake, and Blackshale Suspension Bridge.

Tunnel Mountain Hoodoo’s Trail is a 7.7 kilometer trail located just outside of Banff, which provides beautiful views of the mountains, and a waterfall, however dad nor I saw the waterfall.

Chester Lake in the winter is simply stunning! This is my third time completing Chester Lake in the last 12 months, and it is significantly different in winter than in the spring, summer, or fall. The trail used in winter is quite a bit steeper than the one used during the other three seasons and is in a more forested area.

Blackshale Suspension Bridge is located high above Blackshale Creek, located along the Smith-Dorrien Trail. The hike takes just over 15 minutes to reach the bridge.

Sara & Tom’s Wedding

On May 1st I got to see my close friend Sara get married to her partner Tom. It was such an incredible experience to be able to photograph their wedding, which was held at Brentview Baptist Church.

Following the wedding we drove out to Banff to take photos at the Banff View Point located on the windy Mt. Norquay Scenic Road. We lucked out with our arrival, as the weather on the drive was extremely rainy, however when we arrived we had a 5-10 minute window of beautiful weather, before it started to snow again. After taking some pictures at the view point we drove down to Cascade Ponds, and again lucked out with the weather, before it started raining.

After taking photos we checked into our hotel, Canalta Lodge, which was graciously provided to us by Sara. The hotel was absolutely stunning, and I really appreciated the rustic feel of the lodging. The beds were super comfortable, the room was spacious, and the decor was cute. For dinner we picked up some burgers from Eddie Burger, and we watched a movie called Without Remorse on Amazon Prime.

The next day we went on a small hike on Canmore’s Hoodoo Trail, before heading home.

Baby Robin’s

At the beginning of May we also had the pleasant surprise of baby Robin’s being born on our balcony.

What’s Next?

What’s in store for me next? Besides a quick trip to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this weekend I’m not entirely sure as COVID-19’s third wave is here. I’ll still be out hiking, but I don’t see any significant travel plans in the horizon at this point in time.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Winter Fun – Cars, Carpentry, Maternity Photos, Hiking, Zoo Lights, etc.

It’s been a quiet last few months on my blog page, however I’ve been fairly busy in my personal life, so here’s a bit of an update.

Over the last few months I have built multiple LEGO models including the Bugatti Chiron, Lamborghini FKP37, Porsche 911 RSR, Dodge Charger, Cargo Plane, Crocodile Locomotive, James Bond Car, and Disney Railroad.

I’ve also been busy doing quite a few carpentry projects including a reclaimed wood bed frame, raw spruce bedside tables, a planter box, spice rack, side tables, a foot stool, and a wine rack.

Every week we have been playing online board games with our good friends John and Nicole; usually Catan. It’s a lot of fun, however we look forward to the days where we can play again in-person.

On October 11th Julie and I had a physically distanced meeting with my friends Al and Dawn, as well as their son Ben and his lovely wife Vivian. During our visit Al showed me around his beautiful 1966 Dodge Charger, and we even went for a brief ride in it.

On November 11th Julie and I drove to Canmore on a beautiful, crisp and cool morning to hike Grassi Lakes. This is my third time hiking Grassi Lakes, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It had just snowed the previous day, which made for beautiful photos. The trails were fairly quiet, which was an added bonus. The lakes hadn’t frozen yet, as it was still fairly early into winter.

On November 15th Julie and I drove to Kananaskis and completed the Cat Creek Falls hike. The 2.4 kilometer hike is fairly easy and took us only 45 minutes to complete. At the end of the hike there is a cute waterfall that was half frozen.

On November 22nd I took some maternity photos for my good friends John and Nicole. They just had their beautiful baby girl Alex a few days ago.

On December 6th Julie and I drove to Kananaskis and completed the Black Prince Cirque Hike again. You may remember that we completed this same hike in the summer time, and wow it certainly looked different in the winter than it did in the summer.

On December 8th we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Grady girl. She had just turned 11 years old on November 8th, but sadly she had quickly developed cancer in her stomach and over the course of just two weeks she was unable to eat or drink anything, and had barely enough energy to stay awake. We will remember all the wonderful memories we had with her.

On New Years Eve Julie and I hiked Grotto Canyon and Heart Creek Bunker during the day, before checking into Solara Resort & Spa in Canmore for the evening. I have completed Grotto Canyon and Heart Creek Bunker hikes previously in the summer, so be sure to check out my blog posts on those as if you’re interested. We made a delicious steak and lobster dinner, played some board games, and had some wine and bubbles before tucking into bed at 2am.

What’s in store for me next? I’m not entirely sure as COVID-19’s second wave is here, and we’re going through a second lockdown currently. I’ll still be out hiking, but I don’t see any travel plans in the horizon at this point in time.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Bragg Creek Getaway & Black Prince Cirque Hike

It’s been quite some time since both of us have taken a vacation so last weekend Julie & I decided to getaway from the city. Julie found a beautiful place to stay on Airbnb located near Bragg Creek. Our lovely hosts Lise and Alex were waiting for us on their large wrap-around balcony that included a large firepit. Lise, is an construction lawyer, and Alex is a retired tour guide who used to live in Ontario.

2020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 26

Located at the top of their home is a massive penthouse suite, which is where we were staying, but more on that later.  Lise and Alex showed us around the house before showing us to our penthouse suite. The house is adorned in lovely artwork, as well as beautiful antique and modern wood and leather furniture. I’m a huge fan of mid-century modern and modern, and the house was a beautiful mix of mid-century modern and modern. The main centerpiece in the house is the fireplace, which was constructed from over 8500 hand laid bricks that came from an old warehouse in Chicago.

2020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 272020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 282020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 292020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 302020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 322020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 332020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 352020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 36

Inside the suite was a comfortable king-sized bed, a large deep soaker tub, a rainfall shower, his-and-hers sinks, a minibar fridge, and a French press to make tea or coffee. Inside the mini-bar fridge were some drinks, some fresh fruit, yoghurt, and a lovely bottle of champagne, which was a wonderful surprise. The suite gives a 270 degree view of the luscious trees below. Close to the penthouse suite, down just a few steps, is a large balcony with a table and two chairs, where we spent the evenings watching the beautiful sunsets.

2020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 012020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 022020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 032020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 042020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 052020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 062020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 072020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 082020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 092020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 10

After getting settled in Julie made us a beautiful Charcuterie board with a bunch of cheese, meats, crackers, fruits, and vegetables. We sat on the balcony and ate it while enjoying the beautiful view.

2020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 122020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 142020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 152020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 162020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 182020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 21

Later on in the evening we watched a hilarious show on Netflix called Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father. It is a travel documentary where Jack Whitehall travels with his father, Michael Whitehall. His father, is a grumpy old British guy, and is always complaining about things, but in a hilarious fashion.

The next day we woke up at around 7am. I made some coffee for us and we enjoyed it in bed while talking until it was time to go downstairs for breakfast. Lise and Alex are amazing cooks and they had prepared us some stuffed tomatoes filled with tiny wild mushrooms, alongside some toast, bacon and seasoned potatoes.

After enjoying our delicious breakfast we drove into Kananaskis to hike Black Prince Cirque, which is a 4.8 km roundtrip hike to the beautiful Warspite Lake with a backdrop of the towering Mount Black Prince and Hermione Peak. The hike has a total of 178 metres of elevation gain and can be done in as little as an hour. We took our time because of Julie’s knee, taking approximately 1.75 hours.

2020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 232020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 24

On the way back we decided to stop at Foothills Creamery in Bragg Creek to get some ice cream. Julie got black licorice and root beer float flavoured ice cream in a cup, while I got a waffle cone filled with tiger flavour. We then drove back to the house to relax for a bit before heading out to dinner at The Italian Farmhouse in Bragg Creek. Julie had gluten free seafood linguine with white wine sauce, served with a glass of red wine. I had spaghetti carbonara, served with a few pints of lager. We also shared so wild boar meatballs.

After dinner we drove back to the house and relaxed in our room for a bit. When Lise and Alex came home we went downstairs to great them and meet their beautiful Weimaraner dogs named Otto and Ester. Otto is a huge flirt and is quick to open up, while Ester is a bit more shy but she eventually opens up.

2020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 372020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 392020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 422020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 432020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 442020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 452020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 46

We spent the evening watching the sunset before enjoying the relaxing deep soaker tub and watching more of Jack Whitehall show. The next morning we woke up at 8am and enjoyed coffee in bed before venturing downstairs to yet another amazing meal. This time it was smoked salmon and cheese on toast; it was to die for!

After breakfast we played some board games and card games before it was time to checkout. We would both gladly stay here again in a heartbeat and have already recommended this place to family and friends. You can book it on Airbnb here.

After checking out we drove to Elbow Falls, which we both hadn’t been to in probably over ten years. It has changed a lot since the flood of 2013. I’ve enclosed a photo of what it used to look like before the flood.

2020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 492020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 502020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 512020-07-12 Bragg Creek Getaway 53ElbowFalls2008

Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 2020

Last weekend Julie, my Mom, and I visited the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. It was the second time that my mom and I have visited, and this time we brought along Julie. Mom and I last visited in 2018; you can view my post here.

Both of them thoroughly enjoyed visited the sanctuary. There were a few changes this times due to COVID-19; people had to sanitize their hands before entering the complex, and they also had to have their parties separated by 2 metres, which actually made for a better experience in my opinion.

2020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 33

Their wolfhound pup named Finn, who was born in 2018, was all grown up now. It’s amazing to see how big he grew!

2020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 252020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 012020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 24

Scott was our tour guide this time. First he took us to the Yamnuska Pack (high wolf content except Nikki), which included Kuna (3/4 White and Grey), Zeus (Black and Grey), Nova (Full White), and Nikki (white, grey, brown).

2020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 042020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 052020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 062020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 072020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 082020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 092020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 102020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 112020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 122020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 132020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 142020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 152020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 162020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 172020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 262020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 272020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 282020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 29

Afterwards we were taken to the low content Cascade Pack, which included Rue, Loki, and Rocky.

2020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 182020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 192020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 302020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 31

After the tour we explored the Rundle Pack (Nakita & Lark), Castle Pack (Kasha, Horton), Grotto Pack (Ruby & Enzo), Temple Pack (TK & Kaida), Norquay Pack (Kiba & Shadow), Galatea Pack (Freya & Odin), as well as their goats, and husky mascot.

2020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 022020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 202020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 212020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 222020-07-05 Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 23

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Boom Lake Hike

On May 29th 2020 my friend Sara and I completed the hike to Boom Lake. The 10.3 km long and 543 metre of elevation gain hike to boom lake is on a well maintained trail through a luscious forest. It took us about four hours return, but I imagine you could easily shave off 30-45 minutes in the summer when you don’t have the snow to deal with. The first 45 minutes into the hike there was no snow and it was pretty smooth sailing. The next 30-45 minutes was ankle deep snow, for which we put our crampons on. The last 30-45 minutes to the lake had knee deep snow. We decided to wear our gaiters for this, but my feet still ended up getting soaked.

2020-05-25 Boom Lake 032020-05-25 Boom Lake 052020-05-25 Boom Lake 062020-05-25 Boom Lake 082020-05-25 Boom Lake 102020-05-25 Boom Lake 122020-05-25 Boom Lake 132020-05-25 Boom Lake 2

We saw some canine or cat footprints that were larger than a dog, but smaller than a bear. I am very glad that we had our bear spray with us. The views at the still lake were absolutely amazing! We had lunch at the lake, before returning back to our car.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Birds, Coal Mines, Gas Plants, Portraits, Oh My!!!

It’s been exactly a month since I last posted on my blog. Where have I been? I’ve been fairly busy taking pictures of Birds, Portraits, Gas Plants, and Portraits during this COVID-19 pandemic. As most of you know COVID-19 has making its rounds around the globe, infecting over 5.2 million people so far and taking the lives of 335,000 people as of the writing of this article on May 21st 2020. I was supposed to take an Eastern Europe roadtrip starting on March 18th 2020, ending on April 7th 2020. This trip has been postponed until further notice, but I will complete it when it is safe and socially acceptable to do so.

Since my last post I drove east of Red Deer on April 23rd to a work site to take some drone photos of an oil processing facility. My drone props suffered a catastrophic failure and the drone fell 45 metres to the ground, but lived to tell the tale.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0600.JPG2020-04-23 Numac Energy Miscible CO2 Flood 42020-04-23 Numac Energy Miscible CO2 Flood 6

On April 26th I visited the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary with my friend Hadrian. I managed to get a few photos that I was fairly happy with.

2020-04-26 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 012020-04-26 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 022020-04-26 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 042020-04-26 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 062020-04-26 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 07

On May 1st I drove out to the Atlas Coal Mine to take some photos. This ended up being an expensive day as I obtained two driving infractions on the way out which will cost me $616 and 6 demerit points. I was falsely accused of a few things, which I will be fighting in court. Anyways look I got a few useable photos…

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0616.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0618.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0623.JPG

On May 2nd Julie and I visited the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary with my friend Hadrian. I again got some photos I was fairly happy with.

2020-05-02 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 042020-05-02 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 062020-05-02 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 122020-05-02 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 162020-05-02 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 192020-05-02 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 202020-05-02 Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 27

I also visited my parents that weekend and got some cute pictures of their dogs.

2020-05-02 Ellie 22020-05-02 Rigby 32020-05-02 Rigby 4

On May 9th Julie and I visited Carburn Park with Hadrian and his wife Stacey. I got a few useable shots and ended up meeting a lovely lady named Cindy who had a beautiful Burnese pupyy named Charlotte. Cindy kept in touch with us and I ended up doing some photo’s for her family on May 17th, but I won’t be posting them to respect their privacy.

2020-05-09 Carburn Park 012020-05-09 Carburn Park 022020-05-09 Carburn Park 032020-05-09 Carburn Park 062020-05-09 Carburn Park 072020-05-09 Carburn Park 092020-05-09 Carburn Park 102020-05-09 Carburn Park 122020-05-09 Carburn Park 132020-05-09 Carburn Park 152020-05-09 Carburn Park 172020-05-09 Carburn Park 182020-05-09 Carburn Park 192020-05-09 Carburn Park 20

On May 16th my friend Sara and I drove out to Kananaskis to attempt to hike Jumpingpound Mountain, but when we arrived there was still over 2 feet of snow on the ground. We will wait a few more weeks before we start the hiking season since this winter we received a fair amount of snow in the mountains.

2020-05-16 Kananaskis 12020-05-16 Kananaskis 22020-05-16 Kananaskis 32020-05-16 Kananaskis 4

With hiking season fast approaching make sure to stay tuned for beautiful landscape pictures. I have plans to complete roughly 20 hikes this year.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Vietnam – Day 9 – Ninh Binh & Hanoi

Today I woke up at 3:30am when the power went out. The room became unbearably stuffy because there was no air-conditioning or air flow from the fan. I managed to finally get back to sleep before waking up again at 6:00am. I decided to go downstairs to get some breakfast and a coffee before getting ready to head out for the day. Oh by the way did I mention that my place has the cutest puppies I’ve ever seen!

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 2072019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 2092019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 211

I started to ride my motorcycle into the town of Ninh Binh so that I could get more cash from the bank, as I was running low on cash. Sadly the motorcycle died and I had to do a walk of shame for about 1.5km before coming to a gas station. I filled the motorcycle up with gas, but sadly it still wasn’t working properly. I kept stalling out unless I gunned the throttle, but even then it would start to hesitate after a few seconds. I finally figured out a movement that seemed to work; hold the throttle full blast for 3 seconds, let off for a few seconds, and then repeat. I managed to get into town and pick up more cash.

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 203

After picking up cash I rode the motorcycle to the Danh Thang Trang An boat tours, about 10km away. The motorcycle was really starting to act up now, and even dying for up to 10 minutes every few kilometers. Again, I figured out another trick; if I bounced on the bike up and down a lot, and then sloshed the fuel from side to side then it would eventually start if I help the throttle down half way. Eventually I got to the boat tours at about 10:00am. Along the way I did see this beautiful looking temple from the side of the road, as well as a very cool gateway.

2019-05-25 Ninh Binh 41.jpg

The boat tour lasted about 3 hours and cost 200000 Dong ($12.50 CDN). The tour took the group of four people through numerous caves and to a few temples. It was absolutely fascinating!

2019-05-25 Ninh Binh 422019-05-25 Ninh Binh 432019-05-25 Ninh Binh 442019-05-25 Ninh Binh 462019-05-25 Ninh Binh 472019-05-25 Ninh Binh 482019-05-25 Ninh Binh 492019-05-25 Ninh Binh 512019-05-25 Ninh Binh 552019-05-25 Ninh Binh 562019-05-25 Ninh Binh 572019-05-25 Ninh Binh 582019-05-25 Ninh Binh 592019-05-25 Ninh Binh 682019-05-25 Ninh Binh 69

After finishing the tour I rode the motorcycle back to the hotel, about 10km away. It took me over one hour to get back because the bike kept on breaking down. When I got back to the hotel I explained what was happening to the owner and she said that she would take a look at it. Unfortunately within 15 minutes she had already loaned it out to someone else, which I found to be quite dishonest.

I was feeling quite hungry at this point in time, as it was well past lunch time, so I decided to walk down the street and see if I could find something to eat. I came across this nice small restaurant called Sunflower Tam Coc and ordered some pho, salad rolls, and some fresh beer.

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 206.JPG

After lunch I walked back to the hotel, checked out, and ordered a GRAB to the Ninh Binh train station. The fare for the ride was 80000 Dong ($5 CDN), but all I had was a 200000 Dong note for which he didn’t have change for. It wasn’t a big deal for me and I told him to keep the change, but he insisted on getting me the correct change. He ran around the six different stores asking for them to make change, all the while leaving me inside his car with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. I felt pretty bad for the guy. Remember, in Vietnam it is not customary to tip and many people will flat our refuse even if its a nice gesture. Oh and safety isn’t top priority in this country; take a look at his seatbelt reminder defeat with a plastic spoon!

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 212.JPG

I was about 1.5 hours early for the train, but ended up talking with the nice young man from Chile that was backpacking around SE Asia. The train ride back to Hanoi took about 2.25 hours. After arriving in Hanoi I took a GRAB to the hotel I was staying at two nights ago so that I could pick up my passport before carrying onto my new hotel called Hotel Golden Art. Hotel Golden Art wasn’t the nicest, but it did the trick for the night.

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 2132019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 214

After checking  into the hotel I walked down the street to a fast food Bahn Mi place called Pho Bahn Mi. The food was absolutely delicious, in fact I ordered a second because it was so good. After having dinner I walked back to the hotel and went to bed.

Be sure to check back tomorrow when I take a brief pause from the Vietnam series to share a recent hike that I completed with my father to Plains of Six Glaciers, before continuing with my Vietnam series. The next part in my Vietnam series has me travelling to Ha Long Bay, so be sure to stay tuned!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Vietnam – Day 7 – Hanoi

Today I woke up at 5:30am. Notice a trend here; I’m not really able to wake up at a normal time yet, despite being here a week. Breakfast at the O’Galley Majestic Hotel & Spa started at 6:30am, and I was starving, so I waited until it opened and rushed down to the basement. I was not disappointed at all; there was so many different options to choose from at the buffet.

After breakfast I went and visited the famous Hanoi rail track again, as they were on the way to my next stop which was a wall of ceramic murals along the Durong Tran Quang Khai highway, which was a few kilometer walk away. The tracks were less lively during the morning, than last night, but there were still some people doing food prep, and building repairs.

2019-05-24 Hanoi 072019-05-24 Hanoi 102019-05-24 Hanoi 112019-05-24 Hanoi 122019-05-24 Hanoi 132019-05-24 Hanoi 142019-05-24 Hanoi 162019-05-24 Hanoi 172019-05-24 Hanoi 182019-05-24 Hanoi 20

The ceramic murals were quite intricate, and stretch a total length of 6.5 kilometers (4.0 miles). They were developed between 2007 and 2010 to celebrate the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi.

2019-05-24 Hanoi 42.jpg

After visiting the ceramic murals I walked to the nearby Dong Xuan Market. One word can describe this place; chaos. This market has everything you could possibly dream of in one place, with some tremendous deals to be had on clothing, electronics, jewelry, etc. It’s absolutely packed and seems like a tremendous fire hazard waiting to happen, but it was still unique to see. I didn’t purchase anything there. The market was originally built by the French in 1889, and has been renovated many times since, with the latest iteration in 1994 after a fire broke out, almost destroying the market entirely… As you can see not much has changed. I noticed a ton of expired fire extinguishers stuffed underneath the escalators and stairs…

2019-05-24 Hanoi 292019-05-24 Hanoi 302019-05-24 Hanoi 312019-05-24 Hanoi 322019-05-24 Hanoi 332019-05-24 Hanoi 34

After visiting the Dong Xuan Market I visited Bach Ma Temple. The temple was originally built in 1010, by the Ly Dynasty. It honors a white horse, which was thought to be an incarnation of a local river god. The temple was rebuilt in the 18th century after severe flooding damaged the original building.

2019-05-24 Hanoi 382019-05-24 Hanoi 392019-05-24 Hanoi 402019-05-24 Hanoi 41

After visiting Bach Ma Temple I strolled over to Hoan Kiem Lake, which means “Lake of the Returned Sword”. An old wives tale suggests that in 1428, Emperor Le Loi was boating on the lake when the Golden Turtle God named Kim Qui surfaced and asked for his magic sword, Heaven’s Will. The Emperor came to the conclusion that Kim Qui had come to reclaim the sword that it’s master, Dragon King Long Vuong had given Loi during the revolt against Ming China. The Emperor gave the sword back to the Golden Turtle after finishing fighting the Chinese. I relaxed for a bit along the lake, taking pictures of the Turtle Tower, The Huc Bridge, and Jade Island.

2019-05-24 Hanoi 502019-05-24 Hanoi 512019-05-24 Hanoi 522019-05-24 Hanoi 532019-05-24 Hanoi 54

After relaxing along Hoan Kiem Lake it was time to find some lunch. I settled on a Japanese restaurant called Moto-San. I decided to have some ramen noodle bowl and some sushi while enjoying all the racy propaganda art strewn around the interior of the building.

2019-05-24 Hanoi 552019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1802019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1812019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 182

After lunch I walked back to the hotel, as I was feeling pretty exhausted and just wanted to relax at the pool. I got back to the hotel at around 2:30pm and relaxed by the pool with some beers until around 5:00pm.

2019-05-24 Hanoi 272019-05-24 Hanoi 282019-05-24 Hanoi 352019-05-24 Hanoi 362019-05-24 Hanoi 372019-05-24 Hanoi 462019-05-24 Hanoi 472019-05-24 Hanoi 482019-05-24 Hanoi 492019-05-24 Hanoi 562019-05-24 Hanoi 57

At 5:00pm I walked around the government area near my hotel and took some pictures of the buildings before walking to the very famous Bun Cha Huong Lien Obama, where former US President Obama and Anthony Bourdain ate on May 23rd 2016.

2019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1882019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 1892019-05-17 Vietnam iPhone Photos 190

After dinner I took a GRAB back to the hotel for 32000 Dong ($2 CDN). I had to pack my bags as I was off to Ninh Binh early. tomorrow morning.

Check back tomorrow when I travel to the countryside and visit Ninh Binh, also known as the Inland Ha Long Bay.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Chile – Day 5 – Valparaiso & Santiago

Today I woke up with a headache at 6:45am so I got dressed and walked across the street to the Shell gas station and purchased an Americano and then sat in the lobby of our hotel while catching up on Social Media. I went upstairs at 8:00am and C was ready for breakfast. For breakfast we went back to the Panini Cafe that we went to two days ago. I had a Neapolitan panini and a double shot americano, while C had a Belgian waffle with strawberry syrup as well as a Cappuccino.

We hung out in the hotel room in the morning while I did some work and C drew on her iPad. We checked out at noon and left our bags at the hotel for a few hours while we explored Valparaiso a bit more. We explored the community of Bellavista. We decided that even though Bellavista was nice that we enjoyed the other cerro’s that we had visited on the previous day more than Bellavista. After exploring Bellavista we decided we wanted to track down a restaurant that served Arepas, which is a bun made of ground maize dough or flour and then stuffed with meat and cheese. Arepas are actually not too common to Chile, as they are a Colombian and Venezuelan food, but we were craving it since we had them at one of my colleagues houses back home. We came across the one of the only places in town that served them (according to Google Maps); Sazon Chevere. I had pulled brisket with cheese, and C had pulled chicken with cheese.

2019-01-30 Valparaiso 012019-01-30 Valparaiso 032019-01-30 Valparaiso 042019-01-30 Valparaiso 052019-01-30 Valparaiso 082019-01-30 Valparaiso 102019-01-30 Valparaiso 112019-01-30 Valparaiso 122019-01-30 Valparaiso 132019-01-30 Valparaiso 142019-01-30 Valparaiso 162019-01-30 Valparaiso 17IMG_E1809IMG_E1811

We picked up our bags at 3:45pm and took the train (also saw a homeless dog sleeping on the train who seemed very cute and peaceful) and walked back to the bus terminal to take us back to Santiago. While walking back to the bus terminal a guy tried to pull a typical tourist theft scheme on C but we caught it in time and nothing was stolen. The scheme typically occurs by someone saying that your bag is open (even when it’s not) and that some stuff fell out, which you then scramble to find, and someone else will then quickly slip into your pockets while you’re panicking and steal your phone and/or wallet. I recognized this right away. This type of scheme is very common in South America and some parts of Southeast Asia.

IMG_E1815

We took a 5:15pm TurBus bus back to Valparaiso. We were fortunate enough to have seats on the upper deck with a view out the front, which was a really nice view. During the bus ride I started to come down with a cold.

We arrived in Pajaritos at around 7:00pm and took a $6.40 Uber ride to City Express Hotel beside Santiago International Airport (SCL). We checked in to the hotel and had some dinner in the bar. I had a burger and some local beers (Quimera Amber Ale & Quimera Pale Ale), while C had spaghetti and a glass of white wine. Both beers were quite excellent! It was then time for us to head to bed as we had to wake up at 5:15am for an early morning flight.

IMG_1817IMG_1818

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here