Richard and Gemma

Richandgemsadventures

Richard and Gemma

Rich (the cockney) and Gem (the jock) do South America 2014!



North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum May 14th 2014

So here we are. Having passed our penultimate border crossing and having our bags lined up, sniffed by dogs and prodded by riffle toting officials for the last time, we had arrived in Mexico once again. As we had arrived in the border town of Chetumal by boat, we still had to catch a taxi over to the main bus terminal and hop on a bus to take us four hours up the coast to the well renowned tourist town of Tulum. Being back in a Spanish speaking country, it was a brief battle to find someone who could help us find our hostel. We eventually found the small hostel set back off the main road in a quiet location, dropped our bags off and headed off in search of a nice cheap restaurant for dinner ... read more
Gem at Grand Cenote
Rich on Tulum Beach
Il Kil Cenote


With the disappointment of the Whale Sharks put firmly behind us, it was time to move on to our next destination. We caught the 6am bus which would take us directly from Placencia to Belize City. Thankfully, this time we were a little prepared and didn't have to venture beyond the relative safety of the bus and nearby ferry terminal. Four hours after leaving Plancencia, we arrived in Belize City. Knowing there was a 10:30am water taxi to Caye Caulker, we rushed off the bus, jumped into a taxi to take us to the ferry terminal and just managed to buy a ticket get aboard before it left. After an hour of pounding along over the small waves we had finally arrived arrived on the small island. A quick five minute walk from the terminal and ... read more
Gem strolling along the sandy streets
Superman!
Yummy street food

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Cancun April 29th 2014

So here we are, 4 months, 2 continents, 10 countries, countless incredible experiences, the odd argument or 10 (but we're still going strong) and we have finally arrived at our very last stop; Cancun Airport. To top it all, we have just had a call to come to the gate early and have been told that we have both been upgraded from Economy to World Traveller Plus (premium economy)...very exciting indeed! We are currently sitting down in the departure lounge with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire mixed into a bottle of soft drink to chill Gem's pre-flight nerves for the final time this trip, whilst reminiscing about how incredible the ... read more
Cheers to the last 4 months!
Yummy plane food...or not
Back to reality!


After the slightly stressful plane ticket episode at Fort Lauderdale, we finally arrived in Cancun around midday. However there was going to be no hanging around in Cancun with the 'Spring breakers', as we were heading straight down to Belize that day. We booked two bus tickets for 10pm that evening which would take us from Cancun to Belize City. It was a pleasant surprise when it suddenly occurred to us that Belize is an English speaking nation which meant we didn't have to struggle with our pathetic Spanish vocabulary. In the meantime, we had about nine hours to kill and nowhere to go. Hungry, phone batteries getting low and in need of wifi to do some planning for the week ahead, we did what anyone would do...headed straight for Maccy D's! Before we knew it, ... read more
Gem & Rich on Silk Caye
Gem giving diving a go
Laughing Bird Caye's incredible waters

North America » United States » Florida » Miami Beach April 6th 2014

Three hours of immigration, customs and bag scans and we had finally made it through to the arrivals hall of Fort Lauderdale airport. Unlike most of the South American cities we had visited this was not going to be a two pound private cab journey but instead a £15 (each) shared mini bus to reach our hotel located on Miami beach. After the long debacle at the airport it was about 10pm by the time we had arrived at our hotel. Starving hungry, we nipped across the road and grabbed some true American grub; a greasy Pizza Hut. Feeling like we were about to burst, we rolled back over the road to the hotel and collapsed on our super king sized bed, in our plush air conditioned room complete with a view over Miami beach...oh how ... read more
Miami Heat V Brooklyn Nets
Tony Montana
South Beach strolling

South America » Colombia » Cartagena » Sogamoso April 4th 2014

After reading so much about the picturesque, multicoloured colonial buildings lining the narrow streets of the old town of Cartagena, we were excited to take a look for ourselves. We arrived in the old town after driving through one of the many arches which are cut into the huge city wall. The wall is decorated with hundreds of cannons which were once used to stave off unwelcome invaders in the 1600's. Once we had managed to battle with the rather rude staff of the hostel we were staying in, we got settled in then set off for a walk around the city. After a quick wander around town and a bite to eat we were back at the hostel to get showered and dressed in preparation for a couple of sundowners at the famous Cafe del ... read more
Cafe del Mar - Sunset beers on the city wall
The Mud Volcano
Before the mud


We stepped off the plane and bang...we were smacked in the face with booming sun and 33 degrees of humid heat. Back in the heat, back to the beach and back in the land of the mozzies. We had arrived in Santa Marta and were quickly on our way to our hostel where we were greeted by our local hostel owner...Alan from Peckham! Not long after arriving, our minds had already switched to planning for the following day; a hike and over night stay in the Tayrona National Park. Famed for its beautiful Caribbean beaches, huge boulders and spectacular hiking trails through the nearby forested hills, we were certainly looking forward to getting there and chilling out (not so much the hiking though). The following morning we were up and out the door by 8am, waiting ... read more
Colombia!
Gem on the beach in El Cabo and our home for the night in the background
The freezing cold dreaded hammocks

South America » Colombia » Bogota March 30th 2014

When you hear the word Colombia, what are the first things that spring to mind?!...Cocaine, drug lords (namely Mr Escobar), crime and general lawlessness?! From what we had heard from hoards of other travellers, the aforementioned are all a thing of the past, with the new Colombia offering vibrant cities, stunning beaches, beautiful countryside and the friendliest of people. It was now time to find out for ourselves. We arrived at Bogota's clean and modern international airport early in the afternoon, hopped in a taxi and made our way to our hostel. Having shared the taxi with an English couple we had just met at the airport, the taxi dropped them off first at the city centre area of La Candelaria. The area is still pretty notorious for crime, especially at night. Despite this, it still ... read more
The gardens at the top of the viewpoint
Coffee...and a hot chocolate
Plaza Bolivar

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito March 28th 2014

After a week in paradise, it was back to reality with an almighty, ground shaking, seismic bang; we had arrived in Quito. With a painstaking 90 minute, traffic ridden taxi journey to get from the airport to the city centre, we were fortunate to be able to share a taxi with a couple we met on our boat in Galapagos. Tired and with serious Galapagos blues, we dumped our bags down in our six man dorm and ventured out to buy some food for dinner. Staying in the 'Old Town', we had been assured it was safe enough to walk around at night. However, walking the five minutes to the shops and back still felt a little more than sketchy. Feeling as skint as a couple of locals tramps, we opted for a multi pack of ... read more
I don't think so...not quite right!
The wrong 'centre of the earth' GPS
Gem at the real centre of the earth


After 10 weeks of god knows how many super noodle dinners and scrimping and saving where possible, the time had finally come for Galapagos. Hoping for a super last minute deal, we booked a one way flight and hoped for some luck. Only three days prior to our flight departing, the deal was done. We had managed to bag ourselves a half price 8 day cruise around the north and west islands of Galapagos aboard a 'First class' boat. Money transferred and having just spent 1/4 of our 16 week budget on a one week trip, our expectations were high and were really hoping for something special. We arrived in Guayaquil late in the evening, with just enough time to grab some dinner, sort our bags and get to bed. Another early morning, however this time ... read more
Chilled Lizard
Curious sea lion
Hammerheads




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