Our first stop was in Montreal we stopped at Tim’s step Daughter Kim's place. We hung out with Kim, her husband Joe, and their three daughters for a couple of days. It was wonderful, and we also had a chance to have a birthday party for his step son in-law Joe.
From Montreal, we headed east to Marina Village campsite near Batiscan Quebec. Tim wanted to visit a couple of friends, Pierre and Luc from his winter resort in Margate Florida (Aztec resort). The first day Luc, with the owner Mario of the campsite, took us out fishing on the Saint-Lawrence River. Tim was the best, caught most of the fish! We all caught enough fish to feed 10 people that night and many more for our trip down the road. We also visited St Tite, Quebec for their rodeo (stampede). Unbelievable how many people were there! People camped everywhere on the streets! Most town residences even had their RV’s parked on their lawns….Wow! Estimated about 600,000 people will show up for the 10 day event [city Population is only about 4,000 people!]. Again, thanks to all the people I met for their friendship and hospitality. In addition, another great city we stopped at was Quebec City, so beautiful and so much history. Truly an historical landmark in Canada!
We drove to New Brunswick where we met up with an old friend of Tim’s. Her name was Jill. She was visiting her friends Dawn, Paul and their three boys, Carson, Jack and Kyle. They took us all over the province, we were so grateful! They just moved and gave us great hospitality [we had 8 acres of land to camp on again]. We met many old friends and thanks to Facebook, we met up with Tim Wade a boyhood friend who lives in Moncton NB near Dawn and Paul.
On the way here, I missed a lot of people I wanted to catch up with. Next time I will try and drop in to see you all on my way back home after Newfoundland. Bon Voyage….!
Pete Montgomery WorldTripPete.com and traveling with Tim Schmidt TimsHorsePowerHaven.com
A Road trip across Canada…..Funny, but we never forget where we come from… It’s up to each individual on who you become…..
We started our trip by driving from my place in Calgary to Tim's place in King City just north of Toronto. We had an overnight in Saskatchewan (Wal-Mart), then drove direct to northern Ontario the next night. Next spring, we plan to again travel Saskatchewan and Manitoba on our way to Yellowknife, NWT and Nunavut. The photos and video below are at Tim's farm in King City.
Exploring King City it has been amazing above video and photos are at Tim's place in King City. We visited with old friends and met new people. Tim’s friends, family and farm workers all agree that Tim has a big heart. He does so much for others in this world. It is great to see someone of his wealth act like all of us. In his eyes, we are basically all the same. He will walk up to a stranger and just say hi how areyou doing, with a smile! Everyone loves him and he treats everyone with respect. It’s great to see Tim treat the CEO of a company the same way as a gas station attended serving us fuel.
This video is from facebook, I have to figure out how to take the video from Tim's phone to my website.(click this link to see video)
I grew up in Ontario housing with a single mom and three sisters. I always had a great relationship with my father. I will admit that growing up in these housing projects was a bit humbling, but I have never forgot where I came from. Neither has Tim. I grew up a couple of blocks from where Tim lived. His parents owned the home that they lived in. Both of our parents were immigrants. Tim’s family were from Germany and mine Ireland. Can you believe that both sides had nothing coming to this great country of ours (love Canada).
This video is from facebook, I have to figure out how to take the video from Tim's phone to my website. (click this link to see video)
Tim and I drove through the area where we grew up and I shot a video of the neighbourhood. It was very emotional for me, brought a tear to my eye! What a difference from then till now! We are special travellers just living the dream! While shooting the video, a stranger pulled over to ask us what we were doing in front of my old house? [We did grow up here but we were in a beautiful Rolls Royce convertible]! I walked over to him and said “buddy, I never forgot where I came from, can you believe this is where I grew up”? The person responded by saying ”can I play you a tune with my guitar”? I said wow, absolutely, and I have it on video! It’s amazing how Tim and I attract so many people at the right time. Like the street singer, we meet for a reason.
I traded my campervan “Old Faithful” plus $ to Tim for his Mercedes campervan. Yipee, I can now keep up with him on our travels. BTW, Tim just bought a new Mercedes campervan similar to mine including a few upgrades like an outside TV….
Our next journey is to the East Coast of Canada….
Pease, Love and Happiness to all….
Pete Montgomery WorldTripPete.com and traveling with Tim Schmidt TimsHorsePowerHaven.com
Highways to see so scenic; #99 from Vancouver to highway #97 near Cache Creek, as well as the Alaskan highway from Whitehorse to Dawson Creek and from Hinton through Jasper to Banff.
Tim and traveled on highway #99 and wow what beautiful views. We were above mountain tops looking down in the valleys from Whistler to highway #97 it took us two days to arrive in Whitehorse,Yukon, where we stopped at an B&B on the way. We met a few people there, three of them rode their motorcycles from Argentina heading to Alaska. I travel by the comforts of a campervan but I can't believe how many people travel the whole world by motorcycle, bicycle, cars etc.. and so many with campervans crossing the Americas.
The Alaskan highway from Whitehorse to Dawson Creek wow! breathtaking! Must stop in Watson Lake Yukon (sign post forest)! They have a place where people from around the world drop off their License plates, street and city signs, name of family signs, there is about 72.000 signs, plates and so much more. We also were going off the Alaskan highway to Fort Liard, Northwest Territories where we drove for about 30 minutes without seeing a car even coming the other way. Another must stop is in Fort Nelson BC where they have an old museum that have everything from autos, trackers, oil & gas, mining a real hoarder that had everything you can think of... Wow! unbelievable. http://www.watsonlake.ca/our-community/sign-post-forest/
Entering Alberta, the drive from Hinton to Canmore again breathtaking. We stopped in Jasper where Tim wanted to release his brother Frank's ashes from the top of Whistler Mountain, one of the places where Frank loved to come to.
Then we went off camping, and the girl in charge gave us a bear warning I said great, I am a thrill seeker as I get to sleep with the bears in my tent. OK she said, No food in the tent because I will attract these wild animals... lol..
The final leg on the trip we checked out the ice fields and the new sky walk. All well worth checking out and so close to home. Don't know why I have never done it before. Home stretch to Calgary we saw a Grizzly bear where we Pulled over like everyone else ....So close to Banff, and we were lucky it was behind the fence.
What a small world we live in. My sister Carol has been following us on facebook. She knew we were in B.C. and she was on her way to Tofino to see her boyfriends daughter. When sis was waiting for the ferry from Tsawwassen, she text me to see where we were in B.C. It ended up that we were in different rows to board the same ferry to go to Victoria. Tim and I didn't have a place booked but sis and her guy Don were staying at the Ocean Village Resort where Don's daughter Christel works. We ended up camping one night and having a cabin the second night at the resort next door to them and really enjoyed getting together at night for fires on the beach. It really is a sight to see when the whole beach is lit up with fire pits and people releasing Chinese lanterns. We dipped our feet into the ocean in Tofino which as far west as you can go in this beautiful country. We are soon heading as far east as you can go to dip our feet into the ocean in Newfoundland. It was awesome to go whale watching in Tofino and now looking forward to see what whale watching is like in Newfoundland. Stay tuned friends!!! Many more adventures for you to follow!!! Cheers!!!
Pete Montgomery WorldTripPete.com traveling with Tim Schmidt TimsHorsePowerHaven.com
On our first day on the road my camper van "old faithful" broke down, lucky I still had a warranty on the transmission since I just had it repaired from my last road trip. We ended up at Hi hostel in Banff where I stayed while Tim stayed in his motor home in the parking lot at the hostel; however, at about 4:00 am in the morning a security guard told Tim that he cannot camp in the parking lot he would have to go to a campsite. I did tell the lady at reception at the hostel that Tim would be staying in his camper; I guess she did not know the rules of parks Canada and the NO camping outside the campsites. I did not know this rule until we went to Jasper and I called the Hi hostel and the women told me it is a national parks Canada rule.
We spent a couple of days in Banff and Lake Louise where Tim started a heartfelt releasing of his brother Frank. Banff and Lake Louise were a couple of places where Frank loved to go to when he was alive. Tim released Frank in the mountain tops of Whistler and Jasper.
After Banff we headed west to visit friends we grew up with from Rexdale (Toronto). First Anthony in Kelowna and his family. I stayed in a hostel the first night and then Antony’s back yard in my new tent. We then headed west to Chilliwack to meet up with Sue and her husband we went out for lunch and it was time to get on the road again.
We spent a couple of days in Vancouver camping then headed up to Whistler to visit Tim’s friend’s son Harrison, Kris and Andrew. A couple of young bucks they were, so we ended up doing the Zip line called Sasquatch, they say it is one of the biggest in the world and you go 140 kilometres an hour. You should have seen Tim’s face, it was priceless, he is afraid of heights and we were side by side going down. Tim took off ahead of me he did not hit the third step like he was suppose to do, it was way too funny and what a great ride over the mountains. We also did the peak to peak in Whistler that I recommend for its amazing views.
I got to stay at Kris’s place and Tim camped out in his parking lot, thanks a lot Kris for the awesome hospitality.
This blog is one of three just getting caught up while time off in Toronto.
Pete Montgomery WorldTripPete.com traveling with Tim Schmidt timshorsepowerhaven.com
Just over six weeks ago my buddy Tim, whom I grew up with in Rexdale (Toronto), called me and asked if I wanted to take another road trip with him across Canada. I never thought of taking a trip around my own great country before, but I gladly accepted. I thought it would be fun as well as working on new information for my travel website starting soon in Canada.
It all started with Tim coming to Calgary in July to catch a bit of the Stampede. A week later we hit the road, and about an hour out of Calgary (Canmore), I had to pull Old Faithful over because of problems with my transmission. I immediately called the transmission shop where I got it fixed for my last road trip to Panama, and happily it was still under warranty. They would replace the transmission for a small fee. Great, no more rebuilt transmissions!
Tim and I continued traveling in his campervan after we sent old faithful back to Calgary to get repaired. The objective of the trip was to find and visit with old friends that we grew up with back home in Toronto. This would be so much fun, visiting with friends and seeing the vast area of Canada. Our plan was to travel by campervan until winter, then head to Florida for the winter.
After driving Tim’s comfortable, brand new Mercedes campervan a few weeks, we agreed that I should upgrade my campervan to a newer model that has everything like a bathroom, kitchen and a generator. The hunt is on for a newer van for myself!
My new blogging domain name changed from Travel Cheap with Pete to “World Trip Pete”! Hey, Just maybe it’s time for me to travel the world.
Pete Montgomery from WorldTripPete.com with Tim Schmidt from TimHorsePowerHaven.com
I will have a domain name change from travelcheapwithpete.com to worldtrippete.com. I also have been working on a new website where I will be selling travel, flights/hotels, all-inclusive, autos, cruises, advertising and so much more.
So far I am affiliated with Expedia.ca and Hostelz.com and talking with two more travel agencies. From the new website I will be advertising accommodations and things to see and do while in those Cities. I will start the new website first in Canada then off to the world next fall. The new website will be up soon, I will keep everyone posted.
Looks like I'm off to another road trip across Canada this summer to promote the new website.
We are now affiliated with Hostelz, they are more than a hostel.
You can book B&B'S, private homes, cabins and so much more.
I am affiliated with Expedia.ca but not ready to sell tickets yet. We will have it set up on my new website.
Additional affiliates/partners coming soon!
After leaving Tim’s place in Margate, Florida, I headed North West to Panama City, Florida. This City felt personally good, and, as soon as I arrived I knew I was going to stay for a couple of days. I got in late, and ended up camping out in the Wal Mart parking lot for the first night. I met and chatted with a nice father and son from Germany that were also traveling in a campervan like mine. The next morning, I left to find a campsite or hostel nearby. I found a campsite near the beach, but there was no hostel in that City. That was a surprise for the size of the city! That started me thinking about an idea to build a hostel here [I do own the domain name “Panama Pete’s Hostel”]. I took the next step and saw a realtor, but there was nothing worth looking at right now. I know it would be a great location year round because of the heavy population from the neighbouring States.
After a couple of days in Panama City, Florida, I began to plan making my way home for Easter to be with my family, friends and my friend Margaret’s 103rd birthday (she was on the news before I left) what an amazing lady.
I decided to look at my US road map for the first time. Most days, I would wake up and rely on my intuition to look for new adventures. I initially choose a warmer Southern route and wanted to avoid the cold Northern route. After checking out the best weather for travel, I chose the middle route. I would travel through Montgomery Alabama [I own the city of course], Nashville, St Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Montana. I heard Nashville was the place to see! After arriving late in Nashville, I found the campsite was closed. I checked Google maps on my phone and found a Wal Mart, where I could stay the night. The next morning I searched for a campsite on the outskirts of the City. I stayed two more nights because I loved Nashville. Wow, where else could you see a one man band playing in McDonald’s restaurant! Took a $10 return shuttle to downtown to see a hockey game and experience a fun filled city full of noisy bars, museums and music madness! The people were friendly and the mood electric! I WILL return!
After leaving bright lights of Nashville, it was time to get serious about getting home. I experienced some problems along the way with Old Faithful. Who knows, maybe the cooler weather was not acceptable to both of us…lol. Some mechanical problems occurred but I kept focused on achieving my destination. Maybe I pushed her to much? Had to buy her a new re built transmission but I had a lot to be thankful for .Old Faithful was totally reliable, dependable, honourable my rock and my trustworthy campion. Took me return from Calgary to Panama City, Panama, and, in five months, covered over 22,500 kilometers. SHE IS A KEEPER!
It took me almost two weeks to get my campervan back from customs; and after all that the company that shipped my van here ended up charging me more than double of the quote.
I ended up staying in hostels around the south beach area in Miami and they were the most expensive hostels on the whole trip. They charge what the market dictates, I got charged from $33.00 to $56.00 a night for 6 bed mixed dorms. I had a great time there I met a lot of good people and enjoyed so many events going on every weekend.
Thanks to facebook I connected with an old friend I grew up with in Toronto (Rexdale). Now it’s hard to start heading anywhere else as we are having a great time! We went to Daytona Beach for a couple of days during bike week; we saw so many nice bikes. I got to ride Tim’s pedal electric bike down the main strip and received a lot of attention. I could see lot of people trying to get their cameras out to take a photo; I was having a good laugh with it all.
Hanging out with Tim at his place in Margate, Florida has been great we’ve had so much fun. It's nice to talk about the good old days when we were in our teens just a few years ago ;). It’s hard to leave here, I am a car lover and Tim has a big collection. At his home in King City Ontario he has 35 cars and trucks I would like to see his collection this summer and could also visit lots of our old friends we grew up with, perhaps a get together at Tim's place that would be great. He only has a few cars here down in Florida a Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Harley Davidson bike, three custom golf carts a really big campervan bus and lucky for me I got to use his Nissan GT-R sports car while I’m in town, he also has some cars here in storage.
The bottom line it’s always nice to get caught up with old friends from the past and reminisce all the old stories both good and bad, I definitely got in a bit of trouble in my day, shh don't tell my kids ;). I have two great daughters that I am missing, maybe home soon (maybe) just living and loving life and they understand.
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
Again, I can’t believe I ran into three young guys from Munich, West Germany. They road their bicycles more than 17,500km from Germany to Panama City they are heading to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics later this year.
The video showed the nice hostel they were staying at while in Panama City. This is an email I received from them today is unedited: Hey the reason why we camped so much in the last 10 month. Is not just too save the money for hotel. It’s even nice to have your own stuff (mattress sleeping bag also) another imported point is, to feel the nature.. Go sleeping with the sunset and get up with the sunrise....
The ride all started for them on April 27th 2015 in Munich. The countries they have travelled through so far are: Germany, France, England, Scotland, Iceland, North America, Alaska, Canada, USA , Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and now Panama.
Translated from German to English on google: blog from their website at the start of their trip: Looking for new goals came us an idea of what has become more concrete in recent months and the decision has been made:
We radl'n to the Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro in 2016!
Our Baden-Württemberg government says yes: "We can do everything except speak High German!" So it is for us:
On 01 May 2015 we go!
From Munich, we want to ride our native Swabia Rottenburg-Hailfingen and birthplace Tübingen via France, England to Scotland. There goes on May 26, the plane from Glasgow to Reykjavik. In Iceland, the aircraft starts on 7 June 2015 in accordance with Anchorage, Alaska, from where we should lead the longest street in the world, the legendary Pan-American, to Tierra del Fuego.
The last stage is ultimately to Brazil, where we hope to arrive in time for the Olympic Games in Rio. All in all, a nearly 30,000 km long, adventurous and fun-full travel.
Their goal is to get to see the Olympic Games in Brazil, plus my other three friends, two from Canada Kyle and Jaryd and Ade from California as well as Sandro Reiter , Julian Schmieder and Nicolas Schmieder all need help to achieve their riding goals.
Please donate to Team North America or team Europe (German) Just click the blue link. Now we have three countries involved in donations to these six amazing riders. Let’s see what country can raise the most. Just like our own Olympics between three counties (let the games begin) by donating.
The German guys website TrioForRio Jaryd and the boys website TheHustle
These six young men are all winners. Let’s help them with their goals and make their country proud.
Pete Montgomery with three amazing German’s TravelCheapWithPete.com
A couple years ago I was searching for a good bed to buy , but could not find what I really wanted. I ended up buying the sheets first, then the bed came to me afterwards….
I have been trying to get old faithful (my campervan) from Panama to Miami for about a week and a half, with no luck. Rather than spending time frustrating over shipping my campervan, I went out and bought a flight to Miami. I truly believe that old faithful will follow me there okay, and she will probably get there before I do…..
Wow, how fate has kept me here in Panama. After my campervan left for Miami, I got a great deal on a hostel that someone was trying to sell. I am looking to buy it with a Panamanian friend. To complete the purchase, I require a Panamanian partner as I am not a resident or of landed immigrant status. The hostel purchase is so good that I have two Panamanians interested in investing with me. I need to urgently choose one of them. So, guess what, I am going to work backwards again! First, I build the website, knowing that a good partner will come forward with me to take over this Hostel. You can search this hostel at PanamaPetesHostel.com. I have regrets about old faithful leaving. Looks like I have to start this new business off now, here in Panama without transportation….
Throwing it out there, I’ve been looking for my future ex wife for years? I think I have to start losing the (ex) part?... lol.. The Universe moves in mysterious ways (love it , live it).
Pete Montgomery from PanamaPeteHostel.com and TravelCheapWithPete.com
I wrote many times before about the patience required while driving in Panama City. Problems included major traffic jams, noise. Continual horn honking and being aggressively aware to move when you see an opening!
Now I want to talk a little more about patience. I contacted six insurance companies because I needed insurance to extend my campervan permit. As well, I needed a passport stamp for the van every month while I was in Panama. I tried contacting five shipping companies to send my van to Miami, what seemed like a simple matter. Can you believe only 1 insurance company and two shipping companies got back to me? It seems that no one wants to make the effort to help me out and make some money. I have never experienced anything like this before. I have been working nonstop for a week and a half now trying to get my campervan to Miami. I realize that some of the frustration it is my own fault, because I don’t understand Spanish. I thought that the only thing required was to get quotes from shipping companies, until, I arrived at port. Surprise, they told me I needed a police clearance. As well, I had to hire a custom broker (agent) for $450.00 U.S. I tried to find a cheaper way. I found out that if I get the police clearance on my own, I could save $300.00. So I did! Patience, it’s an all day thing. First thing in the morning, I had to go to an inspector who checked the vin # and the motor # make sure nothing is stolen. By 2:00 pm, I was required to go to the National police where the inspector confirmed the information was all correct. Wow, I was ready to go. All this happened a few days before Carnival, Panama’s national holiday.. No agents work before or during Carnival and the ship leaves Wednesday. Carnival ends Tuesday, and more broker delays of course. As well, I had no idea the police clearance expired after 7 days, another delay repeating the police application. In my mind, I look at things like they are meant to be! So be it! I had a lot of great experiences and met some good people at the police station. First time there, I met three motor cycle drivers who were from Vancouver, Europe and the United States. The second time around, I met two more bikers who were from Alberta and Vermont. Their mission was to get their motor cycles to Columbia. I also met a young family who bought a motor home in Miami and were taking it home to Argentina. Conclusion, if the campervan isn’t shipped this week, I am going to either sell it or l am not going home to Canada. I am going to stay in Panama, my new home for sure! It’s meant to be?
I was a bit frustrated, so I decided to just take a holiday away from it all. I travelled to stay with a nice couple I met while staying at the last resort (hostel). They invited 83 year old backpacker Bob, and myself, over to their place. Kim and Ken are from Ottawa, and they house sit in two counties Costa Rica and Panama, anywhere warm. While there, I took them over to visit other friends of mine, Jim and Derrick from Toronto. As well, we visited big Johnny Calgary who lives in that massive condo an hour from Panama City. Kim and Ken allowed Bob and I a free room I got to sleep in the van (old faithful) again and they let me cook spaghetti dinner for everyone! Happiness can develop from patience!
I lost my phone a couple of weeks ago, so if you have sent me a message on whatsapp I have not received it and I will not set up whatsapp until I get home. My number right now is country code 507-6564-9586 and I hope to have a US number a week Thursday if the van makes it to Miami next week.
Pete Montgomery TravelCheapWithPete.com
Sometimes it’s not about my traveling, it’s about the people who cross my path….I met two young men who are riding their bicycles from Canada to Argentina , what a story….
One beautiful day on my way camping, I stopped in Coronado, Panama to do some grocery shopping. I had to set my google maps and knew McDonald’s had wifi in the restaurant. Oh, I could not resist apple pie and coffee before the trip. Looking around the place, I noticed a couple of guys who looked like backpackers, so I went over to chat with them. They were totally open and interesting travellers. I offered them a ride in the direction I was going, but they declined. They were on their way to Panama City, the city I was leaving from. They were riding their bicycles there, to me a fairly lengthy ride. I was very curious, so I asked where they were from? To my amazement and excitement, Jaryd said they were from Calgary. Jaryd rode his bike from all the way from my city, and Kyle joined him in Nicaragua. I was in awe, wow! I kept yelling“ good for you guys”, unbelievable strength and endurance! They agreed to meet up in Panama City in a couple of days. I can’t wait to get their fascinating story! Their long range goal is Argentina, after they meet up with another friend Abraham from California who has joined them in Panama City.
I may have drove my campervan from Calgary to Panama but the story below a guy from Calgary rode his bicycle and still heading south to Argentina.
Kyle- After missing my original start date of October 2014 with Jaryd from Calgary, my adventure would start in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua October 2015. I had tied up any loose ends and was finally ready to travel for an unknown period of time. All I knew was that Argentina was the final goal. I was excited to see Jaryd again and take a time out from the North American life style. Overall the trip for me is to grow my skills in photography, spread a positive mind set and go on a fun bike ride. So far the trip has provided all of these things. So far my favourite area on the trip has been Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. It was a super relaxed, welcoming and safe feeling area. I would recommend it to anyone looking to visit Costa Rica. Heading south I look forward to Peru. I feel it will be a magic place and can’t wait to explore all it has to offer. Always remember the fear in your head is something you can concur, if you choose to live in it though you will miss many beautiful opportunities in life.
Jaryd- So it all started with a dream of snowboarding in Chile. One of the only things I didn’t sell before I left was a globe that I looked at and decided that riding a bicycle would be my way of obtaining this goal. I was flat broke after a winter in Revelstoke, where I was riding my bicycle to the hill and around the town all winter. I met a couple people who had done some long distance cycling trips and I was inspired to do one myself. I gave myself 4 months to get everything together and leave before the snow started to fall again. I asked Kyle to join and he was in the same financial position, he was a little less confident in just leaving and making things work. I was on the grind everyday; working Monday to Thursday gardening, Thursday- Saturday nights on the bike taxi and working at the bike shop and selling art on the weekends to pay off my freedom machine and all the necessary things to get me however many kms south.
I told everybody of my dream and they never really took it seriously. October 1 was approaching quick and Kyle had just told me he didn’t have enough funds to make it happen. He suggested we leave in March to give ourselves more time to make money. I was stubborn in leaving on the date I set as I had sold everything I owned minus two bikes, my snowboard and skateboard. I had never gone on an overnight bike trip before leaving. When he told me this I was stumped for a couple days as to if I could actually make this happen alone. My friends thought I was insane; my family was even more worried about my intentions with such a huge journey. It almost wasn’t an option to not make it happen. I had a calling of adventure and self discovery that I needed to fulfill.
The night before I left was one of the most difficult and emotional days ever. My father who was always supportive of my endeavors was now crying and really lost as to why I would want to enter Mexico and all these countries alone. He wasn’t in a financial position to fund my journey and neither was I. I had just under $2000.00. I arranged a final coffee meeting with friends and family at my favorite coffee shop the morning I left. I loaded up my bike for the first time that morning and wondered how in the world I was going to ride this thing that weighed as much as a dirt bike up hills and across 15 countries. My friends couldn’t believe I was going through with this. I enjoyed the last moments with all these people who supported me and walked with my mom as she cried and probably wondered when I would be back for another Sunday family dinner. That’s all it ever was, no maps just south.
Holy shit, I was doing this! I rode a good 65 km fueled by excitement and what the unknown would bring. When I got to a popular beef jerky shop and bunch of friends came to meet me and camp out for the first night. This whole day I rode in shorts with no shirt. As we got comfortable for the night mother nature threw us a curve ball. It snowed a good 2 feet overnight and left me wondering if I was doing the right thing. I contemplated going home but saw the birds flying south through the blizzard and knew that was my direction.
It took me another 10 days or so of amazing hospitality from strangers and friends before I made it over some mountains and to my first border crossing. Here I was at the border and the guard asked where I was headed. I said Argentina. He looked at me like I had 6 arms and two heads and said “on your bicycle?” He was completely blown away. He gave me the go ahead and along I went. I ended up in Santa Cruz, CA in 2 months. I now had about $100.00 to my name. Luckily I had an amazing host who housed me for a month and allowed me time to figure out how I was going to make this happen. I lauched a pizza fund which was a way for people to help me out on this adventure. I was blown away with how much support I had. I also sold art on the streets and ended up leaving there with nearly $1000 dollars. I then sold a condo developer in Calgary some art when I was nearing Mexico 2 months later.
Entering Tijuana was one of the most intimidating moments of my life. Everybody I met was blown away that I was going there by myself. Several people told me I was going to die, get robbed, all of the worst things possible. I survived, made my way south and met up with a couple other guys headed to Mexico City. We rode together, shared unforgettable views and moments over the next 1500 kms together. Mexico blew my mind every single day. I knew nothing about it, so when we went through colonial cities and mountains (Mexico has mountains?!) I was like a newborn baby seeing everything for the first time. All of these thing plus learning a new language were motivating to keep me going. We made it to the Capital City and I was again so stimulated, one day in a voodoo/black magic market was the first time I had ever experienced what people would call “culture shock”. Those boys left to go back home and I was alone in this city that has more people then all of Canada.
I was again flat broke and wondering how I was going to make things work. I started some social media ideas that were well received and sold one of my bicycles at home. This was where my passion for art and creativity really started to pave the way. People believed and supported my talent and I began painting some of the biggest projects yet. This really started the snowball of how I was going to make my way south. A couple months later I was 2 countries south In El Salvador and selling postcards to tourists and started a postcard club, another way for people to help me keep truckin’. I had unbelievable support again from not only family and friends but complete strangers. The entire way I have been gifted meals, snacks, and even cold hard cash by people who just loved what I was doing. Being alone I think really gave people sympathy towards my mission. Everybody knows what It feels like to be alone, but in a foreign country with no money is a whole other ball game. Almost a year later I was in Nicaragua, I had made it to a popular beach town called San Juan Del Sur. I had no plans of staying more then a couple days. I stayed almost 4 months and painted a dozen murals in town. The postcards were selling faster then I could make them and I met a super talented young lady who helped my make a video for a project I had been planning for the past couple months. This really changed the whole trip once again as she made a video that was fueled with passion and emotion. It really showed what this trip had turned into for me. MAGIC. In a month I raised over $8000 Canadian dollars to help fund a book about my journey. Focusing on all the talented artists/ photographers I had met along the way and their views on what paradise means.
Kyle messaged me and told me he was going to fly in and join the mission. I would believe it when I saw him on his bike a month later. In this time I had recruited a young whipper snapper named Abraham Ramirez. A photographer on a 2 week vacation before going back to school in his home state of California. He was super motivated to join me on the trip. He went and bought a $100 dollar bike that was all anodized blue. This thing was meant for a simple A-B if that. We went on a couple “training rides” and he quickly realized this unit was not going to cut it. He wasn’t taking no for an answer and once Kyle arrived they went to the capital city and got him the best they could find. This bike would last until the end of Costa Rica. It was amazing the teamwork and friendship building that happened along the way. Crossing rivers, riding up hills that cars could barely figure out and just having such a blast sharing how amazing travelling by bicycle could be with these 2 amazing humans. All of us are so different but share a passion for adventure, fun and creativity. Abe was still very determined to make this happen so he took a bus south to Panama City and got himself a bike that will make the journey. We are here now In Panama City together and ready to cross over to the unknown again which is South America. Stay tuned as we are just getting started. If you would like to contribute to this journey through the pizza fund or our respective postcard clubs you can email me email@example.com or through paypal.me/jaryd. Thanks to everybody who has helped out along the way! There is way too many people to list but you know who you are. Follow your dreams, and just go, the universe has got your back!
Jaryd’s riding my bike from Canada to Argentina article.
Abe Ramirez- I quit my job and never showed up for the first day back to school. Riding a bike across Central and south America is a opportunity that fell into my lap and I just couldn't say no. I decided to pursue photography full time. With no previous biking experience, I think anyone is capable of doing extraordinary things regardless of your background, age, or gender.
Story written by Jaryd Adair, Kyle Messier, Abe Ramirez and Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
A couple months before I decided to drive to Panama City, I told my good friend ,Calgary icon Joe Forzani, that I was going to buy a campervan. I told him I planned to drive from Calgary to Panama this winter, and even put a $50.00 bet that I would be gone before November 15 2015. By mid October, Joe began to question me about my commitment to go! I told him not to worry, and, one day, the whole trip appeared in my mind. Joe did put a little pressure on me, and I changed the way I was looking for the right campervan. I put my 2005 Yukon up for trade [for a camper or campervan. Can you believe a couple of days later a person contacted me asking for a camper/truck trade. After checking out each other’s trucks, we made a deal, my Yukon SUV for his campervan. Joe assisted me with the trade and agreed with my new purchase. The campervan had only 92k and I knew right there this was my ticket to Panama. I just felt the magic was going to happen and there it was….The Universe took care of me again..
I used Google maps out of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. I used Google maps frequently, and if I saw a bad road that was not used much, it looked more like a bike path. I simply asked the Universe, the Spirit, the man above [think it is a women anyway!]. I call them my Angels above and it felt good so I went ahead and drove it. When I did take a bad road, they were the size of bad bike paths in a jungle with no pavement. Steep hills, rock, gravel, mud and all nine kilometers would take about 45 minutes. Once, about 25 min into the trip, I ran into a big 4x4 truck coming the opposite direction. We had no choice but talk to each other and solve the problem getting around each other on the narrow road. We had to find a wider spot where one of us could drive around the other. While all that was going on, another truck pulled up behind mine. I told him to go ahead of me, as I didn’t know this road. Funny thing, all three of us had no idea how bad this road really was, the guy coming the opposite direction told us the road was really bad he did say we could make it but there was a bridge that was half washed away! At times I was looking up in the sky (my Angels) this feels good I’m going to make it, I don’t think a car can make it through this road and I was hard on (old faithful) my campervan. Again working with the Universe and Google maps got me through the jungle it just felt right to proceed and drive-through.
When I crossed the border at Panama, they only gave me a 30 day permit. I wanted to extend the permit. While there, I chatted with a person who had trouble getting his car from Cost Rica to Panama. I told him I had lots border problems, almost from the time I left Canada. Funny, he was originally from Lethbridge, Alberta but now resides in Seattle Washington with his wife and 5 children. They had to leave their car at the Costa Rica border, so I offered them a ride to a boat in Bocas del Toro. It was just over an hour drive, I learned a lot about them in that short time. They took their children out of school for a year to travel Costa Rica, then off to Europe this spring. I told all 5 kids wow! what an amazing education and experience they are getting from their traveling and home schooling from their parents. I hope they read this and send me the photo they took of us. A very adventurous family!
The meditation pose photo of me above, was fun to take. It started by me asking my 83 year old airbnb next room neighbor Bob, to take a picture on top of my campervan, in the city while in a meditation position. While driving to the location, Bob suggested that I will have a hard time finding a place to take the photo. I said not at all, I know where I want to take it. While driving through rush hour traffic, a perfect location stumbled upon us. We pulled over to the side of the busy road and I climbed to the top of the van. I got into a meditation pose and Bob started snapping pictures of me between two uniquely designed office towers. No one got mad; people were taking pictures and got many thumbs for my ordeal. Wow, sometimes a picture is worth a 1,000 words and this is one of them….
Check out my buddy John’s penthouse condo in Gorgona, Panama and I told him what a great deal for me a buck a night I still owe him two buck maybe next time I go there, sometimes the universe give me things for next to nothing. I received such a good response on facebook for this video so I have to post it on my website.
Where I got my education and knowing is from my loving family, traveling, friends, Landmark education, Centre for Spiritual Living, my friend ask KJ, Rose, my last job with 1111 the office staff and the hard working men and women in the field and of course all those courageous travelers I get to meet while traveling. I thank you all.
I have applied to Global Degree, I could see it now the campervan (old faithful) in Europe or for my traveling friends you can also apply yourself just make a 2 to 3 minute video of yourself of why you want to get your Global Degree and how you can contribute to the team. You will see 50 countries in Europe. You get free airfare, free accommodation and free insurance for 8 months of travel. You can also see my video on Global Degree and vote for me.
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
The drive from Calgary to Panama City Panama old faithful (the campervan) makes it without a scratch, (winter 2015/16) started in Canada
Then the United States, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and now in Panama
After my amazing Christmas in El Salvador, I spent New Year’s in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, to watch an amazing firework show…..
Dutch Peter and I left El Salvador after Christmas, with no real plans of our next adventure. We heard from other backpackers who suggested for us to check out Leon Nicaragua, so that is where we were headed. We drove through Honduras, on the worst roads in Central America. People often say it is part of the Pan America highway, and everyone who drives it pays for it?....Don’t know where that money is going?
We drove to Leon, a nice little Colonial city and stayed for a couple of days. We then drove off to another Colonial City, Granada. Motoring around the lake on the way to Granada, we experienced for the first time a Policia trying to take us for money. We got pulled over. Alarm set in!. They acused me of not wearing a seatbelt? As well, we were also charged for not having a front licence plate! The Policia took and held my license and told me to go to a bank in the next town and withdraw $200.00 US for him!. At the time, they were in the back of their van. I had some money, about $50.00 bucks, and tried to give it to him. He yelled “NO”, go back into your van and we will talk. The Policia do not like people pulling out cash in public where other people might see. We came up with another $75 dollars, made a deal and got my licence back! Wow, what an experience and we continued onward! Can you believe about half hour later, another Policia pulled us over. I explained to them strait out that another couple Policia a while back took all our money. I was upset, and said rather loudly ” we have no money left”. I felt I got robbed by someone who has authority (police)over me and it’s not a good feeling. When in Granada I just wanted to get out of the country. I told Peter that my wish was to go to a small beach and just chill out for a couple of days. So that is how we ended up in San Juan del Sur. It was a great place to just relax, chill, reenergize and it was only about an hour to the Costa Rica boarder. We saw totally amazing fireworks all over town, particularly after midnight. I did get a bit of the fireworks on video .Approaching the grand finale, they had a “burning man” displayed in the middle of the street full of fireworks and firecrackers. We watched him burn! Wow, just maybe this is the day where women can get back at their man…lol. Things are so different when you travel!
’It’s New Years day and I am on the road again, alone, this time to Playa del Coco, Costa Rica. I have visited there before with my nephew Shane and his cousin Josh. A few years ago, I took the two of them to a hostel for their first time. At the time, we were staying in a five star resort, but the contrast to a hostel was a great experience for them. The same hostel was not available when I arrived this time, so I found another one nearby. The usual routine when I enter a new hostel is to let them know I will sleep in my campervan. Usually this gets me a great deal! Upon entering this hostel, the room was large and had air conditioning that really worked. I ended up staying in the room for the night. Oh, did I sleep! Lounging around the hostel, I got acquainted to three fun guys: Joel from Costa Rica, Leon from Germany and Korbyn from California. I discussed the fact that I was off to San Jose the next day and asked if they wanted to join me on the trip in Old Faithful? Well, both Joel and Leon lived in San Jose, and accepted a ride there with gleam. Korbyn, we called him (Bruce) because that was on the back of his football shirt, and myself went to visit an old friend of mine from Calgary. He and his wife Olga were great hosts. We had dinner, a few drinks even breakfast the next morning. Thanks again Scott and Olga for your hospitality! The next morning after breakfast, Korbyn and I were back on the road to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. We found a great place to stay at the Rocking J’s campsite/hostel. Wow, it was so big! I think they had about 100 tents to rent or bring your own tents, hammocks, dorms and private rooms. Here were the two of us in a campervan, sometimes a bit boring! I heard they had 600 people there the night before. After a few days, I told Korbyn it’s time for me to commence the final leg of my journey to Panama, a place where I have a few good friends. If truth be known, I am a bit worried about Korbyn because he is only 19 years of age with not much experience travelling and backpacking. He likes to drink and buy people drinks. He is a good kid, and I asked a mature Canadian traveller that I met that night, to keep an eye on him for me. After talking to Korbyn the next morning, he assured me that there is nothing to worry about. He said he will take good care of himself and thanked me for caring and being his friend. I will definitely call him upon his return to LA on Sunday.
On the road again with Old Faithful (the campervan)….
Pete Montgomery TravelCheapWithPete.com
I am now in Granada Nicaragua, and crossing borders cannot be done to quickly when driving a campervan. Permits are required and I could not get insurance in three countries, Guatemala, El Salvador and possibly Honduras. I tried hard to find insurance. Many locals thought I was Loca [ Spanish means crazy.] In Honduras, I was charged $35.00 US for only a three hour drive through the country. I have to be careful
When I arrived at the El Salvador border, I hired someone that said he was an agent for the country of El Salvador. Badge number #169 never gave me a price until we were all done. His price was $40.00 US. And I questioned what he really did for me? Well, he did help with the translation as well as get me moved to the front of the line which saved a bit of time. I did pay him, no problem. I thanked him for showing me what needs to be done when I to go through my next 4 countries. In a sense, I guess he helped prepare me, a good thing!
Exiting El Salvador, as well as all the countries I go through, I must go to emigration to suspend my visitor’s visa and campervan permits until I cross the new country line. I have to renew everything again. In most cases, there are big delay's at both ends, very frustrating waiting in line ups. It would be so much easier taking a bus.
While exiting El Salvador, I saw the back up of many truckers waiting in line. I then decided to drive around them, just like agent #169 instructed me to do ,in order to save loads of time .Suddenly, I had no less than 10 agents all over me screaming and yelling, angry with me? In my loud English voice, I said "no, get out of here"! "I know how to do this myself" ,but they kept on coming. Again, suddenly, one of the agents yelled my name, "Pete". I looked at him curiously, and asked "how do you know my name"? He said that his friend helped me at the opposite end. He said his friend charged me too much. But that he wasn’t really his friend....Wow?... My solution to the problem of choosing an agent was to pick the quietest one in the noisy group. I told him I am paying $10.00 dollars, US tops! He was happy with that amount. Can you believe he did not even have an agent # badge, but he did have a name, which I forgot? My Dutch bodyguard Peter [kidding, as if I need a bodyguard but we do watch each other’s back], could see it in his eyes that I was having problems. He knew I paid way too much at the last border. In the end, I gave no name a $5.00 tip but drove away with tons of valuable experience!
It took about three hours driving time through Honduras to the Nicaragua border. We drove through some real bad roads and it was getting dark..It is not a good idea to drive at night, very difficult to spot potholes. I suggested to Peter that we get a hotel once we cross the border and he agreed about the danger. While waiting at the Nicaragua border, we met another nice traveler coming through from Guatemala. He asked me if I spoke Spanish, I said a bit but I get by with laughs and smiles [you know me!]. We agreed that we couldn't do these roads at night, so he and his wife followed me to the next town. They would be a great help with my Spanish at the border. We got through the Nicaraguan border with ease this time. About ten K’s from the border, there was a road block. I did not know wither they were Policia, or Militar? They waved l me over. Opening my window, I said "I’m English (Ingles)",and he asked me for some "water" (agua)! I said "yes I am drinking one now", and he took it from me and immediately blew a whistle and pointed to proceed. I drove away laughing!...The roads were really good in Nicaragua , ended up driving an hour to a bigger city still with the couple from Guatemala. I gave the couple my card ,thanked them and told them I hoped to hear from them again!
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
I heard my whatsapp has been not working the past week. Now in Nicaragua for the New Year then Costa Rica Sunday. My new number in Nicaragua is 505-7810-6075. I will change my number again when I arrive in Panama or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Cheers Pete
Merry Christmas to my friends and family. Off camera I had tears of joy after the family figured out what I was trying to say giving them a bicycle for a Christmas gift, they were all so excited. Drove them all home afterwards and they invited Dutch Peter and I to their place anytime. It all started off a couple of days ago when I asked the manager of the hostel if he knew of any family that are in need in the area he told me about the grandparents bringing up these four young children. I ask if he can invite the family to the hostel to have dinner with them. The dinner was really nice, the kids were so good. The family was polite and we had fun trying to figure out what we were trying to say to each other which is always a good time.
The 64 year old grandmother who takes care of 4 grandchildren with age range from 8 to 13 ran around the hostel hugging and thanking everyone. In the restaurant they had a TV, the children were so excited to watch the TV but when dinner came they turned it off, washed their hands and really enjoyed their meal with Dutch Peter and I. We had a great three days staying in a small surfing village in El Tunco, El Salvador just relaxed and the highlight was having the family over for Christmas.
This is what Christmas is about to me, giving to strangers and to see the smiles and joy in their faces. So many in need that need our help in this world. If you see a homeless person, just make them smile make them feel good tell them a joke, maybe give them food, or clothing you no longer need. Let’s work together to make this world a better place. Merry Christmas to my two daughters and their extended families love you and miss you all, You don't even have to speak the same language to communicate.
We made a wrong turn on our way to Lanquin and therefore had to take a scenic road. It may have been longer but well worth it: About a 6 hour drive in the jungle and mountains on roads that look like we should not have gone through... but old faithful (the van) made it. Even though we had to stop over night in a place where we did not want to stay, but I didn’t want to drive at night... especially on those roads! Next to that, the brakes had to cool down as they were smoking.
I was driving while shooting this video. Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
After experiencing all the wonder, beauty and people of Mexico, it was time to leave. I love it there and will always go back.
I invited all of my facebook friends to join me on the remaining part of my trip, Cancun to Panama. Hey, guess what, no responses…? As a result, I met a very experienced traveler at the Hostel in Cancun, named Fokke [Peter] from Holland. He agreed to join me on the exciting final leg of my journey! our last night in Playa Del Carmen with my long time Mexican friend Yax-can.
We started off at a campsite in Bacalar, Mexico called the Green Monkey. Legend has it that there are seven colors of blue in Lake Bacalar.
This is where I heard the saying “Don’t Worry Be a Hippie”…. Everyone was so laid back, playing guitar, singing, dancing, so in tune with the surroundings…A large community dinner followed that evening and yoga began at 6:30 am the next morning. I talked to a few people on the dock in the afternoon to see if we could find another traveler to join us on the trip. Another person would help reduce expenses. A young lady from Germany approached me that evening, asking if her and her and her two friends could get a ride with us to Belize city. I said no problem, absolutely yes!....Backpackers try to look out for each other on the road ,one helping the other. We now have two Germans, two Canadians and one Dutchmen driving to Belize city. It was a fun drive. After we dropped the girls off in Belize city ,Peter and I carried on to San Ignacio, Belize for the night. We stayed at a nice hostel and they charged me $10.00 for use of all the amenities. I slept soundly in the van. There was a funny situation that happened in Belize. Peter and I were still trying to speak Spanish to the people ,but Belize is an English speaking country. Wow, it felt weird speaking English again, wink wink[my Spanish is a little better]…. Great city to visit, very friendly people and lots going on with families in the Centro park and small streets.
During our stay in Flores, we chatted with a young lady named Stephanie. She has been traveling for a year and a half now, on her own through South and Central America. She is also a blogger. We let her know that we were heading to Rio Dulce in the morning, the same place she wanted to go. She asked if she could hitch a ride? We said of course, see you in the morning. Next day ,while picking her up, another girl Cyriara ,asked if she can join us for the 4 hour trip south. It was no problem for us. Again, backpackers like to help each other out. Arriving in Rio Dulce, Stephanie informed us that she had been here before, couch surfing on a boat. So off we went to the marina and asked the owner if there is a campsite close by? They gave us directions through a gated campsite. The site had no trees. We asked the hotel the cost to set up a tent as well as have my van parked there? They gave us a real good deal $30.00 USD[ $7.50 each for a 4 star resort]. Outstanding Deal! We get to use everything, including the use of the large, scenic pool overlooking the lake. Oh, so fortunate that I brought my tent along to share with others, looks like we may stay two nights at least. Travelling is so fun and exciting! Pete Montgomery from TavelCheapWithPete.com
The cities are much bigger in Mexico than I first thought. I see much more driving that I do by bus, or flying over!
Driving through Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Merida, I noticed many new developments, particularity in the outskirts of each city. To my total surprise, the colonial city of Merida has a skating rink in one of its big shopping centres. They are copying West Edmonton Mall, maybe?
Thanks to the Mayan hostel in Cancun, I was charged only 50 pesos (less then 5 bucks Canadian) a night for total use of their facilities. James, from Nova Scotia, is a volunteer at the hostel and made me an amazing spaghetti dinner when I first arrived. Wow, how did he know spaghetti is my favourite meal?
I have met many good people in Mexico. Marcella’s brother Silvano, his wife Maria and their three children invited me to their home in Merida.I got introduced to their Mexican culture quickly. After we saw their son play soccer, Silvano and I took off to Izamal city known mostly for it’s bright yellow buildings. The City of hills are actually the remains of ancient temple pyramids. Merida is known as the “white city” and also capital city of Yucatan. This area is famous for its rich Mayan history as well as some of Mexico’s most important archaeological sites.
The one thing I always like to do while travelling, is visit cities and explore the culture. I want to experience first hand how people live presently and as well as learn about their past existence. In most cities, something is always happening at the main plaza (Centro park). In Merida, I watched a couple of amazing shows. One was a game similar to soccer with a hard rubber ball. Players could only use their hips or butts to move the ball ,a very difficult athletic technique.. Watching another game similar to volley ball, a burning fire ball was introduced .Object was to try and get the team through a vertical basketball hoop. One team on one side of the hoop and the other team on their side of the hoop…..Wow , unbelievable to witness, so amazing and different to see!
Time for me to leave Mexico. I hope to leave Sunday, hitting the highways to Belize. Time moves on and my apologies for missing friends that are coming down during the Christmas break. I will always love Mexico, for the people, culture, history and scenery….
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
My three day trip took six days. First overnight stop was in Guadalajara. It's got so much history in that city. Then I had two nights in Aguascalientes with my Mexican friend Marcela. She took me to meet some of her family members we had good talk and laughs with our English and Spanish talk (I’m still trying to teach the world English)lol.. Marcela took me on a tour of her city I learnt so much. Like in this city they have built two state of the art assembly plants the biggest in Latin America. Nissan and Chrysler are also building plants here too in Aguascalientes. I also found out this is the center of Mexico with a eagle monument, so many seventies hundred buildings including catholic churches mostly catholic and they also have the biggest San Marcos national fair mucho fiesta (party) in the country in April and May. I found Aguascalientes safe and clean. Again thank you Marcela for letting me hang out with your Mexican family for a couple of days.
From Aguascalientes to Playa Del Carmen. Took two nights and three days of driving. You don’t want to drive at night because you just don’t know the shape of the roads and you have to see where you’re going.
Three towns that come to mind. The first one is Quere Caro, it's so beautiful. New houses, condos mixed with the old city along the mountain side. Another town that was interesting was Pulbla . I saw live volcano’s. Wow! looked like a big cloud of steam coming from it, I did by pass Mexico city and in I think it was San Jose Cayachapa driving from the top of a mountain to the valley below was stunning so lush and green with all the homes and some farm land below, lucky they were good roads to drive on. This is the time I needed my camera man Joe. He would have even knew the town and he would have made me stop for a photo.
On my way here I ran into about a dozen police stop checks and I only got pulled over twice. The English and Spanish thing works in my favour sometimes, they just laughed while I tried my best Spanish with a smile of course, and then they just let me go on my way.
I am now in Playa Del Carmen Staying two blocks from the beach across from the Rio hostel I know the owner Marcello for a couple of years now he is charging me $10.00 a day to use the hostel for amenities while I get to sleep in the van (nice to get back into my own bed again in the van). During this leg of the trip I did sleep in my van once at a truck stop in a city called Frontera.
Next country Belize!
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete com
This place is absolutely gorgeous and cost me nothing, thanks to my Calgary friends Glen Beckel and Terry B. Terry’s big 2,400 sf condo on the 20 th floor has three large bedrooms with a amazing ocean and city views. They invited me in to stay and I get to hang out with a couple good guys for a week! The 5 star condo is renting for $1500/week, well worth the price for its great location, close to everything. From my $3 to $5 a day hostel to a luxury condo what a nice treat thanks to my two Calgary buddies.
During my travels I often stay in hostels. l let them know I’m a blogger when I travel to Mexico and central America. I ask for a special price for using their facilities [washroom, shower, pool and kitchen]. I explain that I will be sleeping in my van parked outside the Hostel. On this trip, I am also looking to find some fellow travellers who might share the gas and tolls. I find that people who stay in hostels have each other’s back. A bond between all of us forms and we often hang out for dinner, lunch, walks and sometimes even a beer or two. The Hostel has all our information as we are all being tracked by our passports. Nice to know that if something happens, copies of our passports at our disposal.
I am always looking for fun places great deals on the road. Around every corner there is one!. In Puerto Vallarta, there are two great, bars, Cheeky monkey and Sea monkey beers for a buck and I was finding loads off great restaurants cheap $8 to $12 dinner’s that include chips and salsa with your meal. Terry took us to a couple of really good spots for steak and spaghetti. These were high end places but the price was very affordable! Oh, love the food here in Puerto Vallarta.
Well it’s time for me to move on now to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, about a 28 hour drive. It should take about three days or longer depending on length of stay along the way. One town I must visit is Aguascalientes, a city in the centre of Mexico. I met Marcela in Calgary a few years ago who makes her home in Aguascalientes. She invited me to her place any time I’m around her city she only lives 2 hours from Guadalajara what a beautiful drive from PV to Guadalajara Mexico, and the city of Guadalajara is also so beautiful, stayed at a hostel in Guadalajara to see if anyone wants to join me and help pay for the gas and tolls J they charged me $10.00 and I get to sleep in my van again this hostel even has a pool table. Now in Aguascalientes.
I am so grateful to my friend Terry B for inviting me to stay at his luxury condo in Puerto Vallarta. What a great way to start my journey south to Panama City. I am zig zagging my way there because I am exploring all Mexico and Central America. I love travelling and the freedom that comes with it….Been on the road one month already and the experiences have been over the top….Learning tons!!!!
Pete Montgomery the high end guy from TravelCheapWithPete.com always looking for deals for you....
I want to thank Joe again for stepping in and do the Blogging on our travels together from Calgary to Phoenix. I do agree with Joe that I am all over the map when it comes to putting a trip together. I’m all over the map for a reason, I love diversity. I get to experience firsthand a wide variety of counties, cultures and sceneries that I drive through. I enjoy the ride and watching the world unfold around me! Joe, on the other hand, loves to take pictures. He takes more pictures than anyone I know. Many times I had to quickly stop on busy freeways, narrow roads, and dangerous cliffs and do U turns for his picture. I courageously told Joe one day on our travels, that he does not see much and then takes a picture of it. Joe went nuts. “No one has ever said anything to him before about that”, was his reply. After some deep soul searching by Joe, he did agree to slow down on the pictures and relax, experience more, see more of the scenery. During the trip, the camaraderie between Joe and I was priceless. We took shots at each other constantly, we never laughed so hard in my life!
Anyone who wants to join me on my travels, look at my contact page. There you will find my phone #’s and email’s. I still can’t believe that I picked up a sim card in Vegas for $60.00/ month. Unlimited talk, text and 4 gigs of data that I can use in Canada, Mexico and of course the US. Hey, maybe I should open up the first AT&T store in Canada and Mexico. I should send this great idea to the Dragons Den and Shark Tank and AT&T. We pay way too much in Canada - time for change.
Before I drove my Van into Mexico, I had to purchase Mexican auto insurance. I picked it up from Alan @ Motor Mexico for $254.00, active for six months. I have myself covered even though I may never go back home. Oh, I forgot my two daughters Crystal and Tiffany might read this blog…. Its okay girls, I will see you every summer and I know you would like to visit me where it is warm in winter. In addition to auto insurance, a vehicle permit is required at a cost of $268.00 US, returnable upon departing Mexico. As a final point, I paid about $140.00 US for highway tolls so far and I still have lots to see in Mexico.
It has been expensive entering Mexico. It is a new country with different policies and standards, each requiring time, patience and $. I plan to save on food and living expenses I will make up for it I got a real nice place on airbnb my own room and bathroom for $20.00 US and the couple that own the house are from Calgary, check out their room on airbnb for my first couple of nights in Puerto Vallarta, my van will be my home for most of my travels, right now I am staying at a hostel where I have full use of everything but I will sleep in the van, it started off for free but the reception did not know that it was free so she charged me $7.00, I will fix that up later, I agree I should pay something say $5.00 a night, I know everything will balance out for me, for sure!
c.c Dragons Den, Shark Tank and AT&T
Blog from Pete Montgomery from Travel Cheap With Pete com
Coronavirus count around the world go to World O Meter
Track the number of COVID-19 vaccine recipients in Canada.
Our world Data
Check out your country
If your travel health insurance don't cover COVIT you can get it with Goose Insurance
Where Canadians can travel plus travel health insurance and find great travel deals go to Ydeals