Page 8 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana January 5th 2013

What’s new in Havana? Not much actually. Imagine taking a trip back in time….where the time on a clock actually is not a major factor, but living life to its fullest takes on an importance all its own. You look at the buildings and the vehicles on the streets and come to the conclusion that time has almost stood still…and for the most part it has. Welcome to Havana, Cuba. When you get off the plane in Havana you look at the clock and it says 1960, time seems unimportant. A bit of history In the late 1950’s, Fidel Castro and his band of socialists took control of this island in the Caribbean supposedly in an effort to thwart the Batista regime, which was in the throes of major corruption. Havana was being infiltrated by the ... read more
A jaguar!
Ambos Mundos Hotel
At the Tropicana

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu December 20th 2012

Sheer genius. That’s what it was. Merry Jo came up with the idea far in advance and now we were reaping the benefits. Such foresight and wisdom. Factor in the notion that the trip would be ending right before the Christmas holiday and it takes on an even bigger significance. Anyone who has traveled an extended period of time remembers that re-entry into their homeland usually involves a “sudden impact” concept, by which one minute you’re on the road, and the next you’re right back where you started, almost in the blink of an eye. You sit and look at one another and ask yourselves, “it’s over already?” By spending six days in Hawaii before heading back to Ohio for Christmas, we were able to return to the United States and still be on a bit ... read more
Diamond Head
Waikiki Beach
North shore beach

Asia » Philippines » Palawan » Puerto Princesa December 14th 2012

Lurking just on the precipice of being a total slug is where we find ourselves at this point in the five-month journey we’ve undertaken. One minute you are taking a seven-kilometer hike up to see a glacier in Greenland, totally amped up because the scenery is beyond breath-taking and the next you are next to a rather large pool in a resort in the Philippines contemplating the end of a fantastic voyage. You take your pulse occasionally just to make sure and also steal a glance at one another on the beach chairs to confirm that indeed, breathing is still taking place. Almost there…….completely ramped down and totally peaceful. Such is the state we find ourselves in. The traveler’s version of true enlightenment. Feeling rested after months of constant fun on the ... read more
Solitude in the distance
Star fish in shallow water
Pandang Island beach

Asia » Philippines » Bohol » Tagbilaran December 5th 2012

After five wonderful days on the Island of Malapascua, it was time to carry on the journey to a new locale. Continuing our pursuit of rest, relaxation and the ultimate tan, we headed to Bohol and the Peacock Garden Resort. Yes, our plan required that we stay the course and not overextend ourselves in order to achieve our goal of total relaxation and enjoy a bit of opulence. Gritty stuff, but we have the drive to succeed. We climbed aboard a small skiff and headed out a few hundred yards to a larger craft which took us to Maya on Cebu, then a three hour ride to Cebu City to catch the ferry to Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Getting around the Philippines takes time and patience as there are no direct routes given the 7000 or ... read more
The Peacock Garden
A strawberry daiquari
Daytime view

Asia » Philippines » Malapascua Island November 29th 2012

We have been on the road exploring the world since August and quite frankly, we are tired. Mentally and sometimes physically we have extended ourselves for days on end, rarely staying in one spot longer than two or three nights. We did stay in Berlin six nights and truly enjoyed it. We do not seek sympathy, but only to provide a state of being as we begin the next segment of our adventure. It has been simply grand. All the fabulous things that we have seen and done sometimes surprise us. But it is now time for us to rest and relax before we re-enter the real world and go back to work, so after spending a few days in Manila with friends we headed to the islands to do nothing …….very slowly. We want to ... read more
Malapascua Sunset
Lovely sea horse
Love the orange skies

Asia » Philippines » Manila November 24th 2012

We feel incredibly fortunate in that while in Manila, we were well-taken care of by our friend Lili, who not only has been a resident of Manila for decades, but is also a well-known contributor to TravelBlog. She immediately disproved what at least one blogger had written about this fine city. It would be easy to dismiss Manila as a place worthy of interest if you read and believe all the blogs and publications, which usually portray it as a large dirty Southeast Asian city. Even the “bible” of the backpacking lot, the Lonely Planet says that Manila is a “misunderstood city”. Manila is vibrant, exciting and ready to welcome any number of travelers to show off its warmth and hospitality. Although it may not be a place to spend more than a week, (not many ... read more
View from Tagaytay
Manila city view
Philipano chicken soup

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan November 18th 2012

Burma has really captured our attention. We’ve spent 16 nights and 17 days exploring and feel like we have seen a good bit of the country. We are told it has grown leaps and bounds politically, with the country starting to move away from 50 years of strict military rule. This may be reflected in the recent visit by President Obama and earlier in the year by Hillary Clinton, sure signs that things are changing. Life has also changed for the people, albeit slowly, but if you come for a visit soon you will still have the pleasure of experiencing a nation and culture that is relatively untouched by the outside world. The people of Burma are friendly and have a good sense of humor. We feel you will get to see a raw and unspoiled ... read more
A cool monk
Sunset on the river
Burmese Nurses

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake November 9th 2012

Each country that you visit seems to have at least one incredibly beautiful place that will stick in your mind for a long, long time. You’ll find yourself in some boring meeting at work or perhaps just driving along the highway and your mind will wander to an experience that is engrained in your memory. Burma has many of these, but it was Inle Lake that really captured our interest. After the amazing views afforded by hiking near Kalaw, it hardly seemed possible that it could get better, yet it did. Our drive from Kalaw to Inle Lake took a detour to Pindaya to check out the natural cave in this area. We left late that morning due to the fact that our vehicle required a new fuel module (or something like that) we were told. ... read more
Waiting for customers
Wonder what mischief he is planning?
Hand made umbrellas

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region November 7th 2012

This latest entry requires that we first set the scene for you. It is October of 2007 and we are standing in our hotel room in Kuala Lumpur with backpacks all but ready to head downstairs to jump into a cab to take us to the airport. For the past few days there had been unrest and rumblings in Myanmar. Rising petrol prices and general unrest was afoot. The night before on the television we see small riots and police hostility toward the monks on the television. We are keenly interested in the reports the BBC is providing regarding the unrest in a country we are going to visit in a few short hours. When we awoke that morning, we had an uncertain feeling about flying into Myanmar. And now there we were ……. standing in ... read more
She is adorable!
Michael, Merry & Dave
Brutus enjoys the countryside

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra November 1st 2012

We’ve enjoyed our short stay in India. One of the advantages of traveling for an extended period of time is that you may find yourself wanting to change some of the plans you have made for one reason for another and discover that this is something you can do without remorse. You’ve got the time and the initiative, so you just make it happen. Case in point; we arrived in Kathmandu over a month ago and spent four nights there before departing for other parts of Nepal and then returned for a few nights at the end. Truth is, we didn’t care for Kathmandu and were rather blunt about it in an earlier blog. So, after we finished the incredible country of Bhutan, we were supposed to return to Kathmandu for another four nights. Neither one ... read more
Heading to temple
Marble entry
Taj Mahal

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