Monday, May 30, 2011

Margarita Island, Venezuela

This entry is long overdue, but here none the less.

My trip to Margarita Island was Feb 22, 2011. I traveled to Dunes Resort with my mother dearest and my lovely younger sister. We had a great time, even with the copious amounts of unusual rain.

I took a jeep safari (one of the recommended touristy things), and I have to say it was pretty cool. We toured the whole island, got out at different scenic locations and had a blast with the fellow Canadians in our group. I would also recommend this for others traveling here.

Another fun adventure I experienced was scuba diving, Los Frailes. The dive spots aren't the top in the world, but I did see my first squid!! Here is where you want to look online and find the best prices and notable guides. I found the prices through the hotel 2x as much as what I paid. Los Frailes is a great spot for new and beginner divers. GO EXPLORE THE OCEAN BLUE!

Last but not least, the night life... I went "downtown" to the capital, Polarmar. It was quite fun, consisting mainly of locals from Caracas (mainland, Venezuela). The prices are fair, and the music is just my style!

Overall, the trip was relaxing and adventurous. The hotels aren't anything to write home about, but the beaches and mountain views are something neat to experience.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chiclayo to Mancora, oh what a drive

Arriving in Chiclayo, on 3 hours sleep is a difficult task. We A) didn't know much about this small city and B) didn't really know the best option to get to our main destination, Mancora.

All we knew is that it was around 5-6 hours away.

So waiting for our luggage I spotted 2 backpacker looking guys (from Netherlands). I quickly asked them where they were going. Their response, "Mancora". PERFECT I thought. Now second question, How are you getting to Mancora? Their response, "no idea, you?" BAHHH!
So we quickly came to the consensus of double teaming and sharing a cab, which we overpaid for but of course talked him down and price and thought we were getting a good deal. (400 soles for 4 people in a small car, he started at 600 soles. we then get to mancora and are told it should have been 250, 300 MAX) OH well, another lesson learned folks.

It was an adventurous drive, going 160km steady with no seat belts (YIKES), stopping for "brunch" at a sketchy little place they didn't quite know how to cook huevos (eggs).... but all in all, we reached our final destination: MANCORA! We all went to the AMAZING hostel, KoKoPelli (, hopped in the pool, ordered a beer and relaxed the rest of the day.

Did I mention the 2 Dutch guys are some of the funniest guys I've ever met, that was also a highlight of course :)

Lima Hustlers


Don't ever get into a cab without making sure the price agreed for the trip is clear as can be!

We ran into a slight dilemma when arriving at our sketchy airport hostel in Lima. We arrive late and were starrrrrrving, and since I refused to eat the KFC down the street we asked the man at the front desk where the closest supermarket was... little did we know that it was SO far (he left that part out).. So he quickly got us a cab (clearly a friend, but assured us it was a "seguro" which means "safe" cab company) and we were on our way to the supermarket. Once on the ride the driver was saying he would drive us to the airport in the morning (perfect right?) for the same fair we received it coming from the airport to the hotel. BUT THEN started talking amounts in DOLLARS, not soles.... (not so cool).
Luckily for me I am a good arguer (even in espanol), so I talked down the price a lot, knowing it was still way too high...
So after our muy caro (expensive) supermarket trip (bananas that would originally cost 15 cents each, were now 2 dollars each), we agreed to pay 1/3 of the whole price (he wanted it all up front... NO WAY BUDDY)...

The follow morning, bright and early to catch our flight to Chiclayo, we were greeted by our lovely taxi driver. The only thing he didn't know is that I was planning on stiffing him as soon as we arrived. And that is just what we did. We paid him 1/2 of what was left to owe. Hahaha and ran away...

SO Lesson learned, be more aggressive BEFORE you get in the taxi, as apposed to while inside it...

But it did feel good to return the favour to him, someone tries to rip me off, I'm going to rip them off right BACK!