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

2018-08-27 – Kenyan Safari

I just finished a seven day Safari organized by GoWay and fulfilled by Sense of Africa. My truck, driven by a fantastic driver named Daniel, had four other Canadians with me from the Toronto area; a retired couple named Brian and Kelly and a young couple named Courtney and Nick.

The trip started out with two days in Samburu National Reserve. Accommodation was at the Serena Samburu Safari Lodge, where we stayed in luxury tents and were woken up with coffee and cookies delivered right to our tent door, followed by breakfast and a game drive. The afternoons were spent relaxing, followed by an evening game drive and a five course dinner.

A83U0635A83U0677A83U0689A83U0704A83U0706A83U0712A83U0717A83U0737A83U0753A83U0773A83U0826A83U0866A83U0886A83U0973A83U0994A83U1071A83U1105A83U1175A83U1222A83U1275A83U1291A83U1306A83U1315A83U1331A83U1341A83U1346A83U1376A83U1386A83U1409A83U1437A83U1476A83U1487A83U1525A83U1561A83U1582A83U1670A83U1677A83U1728A83U1748A83U1749A83U1763A83U1799A83U1817A83U1827A83U1867A83U1896A83U1942A83U1952A83U2052A83U2070A83U2084A83U2096

The third day consisted of driving to Mount Kenya National Park. Accommodation was at the Serena Mountain Lodge, a rustic mountain hotel-lodge in the dense rainforest in Mount Kenya. We had views of the buffalo drinking from the water hole. I saw the occasional owl and hyena. Dinner was a five course meal and breakfast the following day was a five course meal as well as a buffet.

A83U2156A83U2166A83U2193A83U2302A83U2324A83U2339A83U2480A83U2505A83U2511A83U2528A83U2538A83U2620

On the fourth day we drove through Lake Nakuru National Park where we saw a few black rhinos and flamingos, before arriving at Serena Lake Elementaita Camp, where we stayed at some ultra luxury permanent tents with rainfall showers. Dinner was a five course meal.

A83U2653A83U2665A83U2694A83U2862A83U2890A83U2899A83U2947A83U2974A83U3066A83U3095A83U3114A83U3141A83U3146A83U3160A83U3175A83U3211A83U3232A83U3261A83U3420A83U3421A83U3423

On the fifth day we ate a five course breakfast and drove to the Maasi Mara, with a quick stop at a Maasi village where we were shown the traditional ways of life that the Maasi people live. It was neat to see but left a bad memory when we were separated from each other and pressured into buying things that were supposedly made by hand but clearly mass manufactured. We spent the next two days at the Serena Mara Safari Lodge, a luxurious hotel that resembles something that Antoni Gaudi would have created. We had a morning and evening game drive on both days, and I enjoyed a hippo breakfast on the second day in Mara while the other four completed a somewhat disappointing balloon ride. This time of year the great migration was occurring and we got to see an amazing amount of animals migrating.

A83U3707A83U3822A83U3829A83U3872A83U3887A83U3914A83U3972A83U3975A83U3984A83U4042A83U4062A83U4137A83U4139A83U4140A83U4158A83U4161A83U4173A83U4186A83U4224A83U4249A83U4266A83U4269A83U4343A83U4346A83U4395A83U4412A83U4556A83U4624A83U4637A83U4680A83U4885A83U4977A83U4993A83U5002A83U5057

On the seventh and final day we ventured 7 hours back to Nairobi. I’m spending the night in the Hilton hotel near the airport before I head to Athena, Greece tomorrow morning.

2018-05-25 – US Route 66 Day 9

Today we drove 295 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada. We ended up staying at The Hamptons by Hilton. Today was the final day of our trip. We will fly home tomorrow. We saw the following sights today:

  • Museum Club, Flagstaff
  • El Pueblo Motel, Flagstaff
  • 66 Motel, Flagstaff
  • Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff
  • Du Beau Motel, Flagstaff
  • Pine Breeze Inn, Flagstaff
  • Harley Davidson, Bellemont
  • Park in Pines Café, Parks
  • Twisters Soda Fountain, Parks
  • Grand Motel, Parks
  • Rod’s Steak House, Williams
  • Pete’s Gas Station Museum, Williams
  • Red Garter Bed & Bakery, Williams
  • Grand Canyon Railroad & Hotel, Williams
  • Grand Canyon Hotel, Willliams
  • National Bank, Williams
  • 9 Arizona Motor Motel, Williams
  • Desoto Salon, Ash Fork
  • Delagillos Snow Cap, Seligman
  • Route 66 Gift Shop, Seligman
  • Copper Cart, Seligman
  • Historic Sundries, Seligman
  • Black Cat Bar, Seligman
  • Supai Motel, Seligman
  • Truxton Ghost Town
  • Hackberry Store
  • Anatres Art Gallery
  • Route 66 Motel, Kingman
  • Beale Hotel, Kingman
  • Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, Kingman
  • Powerhouse Vistor’s Centre, Kingman

IMGL6673IMGL6680IMGL6687IMGL6689IMGL6696IMGL6705IMGL6715IMGL6718IMGL6721IMGL6742IMGL6745IMGL6746IMGL6748IMGL6754IMGL6759IMGL6764IMGL6774IMGL6780IMGL6786IMGL6788IMGL6798IMGL6820IMGL6840

2018-05-22 – US Route 66 Day 6

Today we drove 230 miles from Clinton, Oklahoma to Vega, Texas. We ended up staying at The Days Inn. We saw the following sights today:

  • Glancy Motel, Clinton
  • Bess Rogers Drive, Clinton
  • Route 66 Museum, Clinton
  • Y Service Station, Clinton
  • Cotton Boll Motel Sign, Clinton
  • Canute Service Station, Canute
  • Tallest Oil Rig, Elk City
  • Old Town Museum, Elk City
  • Beckham County Courthouse, Sayre
  • Western Motel Sign, Sayre
  • Town of Erick
  • Water Hole Mural & Tumbleweed Grill, Texola. We had food here. Dad had Liver & Onions, and I had a Jalapeno Burger with Homemade Fries. Masel, the wonderful woman who owned the place, cooked us lunch and told us stories of her purchasing the place, fixing it up, and expanding it. She also purchased the bar next door and is going to fix it up.
  • Hot Rods Pizza, Shamrock
  • Big Verns Steakhouse, Shamrock
  • Conoco Tower Station and U Drop Inn, Shamrock. This beautiful gas station. Built in 1936 by J. M. Tindall and R. C. Lewis at the cost of $23,000. With its Art Deco detailing and two towers, the building was designed and constructed to be three separate structures. The first was the Tower Conoco Station, named for the dominating four-sided obelisk rising from the flat roof and topped by a metal tulip. The second was the U-Drop Inn Café, which got its name from a local schooolboy’s winning entry in a naming contest. The third structure was supposed to be a retail store that instead became an overflow seating area for the café.
  • Magnolia Gas Station, Shamrock
  • Devil’s Rope Museum, McLean
  • Cactus Inn, McLean
  • Phillips 66, McLean
  • Red River Steakhouse, McLean
  • Kiser 66, Alanreed
  • Leaning Tower, Groom
  • Chalet Inn, Groom
  • Cross of our Lord, Groom
  • Bug Ranch, Panhandle
  • Big Texcan Steak Ranch, Amarillo. This is the home of the 72 oz free steak if you can eat it in one hour or under.
  • Paramount Sign, Amarillo
  • Downtown Amarillo
  • Taylors Texaco, Amarillo
  • Helium Plant, Amarillo
  • Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo
  • Bonanza Motel, Vega
  • Magnolia Station, Vega

IMGL5814IMGL5818IMGL5843IMGL5846IMGL5849IMGL5858IMGL5861IMGL5865IMGL5877IMGL5882IMGL5888IMGL5891IMGL5897IMGL5906IMGL5907IMGL5916IMGL5936IMGL5954IMGL5962IMGL5964IMGL5993IMGL6001IMGL6012IMGL6036IMGL6045IMGL6053IMGL6093IMGL6099

2018-05-21 – US Route 66 Day 5

Today we drove 328 miles from Miami, Oklahoma to Clinton, Oklahoma. We ended up staying at The Glancy Motel, one of the original motels on Route 66 that is still open. We saw the following sights today:

  • Old Ribbon Road, Afton
  • Afton Station, Afton
  • Will Rogers Archway, Vinita
  • Clantons Café, Vinata
  • Hotel Vinita, Vinita
  • 1940’s Gas Stations, Vinita
  • Phillips Gull Wing, Vinita
  • Totem Pole Park, Foyil
  • Belvidere Mansion, Claremore
  • Dot’s Café, Claremore
  • Blue Whale, Catoosa
  • Circle Cinema, Tulsa
  • Meadow Gold Sign, Tulsa
  • Boston Unite Church, Tulsa
  • Vickery Phillips 66, Tulsa
  • Mid Continent Tower, Tulsa
  • Philtower Building, Tulsa
  • Cyrus Avery Plaza, Tulsa
  • Cities Service, Tulsa
  • Waite Phillips Station, Sapulpa
  • Rock Creek Bridge, Sapulpa
  • Heart of 66 Museum and Giant Gas Pump, Sapulpa
  • Rock Café, Stroud
  • Coca Cola Mural, Stroud
  • Skyliner Motel, Stroud
  • World’s First Natural Gas Sphere, Davenport
  • Murals, Davenport
  • Phillips 66, Chandler
  • Lincoln Motel, Chandler
  • Seaba Station, Warwick
  • Round Barn, Arcadia
  • Pops on 66, Arcadia
  • Tower Theatre, Oklahoma
  • Gold Dome, Oklahoma
  • Milk Bottle, Oklahoma
  • Lake Overholser Bridge, Bethany
  • Flour Mill, Yukon
  • Robert’s Grill, El Reno
  • Jackson Conoco, El Reno
  • El Reno Motel, El Reno

IMGL5502IMGL5510IMGL5512IMGL5513IMGL5517IMGL5524IMGL5526IMGL5530IMGL5545IMGL5549IMGL5553IMGL5559IMGL5564IMGL5574IMGL5576IMGL5582IMGL5589IMGL5596IMGL5601IMGL5607IMGL5611IMGL5621IMGL5624IMGL5627IMGL5632IMGL5643IMGL5648IMGL5650IMGL5656IMGL5671IMGL5680IMGL5688IMGL5691IMGL5695IMGL5704IMGL5709IMGL5717IMGL5724IMGL5737IMGL5743IMGL5762IMGL5770IMGL5780IMGL5788IMGL5804IMGL5806

2018-05-20 – US Route 66 Day 4

Today we drove 229 miles from St. Robert, Missouri to Miami, Oklahoma. We ended up staying at The Hamptons by Hilton. We saw the following sights today:

  • Hooker Cut, Devils Elbow. Hooker Cut is the first dual carriageway on Route 66.
  • Elbow Inn and BBQ, Devils Elbow
  • Sheldons Market, Devils Elbow
  • Frog Rock, Waynesville
  • Uranus Fudge Factory, St. Robert
  • Gascozark Café Remains, Gascozark
  • Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon
  • Starlite Lanes, Lebanon
  • Town of Marshfield
  • Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Springfield
  • Rest Haven Court, Springfield
  • Steak n Shake, Springfield
  • Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque, Springfield
  • Sky Eleven Springfield. This high rise was built in 1911. It was an office building that started falling apart in the early 2000’s. They restored it recently and turned it into some very swanky apartment buildings. Monthly rent is only around $600/mth.
  • Rock Fountain Court Motel, Springfield
  • Gay Parita Station, Everton
  • Spencers Gas Station, Miller
  • Boots Court Motel, Carthage
  • 66 Drive In Theatre, Carthage
  • Superman Museum, Carterville
  • 1920’s Service Station, Webb City
  • 1950’s Service Station, Webb City
  • Plaza Motel, Joplin
  • Cars on Route 66, Galena
  • Town of Galena
  • Baxter Springs Rainbow Bridge, Baxter Springs
  • Town of Baxter Springs
  • Dairy King, Commerce
  • Allens Conoco, Commerce
  • Kuku, Miami. We ate here. We both had a cheeseburger with a raspberry milkshake that was so thick you couldn’t drink it through a straw.
  • Coleman Theatre, Miami
  • Vintage Gas Station, Miami

IMGL5153IMGL5181IMGL5186IMGL5192IMGL5193IMGL5195IMGL5207IMGL5208IMGL5213IMGL5214IMGL5227IMGL5241IMGL5244IMGL5250IMGL5251IMGL5266IMGL5277IMGL5279IMGL5286IMGL5296IMGL5305IMGL5312IMGL5315IMGL5321IMGL5327IMGL5345IMGL5350IMGL5351IMGL5358IMGL5361IMGL5362IMGL5363IMGL5367IMGL5370IMGL5374IMGL5381IMGL5387IMGL5400IMGL5403IMGL5427IMGL5432IMGL5435IMGL5436IMGL5445IMGL5449IMGL5457IMGL5459IMGL5478IMGL5481IMGL5492

2018-03-19 – Barcelona

Today I woke up at around 8:00am without an alarm clock. I walked down the street to a local cafe just simply titled as “365”. I had a delicious seedy bagel with Brie cheese, smoked salmon and what I think was arugula, almond with a croissant and two Americano coffees. I needed two as one was simply not enough to get me going today.
IMG_6755
After breakfast I went back to the hotel room to pack, placed my bag into a locker at the hotel, and took the metro to Sagrada Família. Construction of Sagrada Família started in 1882 (136 years ago) and is scheduled to be completed in 2028. The architect Fransico de Paula del Villar started the project and Antoni Gaudi took over as chief architect only one year after construction started. Gaudi devoted almost his entire remainder of his life to the project until his death in 1926 at the age of 73 when he was hit by a tram. Construction was slow because it relied solely on private donations, and then was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War for a period of time.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 1912018-03-18 Barcelona 1932018-03-18 Barcelona 1972018-03-18 Barcelona 2052018-03-18 Barcelona 2062018-03-18 Barcelona 2072018-03-18 Barcelona 2092018-03-18 Barcelona 2102018-03-18 Barcelona 2132018-03-18 Barcelona 2182018-03-18 Barcelona 2202018-03-18 Barcelona 2212018-03-18 Barcelona 2222018-03-18 Barcelona 2232018-03-18 Barcelona 2252018-03-18 Barcelona 2262018-03-18 Barcelona 229
After visiting Sagrada Família I went and checked out a few other Gaüdi buildings and Barcelona’s Arc du Triumph before returning to the hotel to grab my bag from the locker before taking the R2 regional train to the airport, as this allowed me to use my 72 hour transit pass instead of having to pay again to use the Airport Express Bus. I should have just taken the train when I arrived as it was much better and cheaper than the airport bus, but hey that’s a lesson learned.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 2322018-03-18 Barcelona 2332018-03-18 Barcelona 2342018-03-18 Barcelona 2352018-03-18 Barcelona 2362018-03-18 Barcelona 237
I arrived at the airport a bit early so I had some food and a beer before hoping onboard my Joon (Air France) flight. This is a new spin-off hip airline similar to our own Air Canada Rouge, but in my opinion it’s much better as there is more leg room and the staff are nicer and presented better.
The Nomad Hotel I was staying at was a short complimentary shuttle ride from Charles De Gaulle airport. The hotel was very futuristic with a tablet controlling everything from the lighting, air conditioning, and projection television to displaying how much water I used and how much I had left. The bed was also exceptionally comfortable.
IMG_6802IMG_6804

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

Donate By Clicking Here