My story is in the photos and videos.
Hockey night in Playa Del Carmen.
On the local bus in Playa Del Carmen.
In Playa Del Carmen, you must be an aggressive driver to get anywhere, What stop sign?
Soccer (football) on the beach (playa) in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
No truck needed, This guy walks miles to deliver this furniture.
Found lots of great deals.
Beginning with Christmas 2018, I travelled to Panama for $550.00 CAN and a great Christmas celebration. Spent New Years in Colombia then back to Panama for a week (return flight Panama to Colombia was about $300.00 CAN). Returning home to Calgary, had just over a week break before my big trip to Australia where I will catch up with old friends. Being a bit cold in Calgary, found a cheap week all inclusive to Cuba so flew down with my buddy Norm. Found great deals.
Found a great deal $850.00 CAN return Calgary to Sydney, Australia (the price dropped further to $651.00...wow!). Visiting Australia,I travelled 300k south to Perth and explored the south coast for about a week. Moved on to Brisbane ,and made that my home base for train travels north to the Sunshine coast (Mooloolba) and south to the Gold coast .For my last few days in Australia, I stayed where I started my travel bug 17 yrs ago at Sydney Central Hostel ! It was nice to catch up with a few of my Australian friends again.
Arriving back to Calgary, I wanted to relax but I really needed a holiday to relax! I found a great price to Cabo, Mexico. Actually, there was little time to relax because I have never been there before and wanted to see everything!! Never stopped! I had a 38 hour stop over at home then off to Mexico again.
Finally, made it home to Calgary for the spring and summer. Only trip I took was to Toronto for my buddy Tim’s surprise birthday party. Also, spent a bit of time camping around Calgary!
I wanted to take a trip in late summer to Belfast, Ireland and Dubai, after booking my ticket, British Airways cancelled a few days later because of a company pilot strike. I had the travel itch I had to go somewhere. I found a great deal with my own room at 4 Star, all Inclusive for $859 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!
Had many options and ended up booking a flight to Dubai. Weather was good and it was before high season begins. It was of the most amazing places I’ve ever travelled to, full of intrigue and excitement!
I could have travelled cheaper today vs 17 years ago, but I'm a man of my word, like I said last year I was too burnt out from travelling too much.
I wanted more relaxing after being burnt out from my travels last winter. I booked a great 2-bedroom condo in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico for the next three months (saved 55% by booking condo by the month!) From here I may still travel to Cuba, Florida, Belize and maybe even Panama ...I love that travel bug!
I traveled around the world alone 16 years ago with Star Alliance for about $3,500.00. Today, with all my travel experience, I can beat that price and below is how I could achieve that goal.
Traveling around the would 2019... Start from Calgary to Manila, Philippines $595.81 CAD, Manila to Bali, Indonesia $106.92 USD, Bali to Singapore $87.66 USD ,Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $41.69 USD, Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, Thailand $46.51 USD , Bangkok to Colombo Sri Lanka $109.0, USD ,Colombo to Dubai $267.03 USD, Dubai to London, England $159.00 USD, London to Belfast return $99.91 CAN, and finally London to Calgary $337.32 CAN.... Total for trip so far is ($2,175.63)CAN,= $1,654.36 USD = $1,485.00 EUR so I can take another trip which is still less expensive than my trip 16 yrs ago! I can Add in Calgary to Panama City, Panama $295.91 CAN, Panama City to Cancun Mexico $356.41 CAN and my very last flight Cancun to Calgary $191.05 USD...Add in baggage charges at average $30.00 USD per flight...
Grand Totals for all 12 countries above for 2019 flights: $3,019.39 CAN =$2,283.41 USD= 2,064.00 EUR.....WOW!
When I traveled around the world 16 years ago, For about $3,500.00 CAN, I visited 13 countries. I started in Tahiti, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Portugal then went south to Brazil and on to my my final destination Mexico. I will not do the round the world this year as I'm moving to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, read below.
My Winter Home Base 2019/20 will be in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico" !!!
I passed on the the around World Trip this year, as I will be moving to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (home base] . I am giving more focus to my travel business. I found a nice, new two bedroom furnished condo for $713.00 CAN. a month. Plan to do more than just bask in the sea and sun. I am very flexible with my travel plans....From Cancun airport ,I can still travel to Cuba, Florida, Belize (by bus) and central America. From my Home Base in Mexico, I can do my travel business House Calls Travel by phone or on line anywhere in the world! You have an open invite to contact me at anytime whatsapp/phone +1-403-991-6644 email firstname.lastname@example.org for your travel plans..... See below, I saved 55% monthly priced discount at an airbnb in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
I have no idea why I wanted to go to Dubai, but I am glad I did. I love to see new buildings, cities, countries and other cultures in our great world.
The United Arab Emirates is an Arabian Peninsula nation settled mainly along the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. The country is a federation of 7 emirates. Abu Dhabi, the island capital, is home to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with crystal chandeliers and room for 40,000 worshipers. Dubai is the site of ultramodern Burj Khalifa tower, enormous shopping centers, with skating rinks and indoor skiing and extravagant entertainment attractions.
Burj Khalifa tower,
When I arrived in Dubai, I bought a transit pass at the airport so I could get around the city. The pass included bus, tram and the Metro (subway train). I also picked up free sim card from Dubai immigration for my phone.
Before I booked my travel, everyone said how expensive it was to visit Dubai. So I did what I do best and found the best deals! To my amazement, the best flight was $1163.00 CAN return from Calgary, Canada. I enjoy staying in hostels when I visit a new country because fellow hostel backpackers know where and how to give me insight to things I can see and do in the city. (Most hostels around the world offer better prices for tours, restaurants and historical sites etc.!). I stayed at Backpacker Dubai in Internet City, as well as a 66-story hostel called At The Top across from a ritzy area called Palm Jebel Ali. For about $30.00 to $35.00 CAN a night, I stayed in in a 6-bed mixed dorm which was very nice and clean. I ended up staying at both hostels longer then I thought because I met so many great people from around the world. My last 3 nights in Dubai I found a great deal on Airbnb for my own apartment, fully equipped with pool in the beautiful Merina area. Can you believe I only paid only $54.00 CAN a night?
At the Calgary Airport, I met some young Canadian students I saw on the news earlier that were going to Dubai to represent Canada in the World Robotic competition. I received free tickets to the amazing event and heard that the Dubai Government picked up the tab for most of the 192 countries that competed. I saw a big media scrum at the event all trying to take pictures and wondered what all the fuss was about? I discovered that government ministers in Education and the Environment were there along with a mystery high ranking government official? I walked up to the 3 of them asking for a picture with me wearing my World Map shirt (WorldTripPete.com). After a few laughs, just maybe that Mystery person was the Prime Minister?.lol
During my visit there, I took a couple of tours. First, I went to Abu Dhabi, capital city of the UAE. An amazing site to see there was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where 40.000 people could meet for Muslim prayer. I also saw the Emirates Palace, and other modern, shaped architectural buildings that were incredible to the eye! . The second tour costing $54 was to the Sand Dunes in a 4x4 SUV, rode a camel, served an East Indian dinner and watched an amazing fire, dance musical extravaganza...
Abu Dhabi and Mosque Tour. Below
Sand Dunes in a 4x4 SUV, rode a camel, dinner and watched an amazing fire, dance musical extravaganza... Tour below
Both Fido and Rogers mobile telephone workers have never seen this before.
Both Fido and Rogers mobile telephone workers have never seen this before. I changed providers about a month ago. Maybe my phone # can work in two places at the same time, I am off to Dubai next week and will take the new phone with me and keep the old one with a friend. They can answer it while I am gone. Funny, I did cancel Fido over a month ago. Two phones for the price of one .haha More blogging from Dubai at WorldTripPete.com
Trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates! I disagree with the impression that the city is expensive to live. Far from the truth...I booked a hostel at $154 for 5 nights at a great location. I like staying in hostel’s the first time I visit a new country . Here I can meet travellers who can help me find the best area sites and deals.Later I will stay in a 4 star hotel or Airbnb for the rest of my holiday, Can you believe I found a 4 star hotel at 83% off, just $57.00 a night in Canadian $$$$$...Dubai, here I come!!!
Big road trip south when I get back
I was booked to be in Ireland this week and Dubai next week but change of plans suddenly appeared. Totally out of my control, British Airways went on strike. They did give me a full refund and that made me happy. So, with my travel bug problem (lol), I decided to take another trip, ending up in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for the first time. I got a great deal $859 at a Four Star all-inclusive, (but still can’t beat the Mexico trip I had five years ago at half the price). Coming soon, I’m starting a new travel website called “HouseCallsTravel.Com” I will be showing you how to find great deals too. Check out the video from my Mexico trip 5 years ago worldtrippete.com/home/archives/11-2014 where I paid $11.00 plus $414.10 taxes Flight 4 star all-inclusive.
I had to decide what shirt I should wear today…? My mother always said I was bright lol..(photos above). I had a very relaxing holiday including working on my new website “HouseCallsTravel.com”. I did what most people would do, eat too much but only 6 drinks all week! One thing I always like to do in my travels is to get out and meet local people., I took the local bus an hour and a half from my resort in Bavaro Playa (beach) to a town called Higuey . I met very friendly people there that were willing to help me out with my limited Spanish but somehow we communicated and everything worked out! In addition to meeting new people on my travels, I also like to visit City Centro, hub of the action for town history and culture. After exploring the town for a few hours, it was time to get back to the resort. The one-way streets were confusing, but I got a tip from a local to take a Motorcycle Taxi to the bus station. The fast daring driver bobed and weaved through traffic and I had to ensure my knees were in tight! Next day, another bus trip took me to Veron where I connected to yet another bus and saw poverty and run-down buildings in Las Manantiales. I was on my way to the luxury “Blue Mall” in Punta Cana . I found that in my travels through poverty areas, the towns aren’t nearly as threatening as they look. Some places are not to be visited at night ,same as most cities in the world. Always be aware of your surroundings and don’t look afraid!
No it's not dangerous, the conversion was about how dangerous spring break can be, this Mexican guy in the video was too funny.
My travels this past winter first included Mexico, Panama and Columbia. Arriving home to Calgary for a few days, my friend Norm wanted to get away for a winter holiday. I found a great deal to Cuba and off we went. I made it back in time to get ready for my trip to Australia. I love Australia (just read my bio). I did a lot of travelling around the country and met up with some old friends. From Sydney, I flew West to Perth, and toured 4 hours south with a friend. A week later I flew to Brisbane, touring 3 hours north and south of the city by train, bus and car. My final stop in Australia, I flew to Sydney for a systematic sight seeing tour by boat, bus and train. Great transit system!
Arriving home to Calgary from Australia for only 38 hours, I found a great deal to Cabo, the Baja California Sur. Thought I would take a holiday and just relax as I needed a real holiday after all my winter travelling. I was wrong about relaxing. It was my first time visiting a new area in Mexico. I explored the area by bus, boat and rent a car. I started off in San Jose Del Cabo, home base for the first week. Followed were two day trips by bus, one to Todos Santos, a real nice town where tourists like to visit and the other to Los Barriles where I chatted with a few kite surfers. I Discovered that most of the kite surfers were retired expats. Wow! Love it! Maybe that’s where I should live for the winter and take up kite surfing?.
My last week there I spent most of my time in Cabo San Lucas. I listened to a boring presentation at a timeshare event that included a free game of golf. Never again (takes too much of my time), so much to see and do, hard to relax. I always find great deals and spend most of my time in airbnb’s, hotels, hostels where I love meeting other travelers and sometimes I even find 5 star hotels for a 3 star price.
I found a great travel deal to Australia ,$850.00 return Canadian on Qantas Airlines.[cheaper a month later!],,,My first time on a double decker A380 was totally amazing! The plane has a camera on the tail that can be watched from your TV screen seat [similar to what a pilot sees while flying].., love Qantas airlines.... free food, drinks, beer,, wine, headsets and movies. I had a slight connecting problem and they changed my flight from Sydney to Perth for free. [North America Airlines usually charge for any changes]...The Video's above show taking off from Sydney and landing in LA.
I am so grateful for the stay at the home of my long time friend Andrew Moore, his wife Jessica and kids Araluen and Casey. They toured me around south coastal region of Western Australia, I saw kangaroos and dolphins.
Andrew took me on many scenic trips while I was there. On our way to the Perth from Andy’s family’s home in Mandurah, We again took the scenic coastal route, and saw many beautiful, modern cities and towns we went were so new and clean.
While I was in Perth, I did a small hike up the hill to Kings Park for an amazing view of the city of Perth. I am now on my way to Brisbane late this afternoon for a couple days.
Left video' was my first up close encounter with a Kangaroo (totally unpredictable)!
Right video Andrew and I saw dolphins up close.
After landing in Brisbane, I spent the night at an Airbnb near the airport. Next day I made my way by train to meet up with a long time friend Sam Schmidt in the Beautiful Sunshine Coast. In the above photo we are hanging out with two other Canadians.I also met a few of Sam’s friends and roommates, great Aussie's!
Can you believe that I was a winner at the race track? That’s it, I’m moving here! Funny thing is I had a come to Australia to get a Canadian club hat. It was given to me from an Australian stranger in the piano bar (good people here in Australia). Sam's hospitality was amazing,
After spending time with Sam, I took a train to the Gold Coast, I got a real good deal on Airbnb at the Surfers Paradise, Queensland Australia. Photos above are from my Airbnb balcony in the Gold Coast of Australia, a 5-star facility witch I paid only $60.00 Canadian a night, (price went up to $90.00 after my stay). The view from my room on the 32nd floor was amazing (the photo above). It was a good walk to the main beach or the tram in minutes. This week I’m going to TRY and take it easy and relax, as I'm always on the go. I never did relax as there is way to much to see and do.
Now back in Brisbane, caught up with a few other old friends, Rob, wife Kirsty, kids and Daniel.
Brisbane, We ROCK!! The reason I took this trip was to catch up with some old friends and how many changes since the last time I as there. Had a great night out with Robert, wife Kirsty, their three kids Matilda is 9 Oliver is 7 Patrick is 4 and Daniel Williams. With all the walking I do in a day,it was great to get around on a power scooter. I will be back in Australia to catch up with some old friends that I missed.
I just arrived in Sydney Central Hostel, the place where my journey of traveling began over 16 years ago. Back then they never had Uber or Airbnb where I now stay most of the time. Now people have Facebook where they can keep in touch with each other while traveling and most of all, what would we do without the google maps app. We would also be lost without traveling websites that include schedules for bus, train, boat, cable cars and planes. So, for my last three nights in Australia, I’m booked into the Sydney Central Hostel where it all began over 16 years ago.
Video one above on left, I leave back home tomorrow Wednesday; I had a layover in Los Angeles for 6 hours and strolled over to Venice Beach for a couple hours. In my video I’m explaining how I might change my ways of travelling next winter, perhaps staying in one country for four or five months instead of bouncing around like I have been. Then again, I can change my mind by November. Just found out the Sydney central Hostel has 650 beds and I'm seeing a lot more older people are travelling Hostels these days. Home Wednesday booked Mexico for Friday too cold in Canada right now.
Again, to my Australian friends, thank you for making my vacation so amazing. It was so nice to meet so many new great new people. Yesterday I walked down to the Sydney harbour and took the ferry to Manley Beach, afternoon I went to Bondi beach all on the same $15.00 day ticket (opal card). Most people from Sydney don't know that the $15.00 ticket (opal card) is good for all transit include boats, trains, and buses for the day.
Because of the cyclones in the north, most of beaches are closed in Sydney and the East Coast.
Video two, is about young students learning to save lives, it's amazing to watch.
I had no idea what was going on in Bondi beach. First was a kids learning to save lives in the water, kayaks racing and of course the surfers are out there too.
In Canada we get the TV show Bondi Vet, great show.
On my home from Australia, who says you can’t be in two places at the same time? I left Sydney, Australia February 27 at 11:20 AM and arrived in Los Angeles February 27th at 6 AM. If only I thought of it, I could have been in the South Pacific Bondi beach touching water at 8 AM, then take the public bus and train to Sydney airport, In my seven hour layover in Los Angeles. I did take the shuttle to the city bus stop at the LA airport for free, then the Santa Monica big blue bus #3 to Venice Boulevard and finally took the number 33 to Venice Beach. It was here that I put my feet in the water at 8 AM February 27th. Same time and date, two different countries and two different beaches from the South Pacific Sydney to the North Pacific LA, Never say things that can’t be done. I am home in Calgary for 38 hours then off to San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico next. EXCITING TIMES CONTINUE!!! Next Blog,Cabo Mexico...
Photos: left to right - Playa Del Carmen - second photo: SellOffVacations.com….. I found a deal for Playa Del Carmen - Mexico hotel, flight with taxes in, $97% off - $29.00 plus $500.00 taxes, I ended up paying a bit more because the posted price was for double occupancy. The next photo was posted on YYCdeals.com Calgary …… Canada to Sydney Australia for as low as $651.00 to $685.00 round trip, including taxes…. Unbelievable! As for the third photo, I found this deal on NextDeparture.com; across Canada to Sydney, Australia for $624.00 to $808.00 round trip including taxes.
People that are living in Canada and looking for great deals can sign up with Ydeals and NextDeparture. They will email you when they find deals in your city and it’s free.
I use ydeals for my flights. To check prices, scroll down to flights…. google flights or ITA Matrix . when you get to dates, put in search exact dates, meaning you can put in up to two day before or after. I like to use the calendar for lowest fares; for example. if you put in 14 days, it will show you best prices or add or minuses days, Also, be sure to put in Canadian $$$$ under currency, I also use SkyScanner to find great deals. Once you find a good price, it is best to go directly to the airlines, Expedia or your own travel agent. They will give it to you for the price you see most of the time, but prices change so fast sometimes. If I’m in Canada with my phone on April till November, then I could help you book all your travel needs with my Expedia.
I got laid off the last week of November 2018, so I went shopping online for a deal and found the Playa Del Carmen deal with Mexico hotel, flight with taxes in - $97% off =($29.00) plus $500.00 taxes, I ended up paying a bit more because the posted deal was for double occupancy. I go to Mexico quite a bit, so it was just a relaxing holiday and meet up with some old friends.
I have been to Panama many times, but this was my first Christmas there. Spending it there was all about family, parks all lit up (lights), decorations and the parade and fireworks were all amazing. My friends, Martin and Victor came by for Christmas dinner. I had also invited a few other friends, but they thought I was having the dinner on Christmas eve as that’s when most people celebrate Christmas; sorry about that Conrad and Louis.
This is the first time I took the Panama Canal Railway from Panama City to Colon, for only $25.00 and I took the bus back from Colon. While in Colon, I checked out the free zone and the new locks. Colon is not a place to visit at night.
Wow! New Years Eve in Cartagena, Colombia; met quite a few good people from England, Miami, Brazil and Mexico and we had a great time in the old town on a rooftop bar for the new year. Cartagena is a beautiful city with dark gray beaches. After the great time in Cartagena, I wanted to check out Medellin, Colombia for the first time. It’s a city surrounded with mountains. It has a great subway system that even has a gondola (cable car) that you get to take, as it is part of the subway system and you don’t have to pay extra. It’s worth checking out the amazing views of the city from the top of the mountain. I also enjoyed the cool nights as you don’t need air conditioning there at night.
I spent a relaxing week back in Panama after my trip to Colombia. I made it out to Coronado to visit a couple of old friends Jimmy and Derek for a round of golf.
For this whole trip of a t month and a half, I stayed in a hotel in Play Del Carmen, because it came with the flight, but the rest of the traveling I stayed in Airbnb.com. I strongly recommend Airbnb over hotels now as you get to meet so many good people in the world that live in the city you are visiting but the secret is make sure they are a 5 star or a super host and they will go out of the way for you. Funny story: …a friend of mine stayed at an Airbnb and said it was OK, so I asked him what star rating it was, His answer was no star but it was OK because he paid $120.00 . I showed him that a 5 star or super host was only average $40.00 a night in the same city and a better location too. Anyway, for some reason people think if you pay more it will be a better place. I proved him wrong so take it from an experienced traveler, read up on the person you are staying with and also read up on the people that have stayed at their place. I am a 5 star host myself when I put my place back on line with Airbnb.
Amazing tile art work in Havana, see if you can recognize the person on the tile.
Always love the people of Cuba. I went to visit my friend Fernando’s wife, Yarelys and daughter Monica in Cardenas about 30 minutes from the resort town of Varadero. It was great to meet up with her family (photos 7&8). It’s so cheap to get around on horse and buggy (photos 9&10) in these small towns (love it).
Off to Havana (Habana) with my travelling amigo Normando Salsa (aka Norm Freele) . The first six photos are of celebrity caricatures in our new favorite bar Cinema (cervezas 2.75 CUC). I took time for a shower down at the harbour (photo 1). Hotel Lido (Dean's favorite when visiting), just two blocks off the Prado, was 30 CUC per night ($30) on the last visit. It had risen to 57 CUC so we stayed next door at the Casa Particular for 30 CUC. The Casa did not appear to be too Particular about shared occupancy, but we still got our own rooms,,,, Heh! Heh! The restored car lineup (photos 2&6) at the main plaza is amazing. We visited the National building (photos 3&4) , spent some time with Ernest (photo 5) at his favorite bar Floridita and capped the visit with some salsa back down by the Malecon. My heart is in Havana Ahha!
My next trip, February 6th to the 27th in Australia looking foreword to see some old friends and their extended families in Australia as they all moved back home after living in Canada for a few years.
My travels 2017-2018 has always been about the new people I get to meet and the old friends I get to catch up with again.
Summer 2018, I wanted to go to Canada's 150-year celebration in Ottawa, seeing old friends then making it to my daughter’s wedding in Golden B.C.
The first part of my trip was going to King City just north of Toronto and staying with my buddy Tim and Christine great host every time I go there. I get to camp out at Tim’s he has an amazing Car collection and he always has new cars and collectibles to check out every time I go there, we went to a auction where Tim bought a lot of old gas station collectibles. His garage is like no other I have ever seen before just amazing check out the photos above.
Wasaga Beach and camping, While I was there I caught up to a few old friends, Russ, Fuzzy and his wife Meriaul, Mike, Leeann, Debbie and her husband Mike that were great host at their place in one of my favorite places growing up was to go to Wasaga beach, They invited me to their barbecue and met a lot of people I grew up with, It was nice catching up with the old crew again a few drinks and chat about the good old days and I don’t think any of us have change or got any older. Thanks again Deb and Mike for allowing me to camp at your place it was a fun get together we will have to do it again sometime soon.
I wanted to go east for Canada day in Ottawa, where else would I want to be for Canada’s 150 birthday, I contacted a friend Ken to whom I met in Panama while I was on my road trip Calgary to Panama a year ago, Ken let me camp out at his family’s place in Wakefield, Quebec while waiting for Canada in Ottawa, we could not find a place in Ottawa so the night before Canada day July 1st we camped overnight in a Walmart parking lot and Canada day we made our way to the big show as close as we could get to the Parliament buildings in a parking lot overnight, we could not get into the big event, low cloud and rain stopped the air show from happening but we did stick around for the amazing fireworks that night, met a nice couple of backpackers Valentina is from Smolensk, Russia and Michiel is from Utrecht, Netherlands I invited them back to my camper for a peanut butter and jam sandwich. I have been watching their travels too.
The next day I caught up with my cousin Debbie, husband Dean and their daughter Michelle for breakfast, the last time I saw Debbie is when we were young kids ourselves. Our parents came to Canada from Belfast Island, The Dowies my mother’s maiden name they grew up in New Brunswick, so we did not have a chance to see each other growing up as our family grew up in Toronto.
Did a bit of camping with an old buddy Russ we even made it to Niagara Falls where we got invited for dinner at a couple of friends of mine I met in Panama City a few years ago, great dinner Derek and Jim thanks guys.
Guy walking across Canada canforrest.blogspot.ca On my way to Ontario, I noticed a guy with a big sign on his back saying walking across Canada please help with food, so I pulled over to chat with a guy, his website (canforrest.blogspot.ca) that was walking across Canada for the second time for mental health.
Story about trip home from Toronto, Before heading back to Calgary I decided to go to the hostel in downtown Toronto to see if I could find some backpackers to share the expense, Brent Oldfield from Canada replied so we hit the road picking up backpackers on the way back sharing expenses photos left to right Leo, Johanna a couple we picked hitchhiking in Moose Jaw to Medicine Hat they are backpackers from Germany Pete then Ludwig Winter a 19 year old hitchhiker (backpacker) again from Germany we picked him up in Sault Ste Marie Ontario to Swift Currant Saskatchewan and on the far right Brent traveling from Toronto to Calgary soon moving to Australia, I posted on the Toronto Hi Hostel bulletin board to share expenses to Calgary and Brent Oldfield responded. It took us 4 days three nights camping. I will be blogging soon about my trip to Toronto and back on TravelCheapWithPete).
My daughters wedding. It was time to head back to Calgary because of course I must attend my daughter Crystal’s wedding who else is going to give her away? Crystal and now her husband Ben picked a fantastic location in the mountains of Golden British Columbia. It’s so nice to see all the family and meet Crystal’s new extended family, wonderful time.
Camping with friends and family summer 2017 after my daughters wedding last month I did plenty of camping to Turner Valley in the mountains love the heated outdoor swimming pool, Friends dropped by from there Carol Ann and Dave. Banff, Took friends from Toronto on a road trip to Banff day trip. Sylvan Lake where my sister Carol lives a few friends and family dropped by. Golden B.C my Daughter Crystals wedding, Strathmore rodeo always a great time with friends. Beaver Dam golf and camping resort, great deal golf and camping my friend Joe and I stayed here and Ron and Rob dropped in for a golf game, in the photo you will see how close Ron and my drive were to each other from the tea off. And southern British Columbia. My buddy Joey had time off, so I asked him if he wanted to go on a road trip to Kelowna, British Columbia and I decided I wanted to take the long root mostly hwy #3 close along the Canadian US boarder as I have never done it before it is longer but worth checking out.
It was great to meet up with a world traveler from Calgary and chat travel. check out his book http://www.mikespencerbown.com/ the third photo was taken by The Eagle 100.9 FM
Winter 2017-2018, Mexico twice, Panama twice, Cuba and Florida once.
I started in Varadero Cuba, I started my winter vacation in Varadero Cuba on November 19th the next day after I arrived I got two messages from both my Daughters saying, Dad call home right away, I know in my gut this can't be good, so I waited about an hour and then I called and talked to my daughter Crystal she told me that my 28 year old niece Shelby pasted away that was the hardest call I have every received while traveling all I wanted to do was get home right away to be with my sister Carol and family, I remember how hard it was trying to get home directly to Calgary until I thought of my good friend Kyla that worked for Westjet and I thank everyone on Westjet that took care of me, I was an emotional wreck, first Veradero to Toronto and the connecting flight to Calgary was full but they made room for me on a buddy pass, thank you so much Kyla and Westjet.
Airbnb in Playa, Christmas & New Year, bike and apt Dean and family. My next trip was to (Cancun) Playa Del Carmen, Mexico on my $800.00 vulture with Air Canada, had to use it up within a year. Found a wonderful place with great host on Airbnb Maria, Ralf and family. The picture is the front of the house and the balcony is from my bedroom the small jungle between the house and the beach.
They even invited me to join them for Christmas dinner a few days after I moved out, wonderful time with their family and friends.
I ended up renting my own one bedroom apartment in Playa Del Carmen in a great location ( 4 blocks from the beach 5th avenue), only 8000 pesos a month I think it’s something like $550 Canadian, great location too.
Merry Christmas🎄🏝 from Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I am so grateful Maria and Ralf for having me over for Christmas eve dinner with family and friends, I met the family the first day I arrived in Playa Del Carmen, I stayed at their home thanks to Airbnb and they invited me back for Christmas eve celebrations, I find in South America, Central America and Mexico they celebrate Christmas eve not Christmas day and it was so much fun. They had family over from Germany, Mexico and the United States and another Airbnb guest Eric from USA and myself Canada. I like to help in the kitchen cooking, so I ask Maria how I can help she said you can make German knodel, it’s a potato that I rolled like meatballs then they into boiling water, they were so good. In the pictures and videos, you will see me working in the kitchen, the game where you throw the dice and hope you get an even number, so you can pick a present that is wrapped them open it and show everyone what you have got because the next time you roll the dice you can trade in you don’t like yours. It starts off with everyone must bring a wrapped gift then roll the dice, we went around about 4 times, it was so much fun.
I just got a good deal on a 🚲 Bicycle. I’ve been shopping for a bike since I’ve been here in Playa Del Carmen, prices are high due to Christmas, even in the pond shops, so I just got talking to a couple of Mexicans and an American having a problem with the bank machine on Fifth Avenue I said nice bike to the one Mexican guy and asked him do you know where I can buy a bike like his? He said yes, this one he said it’s worth about 1200 pesos but he will give it to me for 800 that’s a bargain, I said I have 640 that’s it, he said deal, I’m so 🍀 Lucky. Even the guy behind us selling tours watched the transaction heard us, I took a picture of the seller and I he said why? do I want a photo of him, I said just in case it’s stolen then he asked me if I was a cop, I laughed and said no, then he walked away I looked over at the guy selling the tours he said what a great deal you got there and it’s not stolen because he knows the seller he is a local. I never did listen to mom saying don’t talk to stranger’s son, you have to strangers all the time if you want to be a traveler that’s always looking and finding good deals.
friends came down for Christmas and new year’s, Randy, Rossie, Dean and 35 family members Happy new year from Playa Del Carmen Mexico. More photos to come, hanging out with Derek, they set off fireworks from one end of the beach to the other at the hotels.
Tim's place in Florida and flames game. Change of plans, means change my flight too, I was supposed to fly back to Calgary but I saw it was too cold in Calgary, so I changed my ticket to Florida, I wanted to visit my friend Tim and his girlfriend Christine and do some car shows with them, love Tim’s car collection, I posted to my Facebook friends you have to guess who drove what vehicle from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach, left to right you have Pete Montgomery, Cole Kay, Christine Wheeler Tim Schmidt and Brad Chapman.
Bugatti Chiron. McLaren P1. Lamborghini Huracan. Corvette Z06. Conquest Knight XV, all beautiful autos, I got to drive the Conquest Knight XV, Canadian made worth over a million, if I knew it was worth that much I don’t think I would have drove it, as I think I would have been too nervous. It was a great visit, Tim bought a new house on the water 2 bedroom and a 12 car garage on the water in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and we went up to visit his mother Helga who also has a house on the water just north of Fort Lauderdale.
The next day after I arrived I met a new young friend and now a new traveler from Ecuador Luigy Muñoz came into the Airbnb place he was too early he could not check in till 2:00pm he arrived at 10:00am so I showed him how to get around on the city bus to the mall, so he can get to Miami the next day and showed him the beach in Hollywood. I said that I wanted to go to hockey game tonight and asked him if he wanted to join me and he said yes, he has never seen hockey before, so this is his first time at a hockey game in Florida and his first time travelling alone, go flames go. I don’t have my red jersey because I had no idea I going to hockey game I was in Mexico yesterday Florida today, I booked my flight and I didn’t even know the Calgary Flames were playing until after a book my ticket I looked to see what teams will be in Florida while I was there, and it ended up being the flames.
I had money left from Air Canada so I made a short stop in Playa Del Carmen then back to Panama, found a great deal with money left over from my Air Canada voucher.
Great deal on Airbnb, Martin $29.00 Canadian and San Blas and blues fest, After Florida I ended up going home to Calgary for about a week and then it got cold again, I decided I’m out of here.
I had some money left on my Air Canada voucher, so I ended up going back to Playa Del Carmen for a few days working with Expedia Mexico, I am an Expedia agent in Canada. After a few days in Mexico I decided it was time for change again, so I found a great deal to Panama but I had to fly north to Houston then Panama where I found a great apartment with an Ocean view a rooftop pool and gym, a block from the Hard Rock hotel, cheap $29.00 Canadian a night thanks Airbnb and a great host now good friend Martin he is a young entrepreneur just starting on his own and just move to Panama from China. Martin and I (business partners) were looking at buying a hostel in Panama City and I could look after it in the winter months but some friends of mine (other hostel owners) said no it is not worth it. Friends always ask me why I like Panama so much. Well it’s a good small country with great friendly helpful people, you can drink the water from the tap, I’m living on the Pacific Ocean in the new modern Panama City and it will only take me just over an hour to go snorkeling in the Caribbean, I can take a bus to visit friends in Coronado at their golf condo resort just over an hour to get there for only $2.50 on a new modern bus the whole country has everything you need, beaches, mountains, rain forest, hiking and lots of jungle to explore. I finally made it over to San Blas, Panama and stayed in a hut (don’t need windows you can see through the walls), this is not for most of my friends, but I sure did enjoy just relaxing for a couple of days. There are 365 Islands to explore I made it to a couple of the Islands (No phone or internet service) that was so nice.
So busy traveling Panama and still have my Airbnb in the city, I went to Boquete, Panama for the Jazz and Blues festival on the redeye bus and stay with my old buddy from Texas Backpacker Bob. http://www.boquetejazzandbluesfestival.com/festival-2018.ht…
Penthouse condo Panama. I arrived home to a snow storm (Saturday March 3rd, saying to myself what was I thinking coming back to this? I took care of business (job interview) and I have one more meeting tomorrow morning, so that means I can get out of here. I found a great deal back to Panama leaving Wednesday March 7th only $522.41 Canadian. Thank god I did my laundry in Panama before I left two days ago that means I don’t even have to unpack.
I knew Martin had his place booked for the month of March, so I put it out there to other friends in Panama, My friend Marcela, that owned the hostel when I did my road trip Calgary to Panama, I stayed at her hostel, she said her sister Gilda has a place for rent in Panama City two-story penthouse three bedroom three bathroom with a pool and gym. She offered it to me for $30 a night USD and I asked her about the other room she said she’ll rent it out as long as it’s a friend of mine for $45 USD a night. So, I put it out to my Facebook friends that want to check out Panama city it’s a good deal. Remember flights leaving Wednesday from Calgary I got it cheap for $522.00 return, this deal is only while I am here.
The forgotten People of Panama by tour guide Victor Peretz.
Next to old town (Casco Viejo) Panamá, what they call the undesirables living in Chorrillo area where Police tell us to stay out of, they are people the forgotten people my this blog will be about the tour I had with Víctor Peretz yesterday. Two out of the six of us playing basketball tonight we’re from the poor area, after the lights went out we all went our separate ways shook hands and said thanks, I think I have a pulled muscle in my leg no worries will it will be better tomorrow. Thanks Victor for the tour we will be working together in the future to show the world how great Panama really is. This is Victor's story
Well, let me share with you some important details about El Chorrillo.
On December 20th, 1989, President George Bush launches Operation Just Cause and has sent US forces into the Central American country of Panama in a bid to oust dictator Manuel Noriega.
El Chorrillo is on the water's edge in Panama City, not far from the entrance to the Panama Canal. Many of the canal's builders -- immigrants from the Caribbean -- lived here. Decades later the neighborhood was poor and dangerous because of the invasion in that time, home to teachers and clerks, as well as hustlers who sold contraband cigarettes or beer stolen from the American military bases.
Although many people moved out after the invasion, there are still others who stayed and recall the 1989 attack.
They were caught unawares, they said, when they heard American helicopters coming over the hills and waterfront. Members of the Dignity Battalions, armed civilians sworn to protect General Noriega's Panama, scrambled.
Some residents said the Americans urged them to leave the neighborhood. Others said they had cringed inside their homes, while people on the street tried to get into any home they could, or rushed to the local church.
When the government and private investors started seeing the potential of this area, they started removing the poor people from this area. Many of them moved to El Chorrillo, only a stone’s throw away from Casco Viejo.
Get off the beaten path with me and see where boxer Roberto Duran trained and our local panamanian soccer player who will be representing Panama in the World Cup 2018, learn about how the U.S. invasion of Panama affected this neighborhood since 1989, try local food and drinks, visit the park where dominoes are played, chat with the locals in their homes and get to know the people of this area, and learn about the gentrification that has taken place in the now trendy Casco Viejo historic district.
That's how the gang members took the control of the neighborhood of El Chorrillo. I wanted to show to travellers
something that goes beyond typical tourist places, like the Canal and Casco Viejo. So I started
offering different tours. One of them caught my attention immediately: The Walking Tour through El Chorrillo.
The idea is to show tourists the real side of Panama: the local people, their living conditions and culture. I run the tour under the slogan:
“WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A FAMOUS CANAL – WE ARE PEOPLE“
During the tour, visitors can also find old colonial buildings, but they are not renovated since they have been built. There are apartment buildings, with colorful, but mostly old facades, where freshly washed clothes are hanging for drying. Some houses are sporadically made of wood, almost falling apart. Travellers will see a lot of street art about sports, people of El Chorrillo and some who remind of the US invasion.
Let me tell you about the local history, daily life and living conditions of the locals. I will show you the sports hall, where the famous boxer Roberto "Hands of stone" Duran trained and other places that are related to sport, especially to football. The locals love it and are proud that a few “Chorrilleros” became famous athletes.
The neighborhood is very lively, with children running around in the streets, people chatting and Latin music sounds in every corner. Locals always will greet you friendly with a smile. So we will stop a few times.
We will also visit a Police station, where Victor’s weekly program "Educate Me and You Educate A Nation", is taking place. The idea is to get the kids away from the street and give them a place to learn and play. Especially tourists are welcome to interact with the kids and learn English with them. I want the locals and tourists to connect, exchange knowledge from different countries, traditions and cultures. You can meet the kids, help to educate them and have an authentic experience in Panama. The program is quite new, but I want to develop it with more and different classes in English, music and art. In the long term I plan to educate and empower also the mothers of the children.
The locals are very friendly and welcoming and You will feel safe with me. For sure, it’s not as safe as Casco Viejo to walk around as a tourist – especially after sunset. You will have a very good experience there, where you will take home more than souvenir, You will take home memories to share.
After walking around in El Chorrillo, I will bring you back to our starting point (Plaza Herrera, Casco Viejo). The tour takes around 1,5 hours and it's 40 USD. If you are interested in seeing another, non-touristy side of Panama or spend time with the kids of this area, connect with me on Facebook @Local in PTY or send me an E-Mail. I guarantee you an amazing, unique and authentic experience in Panama City!
Any other question you have, let me know.
Víctor A. Pérez M.
Founder & CEO
Two out of the six of us playing basketball tonight we’re from the poor area, after the lights went out we all went our separate ways shook hands and said thanks, I think I have a pulled muscle in my leg no worries will it will be better tomorrow.
I met Luis just a few weeks ago just hanging out in old town Panama City
Victor Peretz, origionally from beautiful San Blas, Panama, is now giving tours in what some people call the undesirables in the El Chorrillo area. Police tell us to stay out of El Chorrillo, but it is right next to ‘Old Town[Casco Viejo]’one of Panama’s biggest tourist areas! Hats off to Victor showing the world his great country.
Video of city from Martin’s place.
My buddy Martin and I took a little road trip on the weekend from Panama City to Isla Grande (Caribbean side of Panama) about a 2-hour drive from the city. You must watch your speed (fake radar) and you must watch for the real police too. Met Stanley and family from Panama City who own a Caribbean Panamanian Restaurant (Donde Stanpty) going to check it out sometime this week. Dinner on the balcony and yes, I brought my own HP sauce from Canada. I think I will check out the Pearl Island next, a boat ride from the City.
The Bottom line: I love Panama and the People who live in this great country! I am so grateful for the people who brought me into their homes. Jim & Derrek, buddies from Ontario who live in Coronado 6 months a year. Marcela, whom I met a couple years ago when I did my road trip Calgary to Panama. She ran the Hostel in Panama city and introduced me to her sister Gilda who took me into an amazing two story three bedroom penthouse with a city and ocean view for only $30.00 USD a night. My newest young buddy Martin Cheng ,who I met through Airbnb, just moved to Panama from China. I stayed at his amazing condo rooftop pool, barbeque area and gym for 3 weeks at $29.00 Canadian a night. Also grateful to the new people I met on this trip and nice to catch up to old friends while I was there. Thank you Victor, the tour guide of the not so dangerous El Carrillo area where the police say do not enter and Luis, the street person who will make a great tour guide someday [I will buy him a phone soon to assist his tour business]!...,So many more people to mention! I remember when I first started traveling some 15 years ago, someone from Malaysia said to me “You Lucky Guy”!.... Well, I am beginning to understand what she really meant by that statement!
Now I am back to work after my four years of traveling, it has been the best four years of my life and anyone I have met on my travels are welcome to my place here in Calgary anytime, we met for a reason, but you will not catch me here in the winters as I will be taking winters off work still.
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com