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After getting my first passport in 2006 and traveling to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania my life changed. I began the process of getting rid of all my possessions and traveling the world. Traveling to over 110 countries and all 7 continents, hostels have been my home. This "new life" has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions. Traveling is the best education. I hope my blog will encourage others to travel. My World Tattoo was a way for me to express my PASSION FOR TRAVEL.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE (2016)

(1) ARUBA

January 4, 2016

After long 24 hours of travel (14 hours in Charlotte airport) I finally reached my 1st Caribbean country, Aruba. This is beginning of 6 week island hopping ending with Cuba and Bahamas. Today was spent downtown and walking the beaches.












(2) CURACAO, Williamstead

January 8, 2016

The short 35 minute flight from Aruba paid big dividends. After being uninspired by Aruba, I got a completely different vibe from the colorful town of Willemstad. Even more beautiful at night. Only here 2 days and activities are so expensive I most likely will lay out at pool at great Ritz Hostel and peruse downtown some more. Then on to Trinidad on Sunday.



















(3) TRINIDAD

January 11, 2016

After 3:15 am flight to Trinidad I grabbed some coffee and double checked my directions from the airport to the Bus terminal and then 20 minute walk. The bus to Port of Spain from the airport was 40 cents and 20 minute walk was free. Lol. However, my timing was not great as every school child in Trinidad seemed to be on my bus and we stopped every 45 seconds for an hour. Did I mention 40 cents. Lol. Much better than $34 taxi ride. (For me anyway)

Checked into Pearl's Guest House in my private room ($24) and slept for 1.5 hours. Then went to see local sights. There are none. But met a local who is involved in tourism and he showed me his local watering hole. Actually did not come here specifically for the sights, it was a necessary step getting to St. Vincent and eventually Bequia tomorrow inexpensively.

(4) ST. VINCENT AND GRENADINES,  Bequia

Fly from Trinidad to St. Vincent, then quick taxi ($10) to catch the 6 pm ferry to island of Bequia where I will call home for 9 days. My vacation and down time before resuming my island hopping. Great internet at Ramblers Rest where I am staying so able to work on and book trip details such as rooms and flights. Tortoises are residents of Ramblers Rest.




















January 17, 2016

My host, Donnaka, pointed out this boat and told me that the indigenous people of Bequia are only 1 of 3 tribes worldwide allowed to hunt whales. (Eskimos in Alaska and tribe in Siberia are the others). They are not allowed to use motors for the boats, only oars, and harpoons cannot be powered, only thrown by hand. They usually only kill 1 to 2 per year as it cannot be used for commercial sale. Amazing they hunt whales much larger than the size of their boats.






(5) ST. CROIX


January 22, 2016

Arrived in Castries, St. Croix yesterday. Took a 25 minute shuttle today (75 cents) to Rodney Beach. Really nice beach and waves were huge. No one dared go into the water. 3 more nights here, then on to St. Maaerten. 










(6) SAINT MAARTEN (Beach)

January 25th

My hostel was located only 5 minutes from the airport and ended up being excellent location to several beaches, especially the one at end of the runway. Lot of fun watching planes take off and land from Sunset Bar & Grill. These beach photos were near Simpson Bay.















(7) ANGUILLA, FRENCH ST. MARTIN

January 26, 2016

Caught the speedboat to Anguilla from Dutch St. Maarten. Had to walk only 20 feet to the pier. After spending a few hours on Anguilla, I took the 25 minute ferry to Margot, the French St. Martin. Walked around for a while and then took a bus back to the airport. Then went to Mullet Beach which is near the airport, very beautiful and not crowded.













(8) PUERTO RICO

January 28, 2016

Spent 1st morning visiting Old Town in San Juan including 2 forts. 























(9) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

January 30, 2016

After arriving at the airport, I decided NOT tp pay $35 US for taxi to Santo Domingo (20 miles). My research indicated outside the airport was a moto-taxi (ride on back of motorcycle) for $1 to the main highway to catch the local bus ($1) to Santo Domingo. This actually worked well after I finally convinced the moto-taxi driver I would not pay him $20 to go to Santo Domingo on his motorcycle.

After arriving at Parque Enriquilla, I used hostel's directions to walk 15 minutes to hostel. Nicest beaches are 30 minutes by local bus, not sure if I need another beach at the moment.






















(10) TURKS AND CAICOS

February 3, 2016

Had hoped to go whale watching today but seems the whale migration has decide to begin late this year, therefore no whale boating excursions. Truly disappointed, but have seen whales breeching in Alaska so will get over it. I did spend the day walking about 8 miles exploring the Island. Beautiful waterbut crazy  expensive. Traveling to Montego Bay, Jamaica, on the 4th. $25 a night in dorm. 4 nights here for same price as 1 night on Grand Turk.













(11) JAMAICA, Montego Bay

February 6, 2016

Went to private beach today that hostel has access to because die not want to fight the crowds at The Strip where most tourists and cruise shippers are. Spending 4 nights here relaxing and laying out at pool for $25 a night. Next stop Grand Cayman on the 8th. Getting excited about Upcoming Cuba Trip.










(12) GRAND CAYMAN


February 10, 2016

Spening 3 nights in Grand Cayman, by far the most expensive Caribbean Island I have visited. My only purpose here was to catch a flight to Havana, Cuba on the 11th so not doing much here. My accommodation here is a sofa in a house for $25 a night but BK and beach are close so all is good. Excited about Cuba and returning home soon to see grandkids.









(13) CUBA, Havana

To see Cuba before it is ruined by tourists was high on my travel priority list. There are lots of tourists but mostly Europeans. The strange thing is everyone seems to have money, probably due to tourism, there just is no place to buy things. The only supermarket (use that term loosely) had about 50 items in it and no canned goods. I guess US does produce most of canned items in the world. Also, NO INTERNET, supposedly a few businesses have it but no internet cafes, nothing. Everyone has cell phones though. There is a lot of new construction, especially in Old Havana Historical area, where I stayed. Definitely want to go back and visit more of the country. Almost too crowded now with cruise shops of Europeans, can not imagine when they open the American floodgates.


Food in restaurants is surprisingly inexpensive. I had a huge lobster dinner with rice, salad and 2 cocktails for $10. I changed money at the airport. There is a 10% penalty if you have American cash. I had gotten euros in French St. Martin to bypass that problem. Those on cruise ships spent hours in line trying to exchange money at the banks.














































(14) BAHAMAS,  Nassau

2/15/16

After amazing trip to Havana, Cuba I flew to Bahamas for last 3 nights of my 6 week island trip. Beach tired but made the effort to spend a couple of days looking at beautiful Caribbean water. While no fan of cruises, I do believe it may be the best and most economical way to see the Caribbean due to high cost of rooms and transportation on most islands.  











CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE (2016)

(1) ARUBA January 4, 2016 After long 24 hours of travel (14 hours in Charlotte airport) I finally reached my 1st Caribbean country, A...