Month: January 2016

Honeymooner’s Delight 1/18/16

Leading a group of 3 single women and a couple on an exploration of the untrodden areas of Panama with an excellent naturalist guide took me on a long trip to Santiago today via La Tavida, Panama. Off the Panamerican Highway north of Penenome about 1 hour up steep and winding  roads, we climbed to about 2500 feet where we found a paradise in the mountain. We stopped for lunch before taking a hike with guide-provided walking sticks down to the impressive waterfall and watering hole in the gully.

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We could see the waterfall from the secluded lodge run by a local graduate of a tourism program. Once we got to the bottom of the gully, the lodge looked like a spec in the sky as we looked back up at it. With only 4 cabins ranging from $150 to $250 per night, it would be a perfect spot for a honeymoon couple. Hardly anyone knows of the place, it’s astoundingly beautiful in its seclusion.

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While swimming in the watering hole, a group of men from Colorado joined us. They had also discovered this place

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Railroad Heaven

Beautiful railcars

Museum in a train station.

Tucked into an abandoned subway station two floors below downtown Brooklyn, you will find the most amazing museum that tells the history of New York through its public transit systems, from buses to trolleys to subways.

The museum has assembled subway cars from the earliest days to the present. It is so interesting to see the subtle and major changes made throughout the years. In addition to the actual cars, turnstiles, and maps through time are on display. I still recall the token turnstile and hanging on to leather straps, unable to move. It’s possible the cars I once rode are preserved in the museum today.

The transit system has always been run from a nondescript building nearby. An impressive special exhibit at the museum focuses on how it plans for disaster recovery. Given the levels of destruction, it is amazing that the transit system recovers within days from the likes of 9/11, the New York blackout and Hurricane Sandy. The exhibit here is a nice supplement to the 9/11 Museum, another favorite. (more…)

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Plug here

cell plug

One of the most difficult things while traveling abroad is staying in touch with folks at home. Here’s some guidance on how best to do it. The key is preparation.

I like to be able to receive and place calls for emergency purposes, such as when my bank declines my credit card overseas.

I also like to be able to access the internet, which requires cell phone data connectivity or a Wi-Fi connection.

Before you ever step out of town, check your wireless company’s coverage and cost where you are going. Some companies work automatically by connecting to the local wireless company where you are going. The problem is that often the cost is high. But if you are only making a few calls, that may not be a concern for you.

If you want to make a lot of calls, the best way to do this is to buy a local SIM card for your phone. To do this, you need a GSM phone, the type used in most foreign locations. Some carriers, notably Verizon and Sprint, use a different technology — CDMA — meaning this won’t work with their phones.

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