Page 2 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Quimbaya November 7th 2022

In Search of Juan Valdez After the hustle and bustle of Bogota, it was time for something completely different…a trip to the countryside to embrace the flora, fauna and famous coffee of Columbia. This beautiful nation offers an endless supply of birds, butterflies, flowers and trees. In Colombia, you will see things you cannot see other places as this is one of the most diverse countries out there. Think we might be exaggerating just a bit…well…try these statistics on for size. For a nation about the size of Portugal, Spain and France combined, Colombia has over 1800 species of birds, 470 species of mammals, 520 species of reptiles and more than 750 species of amphibians. And to boot, 10 percent of the world’s plant species grow here as well. That….is impressive. And then of course, there ... read more
Dave grinding our harvested beans
Merry Jo picking some beans
Possibly a Goldfinch

South America » Colombia » Bogota November 4th 2022

Off to Bogota….with a few challenges There are many instances when we are sitting in our comfortable chairs at home talking about future travel. Needless to say, these conversations include quite a bit of real estate given the fact that we both have more free time these days. After a bit of back and forth over time, we were considering a few South American countries. Given our home location, South America is not difficult to reach, either by time or distance. In the end, Colombia beat the other choices out because we were able to grab an airline ticket for $359 each round trip. For travel perspective, flying to Bogota was about 3 ½ hours. It takes over five to fly to Seattle….you get the point. We checked in for our flight 24 hours prior to ... read more
Colorful Street Art
Modern City View
Scenic Walk at Monserrate

Newfoundland gives one a sense of calmness and serenity. The easternmost Canadian province has soft winding roads with one stunning vista after another. Even though we had studied what we might find once we arrived, we were surprised by the number of lakes, streams and rivers. We’d call it "the land of 10,000 lakes" but Minnesota already has taken that name. Acres of trees landscape your drive, so many in fact that we decided to look up the abundant varieties in these dense green forested areas. They include many birch trees along with black spruce, white spruce, junipers, white pine and balsam firs. Seems the white pines were heavily harvested for use as sawlogs and ship masts at the turn of the 20th century. This and an infestation wreaked havoc with the species, but they are ... read more
Terra Nova River
We love puffins!
Long Point Lighthouse

Europe » France » St-Pierre et Miquelon August 24th 2022

More than a few months back while planning this voyage to Canada, Merry Jo remarked that while in Newfoundland there existed a possibility to visit France…..say what? Seems that off the west coast of Newfoundland there are the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, which are a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France—so says Wikipedia. In common parlance, although you are in Canada, you can take a one-and-a-half-hour ferry ride and find yourself in a place where the primary language is French, the euro is the main currency and, in our case, where the food was fantastic. More on that later…. As a side note, for those of you really paying attention, you'll note that this blog entry is from is, but the physical location is in North America...well, we ... read more
Right turn to France
Does anybody really know what time it is?
Merry Jo in her the water

North America » Canada » Nova Scotia » Yarmouth August 14th 2022

Cheticamp Upon departing Prince Edward Island, we again crossed the Confederation Bridge into Nova Scotia where we stopped for a few more photos. It is a beautiful piece of concrete. They will be paying off this bridge for a while….at over $50 Canadian per vehicle maybe it won’t take that long. So, we took our fair share of pictures and then some more. Perhaps better planning would have had us taking the ferry and perhaps shaving some time, but by the time we realized this, there were no reservations to be had on the ferry at a time of our choosing. Pushing on, it would be several hours until we reached our next destination, Cheticamp, a town at the base of the Cabot Trail in the Cape Breton National Park. Once we checked into our motel, ... read more
Scenic Cottages
Waterfront Lunenburg
Beer & Lobster

” Dave has pleasant childhood memories of going camping at age 14 with his father on Prince Edward Island. From early in our marriage, I’ve heard his reminiscences. It was a joy to experience this location with Dave.” Merry Jo There are times when you gather your expectations, only to see them exceeded by what is conceivably some of the most pleasant scenery acre for acre in our travels. Prince Edward Island, part of the Maritime Provinces of Canada is such a place. On this trip we are traveling with our friends Chuck and Martha who live near St. Louis. We all met when we were working in Pittsburgh more than a few years back and now finally had the opportunity explore a new place together. We landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, scooped up ... read more
North Cape Lighthouse
Lobster Roll baby
Boardwalk trail to the beach at Greenwich Dunes

Europe » Italy » Sardinia » Alghero May 31st 2022

Our time in Sicily had come to an end…..and frankly, we were ready. Our last stop in Palermo rekindled our warmth for the province, but still, we found ourselves eager to move on. With many years of international travel, we had faced many hurdles, but between being eager to depart Sicily and the challenges we faced, it made for some frustration. When you travel, things will occasionally go awry, but this travel day had special challenges…. Travel Challenges It would prove to be a test of our travel mettle and for us, that is saying something. We had arranged with the hotel for a taxi to pick us up in Palermo at 430am and take us to the airport for our flight to Sardinia. The taxi didn’t show up so we made a call to another ... read more
Stunning Sardinian seaside
Driving in the Sardinian countryside.
Church in Olbia

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Palermo May 24th 2022

It is fair to say that we enjoyed our time in Sicily and saw many amazing things as it is an arceiological paradise that we will tell you about, but in our opinion, Sicily needs a coat of love and care, a bit of paint and have the garbage picked up sooner. Now, before you simply move on to another blog or just take a peak at our pictures, we implore you to read the entire blog because overall, we experienced a roller coaster relationship with this province of Italy and we’d like to tell you why. Sicily is a hard one for us to describe as we didn’t fall in love with it the way we have other parts of Italy. Sicily has a tough veneer and is a bit dingy in places. But not ... read more
Colorful streets in Catania
Evening in Ragusa
Fish and Lemons

Europe » Malta » Malta » Rabat May 9th 2022

With a two-year delay resulting from the pandemic, it had proven to be a long wait to gather with those who share our immense desire to travel and see the world. As you read this, you will immediately recognize it if you already possess this “trait.” It is an innate sort of thing, a scratch that can only be itched by getting on the web, reading about foreign lands, and then putting plans in place to visit. We can almost see you nodding your head…. you are our people. Travelers Century Club Amid an almost eight-week voyage for us, the Traveler’s Century Club International Conference was to be the centerpiece of our trip. A chance to connect with people from all over the world and various walks of life and bask in their company. We certainly ... read more
Entryway to our Bnb
The indefatigable Tim Skeet!!
Maltese Dancing

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka May 2nd 2022

We have long looked forward to the Athens portion of this trip as we would have the opportunity meet up with Dave’s sister Susan and her husband Jeff. We knew this would be a special travel treat. Susan and Jeff have worked hard over the years, plus they raised and home schooled six children. They intended to go to Greece on their anniversary many years ago. Life events kept postponing the trip—but it is happening now! We are thrilled to be able to join them for a few days. We have not been to Greece since 2003—it was one of our early trips out of the country. We arrived in Athens a few days before them and eagerly awaited their arrival. After getting settled in our hotel located in the old and historic Plaka District, we ... read more
The Acropolis at night....
Gold face plates for burial 16th century BC
Light through the temple

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