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Old 02-15-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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golddog runs around

Inspired by chopstick's excellent thread, I'm going to try to keep one running as well.

Fair warning, though: I am neither as interesting nor as good a writer as chopstick.

Suggestions for a better title, are welcome. I was trying to think of a play on 'chasing the ball', which would be both golddog-ish and the ball representing the world, but I failed. Running around is something golddogs like to do too though.

I'll start a little bit with last week's trip to Costa Rica. I've traveled a fair amount over the past several years; if this becomes something people are interested in, I can try to recount some of these as well.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: golddog runs around

where are the pictures and how much weed do you smoke?
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #3
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OK, so Costa Rica. I had enough frequent flier miles with Frontier to get a free round-trip somewhere. They've become a relatively poor experience after being bought by Spirit, so I figured I'd use my miles then avoid them.

Flew out of DIA at 23:55 MST Saturday night, got to San Jose at 6:05 CST Sunday morning. Uneventful flight. I did buy some Bose noise-canceling headphones; they seemed to help a lot, and I was able to get a few hours sleep, though very tired.

Through customs and immigration with no problems, found Enrique, the driver who took me to Arenal. Enrique didn't speak English, and I only have a little Spanish, but we got along o.k. He tried to tell me about a place when we through a little town, or by the coffee farm, and I mostly got what he was saying.

I'd heard about the crazy drivers and poor roads in addition to being really hard to find your way, so had a travel company set up drivers for me between stops. Looking back, I still think that was a good idea, but probably could've gotten by with a GPS and some care.

A somewhat rainy, misty day as we plowed along. These roads were in pretty good condition, maybe something like a state or county highway we might have in the US. Two-lane blacktop, with no shoulder. We did see a flatbed on its side somewhere in the mountains. The marks in the soft earth where his right tires got off the road were plainly visible, and he'd toppled over. Fortunately, no one appeared to be hurt, and there was another truck already there taking on the load.

So anyway, got to Montana de Fuego near Arenal, which is an active (though nothing happened while I was there) volcano about 9:00. A nice place, not luxurious--maybe best described as spartan from American view. The room wasn't ready yet, so I left my suitcase and went on a trail on the property down to Rio Arenal.

On the way down, there were some nice little waterfalls.

It started raining. I'd never been in a rainforest before. I was surprised at how much light and water the canopy kept off. I was certainly wet, but also pouring off sweat due to the heat and humidity. Once I'd gotten to the river, I was very surprised to see how steady the rain was coming down in the open area over the river compared to how little of that got through the canopy.

Hot and humid enough that I had to keep taking off my glasses because they would fog over. Slogged along through the mud and eventually got back up to the resort area. A pretty good start, a two-hour hike which was a quite good workout. By that time, the room was ready.

As I said, a simple place. Good for me--I don't need luxury. It was clean, safe, had bed, bath, fridge and TV. Nice grounds with a bunch of tropical flowers and plants around.




Unfortunately, the mountain was mostly shrouded in the clouds today, so I rested up and didn't do a whole lot the first day. Here's my view from the front porch though.


Last edited by golddog; 02-15-2015 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:09 PM   #4
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where are the pictures and how much weed do you smoke?
Pictures/write-ups coming a bit at a time (physically on photobucket, if that's what you're asking).

I very rarely smoke (years between sessions). I have friends that partake, and every once in a while I'll feel like taking a few tokes when I'm with them.

That being said, I am certainly pro-legalization. Seems like it's no more problematic than things like tobacco or alcohol (the latter of which I certainly indulge in), so it seems like it would be pretty hypocritical of me to say, "My thing's o.k. for people to use but not yours."

I suppose there should be limits, but I don't know where to place them either. Anyway, don't want to derail.

I'll try to get back and add a few more posts over the next few days, and see if anybody has interest.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:13 PM   #5
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Re: golddog runs around

Are you traveling solo?
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:35 PM   #6
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Re: golddog runs around

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Are you traveling solo?
He said he travels the world a lot with his golden retriever iirc.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:20 PM   #7
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Re: golddog runs around

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Are you traveling solo?
Yes. That's a lot of why I chose to go with drivers instead of renting. Figured trying to navigate and drive in a foreign area would maybe be too much

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He said he travels the world a lot with his golden retriever iirc.
No, the golddog is my late retriever, but she never traveled overseas with me. I'd sometimes take her on driving trips if I was staying with people I knew and they were cool with it.

I think you can't just show up in most countries with pets; they have to go in quarantine to prove they're not rabid (or have something else).
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:30 PM   #8
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Day 2: La Fortuna

La Fortuna is the town nearest Arenal. About 9 km from the resort. Just kicked around in the morning, hit the pool, then caught a ride into town.

The weather was starting to clear and was getting a nicer view of the volcano


Not really much to report. It was a pleasant little tourist town, lots of restaurants and shops.



A nice plaza in front of the cathedral


Mostly did the tourist thing: a couple of beers, had something to eat, bought some stuff for people back here.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:53 PM   #9
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Day 3: Arenal

The weather cleared off, and got some nice views of Arenal



Took a little walk down the road, and saw a sign about a native village down a side road. Went down there, took a path down to the river, then in the village met Chuyachuya. He was the shaman for the village and they had a hut with local crafts. Also, they were selling plastic bottles full of natural remedies for various things, with the problem written on masking tape and stuck to the bottle.

Fortunately, I didn't suffer from any of the ailments they were curing.

Went on a guided walk through the rainforest this afternoon.



Almost immediately, Oscar (the guide) pointed out a snake in a tree. Eyelash viper, I think it was called. Quite venomous I guess.



Then a little way down the path, there were spider monkeys up in the trees.



I found it very difficult throughout this trip to get decent photos. This is a relatively open area, and even there it was hard to shoot through the canopy. When I was deeper in the forest, the canopy took so much light away, it was really hard to shoot anything and get detail.

So anyway, we went down the path, more into the jungle. This area is known for its hanging bridges. There's six of these suspension bridges over various areas (with nine more regular flat metal plank-type bridges over smaller creeks).



They had some decent heights and spans. Bounced around a bit as you crossed. I'm not super adventurous, but I rather enjoyed it. I could see where some people would freak though. Oscar said sometimes they get someone in there, and just have to be patient and walk them through it.

Nice view from one of them:



Then we saw the coral snake. Apparently also quite venomous. Sorry about the poor quality; as I said, the canopy made it very tough.



Further down the path, mantled howler monkeys were up in the trees. I barely saw them at all.

All during the walk we saw birds here and there, and got information about the plants and bugs and whatnot. Oscar was very knowledgeable and a very good guide.

Afterward, back to the resort. Walked down the road to a restaurant I'd noticed earlier in the day, had a nice steak and potato dinner. Back to the room for the night.

After the sun went down, I went outside to see if the stars were any better out here. Not really, as it turns out; there's enough lighting around the resort to make it pretty much the same.

However, I did notice these little geckos hanging out on the side of the building.



It's hard to make out, but the one is inside the fixture.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:22 PM   #10
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Day 4: Arenal to Monteverde

Woke up to a nice sunrise:



After breakfast, packed up for the trip over to Monteverde, to stay in the cloud forest. Started with a van ride to the lake. Then a boat ride down Lake Arenal. Luis went mostly along the shore and would stop if there were birds or something about until the point we needed to cut across.



On the other side of the lake, we piled into several vans. Now it became apparent why you're advised not necessarily to rent a car in Costa Rica.

The roads the rest of the way were very rough dirt and rock roads. Not graded at all, rocks sticking out all over the place. The driver did a good job trying to work around them, but as he said, "you get free Costa Rica massage on this trip."

By this time, my Spanish was picking up a little bit; I could at least make myself understood most of the time, and get quite a lot of what we being said if the person spoke slowly enough.

As we were entering a little village, he pointed out some horses; I made a little joke of "Usted es el caballero de minivan" (you are the cowboy of the minivan). He laughed a bit and gave the dash a nice coaxing rub, he got it.

We stopped at one point for a nice view.



After a while, stopped in another small town for a quick break at a restaurant. The family who happened to be right in front of me on the boat switched over to the van I was riding in. The people who were with me went elsewhere. Don't know why we didn't just start out with this setup, but o.k.

Anyway, this guy was hanging out there.



After a while more, we got into the resort where I was staying. Checked in, dropped off the bags, and took a walk into the little town of Santa Elena.

When I got back, the room was ready. Another place which was nice but rustic. No TV or fridge, but comfortable enough.





They had a few trails on the property, so did a short hike or two. While sitting on the porch later in the day, Marcelo the pizote came along.



He's generally comfortable around humans, but not tame. Chased after insects and ate fruit that the resort left out for him.

I also saw an agouti, but it scampered off into the woods before I could get a picture. Imagine a giant guinea pig.

Only here two nights, so maybe it's coincidence. It seemed as if it was always at least misty/breezy in the cabin/restaurant area, but walk a couple of hundred meters down the road and it was nice and sunny.

We were in kind of a little hollow, with the rainforest all around, but especially up the hills. My theory is that the forest was evaporating so much water that it kept a little cloud above the top of the hill, which forced the air to blow down the hill, and it blew out pretty quickly.

But I'm no meteorologist.

Anyway, the main building housed the restaurant/bar, which had an area out back to watch the sunset. So I did.



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Old 02-16-2015, 01:38 PM   #11
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Day 5: Monteverde

After breakfast, went on the two remaining trails at the lodge. The sign at the start of the road claims the Cloud Forest Lodge is "the original canopy tour around the world."

While on the first trail, did see some zipliners above me.



The second wound down to this little creek on the property.



After a short rest, wandered the 3km or so into Santa Elena for the afternoon. Saw some nice looking birds on the way.





I guess this is a birder's area. At least, many of the people at the lodge seemed to be in a group doing birdwatching.

Anyway, Santa Elena pretty typical tourist town. Shops, restaurants, hostels, etc. Main part roughly triangular, about 3 blocks on a side.



Lunch, bought a friend a T shirt, tourist wandering. There's small brew pub sort of thing on the edge of town, so I stopped for one on the way back. It was nice, sit on the porch and watch the people go by, relaxing in the shade.

Back to the lodge for the sunset. Nothing too great, I think this is probably the best picture of the lot:

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Old 02-16-2015, 01:56 PM   #12
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Day 6: Monteverde to San Jose

A bit rainy. Checked out after breakfast, driver was there, so off we went. Picked up another few groups in the area, and had the ride to San Jose.

A pretty bad road and a bit slick from the rain, but the driver knew what he was doing. We wound up and around, and came out of the rain forest into a much drier looking area. Reminded me somewhat of Colorado, mountains and not so thick of coverage (although still more lush than here).



Stopped at a restaurant near a small river, which made for a pleasant leg stretch:



It didn't come out too well, but there's a family splashing around in what must be a little natural pool a little way upstream.



We'd been off the dirt/rock road for a little while, and were not on the famous Pan American highway. Now I've been on the north end and the middle, I guess I'll have to hit Ushuaia some day.

Dropped off the rest of the people, got to the Barcelo Palacio de San Jose early afternoon. It was a nice place, too bad I only got to be there for about 14 hours.



I didn't get much of a taste of San Jose obviously. Seemed kind of like this big sprawling city with roads going every which way. Not much in the way of traffic control, I only saw two stoplights the whole time. Seemed very much as if you'd have to know where you were going, there didn't seem to be a lot of street signs either.

I just found my way over to the supermercado I'd noticed on the way in. The building had a small food court, so had some lunch, picked up some beer, then went back to the room. Weather wasn't great to be out, and I didn't want to wander around a strange city on my last night in town.

Here's the view from my room:





The football stadium was across the way:



Unfortunately, no game that night. Probably would've been fun to go see a match in a Latin American country.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:28 PM   #13
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Day 7: San Jose to Denver.

Had a 4:00 pickup scheduled for a 7:05 flight. Even though I'd went to be early the night before, still tired. Got up, the hotel was nice enough to pack the early risers a simple breakfast to get going (ham & cheese sandwich, apple, yogurt).

After finishing that up, I went outside since it was warm but breezy. A little while later, who walks up but Enrique, the same guy with whom I'd started this adventure. Tossed my bags in the van, and down the highway we went.

Got to the airport, the Frontier guy sent me over to an area to pay the departure tax. Costa Rica has you pay USD$29 to depart (or equivalent colones). Cash only, so anyone that goes, remember to keep a few bucks behind.

Got that settled, came back, guy tells me I have to fill out the form, despite all my information being printed on the back side when the tax agent scanned my passport. Sigh. A few minutes later, I'm in line to check in.

By now, it's probably 5:00. Good thing there was plenty of time, Frontier's system didn't seem to be working. Two couples checking in with another two or three groups in line in front of me. After fifteen minutes, nothing had moved. They were obviously having trouble with the system.

Finally, somebody tried another station, and things started going. Seems unlikely that the problem was on the desk end--I'd guess that a server, probably back in Denver, wasn't acting right, but who knows.

Anyway, security, wandered around for an hour. Into duty free, grabbed a nice bottle of Costa Rican rum I'd sampled up in Moneverde ($14 for a 7 year old aged liter).

Wasn't really hungry, but noticed they had a small food court: KFC, Quiznos, Smashburger and Cinnabon (I forgot to ask for the manager to see if that's really where Saul ended up). You know, in case I missed Denver.

We get on the plane. The couple next to me was telling how they'd confiscated her rock. She'd found a really pretty rock with crystals in it and wanted to take it back. Unfortunately, her checked bag was overweight, so they threw her rock in carry-on.

On the jetway, there's a table with agents rummaging through all carry-on bags. I've never seen that anywhere else; not sure if it's a security thing, or a smuggling thing or what. Anyway, they took her rock (we figured it was for security, but nobody knew for sure).

Anyway, Ron and Pam were a very nice couple. Somehow got on the subject of dogs and she showed me a picture of their young golden and told how they were going from DIA to somebody's place when we got back to get another. So, they're already o.k. in my book.

As we're getting ready to go, the captain comes on the P.A. and says we have to taxi over to another runway because the way the wind is blowing, and that will make us have to make a fuel stop in Houston. Ron said that he used to work in fueling at Orange County's airport, and that was not possible, which makes sense. But for whatever reason, off we went to Houston instead of direct to Denver as scheduled.

Not too bad in Houston, maybe 45 minutes. Fortunately, they opened the doors, so some nice fresh air (well, as close as you get in Houston, I guess) came in the cabin.

Flying to Denver, there was a commotion and a thump near the forward lavatory (we're in row 6). The flight attendant asks over the PA if there's anyone with professional medical experience on board.

Luckily, it was someone who hadn't eaten or drank enough all day, and just got light-headed and collapsed, nothing serious. They got her stabilized, moved people around so she could lay down, and all was o.k. At DIA, some EMTs came on to take her off and check her over. I happened to see her down by baggage, she said all was o.k.

I didn't think to ask her if Frontier charged her for getting her a bite to eat and something to drink.

So, a somewhat more interesting return than we should have had, but ultimately nothing seriously wrong.

Through customs and immigration without a hitch, walked out of the airport and the SkyRide (local bus service) route I use was sitting there waiting. As the driver loaded my suitcase, he told me he'd make my day--the fare box was broken and the ride was free. Small win!
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:26 PM   #14
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Re: golddog runs around

Thanks for the TR. Looking forward to more stories!
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:38 PM   #15
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Thanks for the TR. Looking forward to more stories!
Thank you for reading. I'm not sure where this is heading. I expect it to be more forward-looking.

If people are reading this and would like, I could try to dredge up some stories and photos from past trips:
  • Southern Africa/Europe (2014)
  • San Diego (2014)
  • Tonga/New Zealand (2010)
  • Australia (2009)
  • Australia/Asia (2008)
  • Alaska (2003 & 2000, I think)
  • Central Europe (2001)
  • London (1999)

With perhaps the occasional post for trips like going to the frozen north at the holidays or maybe Vegas trips, if something interesting should happen.

Of course, the further back in time I go, the less memory serves. Also, I'm not sure I've got a lot of those trips digitally recorded.

But, if anyone's interested, let me know.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:24 AM   #16
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Re: golddog runs around

subbed
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:03 PM   #17
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Thank you.

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Very nice thread! Loving the pictures. Looks beautiful there. Did you get on any Pokerstars?
Thank you. It was really nice.

No, I didn't bring a device of any kind. Getting away from that. Also, I don't think you can play just because you're temporarily in a country which allows people that level of freedom. I think the site makes you prove residency. Though I've never tried, could be wrong.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:10 PM   #18
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Re: golddog runs around

Grunching cuz i just looked at pics and saw no tits. Are there hooker stories or no?
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:25 PM   #19
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Grunching cuz i just looked at pics and saw no tits. Are there hooker stories or no?
Only one short one, I guess.

It is true that prostitution is legal in Costa Rica. Up until my last morning in Costa Rica, I hadn't seen evidence of it, though (I wasn't particularly looking).

That morning, I got down to the hotel lobby about 3:45 for an early ride to the airport. A cab pulls up in front of the door and just sits there.

I thought that was weird. Maybe he knows that people start rolling out about this time.

A few minutes later, a couple of young women in high heels and very tight dresses come rolling out of the elevator, drunkenly laughing with each other.

Seemed as if somebody upstairs had a good night, anyway.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:56 PM   #20
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hey man, are you just travelling or travelling around and play poker? Sick Thread aswell!
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:05 PM   #21
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hey man, are you just travelling or travelling around and play poker? Sick Thread aswell!
Not really travelling, just a vacation. I enjoyed chopstick's thread so much that I thought others might enjoy hearing of my travels.

I will have an occasional poker night, but that's not the point of my travels. I suppose I'll write something or another if I get to the WSOP again this year.

So, it will be kind of hit and miss, when I take a trip, going forward. Unless, as mentioned earlier, people would like to hear about some specific trip in my past, I can try to write something up from memory.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:38 PM   #22
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Re: golddog runs around

Subscribing and looking forward to more. Thanks for the kind words on my thread.

I'll likely be somewhere in SE Asia in July/August if you end up out there around that time. Not sure where yet, probably somewhere in the Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia/Thailand region. Researching that now, which is how I stumbled across your thread.

Great photos!
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:34 PM   #23
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Subscribing and looking forward to more. Thanks for the kind words on my thread.

I'll likely be somewhere in SE Asia in July/August if you end up out there around that time. Not sure where yet, probably somewhere in the Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia/Thailand region. Researching that now, which is how I stumbled across your thread.

Great photos!
Thank you.

I won't be doing much traveling this summer; up to my hometown next month. Hoping to blow $1k at this year's Seniors event, but I haven't booked yet.

Since I'm getting some positive feedback, I'll go around to some of my previous trips. Next stop, South Africa.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:53 PM   #24
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This might be kind of sporadic, but I'll try to keep posts going.

In March 2014, I took a trip to Southern Africa to see what the lions and elephants were doing.

In case anyone's interested, I actually started working with my local travel agent in about May 2013, and it looks like we finalized in July. She had a contact with someone at a place which specializes in African trip, we went through a few iterations of ideas I had, fitting together a schedule, etc etc. (Of course, it wasn't constant contact, but I think starting close to a year out isn't atypical, though I freely admit to being kind of OCD when planning big things like this).

I went in with the notion that "this will be nice, but isn't something I'm super psyched to do" (I've been fortunate to do all that stuff already). Once I went though, I'll say it was a great experience (except the actual travel), and I'm really glad I had the chance.

One of the nice things about Denver is we have several direct flights to other parts of the world. However, getting to South Africa is just tough from the US. It's a long ways, and I think requires transfers from anywhere here.

As I have quite a few miles on United, and any path was going to be multi-day, I chose Lufthansa to Frankfurt, train to Munich (I had something like 10 hours to kill), then Lufthansa again to Cape Town. (Lufthansa is a partner).

So, on a nice spring day, my neighbor Ralph dropped me at the bus stop, and my adventure began.

A few days before going, I'd met some friends for dinner, and one mentioned that it was good to get the seat behind the bulkhead for extra room. They must've reconfigured, it was miserable. I got very little sleep on the overnight.

Tip: on these long flights, it's pretty typical they will come around with a drink service followed by a meal after you've been in the air a while. I've found it's pretty helpful to get some OTC sleep aids, and have one with your meal and a beer or two. Usually can get some sleep. Unfortunately didn't work great this time.

Before going, I'd seen on both German airport's websites mention of shower facilities. I've done this on other transoceanic flights--even though you're still tired, you just feel a little better with a change of clothes and a wash.

Stumbled through customs, didn't find the shower, figured no big deal, there's one in Munich. Got on the ICE, caught a few Zs here and there, and saw some of the countryside.

Got into Munich's main train station downtown. Still had several hours to kill. Walked around a bit, got something to eat. Noticed a shower facility in the basement, but thought, "I'll wait til the airport, then wash up just before we leave to be clean as possible for the next long-haul." Kind of cool and breezy, so I didn't stay in town too long.

Wandered around the airport several hours. Never did find the shower there.

Another overnight to Cape Town. Slept a bit here and there, but not great. Got in, met the company's representative, Fuad, who went over some papers with me and handed me off to the driver, Chappie. I was foggy enough I forgot to tip Fuad. I still feel bad about that; that's what these people live on.

Chappie and I had a nice chat and drive into the city. He pointed out some things along the way, like the hospital where the first human heart transplant took place, Table Mountain and Lion's Head. Got to the Portswood late morning or early afternoon, not sure which.

The room wasn't ready yet, so I asked where I could go to find a Coke and walk around a bit. Fortunately, the Portswood is about a five minute walk from the Victoria & Albert (V&A) waterfront, which is a big shopping/restaurant/bar/tourist area. Apparently Queen Victoria and Prince Albert dropped by back in the day. They still had a plaque on the first piece of the pier where they set foot.

No word on whether Prince Albert was in a can.

Walked into the mall, and practically the first thing I see is a Crocs store, whose headquarters are an hour away from my house, in Loveland. 'Murica #1.

I'm really foggy by now. About the only thing I really remember is being approached by a young man asking for a few rand to help him get into a hostel. I pulled out my roll and peeled off a few for him.

He then said, "how about giving me the whole roll?" or something very much to that effect. To this day, I'm not sure if I missed a half-assed mugging attempt because I was so sleepy, or if it was a half-assed joke.

Among the stuff I found was this:


Apparently, it's supposed to be a giant postcard frame which you climb into and have somebody take a personalized postcard photo.

Got back, and the room wasn't quite ready, so I sat in the lobby, nodding off now and again. After a while, they got it ready and took me up. It was a pretty nice place.



Keep in mind, I have very simple needs and tastes, so maybe what I think is nice doesn't match up.

Laid down for a little while, then went out for dinner. Found Mitchell's in the V&A:


A fun little pub. Music, but not too loud. Met a couple locals, had a nice conversation. Upstairs bar had sports on the TV, a nice patio area outside. The downstairs bar interior was wallpapered with money from around the world, on which patrons had written the name and date. At the time, I worked with a guy named Jim Mitchell who liked to have a beer now and again and would've really dug this place. So, I left one for me & Jim.


Still pretty tired, so a fairly early night. Managed to find my way back in the dark, no worries.

Next time: more V&A and Robben Island.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:31 AM   #25
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Re: golddog runs around

Went to Robben Island. This is an island off Cape Town which used to be a leper colony or some such, and under apartheid was a prison for people such as Nelson Mandela.

The tour itself wasn't great. You're herded from the boat onto buses, driven around the island, walked through the prison by a former prisoner. It was interesting to learn some of the **** that happened, but it felt like you were being pushed through rather than allowed to explore and learn.

So, no fault of the people giving the tour, more of the tour company.

That being said, it was still quite compelling to hear some of the stories. The guide on the bus told a couple of things about it.

This guy was probably in his 40s or 50s, just starting to turn gray. He told of the classification system. On your 16th birthday, you were classified into one of four races. That determined everything. Where you could live, what jobs you could have.

One of the determining factors was the "pencil test". They would put a pencil in your hair. If it was frizzy enough that the pencil stood up, you were black. In the absence of enough hair, they measured your nostrils and lips, and there was some formula for that.

He told of his mother ironing her hair, because straight-haired black people were more accepted and had better opportunities.

All the while, I'm thinking, "You're ****ing kidding, right?"

It wasn't until I left I discovered there was an apartheid museum. It might have been interesting to see how that got started and maintained.

2014 was the 20th anniversary of apartheid being officially eliminated. That night, I noticed a group of mixed-race young people out for drinks, all were friends and having a good time. I remember thinking to myself that only 20 years ago, that would've been frowned upon, if not illegal.

I have to say, South Africa isn't proud of it, but they do seem to be owning the problem.

Anyway, at some point in the prison, I noticed my camera was giving me a strange message. Oh crap, I don't have a memory card in the camera.

In one sense, I was relieved later on. After all, if there was anywhere on this trip which might've been a good spot to lose pictures, it was Robben Island. I could find a million (probably literally) pictures of Nelson Mandela's cell online which would've not been appreciably different than what I would've taken.

So, the informational part was good, the physical part of the tour not so much.

Anyway, I wandered around the V&A waterfront some more and came upon these guys:



also noticed a couple of what I think were dolphins, but didn't get any picture worth showing. I was also sad to discover that I was closer to the South Pole than pretty much anywhere else (even though it was quite pleasant here, I can't stand cold):



Table Mountain had an interesting late-afternoon phenomenon I saw a couple of times where the clouds seemed to climb over the mountain and crawl down:



Up next: Cape Point
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