By , May 29, 2012 6:31 am
Our Route - Week 2

Distance traveled in Week 2

Week 2 has been a week of healing, new pains, and settling into the routine of walking for us. We walked a total of 153.5 km this week, putting in bigger days than last week. We are still mesmerized by the beauty that surrounds us each day (except for the concrete city days… those can’t really be described as beautiful).


We walked through miles and miles of vineyards this week

Don’t forget about our camino challenge for you! Keep challenging yourself to be a little healthier each day. We have raised $170 for the Canadian Diabetes Association this week and would like to see the total continue to increase as we continue to walk.


We’ve walked past millions of poppies (literally) in the last few weeks

Camino Summary to Date:

Days Walked: 14
Distance Walked: 290.5 km
Money Raised for the Canadian Diabetes Association: $250

Summary of Week 2:

Day 8: Los Arcos – Viana (19.5 km)
Day 9: Viana – Navarrete (21.5 km)
Day 10: Navarrete – Azofra (22.5 km)
Day 11: Azofra – Redecilla del Camino (27 km)
Day 12: Redecilla del Camino – Villafranca Montes de Oca (25 km)
Day 13: Villafranca Montes de Oca – Atapuerca (19 km)
Day 14: Atapuerca – Burgos (19 km)

Church at Villafranca Montes de Oca

Hanging out by the church in Villafranca Montes de Oca

Ashley’s Camino

It seems like only yesterday that I was writing my Week 1 reflection, and here we are… finished Week 2! Time is really flying by for us on the Camino. Each day actually feels longer than usual (between the walking portion and the resting portion of our day, it feels like we live two days for each day gone by) and yet, somehow, when you put them all together they are gone in a flash.

Physically, this has been a slightly more challenging week for me. While each day of walking gets easier and easier (20 km feels like a short, easy day for me now), my knee has been acting up more than I would like. What started as a slow ache became a sharp pain each step I took (particularly when trodding downhill). Happily, through ample rest in the afternoons and the purchase of a knee brace, it’s been improving little by little.

Mentally, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a better place than I am right now. First and foremost, I am so full of joy. And, over the past couple of weeks, I have really come to understand what it means to truely experience each moment, without taking anything for granted. Many people that walk the Camino talk about how much thinking gets done, but I’ve found that just taking in my surroundings consumes most of my attention most of the time. For me, the thinking and reflection part comes with the rest times after walking. As someone who can have a short temper at times (especially when I’m hungry or uncomfortable… just ask Mike), I feel like I’m really learning to get past immediate annoyances and just focus on enjoying the moment.

Camino Week 2

How can you not be totally absorbed in scenery like this?

I can’t reflect on this week without mentioning the amazing people we’ve met along the way. Walking the Camino would not be the same without the other pelegrinos (pilgrims) that surround us. I’m not just talking about the snorers that interrupt my sleep in the dorm rooms, but I mean the people that you make connections with, whether you share a common language or not. We met a 74 year old French woman, Marie, that is walking the Camino by herself (and typically outpacing us each day). Even though she doesn’t speak a word of English and we don’t speak more than a few very basic words of French (merci and bonjour are basically the extent of it), she has taken us under her wing. She finds me each night in my dorm bed to rub some of her ointment into my sore knee, and, through a lot of pointing, gesturing, and smiling, asks about Mike’s feet each day. She literally applauds us when we meet her in a new town, happy to see our injuries haven’t kept us back. She is just one of the inspiring people we have met on the Camino that make each day special.

Mike as a Pilgrim

Looking like a pilgrim

Mike’s Camino

It’s been a good week.

First of all, it’s been a week of culinary discovery for us. Early in the week, when the weather was cool and wet (we walked three days through continuous rain), I made some onion and leek soup. It was just the right thing at just the right time. It hit the spot perfectly, and I expect we’ll be eating it again soon. We have also tried out a delicious blue cheese cream sauce recipe for pasta that we learned from a pair of French cyclists. And we’ve discovered sheep’s cheese, which is just so darn good.

And what goes better with food than wine? We discovered our new favourite (and most expensive, at 3 Euros a bottle) Spanish wine. It’s a Crianza from the Rioja region. It’s a special red. Special because of the way it’s made. The wine in this area is first aged for one year in oak barrels, and then aged another year in the bottle giving it a unique, well blended taste. If you want to try it at home, I wish you the best of luck finding it. I think all of the Crianza from the Rioja region is going to be good, just watch out for the bottles that say “joven” (young). They won’t have gone through the aging process.

On the walking front, my blisters healed up. They were only really really painful for about four days (~100km). Now I hardly notice them, and that makes a world of difference.


Vineyards and a typical small Spanish pueblo

With mostly healed feet, I’ve had a bit better luck thinking while I walk. When I started in on the Camino, I expected to have more time than I could ever want to just think. To my surprise, this hasn’t quite been the case. At first, everything was so beautiful that it took just about all of my attention just to look around and appreciate it. Then, when it was so quiet, I was re-discovering music on my MP3 player. That too demanded a large chunk of my mental attention. Then came the blisters who were by far the worst offenders, making every step a painful distraction. But this week, I’ve been able to think.

I really do appreciate how lucky I am to be where I am, doing what I’m doing, with the love of my life, Ashley. In fact this whole last week I’ve been unable to stop thinking “Wow. I love my life”.

Miles and miles to think

Miles and miles to think

I’ve also been thinking a lot about home. I’m really starting to miss everyone, karate, board games, our cat… Those precious thoughts of home inevitably lead me to thinking about what the heck I’m going to do with myself when this trip is all over, if it ever does end. And so far I’ve come to the conclusion that I still don’t have a clue. I’ve been entertaining ideas of organic farming, becoming a baker, teaching English in a foreign country, instructing SCUBA, writing, building off-grid recycled housing – and those are just the ones I’m still interested in. I’ve already been able to cross off traditional forms of engineering and computer programming from the list on this trip.

There’s also the more immediate questions of where do we go after Santiago? Do we keep walking? I hear you can take any of the camino routes in reverse. Rent an apartment in Portugal or Morocco? WWOOF in Austria, Switzerland, Egypt, or Turkey? Tour through the major tourist cities like Rome, Venice, Berlin, and Amsterdam? Summer in Croatia, Serbia, or Macedonia? It’s so confusing!

Walking is simple, that’s why I think I like it so much. As far as travel is concerned, it’s relatively stress free. I always know ahead of time where I’m going to end up. I don’t have to plan a thing, just read a couple of paragraphs from our guide book and walk. I guess it’s a good thing we still have three weeks or so of the Camino for me to think things through…

Wheat fields

Wheat fields

Camino scenery

Camino scenery

Church at sunrise

Church at sunrise

Want to read more about our Camino?  Check it out…

Our Camino, Your Camino… Our Challenge to You
Camino de Santiago Week 1 – Beautiful Landscapes & Unexpected Challenges
Camino de Santiago Week 2 – Getting Past the Pain
Camino de Santiago Week 3 – Feels a Lot Like Home
Camino de Santiago Week 4 – Easy Walking
Camino de Santiago – We Made It to Santiago, But We’re Not Finished Yet!
Camino de Santiago by the Numbers – Our Budget and Stats
Guide to the Camino de Santiago

By , May 24, 2012 12:35 pm

Barcelona is beautiful. It seems to have everything going for it – wide boulevards, dedicated biking lanes, trees, mountains, beach, and architecture.

In the one week we spent in Barcelona we were able to walk everywhere. No need to rent a bike, hire a cab, or take the metro. All of that walking had an added advantage of helping to prepare us for walking the Camino de Santiago that we are doing right now – If you haven’t checked it out yet, please take a look at our challenge to you.

As you can expect, by my opening description of Barcelona, we spent nearly all of our time just walking and looking. We didn’t really do much else, though we certainly could have.

For example, there seems to be a pretty hopping night life. Every night between 11:00 pm and midnight, the patrons and staff of our hostels (we stayed in three) would finish showering, put on some cologne, and head out for drinks and dancing. In the morning, all reports gave us the impression that they were having plenty of fun, but we never joined them. Partly because partying just isn’t our thing anymore, and partly because Central America got us too used to going to bed at 9:30pm and waking up at 5:30am.

Though in retrospect, it may have been better to join them to avoid the 3:30AM, lights on wake up calls when everyone finally stumbled back to their beds. Nowhere else have I seen so many people act so inconsiderately in dormitory beds. And it wasn’t just one night, it was every night at three different hostels.

That’s my only real complaint about our time in Barcelona. Everything else was great. Especially the food.  There were the chocolate croissants (I still think they are better than anything we had in Paris, Ashley disagrees), whole wheat baguettes, and the snack like dishes called tapas. At the recommendation of our friend Uri, we tried Patatas Bravas – a type of tapa that reminded me of buffalo chicken wing sauce poured over potato wedges. Delicious.

Aside from the splurges eating out, we ate our other meals in. I think we were trying to make up for our overindulgence of desserts on the cruise ship. It also helped to keep our European budget from exploding by taking advantage of our fully stocked hostel kitchens. Even after becoming vegetarian, we still love to cook.

Anyways, enough talk about food… it’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of this post – just what did we see in Barcelona?


A hill overlooking the harbour of Barcelona. One of the nicest park areas we’ve seen in a city, with plenty to see.

The Fortress at Montjuic

Big gun

Panoramic of the harbour

An ancient Greek theatre where the slightest whisper on stage could be heard from the back row.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

La Rambla

One of the most famous streets in all of Spain. We’re not sure why, but there were a tonne of people on it every day.

Lots of people on La Rambla


One crazy architect from the very early 1900’s. His work is all over the city, and really quite neat to see.

Park Güell

Sagrada Família still under construction. It should be finished in 2028, 102 years after construction began.

We saw a lot more in Barcelona than I could fit in this post. If you want to check out more photos, see our photo album.

By , May 20, 2012 11:00 pm

Well, we have just finished our first week of the Camino de Santiago and it has been an amazing journey already! We have been consistently awed by the beautiful landscapes we encounter each day and challenged in ways we never imagined.

Walking through the Pyrenees

Walking through the Pyrenees

Before we get to the distance summary and our personal reflections, we just want to remind you of our challenge to you. Remember, it’s two-fold. First, we want you to get active or improve your diet or both for at least as long as we are walking the camino. Second, we are trying to raise $800 (roughly $1 per km walked) for the Canadian Diabetes Association. We’re already 10% of the way to this goal financially, though we’ve surpassed that in distance… we’d love it if you could donate a dollar or two, if you have them to spare.

Camino Summary to Date:

Days Walked: 7
Distance Walked: 137 km

Just beautiful

Just beautiful

Summary of Week 1 (137 km)

Day 1: St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Kayola Refuge near Orisson (7.2 km)
Day 2: Kayola Refuge – Roncesvalles, Spain (19.8 km)
Day 3: Roncesvalle – Zubiri (22 km)
Day 4: Zubiri – Pamplona (20 km)
Day 5: Pamplona – Puente de Reina (25 km)
Day 6: Puente de Reina – Estella (22 km)
Day 7: Estella – Los Arcos (21 km)A few of Mike’s blisters

Mike in the Pyrenees

Listening to music in the Pyrenees

Mike’s Camino:

Getting ready for the Camino seemed like an easy task. We just needed to be in reasonable physical shape and downsize our pack weight a little bit. We spent the better part of two weeks prior to arriving in St Jean-Pied-de-Port walking 6-8 hours a day through the cities of Barcelona and Paris. It seemed to me that my feet were well calloused, and my legs were having no troubles at all. Physically I was ready.

Downsizing our packs was much harder. We gave ourselves about an hour in the morning on the day we started the Camino to buy groceries and mail off all of our unneeded items. We spent about $100 on shipping and holding fees to send 9 kg of stuff in two boxes on to Santiago. We could easily have filled another box, but the items weren’t worth the cost of shipping, yet they were worth too much for us to throw out. So we are carrying a bit more than we need.

After a few days of blissfully delightful walking through the stunning scenery of the Pyrenees, I learned the hard way that a backpack heavier than it needs to be combined with being overconfident about the toughness of my feet could only lead to one thing. Blisters.

Mike's Foot

Now imagine walking over 20km a day on these things

Despite the pain of the blisters, I’m still really enjoying the walk. For the first time in just over 10 months, it’s been quiet enough to listen to music on my MP3 player, so I have. Central America was loud no matter where you were, and the cities of Paris and Barcelona were just as noisy. Road traffic, machinery, loud bugs… but here in rural France and Spain, it’s quiet. I didn’t realize until now how much I’ve missed listening to music. It’s been really nice.

Looking out over the Pyrenees

Looking out over the Pyrenees

Ashley’s Camino:

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already been a week since we started this journey. So far, I have to say this is one of the most amazing things I have ever done… I spend each morning walking through some of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever seen, with the love of my life at my side. What can get better than that?

We’ve pretty much got a routine established… We wake up at about 6 a.m., make breakfast and pack up our things. We’re on the road between 7 and 7:30 (any earlier than that would be too chilly… one our biggest surprises was how cold it still is here!). We walk until 12:00 – 1:30 most days… our arrival time depends on whether or not we stop for a break along the way. The best days are when we stop for an early lunch of fruit and bread late in the morning, before continuing on to our destination. When we arrive, the first order of business at the hostel is to tend to our feet, shower, hand wash our clothes, and stretch. Then we relax… we make our own lunch and supper, buy groceries, read, write, and visit with new friends. We go to bed between 9 and 10, then start the whole thing again the next day.

A walk in the rain

A walk in the rain

Physically, I have been pleasantly surprised by the strength of my body. I expected to be sore and aching all the time, feet riddled with blisters. On the contrary, my muscles feel great and I only have the tiniest of blisters on one of my toes. We have been fuelling ourselves with insanely healthy food, so I have all the energy I need to get through each day of walking. Daily stretches have kept my muscles limber. My left knee has started aching a little bit, but it doesn’t seem to slow me down. Even in crowded dorm rooms, every night brings a deep and rejuvenating sleep.

The most challenging aspect of this week for me has been the helplessness I have felt with the condition of Mike’s feet. He was in a lot of pain on Days 4 and 5 and there was little I could do to help him besides doing the grocery shopping and fetching items for him to keep him off his feet. Mike is typically the rock in the relationship, so it has been difficult for me to see him struggling.

For me, Day 7 was the first truely challenging day… physically and mentally. While my body was strong enough for the distance, we had to walk the entire 21 km in the rain. About halfway in, my pants and socks were soaked through and my spirits were low. Luckily, a couple of things happened… First, a couple of gents from London sauntered by, reminding us that the weather wasn’t so actually that bad (“it’s liquid sunshine!”) and that we didn’t have far to go. One of them shared some chocolate with us before parting ways. Then, (with a little reflection on the Buddhism book I’m currently reading), I forced myself to realize that I was wasting the experience by worrying about things that hadn’t happened yet (like the blisters I expected to get on my wet feet – though never did) instead of taking in the beautiful landscape around me. With Mike beside me, I decided to embrace the rest of the day’s walk and really enjoyed the last few kilometres.

As for me and Mike, our relationship has never been stronger. I have never felt as close to him as I do now, even if we’re stuck sleeping in separate dorm beds. We look after eachother on the road, and have gotten in the habit of stopping to tell eachother “I love you” or giving one another a kiss every once in a while. He helped me get through the difficulty of Day 7 and I couldn’t imagine doing this without him by my side.

A great first week

A great first week

Not all who wander are lost

Not all who wander are lost

Want to read more about our Camino?  Check it out…

Our Camino, Your Camino… Our Challenge to You
Camino de Santiago Week 1 – Beautiful Landscapes & Unexpected Challenges
Camino de Santiago Week 2 – Getting Past the Pain
Camino de Santiago Week 3 – Feels a Lot Like Home
Camino de Santiago Week 4 – Easy Walking
Camino de Santiago – We Made It to Santiago, But We’re Not Finished Yet!
Camino de Santiago by the Numbers – Our Budget and Stats
Guide to the Camino de Santiago


By , May 17, 2012 12:32 pm

As we told you when we suggested that a 5 star cruise is probably the best way to cross the Atlantic Ocean, our port stops were all too brief. We had only eight hours or so in each port. During that time, we’d get off the boat, walk into town, walk back to the boat for free lunch (it’s free, how could you not), then head back into town to see what we could see before the all aboard time.

Not only did we not spend enough time in any of the port cities to “get a feel” for the places or the people, but something strange happened. Our time was so brief that the memories of each place blurred across the partitions of our memory that separate one experience from the next. The end effect being that we can hardly remember which photos belong to which city. It all seems like one big port stop.

Over the 14 day cruise we stopped in Nassau, Bahamas; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain); and the Spanish mainland cities of Cadiz, Malaga, and Valencia before finally arriving in Barcelona. I actually quite liked all of the port stops, excluding Nassau, or at least what parts of them we saw.


Meh… Sorry, but that sums up how we felt about it.

Okay, this guy was kind of fun

Santa Cruz De Tenerife:

One of the capital cities of Spain’s Canary Islands. The city is a major stop over for transatlantic traffic, and has been known as such since the early days of Christopher Columbus.

Cool Theatre

Typical Street View


Cadiz was a cool town with plenty of beautiful gardens and buildings. It’s quite small, easy to walk around in a day, and has some neat Muslim architecture, a large cathedral, old forts, and Roman ruins.

The Walls of Cadiz

Ashley’s favourite photo of all time

Inside a Cathedral that dwarfed anything we saw in Central America


We paid to do one thing in Malaga, which was more than we did in any of the other port stops. And it just so happened that that one thing we did was completely awesome. We toured Alcazaba of Málaga. A fortress dating from the 11th century. The photos, I hope, speak for themselves.


The Moorishness shows through

Details in everything


We switched things up a bit in Valencia. The old town is a fair jaunt from the port. There’s a shuttle you can book, but it costs 15€ per person. So, we decided to walk through a park that runs the length of an old river bed, and in theory would have gotten us to downtown if we had enough time to walk it.

We made it about half way, but in the process, we saw heaps of modern architecture that we’d never seen the like of before. It was a nice change from all the other ports.

Space aged

Believe it or not, this is how they build buildings

By , May 13, 2012 11:20 pm

Today we begin walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James Essentially, it is a long walk to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  It has been well travelled for thousands of years.  While there are many paths to take, the most popular (and the one we’re doing) is the Camino Frances.

Our journey begins in St. Jean Pied de Port, France and continues for some 778 km (this number varies depending on the source) over the Pyrenees mountains and through the north of Spain.

Camino Frances

Our path – 778km!

Our reasons behind choosing the Camino are simple.  Despite its history, we are not walking it for religious reasons.  Rather, we want the challenge and simplicity of travelling solely by foot.

Second, we want to raise awareness and perhaps some money for a good cause.  We are firm believers that big changes are necessary in the North American lifestyle.

Thus, we have a challenge for you.  As we walk approximately 20-25 kilometres a day for the next 35 or so days, we want you to make a diet or fitness improvement in your life.  Start going out for walks. Limit the refined sugars in your diet.  Switch from white bread to whole wheat bread.  Try to eat a more whole foods, plant-based diet (we’re not suggesting you turn vegetarian here, just add more plants and whole grains).  Watch a documentary or two about where your food comes from.  Join a recreational sports team.  Grab and a friend and sign up for a half-marathon.  Whatever you do, make it personal, make it count and stick to it.  We guarantee you’ll feel better!

In conjunction with this personal challenge to you, we’re going to try to raise $800 for the Canadian Diabetes Association – about one dollar for every kilometre we will walk.  Type 2 diabetes is very much a lifestyle disease, and we have a very personal connection to diabetes… several of our family members are diabetic.  We have already donated $80 to kick-start the fundraiser… now we need your help to reach our goal.  If you are interested in donating a few dollars or even quite a few, you can do so here:

Our Diabetes Fundraiser Page – $800 in 800 km or more!

We hope you take us up on our challenges.  We’ll be tracking our progress (both distance and money raised) with weekly updates on the Camino.  We’d love to hear about your efforts too!

Want to read more about our Camino?  Check it out…

Our Camino, Your Camino… Our Challenge to You
Camino de Santiago Week 1 – Beautiful Landscapes & Unexpected Challenges
Camino de Santiago Week 2 – Getting Past the Pain
Camino de Santiago Week 3 – Feels a Lot Like Home
Camino de Santiago Week 4 – Easy Walking
Camino de Santiago – We Made It to Santiago, But We’re Not Finished Yet!
Camino de Santiago by the Numbers – Our Budget and Stats
Guide to the Camino de Santiago


By , May 5, 2012 2:18 pm

Well, we made it.  4919 nautical miles.  14 nights.  6 time zone changes.  7 consecutive days at sea.  And now we’re across the pond, marvelling at the architecture in Barcelona and kissing on the streets of Paris.

Our home away from home for 14 days

It turns out cruises are a great means of transportation.  While I probably wouldn’t choose a cruise vacation any time soon (for reasons I will explain later), it certainly beats a long flight followed by the jet lag that’s certain to occur.  Interestingly enough, we only met a handful of other travellers on board that were staying in Spain or Europe for a while… the vast majority were on a two week cruise vacation, taking flights homes within a day or two of arrival .

In case you’re new to the site or you missed our cruise announcement post, we just took a 14 night, 5 star Transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Barcelona, Spain.  We booked the cruise because it was simply the cheapest option.  Taxes and tipping included, our cruise package cost us $1306.48 for two people.  That included food, entertainment, and accommodation for 14 days.

View from the Royal Promenade of the ship

The cruise itinerary looked something like this:

Day 1 – Depart Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Day 2 – Port of Call: Nassau, Bahamas
Day 3 – At sea
Day 4 – At sea
Day 5 – At sea
Day 6 – At sea
Day 7 – At sea
Day 8 – At sea
Day 9 – At sea
Day 10 -Port of Call: Tenerife, Canary Islands
Day 11 – At sea
Day 12 – Port of Call: Cadiz, Spain
Day 13 – Port of Call: Malaga, Spain
Day 14 – Port of Call: Valencia, Spain
Day 15 – Arrive in Barcelona, Spain

The Good

There are a lot of obvious benefits to long distance travel via cruise ship: two weeks of luxurious hotel-like accommodation, delicious buffets and fine dining experiences, entertainment of all varieties, and more leisure activities than you’ll know what to do with.

The food was amazing. Before you ask, yes we are still vegetarians. We indulged in sushi almost every other day, as they made vegetarian rolls on request.  We also indulged in (more than) our fair share of desserts… and we did it all without significant weight gain!

One of the great vegetarian options in the dining room… eggplant parmesan

We went ice skating, rock-climbing, played mini-golf, worked out in the gym, relaxed in the hot tub, swam in the pool, took in an enrichment lecture, caught a Broadway-esque musical, participated in a few champagne art auctions (by drinking the free champagne, not by bidding, silly), watched an ice-skating show with world champion skaters, read books, shared great conversations with our dinner mates, and took in many other shows including a hypnotist, juggler, violinist, Paul McCartney impersonator, and motown group. There’s probably some stuff I’m missing, but you get the idea. And it was all included at no extra charge!

Rock-climbing wall

One of the less obvious benefits of the cruise, however, was just getting to shut off our travel brains. One problem that us full time travelers have in common with the retired community is that we never get a day off. The CONSTANT internal banter of where are we going next? how do I find my hostel? is my passport safe? is my wallet safe? is that guy going to try to rob me? is this area safe? is this hostel safe? and so on and so forth never stops.  After months on the road, it’s exhausting.  Being able to shut off that part of our brains and just…BE was phenomenal.

Mike’s Leonardo moment (okay, I forced him to this)

Another plus was the time change.  Rather than shifting 6 hours ahead in one fell swoop, we had a one hour time change six times on the cruise.  Always on a sea day, the clock would simply jump from 11:59 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  This gave our bodies the time we needed to adjust and we arrived in Barcelona on-time in more ways than one.

Whether it was losing an hour a day most days, or the sheer quantity of activities available to us, the days flew by on the cruise.  We thought we might get bored or feel closed in with seven days at sea, but that was not so.  We were actually sad when the sea days to ended.

Some of the art in the champagne art auction

The Bad

What didn’t we like about the cruise?

The food, though amazing, got a little repetitive.  We skipped the dining room half the nights because they would often only have only a curry or pasta dish for vegetarians which was the same curry or pasta dish as the day before, and sometimes the day before that. There were many more whole food options in the buffet.

I proved that gastrointestinal problems can strike not only in Central American, but on a cruise ship too.  I quarantined myself in our stateroom for about 24 hours while I expelled more fluid than I thought my body could hold.  Luckily our cipro supply from Central America made short work of the bug/food poisoning/whatever it was.

We were pretty much our own age category on the boat. The average age of our co-cruisers was a wee bit higher than us… by about 35 years or so! This made it tough to form more than superficial relationships with anyone, and we really didn’t meet too many people that we could relate to. Our dinner mates were good company, however, and made our dining experiences our social highlights of the trip.

Formal night in the dining room… notice the age of the other diners

The ports were the least enjoyable part of the cruise.  We loved all the Spanish cities we stopped at, but afterwards they all started blending together in our minds.  We typically had about 8 hours to exit the ship, get out of the cruise terminal, explore a port city, and return.  8 hours is just not enough time to experience a place.

We thought briefly about some of the shore excursions that were offered through the cruise line, but they were all quite expensive, fairly brief (1-3 hours) and worse still, took away from the already limited time we had to explore each port city.

This is why we wouldn’t book a cruise vacation anytime soon – it’s just not our kind of travel experience.  But would we book a re-positioning cruise as a method of transportation?  Absolutely.

Ice skating show onboard the ship


Interested in booking a cruise as transportation?  Check out transatlantic and re-positioning cruises on a site like

I have to end with a towel animal… this little monkey was happy to see us!

By , April 27, 2012 11:00 am

It’s been a little while since we posted videos and stories from underwater for you.  So I thought that while we are gliding over the Atlantic Ocean in our 5 star cruise liner, eating and drinking everything in sight, it would be nice for us to share the last of our video footage from Utila, Honduras with you.  I hope you enjoy.